Old-Fashioned Potato Salad (No Mayonnaise)

Old-Fashioned Potato Salad
Luca Trovato/Photolibrary/Getty Images
  • Total: 40 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 25 mins
  • Yield: 6 servings
Ratings (50)

This basic potato salad is a simple combination of potatoes and onions, tossed with a seasoned vinegar and oil dressing. The dressing is a refreshing change of pace from the heavier sour cream or mayonnaise mixture.

The salad is versatile as well. Consider adding fresh chives or dill to the salad along with the parsley. If you don't care for raw garlic in a salad, use about 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder in the dressing or leave it out altogether. Alternatively, add some sliced cucumber to the salad. Cut the cucumber—peeled or not—in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, and slice the halves thinly. Toss the cucumber with the potatoes and onions.

The potato salad is also an excellent choice for a picnic or cookout. Even though there's no mayonnaise included, you should still keep the salad as cold as possible. Make sure it doesn't stay out of a cooler or refrigerator for more than 2 hours (no more than 1 hour if the temperature is above 90 F) or nestle the salad bowl in a bed of ice to keep it at the safe temperature of 40 F or below for serving.

What You'll Need

  • 3 large potatoes (1 1/2 to 2 pounds)
  • 1 large onion
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic (mashed and finely minced)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

How to Make It

  1. Peel the potatoes and put them in a medium saucepan. Add water to cover and about 1 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover and reduce the heat to medium-low and continue cooking until the potatoes are fork tender, about 20 to 25 minutes. Drain and cool completely in the pan with the cover ajar.
  2. Slice the cooled potatoes into 1/4-inch slices and put them in a large bowl.
  3. Peel the onion and slice it in half lengthwise. Cut it crosswise into thin slices and add to the bowl with the potatoes.
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, garlic, minced parsley, sugar, salt, and black pepper.
  2. Pour the dressing mixture over the potatoes and onions then toss gently to combine the ingredients.
  3. Taste and season the salad with additional salt and pepper, as needed. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill until serving time.
  4. For best flavor, make the salad at least 2 hours before you plan to serve it. 


Choose low starch potatoes for salads, such as red-skinned, Yukon Gold, fingerlings, or new potatoes. Those types of potatoes are lower in starch than russets and other baking potatoes, and they tend to hold their shape better.

Advance Preparation: Up to 24 hours before serving, cook and cube the potatoes, slice the onions, and combine the dressing ingredients. Refrigerate the ingredients in separate containers. About 2 hours before serving time, combine the ingredients and toss to blend. Refrigerate until serving time.

Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
228 Calories
9g Fat
34g Carbs
4g Protein
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)