Southern-Style Vegan Potato Salad
This Southern Vegan Potato Salad is a healthy plant-based picnic and barbecue side dish favorite! Featuring vegan mayonnaise, dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, and fresh dill, it’s an easy yet flavorful staple dish for your summer parties.
Did you go vegan but miss traditional southern potato salad made with mayo and mustard? Don’t fret! We have found the PERFECT southern-style potato salad made with completely plant-based ingredients that both omnivores and plant-based eaters will love.
👉 Here’s why this should be your new favorite vegan potato salad recipe:
- It’s ridiculously easy. Simply boil, cool, and cut potatoes, then toss with chopped vegetables and mix with vegan mayo, mustard, vinegar, and fresh dill.
- It’s a vegan take on traditional southern potato salad. While many plant-based potato salads skip the vegan mayo (like our roasted potato salad made with olive oil), this take on traditional American Southern and Midwest-style potato salads uses plant-based mayonnaise and mustard.
- It’s better the next day, which makes it a great party dish. Headed to a picnic or hosting a barbecue? Make this potato salad the day before, as the flavors get even better after refrigerating for one day.
- Your non-vegan friends are gonna love it. Our (very-not-vegan) family loves and requests this recipe every time we have a cookout. It’s just that good.
Ready to learn how to make this easy plant-based potato salad recipe? Let’s do it!
🥣 How to make (step-by-step)
1️⃣ Step One: Boil, cool, and cut potatoes
Fill a large pot with water, add 1 teaspoon of salt, and bring to a rolling boil. Add potatoes and boil until soft (when a knife can easily poke through), or about 20 minutes.
Remove the potatoes from heat, drain the water, and let potatoes cool (about 30 minutes).
Once the potatoes are cool, cut them into bite-size pieces (we quartered them in the photos).
👉 Potato boiling tip: Don’t overcook the potatoes! We want soft potatoes, but not overly-cooked potatoes that are waterlogged and mushy. The potatoes are done when the tip of a knife can slide through the middle of the potato, but not to the point where the potatoes are falling apart when cut.
2️⃣ Step Two: Prep the vegetables and mix with potatoes, vegan mayo, herbs, and spices.
While the potatoes are cooking, prep the vegetables by slicing green onions, dicing carrots, and chopping celery.
When potatoes are cool, add them to a large mixing bowl with the celery, carrots, green onions, vegan mayonnaise, mustard, apple cider vinegar, chopped dill, and salt and pepper.
Toss until all ingredients are evenly coated with mayonnaise.
3️⃣ Step Three: Serve or refrigerate for later.
You can either serve the potato salad immediately or, for best flavor, refrigerate the salad mixture for at least 30-60 minutes before serving. This will help the ingredients release their flavors and the crunchy celery and carrots will soften a bit when coated with the vegan mayo.
🥔 Potato salad recipe questions + quick tips
The best potatoes for potato salad are waxy varieties like new potatoes, creamers, red potatoes, or fingerlings because they retain their shape after boiling.
No, you do not have to peel potatoes when making potato salad. We do not peel potatoes because we enjoy the taste of potato peels and they include nutrients and fiber. However, peel potatoes if you enjoy a smoother potato salad taste.
Southern or Midwest-style potato salad typically is made with mayonnaise, yellow mustard, and is topped with a hard boiled egg. To make a southern potato salad vegan, simply use vegan mayonnaise and omit the egg (or use an egg-alternative!).
Store bought vegan mayonnaise is typically made from oil, mustard seed or powder, lemon juice, and sometimes uses soy as an emulsifier (such as our preferred Sir Kensington vegan mayo). You can also make your own vegan mayonnaise using tofu, oil, mustard, and lemon.
Yellow mustard is generally used in Southern-style or Midwest-style potato salads, and it mixes with the mayonnaise to completely coat the potato salad ingredients and give it a yellow color. However, we like using dijon mustard because we think it has a better flavor when paired with fresh dill.
Both fresh or dried dill will work in potato salad, but we recommend using fresh when it's available for better flavor.
If stored in an airtight container, fresh potato salad will keep for up to 3-4 days in the refrigerator. We do not recommend freezing and then thawing potato salad.
🌱 More vegan barbecue and picnic side dish ideas
Check out our other plant-based picnic and cookout recipes:
- Vegan Roasted Potato Salad (mayo-free!)
- Mexican-Style Three Bean Salad
- Refrigerator Pickled Green Beans
- Crunchy Celery Apple Salad
- Pineapple Pico de Gallo Avocado Cups
Southern-Style Vegan Potato Salad Recipe
- 4 pounds waxy potatoes, new potatoes or red potatoes
- 1-½ teaspoon salt, divided
- 3 celery stalks, thinly sliced
- 2 carrot sticks, diced
- 2 green onions, sliced thin (whites and greens)
- 2 cups vegan mayonnaise
- ¼ cup dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 bunch fresh dill, finely chopped
- Pinch black pepper
- Boil, cool, and cut potatoes: Bring a large pot of water and 1 teaspoon of salt to a rolling boil. Boil potatoes until soft and a knife can easily poke through, but not overcooked and water logged (about 20 minutes). Remove from heat, drain water, and allow potatoes to cool (30 minutes). Once cool, cut potatoes into bite-size quarters.
- Combine potato salad ingredients: In a large bowl, add cut potatoes, sliced celery, diced carrots, sliced green onions, vegan mayonnaise, dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, chopped dill, the remaining salt and a pinch of black pepper. Toss to coat thoroughly mix until all ingredients are covered in mayonnaise and are evenly distributed in salad (however, don’t overmix if the potatoes are soft and mushy).
- To serve: Potato salad can be served immediately, but for best results refrigerate for a minimum of 30-60 minutes to chill salad and let the ingredients release their flavors.
- Recipe and ingredient notes: The best potatoes for potato salad are waxy varieties like small white or red potatoes, new potatoes, or fingerlings. Both dijon and yellow mustard will work in this recipe, but we recommend choosing dijon as the mustard seeds provide a nice flavor paired with dill.
- Tools needed: large saucepan, knife, cutting board, large mixing bowl, large serving bowl
- Prep Ahead: This potato salad can be made up to two days ahead of time and in fact will have a better flavor if prepared at least 30-60 minutes before serving, which makes it a perfect party food.
- Leftovers and storage: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. We do not recommend freezing and thawing this potato salad.
- Nutrition notes: This potato salad is a more indulgent recipe because of the oil-based vegan mayonnaise, however it also is high in fiber, gluten-free, and is a healthier alternative to traditional mayo-based non-vegan potato salad.
UPDATE: This recipe was originally posted in July 2020 and updated for clarity in August 2021.