This Italian potato salad is easy to make and packed with flavor! Featuring tender potatoes, and fresh veggies, and dressed with a zesty Italian vinaigrette, this mayo-free potato salad is perfect for summer gatherings and potlucks.
Potato Salads and potlucks go hand in hand. From a classic mayonnaise-based recipe like Instant Pot Potato Salad to a unique creamy Bacon Ranch Potato Salad to light and zesty Italian Potato Salad, there is a potato salad for EVERYONE! Or if you are like me, you can enjoy a serving of all three!
This Italian Potato Salad has a special place in my heart. It is fresh, light, and jam-packed with flavor. I love the contrast between the tender, creamy potatoes the crisp-tender green beans to the fresh burst of cherry tomatoes.
Enough about why I LOVE this Italian Potato Salad! Let's talk about why you need to give this recipe a try!
Why You Will Love Italian Potato Salad
- Crazy-Good Flavor. Fresh, bright, and zesty, this potato salad is filled with amazing flavor and has a nice contrast of textures.
- Crowd-Favorite. Not only does the amazing taste win everyone over, but this recipe for Italian potato salad is also egg-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan! Everyone can enjoy this dish!
- Safe in the Summer Heat. Because this is a mayo-free potato salad, you don't have to worry about it baking in the summer sun at your picnic. And it tastes great chilled or at room temperature.
- Prepare Last-Minute OR Prep-Ahead. Most potato salad recipes need to chill after preparation to achieve the best flavor and texture. However, with this recipe, you don't have to worry about that. It can be enjoyed immediately after preparation or prepped up to 24 hours in advance with great results either way.
Ingredients Needed For Italian Potato Salad
- Potatoes: I prefer using baby potatoes with waxy skin, such as new potatoes, gold potatoes, or red potatoes.
- Green Beans: Fresh green beans are best. That said, I have taken a shortcut before and used steamed thin green beans and the potato salad was still delicious.
- Tomatoes: Use cherry or grape tomatoes, as both varieties are easy to find year-round and are always sweet and flavorful.
- Lemons: For a bright, fresh flavor that will take this Potato Salad to the next level, don't overlook adding both the zest and juice of fresh lemons.
- Red Wine Vinegar: I don't recommend substituting any other vinegar for red wine vinegar. It is tangy and slightly acidic and is classic in an Italian vinaigrette.
- Italian Seasoning: Rather than adding a bunch of dried spices, I recommend using store-bought or homemade Italian seasoning for the perfect ratio of spices for this potato salad.
- Olive Oil: Use extra-virgin olive oil for the best results.
- Garlic: In my book, you can't have an Italian dish without the addition of freshly minced garlic. However, if you are opposed to garlic, simply omit this addition from the recipe.
- Parsley: Fresh herbs, such as parsley or basil, help to add a fresh quality to this potato salad. I personally prefer Italian parsley in this recipe, but fresh basil ribbons are another great option.
- Optional Additions: If you like, you can also opt to add up to 1 cup of sliced Kalamative olive and/or up to ¼ cup of finely minced red onion to the potato salad. Keep in mind that olives and onions while delicious, can often make the dish less appealing to a crowd.
How To Make Italian Potato Salad
Step One: Blanch the Green Beans. Adding crisp-tender green beans to the potato salad adds color, texture, and flavor. Soggy, pale green beans don't add the same flavor as vibrant, crisp green beans. The best way to ensure your green beans are not overcooked is to quickly blanch them in boiling water and then transfer them to an ice bath to stop the cooking process.
Step Two: Cook the Potatoes. I find for this potato salad recipe it is best to cook the potatoes whole in heavily salted water until fork tender. Once the potatoes have been fully cooked and cooled slightly, then slice them into bite-sized pieces. This will help the potatoes to not absorb water and become mushy as they cook.
After draining off the potatoes, return them to the hot pan and cook over low heat for a minute or two to evaporate any residual liquid from the potatoes.
Step Three: Make the Italian Vinaigrette. I like to prepare the vinaigrette while the potatoes are cooking to minimize prep time. I recommend whisking the dressing together in a large mixing bowl in which you can toss the salad together, cutting back on the number of dishes you will have as well.
Step Four: Assemble the Potato Salad. Once everything is cooked and the dressing is made, you simply want to gently stir everything together. Easy-peasy!
∗Tips for the Best Italian Potato Salad ∗
- Always start with cold water when cooking potatoes. In order to ensure your potatoes cook evenly, be sure to start the cooking process with cold water. Do not wait until the water is boiling to add the potatoes to the pot!
- Salt is your friend! Just like when cooking pasta, you need to heavily salt the cooking water when boiling potatoes. This will season the potatoes from the inside out for maximum flavor.
- Use quality produce. A recipe is only as good as the ingredients used. Be sure that your green beans are firm and vibrant, not soggy or limp, as both are star players in this Italian Potato Salad.
This Italian Potato Salad is a favorite side dish at picnics, BBQs, potlucks, or just a simple dinner at home. It pairs beautifully with the following recipes:
- Classic Hamburgers
- Air Fryer Chicken Breasts
- Greek Chicken
- Easy Baked Cod
- Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Thighs
If you tried this recipe for mayo-free Italian Potato Salad, I would love for you to leave a comment and review below.
Italian Potato Salad
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt divided
- 12 ounces fresh green beans
- 2 pounds baby Yukon gold or red potatoes no larger than 2-inches in diameter
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 1 large lemon zested and juiced
- 2 cloves garlic finely minced or crushed
- 2 teaspoons dried Italian Seasoning
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes sliced in half
- ½ cup loosely packed fresh parsley leaves
- Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil. While the water is coming to a boil, prepare the green beans by removing and discarding the ends of beans of the beans and cutting them in half on a diagonal. Drop the beans and 1 teaspoon of kosher salt into the boiling water and cook for 1-2 minutes or until just crisp-tender, but still vibrant green. Remove the beans with a slotted spoon and transfer them to a bowl of iced water. Once cool, drain and pat dry.
- Drain the cooking liquid from the pot used to cook the green beans and then place the potatoes and 1 tablespoon of salt into that pan. Cover with cold tap water by 1 inch, then bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the potatoes are cooked through and easily pierced with a knife, 10 to 20 minutes depending on the size of your potatoes. Drain the potatoes and then return them to the hot pan. Cook over low heat for 1 minute just to quickly evaporate any residual liquid. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
- While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the dressing by whisking the vinegar, lemon zest, lemon juice, Italian Seasoning, garlic, 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, and pepper together in a large mixing bowl. Stream in the olive oil, whisking to combine.
- Once the potatoes have cooled to the touch, cut them in half and add to the serving bowl with the prepared dressing. Add the green beans, tomatoes, and parsley, and gently toss to combine and coat in the vinaigrette.
- Let sit for 10 minutes to allow for the flavors to meld. Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled.