This homemade Vegan Potato Salad is perfect for summer gatherings. It’s a southern-themed recipe, combining vegan mayo and yellow mustard, tofu egg scramble, onions, and pickles. This Potato Salad is a lightly sweet summer salad that’s also rich and creamy.
Serve your vegan potato salad with these Black Bean Sweet Potato Burgers for a plant-based feast.
When I became vegan about 100 years ago (slight exaggeration), one of the first dishes I veganized was my mom’s recipe for classic potato salad. Because it’s the best recipe ever, I had to make mom’s potato salad vegan!
Why This Recipe is a Winner
- Adding tofu scramble takes the place of boiled eggs, adding both texture and flavor
- Using sweet pickles add hints of sweetness and crunch to every bite
- Red potatoes with the skins on make this potato salad colorful, easy to make, and absolutely delicious
- One of my favorite tricks for potato salad is pouring the hot potatoes over chopped onions to tenderize the onions slightly.
What Potatoes are Best for Potato Salad?
Red potatoes are considered waxy potatoes and are perfect for potato salad. They have thin skins and less starch than russet potatoes. The low starch level helps them maintain their shape when boiled and the thin skin means you don’t have to peel them to make potato salad. Smaller potatoes are the best because they’re the most flavorful. Also, be sure to avoid potatoes with green splotches as they will be bitter. On the opposite end of the spectrum, wrinkly potatoes with sprouted eyes are past their prime.
What You Need
You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.
Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this easy potato salad recipe:
- Red potatoes — I think these are the best potatoes for potato salad because they keep a relatively firm texture after being cooked.
- Red onions — I like using red onions because they have a more subtle flavor. My family is picky about their onions and I’ve found red onions work best for potato salad recipes.
- Tofu scramble — Using this simple 10-Minute Tofu Scramble creates an egg-like consistency and adds plant-based protein.
- Vegan mayo — Be sure to use a plant-based mayo, such as Just Mayo, Hellman’s Vegan Mayo, or Vegenaise.
- Yellow mustard — You can use either brown or yellow mustard
- Apple cider vinegar
- Sweet Pickles
- Agave nectar — I use agave but you can substitute sugar or maple syrup.
I leave the skins on the potatoes. There’s a lot of nutrients there, and we love the skins. In fact, I even leave the skins on for our Vegan Mashed Potatoes too. Besides, it makes it easier to chop them.
How to Make Vegan Potato Salad
- Cook the potatoes until they are fork-tender.
- Place the chopped onion in a lidded container, large enough to hold the finished potato salad.
- Drain the potatoes and pour them over the onions, and place the lid on the container to seal it. That will allow the onions to soften with the hot potatoes.
- Make the mustard mayo sauce in a small bowl and stir it with the potatoes.
- Add the scrambled tofu and stir some more, until everything is well-combined.
If you prefer a savory potato salad, simply reduce the amount of agave nectar and use dill pickles in place of sweet pickles in this recipe.
How Long to boil potatoes for potato salad?
Depending on how big your potato pieces are, you should boil potatoes for 8 to 12 minutes. Stick a fork in one of the potatoes to test for doneness. The potatoes should be just fork tender. You don’t want to cook them so long that they start to fall apart.
Here are some expert tips to make a perfect batch of dairy-free potato salad every single time:
- Be careful not to overcook the potatoes — you want them to be just fork tender. If they cook too long, they get mushy
- Make this recipe ahead of time because it tastes better cold (it needs at least an hour in the fridge)
- Make it without mayo by using vegan sour cream or plain vegan yogurt in place of mayo
- Add finely-chopped celery for a bit of a crunch
- Top the finished potato salad with cherry tomatoes and red onion slivers for a dramatic presentation
As usual your recipe for this potato salad was AMAZING. It has been a long 3 years without one of my favorite foods. Also, it was my first time making Tofu Scramble so I ate a spoonful and looks like I have a breakfast food I have also been missing. You are making my vegan lifestyle more varied and delicious every day.
Veggie Picnic Recipes
I love family picnics but do you have to give it up after going vegan? The answer is no! Here are some favorite vegan picnic recipes:
However, if you’re looking for a dish that will get your family excited for the next veggie barbecue or picnic, this simple vegan potato salad needs to be on your list.
That’s it for this vegan potato salad. Enjoy!
Vegan Potato Salad
- 5 to 6 small to medium red potatoes with skins, chopped
- 4 to 5 cups water
- ½ cup red onion , finely chopped
- 1 batch 10-minute Tofu Scramble
- 1 cup vegan mayo
- 3 tablespoons mustard
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoons sweet pickles chopped
- 3 to 6 tablespoons agave nectar depending on how sweet you like it
- Optional – chopped celery
- Place the chopped potatoes in a pan. Pour in the water and bring to a boil. Cook until the potatoes are fork tender.
- While you're waiting for the potatoes to cook, place the chopped onion in a lidded container, large enough to hold the finished potato salad. I used a large, round pyrex dish.
- When the potatoes are done, carefully pour them into a strainer to remove excess liquid. The water will be hot so be careful. When the potatoes are drained, pour them over the onions, and place the lid on the container to seal it. That will allow the onions to soften with the hot potatoes.
- Hopefully by now you've already prepared your Tofu Scramble, but if you haven't, now's a good time to do that.
- In a small bowl, combine the mayo, mustard, vinegar, and sweet pickles. Stir to combine. Add one tablespoon of sugar, stir, and then take a little taste to see if it meets your expectations of sweetness. Some people, like my mom, like their potato salad a little more on the sweet side. Continue adding sugar, one tablespoon at a time (or leave it as is until you get it just right).
- If you'd like, go ahead and add some finely chopped celery to the mix. It can make for a crunchier potato salad, but I'm not so certain I prefer the distraction from the potatoes. What I really like is adding a teaspoon or os of celery seed so I can have a little of the flavor of celery without all that annoying crunching. If you'd like to give that a try, add 1 teaspoon of celery seed to the mayo mixture.
- Pour the mayo mixture over the potato salad and give it a good, gentle stir, being careful not to mash the tender potatoes. (They can be so sensitive!) Add the scrambled tofu and stir some more, until everything is well-combined.
- Refrigerate, preferrably an hour or two before serving.
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The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.