Creamy No-Mayo Potato Salad

This no mayo potato salad is crazy delicious! It’s a healthy spin on the American classic, with mustard, dill pickles and a creamy sauce.

No Mayo Potato Salad

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. In fact, it’s even more delicious than what you’ll find on the pitch-in picnic table. This one is part of a Summer Barbecue Video Series series we made with our friend Tessa of Handle the Heat. Half the recipes are healthy vegetarian recipes by Alex and me, and half are Tessa’s baked treats, each starring ingredients we found at our local Kroger. Keep reading for all our secrets!

Why potato salad with no mayo?

First things first. Why make a potato salad without mayo? Alex and I are not against mayonnaise in the least. In fact, we include moderate amounts of mayo in part of our healthy diet. A few reasons:

  • Not as sensitive to heat. 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 with no mayo gets rid of this problem.
  • Works for many diets. This no mayo potato salad is gluten-free, vegan / plant-based, and dairy-free, making it work for guests of all diets. 
  • Healthy spin on potato salad! Many potato salads call for gobs of mayo. But this one is a healthy spin, made with healthy real food ingredients full of nutrients. In fact, it’s best healthy potato salad we’ve ever had! Are we convincing you yet? 
Peeling potatoes

Watch how to make No Mayo Potato Salad!

We love this no mayo potato salad so much, we made you a video! Here we are with Tessa showing you how to make it in our kitchen.

Related: Watch the entire Summer Barbecue Series!

The secret to no mayo potato salad? Cashew mayo.

Instead of mayonnaise, the secret ingredient in this no mayo potato salad is…cashew mayonnaise! That’s right, it’s an easy vegan mayonnaise out of cashews. And man, is it good! (Promise. You’ll be blown away!) How to make vegan mayo? Here are the basic steps:

  1. Soak your cashews. This softens them so that they form a cashew cream when blended. A high speed blender is best for this task, but you can also use a regular blender and soak a bit longer. The longer you soak the cashews, the better. You can even soak them overnight to make for the creamiest texture!
  2. Blend the soaked cashews with seasonings. Give the soaked cashews a whiz in the blender with the remaining ingredients. Yellow mustard plays a key role, along with white wine vinegar, garlic powder, and a touch of maple syrup. The result is a very tasty creamy spread that tastes like mayonnaise, but it’s 100% plant based (vegan) and dairy-free!
Potato Salad with No Mayo

What else makes the perfect potato salad?

Now aside from the mayo: what are the other elements in a classic picnic potato salad? We’re talking the kind your Grandma makes, or the one from the grocery deli counter. We wanted to meld this no mayo potato salad concept with the classic version. After a bit of research, here’s what we found:

  • Use Yukon gold potatoes. Yukon gold potatoes are perfect for classic picnic potato salad because they hold their shape when boiling, and absorb the creamy sauce in just the right way.
  • Sprinkle vinegar onto the warm potatoes after boiling. This trick makes for that signature tangy flavor.
  • Use dill pickles. Yep, dill pickles are absolutely essential to a classic picnic potato salad! Watch the video to see us discuss the merits of pickles in potato salad!

In this recipe, we featured two star ingredients from Kroger (and got everything else there too!): Vlasik dill pickles and Simple Truth Yellow Mustard.

Is it really that good?

This 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 spin made from all real food ingredients. A friend of mine tested the recipe for us and told me that it was “out of this world and a huge hit with the family!” We’d call that a success.

*Note: If you take this to a summer barbecue, make sure to note that it contains nuts to account for any nut allergies!

Looking for more summer barbecue recipes?

Love this potato salad? Here are the other summer barbecue recipes to go alongside:

This no mayo potato salad recipe is…

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

Print
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Incredible No Mayo Potato Salad | A Couple Cooks

No Mayo Potato Salad


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (16 votes, average: 4.44 out of 5)

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

Description

This no mayo potato salad is crazy delicious! It’s a healthy spin on the American classic, with mustard, dill pickles and a creamy sauce.


Scale

Ingredients

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

Instructions

  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.

Notes

* 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

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:

Last updated: December 2019

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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.

14 Comments

  • 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
    Beth
    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
    Denise
    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
    Alisha
    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
      Sonja
      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
    Shari
    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
    Dennis
    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.

  • Reply
    Penny
    December 23, 2019 at 11:02 am

    Well salty cashews work….

    • Reply
      Sonja Overhiser
      December 23, 2019 at 1:56 pm

      Yes you can use salted cashews — just omit the salt when blending, and then add it back to taste!

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