This healthy recipe for the best Greek potato salad is made without mayo and no eggs, so it's also suitable for a gluten free and vegan diet.
Just like the traditional Greek salad (Horiatiki), this is a perfect side dish for fish and other proteins. But because it also has potatoes, you can certainly have it for lunch.
This is not your classic potato salad recipe. It has no eggs and no mayonnaise, but it offers a tantalizing blend of textures and flavors, marrying the earthiness of boiled potatoes with the freshness of the crisp vegetables and the bright tang of lemon.
This recipe is a lighter, healthy potato salad that captures the true essence of traditional Greek cuisine.
To make this Greek potato salad without eggs and without mayo you'll need the following simple ingredients:
- Potatoes (read below for which type of potato to choose)
- Garlic cloves (optional)
- Frozen peas
- English cucumber (or another thin skinned cucumber)
- Tomato (optional)
- Red bell pepper
- Green onions or red onion
- Fresh parsley
- Lemon juice and lemon zest
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Freshly ground black pepper
The ingredients for this naturally vegan potato salad can be customized to what you have in your fridge and the recipe itself is very quick: while the potatoes are boiling you can prep everything else.
About the potatoes
What type of potatoes to use? Most potato salad recipes suggest using a waxy potato variety to ensure a great texture.
Waxy potatoes hold their shape well so they're preffered for salads. Some waxy potato varieties include red potatoes, Yukon gold, fingerling potatoes and baby new potatoes.
However, for this recipe I personally prefer to use a starchy variety such as Russet potatoes because they tend to be "fluffier" when cooked.
They're also drier, so they better absorb the lemon juice, olive oil and the juices from the fresh vegetables.
Another reason is that in Greece it is much easier to find starchy potatoes than waxy varieties.
If you decide to use starchy potatoes, the result will be a creamy salad full of flavor.
Having said that, feel free to use whatever potato type you prefer for your salad recipes. The end result will be delicious!
About the garlic cloves
For a very subtle garlic flavor, add 2 garlic cloves to the pot when the potatoes are boiling and discard them at the end.
If you prefer a stronger garlic flavor, mince the fresh garlic cloves and add them to the salad with the rest of the fresh veggies.
If you decide to use the tomato, you should chop it and transfer it in a colander to drain, because it can release a lot of juices and make the salad watery.
About the olives
I like to use pitted Kalamata olives but any kind of black or green olives can be used.
About the "dressing"
This recipe doesn't have a classic dressing that is made separately. You just add the lemon juice and the olive oil straight into the salad with the rest of the ingredients.
Follow this easy step by step guide to make this creamy potato salad:
Step 1: Boil the potatoes.
Transfer the potatoes and the garlic cloves to a large pot, fill with cold water enough to cover them, and bring to a boil.
Boil the potatoes until they're easily pierced with a fork (fork tender). This will take about 15 minutes. Don't overcook because they will become very mushy.
Add the frozen peas and cook for 1 more minute.
Then drain well and discard the garlic cloves. Return the potatoes to the pot and place over medium heat for 1 minute (this is done to remove any extra moisture).
Step 2: Prepare the vegetables.
While the potatoes are boiling, prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Grate the carrot using the coarse side of a box grater.
Cut the cucumber in the middle lengthwise, and slice into 0.2-inch thick slices (0.5 cm).
Cut the rest of the vegetables into small bite-sized pieces and chop the parsley and the green onions.
Step 3: Make the salad.
Add the lemon juice, the extra virgin olive oil, the salt, the black pepper and the chopped veggies to the pot and toss well to combine.
Tossing will break some of the potatoes and mush the small pieces creating a creamy effect.
Step 4: Fix the taste.
Taste and adjust the salt, the lemon juice and the olive oil. Serve.
Tip: If you drop the potatoes into a pot with boiling water, by the time they will be cooked inside, they'll be mushy on the outside.
That's why when we boil potatoes, we transfer them to a pot, fill it with cold (tap) water and bring it to a boil. This method cooks them evenly inside-out.
The secret for a flavorful potato salad:
You must combine everything while the potatoes are still HOT. This way they’ll absorb all the flavors from the rest of the ingredients, becoming irresistible!
You can eat this salad warm or at room temperature. During a hot day, it is also good cold, straight from the fridge.
Variations - Substitutions
A tasty variation is to substitute the frozen peas with frozen cut green beans.
Instead of fresh parsley, you can use other fresh herbs such as mint, fresh dill, cilantro.
You can replace the fresh lemon juice with red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar. Start with 2 tablespoons, taste and adjust the quantity if needed.
If you like the taste of mustard add 1-2 tablespoon of Dijon mustard or simple yellow mustard to the salad.
Substitute the olives with capers for an interesting twist.
Add a teaspoon of dried oregano for an extra dose of Mediterranean flavor.
Need a lunch with some protein? Add some cooked chicken, a can of tuna or sardines (omega fats are always a nice addition).
To keep it vegan add some crushed nuts such as almonds or walnuts or a can of red kidney beans (rinsed and drained). No matter what you'll add, this Greek mayo-less potato salad will become a favorite!
Transfer this Greek potato salad in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. It will be even tastier the next day!
Eat it chilled straight from the fridge or let it come to room temperature before serving.
These are some great dishes that will pair well with this Greek potato salad:
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Best Greek potato salad recipe (no eggs, no mayo)
- 1 large pot
- 2.2 pounds (1 kg) potatoes of your favorite variety, peeled and cut into large bite sized pieces ( about 2.6 pounds or 1.2 kg unpeeled)
- 2 garlic cloves, (optional)
- ½ cup (80 grams) frozen peas
- 1 cup (100 grams) grated carrot
- 1 cup (100 grams) diced red bell pepper (or your favorite colors)
- 1 cup (150 grams) sliced cucumber
- ½ cup (80 grams) sliced and pitted olives (I use Kalamata olives)
- 1 cup (160 grams) cubed tomatoes, drained
- 1 cup (40 grams) chopped parsley
- 1 cup (40 grams) chopped green onions
- Zest of half lemon
- 3 tablespoons (45 grams) fresh lemon juice
- ¼ cup (55 grams) extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Boil the potatoes: Peel the potatoes, cut them in bite-sized pieces and transfer them and the garlic cloves to a large pot. Fill with cold (tap) water enough to cover them, and bring to a boil. Boil the potatoes until you can easily pierce them with a fork (fork tender). This will take about 15 minutes. Don't overcook them because they will become mushy.
- Add the frozen peas and cook for 1 more minute. Drain well and discard the garlic cloves. Return the potatoes to the pot and place over medium heat for 1 minute (this is done to remove any extra moisture).
- Prepare the vegetables: Grate the carrot through the coarse side of a box grater. Cut the cucumber in the middle lengthwise, and slice into 0.2-inch thick slices (0.5 cm). Cut the rest of the vegetables into small bite-sized pieces and chop the parsley and the green onions.
- Make the salad: Add the lemon juice, the extra virgin olive oil, the salt, the black pepper and the chopped veggies to the pot and toss well to combine. Tossing will break some of the potatoes and mush the small pieces creating a creamy effect.
- Taste and adjust the salt, the lemon juice and the olive oil.Serve.