Best No Mayo Potato Salad

Potato salad without mayo? This No Mayo Potato Salad may be the best healthy potato salad you’ve ever had. It tastes just like classic picnic potato salad.

Incredible No Mayo Potato Salad | A Couple Cooks

This post was created in partnership with Kroger. All opinions are our own. 

Potato salad without mayo? Yes! This is the best no mayo potato salad recipe you’ll find — and it’s even more delicious than that classic recipe you’ll find on the pitch-in picnic table. This healthy potato salad is part of a Summer Barbecue Video Series series that Alex and I created with our friend, blogger and author Tessa of Handle the Heat. Three of the recipes are healthy vegetarian recipes by me and Alex and three are Tessa’s baked deliciousness, each starring ingredients we found at our local Kroger. Keep reading for our no mayo potato salad recipe, and more recipes for summer entertaining.

Related: How to Host a Simple Backyard Party | Seasoned Potato Wedges

Video: How to make No Mayo Potato Salad!

Related: Watch the entire Summer Barbecue Series!

Potato salad without mayo?

Why make a potato salad without mayo? A few reasons. First, classic potato salad is traditionally set out on a table in the heat of summer. But most food safety guidelines (and your mom!) say to not leave out foods with mayo for over an hour in the heat. Making potato salad without mayo gets rid of this problem altogether! Also, no mayo potato salad is vegan and dairy free, perfect for serving to guests of all diets. 

Finally, Alex and I are not against mayo, and we include moderate amounts of mayo in part of our healthy diet. However, this no mayo potato salad makes up for the mayo with healthy, real food ingredients, so we’d say it’s a healthy potato salad too. The best healthy potato salad we’ve ever had, in fact! Are we convincing you yet? In this recipe, we featured two star ingredients from Kroger (and got everything else there too!): Vlasik dill pickles and Simple Truth Yellow Mustard.

Related: 15 Summer Side Dishes You Need

Incredible No Mayo Potato Salad | A Couple Cooks

What’s the secret to no mayo potato salad?

Instead of mayonnaise, our secret ingredient in this no mayo potato salad is…cashews! That’s right, we’ve made a vegan mayonnaise out of cashews, and man is it good. How to make vegan mayonnaise? It’s very simple to make vegan mayonnaise, the basic steps are:

  1. Soak your cashews. Soaking cashews makes them break down enough to form a cashew cream when blended. Using a high speed blender is best for blending the cashews, but you can also use a regular blender and soak a bit longer. The longer you soak the cashews the better. Soak them overnight if you think of it; otherwise, you can get away with just soaking them while you’re making the remainder of the salad.
  2. Blend the soaked cashews with seasonings. Once the cashews are soaked, give them a whir with the remaining ingredients. In our cashew mayonnaise recipe, yellow mustard plays a key role, along with white wine vinegar, garlic powder, and maple syrup to soften the flavors. The result is a very, very tasty creamy spread that tastes like mayonnaise, but fully vegan and dairy-free!
Incredible No Mayo Potato Salad | A Couple Cooks

How about the secrets of classic picnic potato salad?

The second secret of our best healthy potato salad to discover was, what are the other elements in a classic picnic potato salad? You know, the kind your Grandma makes, or the kind you can pick up from the grocery deli counter. I wanted to meld our no mayo potato salad concept with the classic version. I did quite a bit of research into classic picnic potato salad, and here’s what I found:

  • Use Yukon gold potatoes. Yukon gold potatoes are perfect for classic picnic potato salad because they hold their shape when boiling, and also absorb the creamy sauce.
  • Sprinkle vinegar onto the warm potatoes after boiling. This trick really does make for that tangy taste that’s typical of classic picnic potato salad.
  • Use pickles. I used to not like pickles and sometimes they still freak me out, but they’re essential to a classic picnic potato salad. Even Tessa doesn’t like pickles (see the video!), and she couldn’t stop eating this salad.

Is it really the best healthy potato salad recipe?

To us, our No Mayo Potato Salad really is the best potato salad we’ve had. It tastes like your favorite deli counter potato salad, but more vibrant and delicious because it’s a healthy potato salad that’s made from all real food ingredients. A friend of mine tested the recipe for us and texted me that it was out of this world and a huge hit with her family!

*One note: If you take this to a summer barbecue, you may want to label it as containing nuts to account for any nut allergies!

So there you have it! Is our no mayo potato salad the best healthy potato salad recipe? Or best potato salad recipe in general? Tell us in the comments below.

Looking for more summer barbecue recipes?

Here are the other summer barbecue recipes:

Looking for more healthy side dish recipes?

Outside of this no mayo potato salad, here are a few more side dish recipes on A Couple Cooks:

This no mayo potato salad recipe is…

Vegetarian, gluten free, vegan, plant-based, refined sugar free, and naturally sweet.

