This French-style potato salad uses a bright, tangy vinaigrette with plenty of fresh herbs to complement the tender potatoes. I love this light, fresh this potato salad! (Gluten-Free, Vegan, Whole30)
I maybe laughed out loud when I saw this Instagram post from Simon Holland about potato salad. I mean, he’s not wrong.
I love a good classic American-style potato salad as much as the next person, but sometimes, it’s really nice to switch things up. And those times? I’m all about French-style potato salad.
French potato salad typically swaps the creamy mayo situation for a lighter, herbed vinaigrette. The result is tender potatoes, bright flavors, and less stress about mayo-based salads sitting in the sun for hours at a summer barbecue. It’s naturally vegan + tastes amazing.
Plus, it’s REALLY easy to make. Here’s all you need to get started…
HERE’S WHAT GOES INTO MY FRENCH-STYLE POTATO SALAD
A MIX OF RED AND WHITE OR YELLOW POTATOES. I love using two colors of potatoes for more interest, but you can absolutely make your herby potato salad with just red potatoes or just yellow potatoes, etc. Just be sure you cut them into even-sized pieces so the potatoes cook evenly.
GREEN ONIONS OR SHALLOTS. For a little onion flavor, I use sliced green onions. They’re milder and less crunchy than other raw onions, so if you like more punch, I recommend a few tablespoons of finely minced shallot.
FRESH DILL + FRESH PARSLEY. Fresh herbs are another staple in French-style potato salad. I like using a blend of dill and parsley, but I’ve eaten lots of different herb combinations over the years. (See the next section for some ideas!)
A TANGY DRESSING. Instead of a creamy, mayo-based dressing, French potato salad typically includes a vinaigrette dressing. Our vinaigrette has a blend of dijon mustard, vinegar, olive oil, and pepper, then all those fresh herbs for lots of extra flavor.
CHANGE IT UP! 5 WAYS TO PLAY WITH THIS FRENCH POTATO SALAD RECIPE:
1. MORE HERBS TO TRY. If you want to play with the herbs, you can! Rosemary, thyme, tarragon, and chives are all lovely. Try mixing and matching herbs in place of my dill + parsley combo! (Remember to start small and add more from there–fresh herbs are bright and potent!)
2. ADD CELERY. It’s not traditional, but celery adds a satisfying crunch (so nice next to the creaminess of the potatoes!) and another layer of flavor that I really enjoy.
3. TRY ADDING GARLIC! Some folks at my house don’t do well with raw garlic, so I usually skip it here, but it can be a lovely addition. I find 1 clove of finely minced garlic does the trick.
4. ADD SHALLOT. Or, you can swap out the green onions for a few tablespoons of finely minced shallot. It’s really nice with the vinaigrette and potatoes!
5. TRY A SPRINKLE OF RED PEPPER FLAKES. Or, for some kick, you can add a few pinches of red pepper flakes to the herby potato salad. It’s not traditional, but it can be delicious!
FAQ + TIPS & TRICKS FOR THE BEST FRENCH POTATO SALAD:
MY FAVORITE OLIVE OIL. My favorite olive oil is from Queen Creek Olive Mill. This family-run company uses sustainable practices & farming techniques and makes the most AMAZING olive oil. Their balanced oil is our day-to-day favorite, but we also love their Meyer Lemon and Fresh Crush Basil olive oils, which could be used for 1/2 the olive oil in this French potato salad for even more flavor. Use code “onelovelylife” for 10% off your first order!
CAREFUL WITH YOUR CUTTING. Your potatoes will cook more evenly if they’re cut in similar sizes. Aim to dice all the potatoes close to the same size.
A NOTE ON THE DRESSING. The dressing will seem pretty strong if you taste it before adding it to the potatoes. It’ll soak into the potatoes and mellow out as it’s spread around the potatoes and absorbed. Also: it’ll look like a TON of dressing upfront. Give the salad 10-15 minutes and it’ll have absorbed most of the liquid.
HOW LONG DOES THIS POTATO SALAD LAST? My French potato salad tastes best on day 1, but will safely keep in the fridge at least 3-4 days.
CAN I MAKE FRENCH POTATO SALAD IN ADVANCE? I recommend making it the same day you plan to eat it for best results. If you need to make it further in advance, you may want to reserve some of the dressing until right before serving to perk it back up.
MORE SUMMER SIDES TO LOVE:
- Peach Berry Fruit Salad
- Cowboy Caviar Bean Dip
- Refrigerator Dill Pickles
- Settler’s Baked Beans
- Cherry Berry Fruit Salad