Easy Vegan Potato Salad is perfect for summer gatherings. It’s a southern, traditional potato salad recipe, combining vegan mayo and yellow mustard, tofu egg scramble, onions, and pickles. This lightly sweet summer salad is rich and creamy! It’s a no egg potato salad that’s both dairy free and gluten free! Vegan sour cream can be substituted for a no mayo option.
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 announce you’re a 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.
That is why I gave up potato salad. But eventually, I returned. It’s too good to turn down forever!
Potato Salad No Egg
Can you make potato salad without eggs? Absolutely!
I use tofu scramble. Of course, you can make tofu scrambles for your breakfast toast, but you can also use tofu scramble to replace eggs in certain recipes that call for eggs, like potato salad.
This is 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.
Love Veggie Picnic Recipes
I love family picnics but did I have to give it up after going vegan? The answer is no! 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 or picnic, 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 red potatoes and I like to 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.
I love this nutritional comparison between the skin and flesh of potatoes. Fiber is a key difference!
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.
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 onions work best for this veg potato salad.
Potato Salad Mustard Sauce
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.
Here are some expert tips to make a perfect batch of vegan potato salad every time:
- Don’t 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
- I’m using a simple, 10-minute tofu scramble to replace the eggs in a regular potato salad recipe
- Play around with the seasonings. For example, you could add 1/2 teaspoon of dried dill
- Be sure to use a plant-based mayo, such as Just Mayo, Hellman’s Vegan Mayo, or Vegenaise. I prefer the flavor of Just Mayo so that’s what I use
- You can add finely chopped celery to this recipe if you’d like. It will add more crunch
- Top the finished potato salad with cherry tomatoes and red onion slivers for a dramatic presentation!
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.
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 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.