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Italian Potato Salad

5 from 2 votes
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posted: 05/05/22

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This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy

Italian Potato Salad is a family recipe I think you are going to fall in love with. Easy to make and packed with flavor, it is perfect for family gatherings.

overhead of a bowl of italian potato salad in a serving bowl garnished with fresh parsley

Growing up, there are a few recipes that were passed from my grandmother to my dad, and this amazing no mayo potato salad is one of them. In our house, we refer to it as Italian Potato Salad because of it’s flavorful nods to Italian cooking and, of course, because it was created by my beloved grandmother – an amazing cook who was born in Italy.

In addition to being easy to make and full of flavor, I love this recipe because it is a vegan potato salad. That means that you can easily take it with you to BBQs, picnics, and outdoor parties and not worry about it (as much) sitting out in the sun. This is the perfect recipe to make the night before a party.

How to Make Italian Potato Salad

This is a brief overview of the potato salad recipe. For all the details and measurements please make sure you scroll to the bottom of this post for the printable recipe card.

  1. Prepare the potatoes. We are working with three pounds of red potatoes. You want to peel them and cut them into about 1/4 inch slices.
  2. Boil the potatoes. Place the prepared potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Bring the water to a boil (with the potatoes in the pot – read more on this below). Once the water is boiling set a timer for 5 minutes. Drain the potatoes when they are fork tender, being very careful not to over cook them.
  3. Make the dressing. While you are waiting for your water to boil (but paying close attention to it), whisk together the ingredients for the dressing.
  4. Dress the potatoes. As soon as the potatoes are done, transfer them to a bowl and cover them in the prepared dressing. (Read more on this below.)
  5. Finish the salad off. Once the potatoes have cooled, mix in the rest of the ingredients. If you are making this the day ahead, wait to add the tomatoes until just before serving.
overhead of a bowl of seasoned potatoes, cut up bell peppers, red onions, and tomatoes for Italian potato salad

How Long to Cook Potatoes for Potato Salad

There is a tried and true method to cooking potatoes for potato salad that we are going to use in this recipe. In this method, we bring the potatoes and the water to a boil at the same time. Then we reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for just 5 minutes. This process ensures that the potatoes hold their shape in the potato salad.

It is very important to set a timer when you are making this recipe. Watch the water closely and as soon as it is boiling, set a five minute timer. At the end of the five minutes, test the tenderness of the potatoes. All this caution is to prevent you from overcooking your potatoes and creating a mushy salad.

Peeling Before vs. Peeling After Boiling

My dad has always peeled the potatoes for this salad after they are boiled. It’s almost painful just imagining him peeling those pipping hot potatoes. The benefit for doing this is that you have less of a risk of the potatoes getting over cooked. You also will lose less potato, and less potato comes off with the skin when they are hot.

Here are the reasons why I think you should peel them before boiling.

  • They are easier to peel when they are cold. It is truly painful to try to peel a piping hot potato.
  • If you peel them when they are hot you miss out on that critical window when their heat helps them absorb the flavor of the dressing. (Read more on this below.)

Ultimately, the choice is yours, but I do recommend peeling them ahead of time.

pouring italian seasoned dressing over hot potatoes for a no mayo potato salad

Seasoning Potatoes While Hot

Another great trick to this potato salad is to season the potatoes while they are hot. By adding the dressing just after draining the potatoes, we maximize their ability to absorb and hold on to that dressing.

This potato salad with Italian dressing is seasoned just perfectly. The dressing is made with red wine vinegar, olive oil, dried basil, dried oregano and Italian seasoning. It is very simple, but delicious.

Making Potato Salad Ahead

This potato salad really just gets better the longer it sits. This is a great recipe to make the night before a party. If you do make it the night before, make sure to leave out the tomatoes until just before serving.

side view of a bowl of potato salad with italian seasonings

Storing Italian Potato Salad Leftovers

Leftovers of this red potato salad recipe can be stored in the refrigerator for up to five days. As with any recipe, use your best discretion when it comes to leftovers.

