Make this summer Vegan Potato Salad for your next summer gathering. Rich and creamy, you’ll wonder why you haven’t made it vegan before! If you think there’s no way to make a rich, creamy dairy-free, gluten-free potato salad, think again! It’s good enough to be a meal itself! Make this flavorful, satisfying dish today!
When I first decided to become vegetarian about 16 years ago, it didn’t take me long before I gave up potato salad.
That’s right. Giving up meat and potato salad go hand-in-hand. It’s not some crunchy food combining ninja thing either.
When you think about it, being vegetarian is really pretty easy. Just don’t eat meat. You can still eat ice cream, cheese, scrambled eggs, and all the milk chocolate you want. But I highly recommend you also give up potato salad…especially if you live in the midwest.
Why? Read my potato salad story below.
However, it’s not a permanent ban. You can eat potato salad again after you take the next step and go vegan. And that, my friend, is why I’m sharing my recipe for Vegan Potato Salad today. Do I have you thoroughly confused? Read on and I’ll explain…or at least I’ll try.
My Potato Salad Story
I went into my vegetarian lifestyle with lots of gusto. It was something I had tried many times before, but this last time all the planets aligned and it finally took. I was enthusiastic to say the least. I had started a new chapter in my life; my brave new world!
I was starting to be my authentic self!
Life was full of happiness, flowers, rainbows, unicorns, and puppies.
Until the potato salad came along.
Here’s the thing, when you announce you’ve become vegetarian to your all-meat-all-the-time family and you live in the heart and soul of cattle country, the one thing you will be sure of is eating lots of potato salad. No one really knows what else to feed you. Thanksgiving dinner? Oh, here’s some potato salad for you. Christmas? Same thing.
At first you think, “Awesome! I love potato salad! This vegetarian thing rocks because I get to eat this stuff in the winter now!”
And then the Easter dinner rolls around. Potato Salad.
Memorial Day family picnic. Guess what? More potato salad!
Fourth of July? Well, of course you know what will happen here.
And it goes on and on and on…until the cosmos are in disarray and one day the only thing you know to be true in this world is that you can’t stand to eat the stuff any more. Not one more bite!
Potato Salad No Egg
Can you believe they put eggs in potato salad? It makes no sense!
Here’s a better question. Can you believe you can make potato salad without eggs?
My answer? Absolutely!
I use tofu scramble. I love making tofu scrambles for my breakfast toast, and now I’ve taken to using tofu scramble to replace eggs in certain recipes that call for eggs, like potato salad.
I use a very simple 10-minute tofu scramble (see the link in the recipe) and you can see from the photo below it creates a very egg-like consistency. It’s perfect for this vegan potato salad.
I also love that by adding some tofu scramble to this recipe, I’m also adding protein. It makes this vegan potato salad almost like a meal in and of itself.
What’s To Love About Vegan Potato Salad
Once I finally made the leap to full-fledged vegan by giving up dairy and cheese (and M&Ms), I definitely felt so much better. And once I learned I could go back to enjoying foods like this Vegan Potato Salad, I was on cloud nine!
This Vegan Potato Salad is creamy, sweet, and tangy (thanks to the mustard). My mom has been making this recipe for years, so I just created a vegan version using my Tofu Scramble (to replace the eggs) and vegan mayo. It was really that easy.
And it used to be that finding vegan mayo was tricky, but now even Hellman’s has a vegan mayo. You can buy Just Mayo at Target and Walmart and other easily accessible stores.
If you’re looking for a recipe that will get your family excited for the next veggie barbecue, this needs to be on your list!
How to Make Vegan Potato Salad
There are a few steps involved in making a good potato salad. Obviously, it begins with potatoes.
You can see that I choose to red potatoes and I like to leave the skins on. There’s a lot of nutrients in the skins, and we love the skins. In fact, I even leave the skins on for our vegan mashed potatoes too.
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 become tender.
I learned this trick from my mom and the real secret to it comes from the next step: when the potatoes are tender, pour them into a strainer to remove the excess liquid and then pour the hot potatoes over the chopped onions.
That way you have onions in your potato salad, but they’re tender because they’ve been smothered by the hot potatoes. We get the best cooking tips from our moms!
I like using red onions because they have a more subtle flavor. My family is picky about their onions and I’ve found red potatoes work best for them.
Potato Salad Mustard Sauce
There are few ingredients that matter to me more than this delicious mustard sauce. It’s not tricky to get it right, but there are some key ingredients involved:
- vegan mayo
- mustard (I use yellow mustard, but you can use dijon mustard if yo like)
- apple cider vinegar
- agave nectar
Sometimes my mom will add some of the juice from the sweet pickles too. If you do that, you might use it in place of the apple cider vinegar.
Potato Salad Drought
Once you make the transition from vegetarian to vegan, most people don’t know about dairy-free mayo, so they are no longer making potato salad for you. Regardless, most potato salads have boiled eggs in them so, there goes the chance at being vegan.
So, you go through a sort of potato salad drought.
And it’s ok.
But after a year or two you think to yourself, “Hmmm, I think some potato salad for our Fourth of July picnic sounds kinda tasty.” And you get your dairy-free mayo and you make your first batch of Vegan Potato Salad and you think to yourself, “This is pretty good.”
The universe is back in balance when a veganized version of this one-time favorite dish is back as part of your Summer Salads options. Happiness ensues. Followed by flowers and rainbows and puppies. I have yet to find the unicorns, but I’ll keep looking.
If you decide to make this vegan potato salad, do me a favor and send me a pic. If you use #namelymarly on Instagram I’ll be sure to see it and love on it some as well! It’s easy because I love seeing your photos!
- 5 - 6 small to medium red potatoes with skins, chopped
- 4 - 5 cups water
- ½ cup red onion , finely chopped
- 1 batch 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 iuntil 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.