Incredible No Mayo Potato Salad | A Couple Cooks

No Mayo Potato Salad

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 4.80 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6 to 10 1x


Potato salad without mayo? This No Mayo Potato Salad may be the best healthy potato salad you’ve ever had. It tastes just like classic picnic potato salad!



For the potato salad

For the cashew mayonnaise

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Simple Truth Yellow Mustard
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt


  1. Place the cashews in a bowl and cover them with water. Soak them while making the recipe, at least 30 minutes if using a high speed blender and about 1 hour for a regular blender. If you think ahead, you can soak the cashews overnight before making the salad. (You also can make the cashew mayo in advance.)
  2. Boil the potatoes: Quarter the potatoes, keeping the skins on. Place them in a large saucepan filled with cold water. Bring it to a boil and cook for 10 to 15 minutes until tender when pricked with a fork. Drain and rinse the potatoes under cold water. Allow to cool slightly, then peel the skins off with your fingers and cut the potatoes into bite-sized pieces. Place the potatoes into a bowl and sprinkle with the white wine vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Mix and let stand until ready to assemble.
  3. Slice the celery stalks in half lengthwise, then thinly slice them. Thinly slice the green onions. Mince the dill pickles.
  4. Make the cashew mayonnaise: After the cashews have soaked at least 30 minutes (more, if time), drain them. In the bowl of a blender, place the cashews, water, olive oil, yellow mustard, white wine vinegar, maple syrup, garlic powder, and kosher salt. Blend on high for several minutes until smooth and creamy. (Makes about 1 cup; store refrigerated if making in advance.)
  5. In the bowl with the potatoes, mix in the cashew mayonnaise, celery, green onions, pickles, 1 tablespoon yellow mustard, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and fresh ground pepper. Serve immediately, or refrigerate until serving.


* Note: If you take this to a summer barbecue, you may want to label it as containing nuts to account for any nut allergies!

  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Potato Salad, Potato Salad without Mayonnaise, Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten Free, Plant-Based, No Mayo Potato Salad, Picnic Recipe, Barbecue Recipe, Summer Recipe

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.


  • Reply
    Brittany Audra @ Audra's Appetite
    June 26, 2018 at 2:54 pm

    Can’t wait to try the cashew mayo…I’m not a fan of regular mayo, so this is perfect! :)

  • Reply
    Alanna Taylor-Tobin
    June 28, 2018 at 1:54 pm

    Cashew mayo?! ON IT!

  • Reply
    Todd | HonestlyYUM
    July 1, 2018 at 9:15 pm

    Love love LOVE the cashew idea!! Can’t wait to try!

  • Reply
    Sarah @ Snixy Kitchen
    July 2, 2018 at 8:09 am

    I’m SO into the no-mayo idea (tbh I’m not a huge fan of mayo so I usually use vegan mayo). But now I’m definitely going to make it with cashews! Yum!

  • Reply
    Elizabeth Stark
    July 2, 2018 at 9:04 am

    With this brutal heatwave going on, I’m terrified to make anything with mayo for cookouts. This recipe is perfect for a steamy Fourth! I can’t believe how creamy it looks – can’t wait to try the recipe. (Happy Fourth to you and your sweet crew!)

  • Reply
    July 9, 2018 at 10:11 am

    I made this for the 4th and it was fantastic! Everyone loved it and I didn’t tell my boyfriend that it was a cashew mayo – he had no idea.

  • Reply
    July 16, 2018 at 5:01 pm

    You have outdone yourselves once again! This potato salad is A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.! And my family LOVES my potato salad…thought I’d give this one a try. Superb! Thank you for helping me stay on the veggie bandwagon!

  • Reply
    July 26, 2018 at 9:24 am

    OMG I’ve made this twice and it is so good! I can’t eat dairy or eggs so this is a perfect alternative to traditional potato salad

    • Reply
      July 27, 2018 at 6:00 pm

      Oh we are SO excited to hear this! It’s our favorite too. So glad it’s a hit!

  • Reply
    August 10, 2018 at 11:31 am

    This potato salad looks amazing and I am surely going to make it. I have seen other recipes where white beans have been substituted for nuts and I was wondering if you think this might work as well? Trying to avoid nuts if I can.

  • Reply
    November 11, 2019 at 2:20 pm

    I would love to try this recipe as we have obtained a box of red fingerling potatoes. We’re trying to cut back on the oil in recipes. Is there a substitute for the olive oil in this recipe? Love the idea of cashew cream as we’ve used it in other recipes. Thanks for any help given!

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      November 11, 2019 at 2:46 pm

      Hi! There’s not really any sub for the olive oil here. It would still taste great with just the cashew cream, the olive oil just adds a bit of body. Feel free to omit.

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