FAQ

Can you freeze potato salad?

Because this potato salad is vegan and mayo free, it is a better option for freezing than, for example, our healthy potato salad. That being said, because of the fresh veggies in this, it is not my favorite for freezing.

How long do you boil potatoes for potato salad?

Potatoes should be brought to a boil with the water they are in and then boiled for just 5 minutes or until they are fork tender. Please read more about this above.

How long does potato salad last?

Because this potato salad contains no dairy, it will last a bit longer than a traditional potato salad. Leftovers can be stored in your refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Is potato salad gluten free?

Yes! This potato salad is gluten free. As with any recipe, make sure to check the ingredients you are using before serving it to someone with a gluten allergy or intolerance.

side view of a italian potato salad recipe in a serving bowl

Other Potato Side Dishes

If you can’t get enough of the spud, you are not alone. Check out some of our other great potato recipes.

If you make this Potato Salad recipe or any of our other recipes, please leave me a comment and let me know what you think. I love hearing from you!

overhead of a bowl of italian potato salad in a serving bowl garnished with fresh parsley
5 from 2 votes

Italian Potato Salad

Serves: 10 servings
(tap # to scale)
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
Italian Potato Salad is a family recipe I think you are going to fall in love with. Easy to make and packed with flavor, it is perfect for family gatherings.

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds red potatoes peeled and sliced
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 green bell pepper diced
  • 1/2 red onion sliced
  • 2 vine ripened tomatoes diced

Instructions

  • Add the potatoes to a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender.
  • While the potatoes are simmering, in a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, and spices. Taste and add more salt or pepper to taste.
  • Drain the potatoes and place them in a large bowl. Toss them with the dressing ingredients. Let stand for 20 minutes. (Read in the post why we do this.)
  • Add the bell pepper, red onion, and tomatoes to the potato salad once it has cooled. If you are making this ahead, add the tomatoes right before serving.
Serving: 1cup Calories: 171kcal (9%) Carbohydrates: 24g (8%) Protein: 3g (6%) Fat: 8g (12%) Saturated Fat: 1g (6%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g Monounsaturated Fat: 5g Sodium: 260mg (11%) Potassium: 724mg (21%) Fiber: 3g (13%) Sugar: 3g (3%) Vitamin A: 274IU (5%) Vitamin C: 25mg (30%) Calcium: 36mg (4%) Iron: 2mg (11%)
Author: Lisa Longley
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
overhead of a bowl of italian potato salad in a serving bowl garnished with fresh parsley

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Italian Potato Salad

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Hi! I'm Lisa Longley, and I am committed to giving you simple dinner ideas and recipes that are easy to make; recipes that will fill your home with joy. I am the owner and author of SimpleJoy.com and I'm so glad that you are here.

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  1. Eleanor says

    They are easier to peel if you drop them into cold water when they are drained. The peels can then be ”slipped” off. They’ll still retain the heat neeEed to absorb the dressing.

  2. Oma C says

    I like to cook my potatoes with the peel on .Tome they have a better potato Taste . I have eaten potato salad made with peeled Potatoes and I find they have lost a lot of taste and taste watery besides .
    German Oma .

    • Lisa Longley says

      I can totally appreciate where you are coming from. I think adding the dressing while the potatoes are hot takes care of this issue.

  3. C Michael Didio says

    Hi Lisa
    I am so enjoying your work. I have made many of your recipes and appreciate your helpful hints. This Italian potatoe salad sounds great! I often. Cheat and use Good Seasons Italian mix on most everything to save time but I think I’ll try using fresh herbs in this one when mine etc big enough to harvest. Everyone love fresh herbs basil,oregano, chives and a little lovage realy in season. Keep up the good work !

    • Lisa Longley says

      I’m so glad you have been enjoying my recipes! Thank you for taking the time to come and let me know.

  4. Maria says

    Hi. The Italian potato salad will be the 1st of your recipes I’m going to try. I love new ideas. Thk u. I will love more recipes from u

    • Lisa Longley says

      I hope you enjoy it!

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