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
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
- Red onions
- 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
- optional: chopped celery, fresh dill.
How to Make Vegan Potato Salad
There are a few steps involved in making a good, lightly-sweet potato salad vegan. Obviously, it begins with potatoes.
Step One: Boil the Potatoes
You can see that I choose red potatoes. I think they’re the best potatoes for potato salad because they keep a relatively firm texture after being cooked. I leave the skins on. 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.
One of my favorite tricks for potato salad is to chop the onions and place those in the bowl while you’re waiting for the chopped potatoes cooking in the pan to get tender. When the potatoes are tender, pour them into a strainer to remove the cooking water and then pour the hot potatoes over the chopped onions. This tenderizes the onions slightly.
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 this veg potato salad recipe.
Step two: Make the Potato Salad Dressing
There are few ingredients that matter more than this delicious mustard sauce. It’s not tricky to get it right, but there are some key ingredients involved:
- vegan mayo (I use Just Mayo)
- mustard (I use yellow mustard, but you can use dijon mustard)
- apple cider vinegar
- agave nectar
Sometimes my mom will add some of the juice from the sweet pickles too. If you do that, use it in place of the apple cider vinegar.
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 between 8–12 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 much, they get mushy
- We leave the skins on, but if you prefer, you can peel the potatoes
- Red onions have a more mellow flavor, but yellow onions will work too
- Make this recipe ahead of time because it tastes better when cold (it needs at least an hour in the fridge)
- That said, some people prefer warm potato salad — do what works for you
- It used to be that finding vegan mayo was tricky and/or expensive, but now even Hellman’s has a vegan mayo that you can buy at Target, Walmart, and other stores
- You can make this easy vegan potato salad without mayo by using vegan sour cream or plain vegan yogurt in place of mayo
- You can 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
Love 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:
- Vegan Egg Salad is great for sandwiches
- Serve this delicious Chocolate Sheet Cake that everyone will love
- These Vegan Brat Skewers are perfect for grilling
- Be sure to serve Naturally Sweetened Homemade BBQ Sauce with these tasty Lentil Burgers
- Check out my post on Vegan Memorial Day recipes for more amazing picnic recipe ideas
- You’ll love this BBQ Jackfruit Recipe to serve on buns
- Check out these OVER 40 Vegan Sandwiches 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.
What Goes With Potato Salad for a Vegan Dinner?
Here are some of my favorite dishes to create a meal plan around vegan potato salad:
- You’ll want some Vegan Pasta Salad on the side as well
- For sure, having some Vegan Broccoli Salad is perfect too!
- For dessert, this Vegan Chocolate Sheet Cake is amazing
- But you can’t go wrong with this Vegan Strawberry Shortcake, too!
I hope you love this recipe as we do. Have you tried it? Be sure and leave a comment and a rating of this recipe below and then take a quick photo and share it with me using #namelymarly on Instagram. I love seeing your creations!
Vegan Potato Salad
- 5 – 6 small to medium red potatoes with skins, chopped
- 4 – 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 – 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 it 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.