Everyone needs a good potato salad for BBQ season. This Pesto Potato Salad is mayo free, and uses a lemony basil pesto. The pesto includes plenty of garden fresh basil, parmesan cheese, fresh lemon, a little garlic, and lots of flaky sea salt. You can even toss in some hard boiled eggs for a bit of extra protein. And because there’s no mayo, this is a much lighter potato salad. Vibrant, fresh and all around so delicious!
Being In LA this week has definitely made things feel so much more like spring. The temperatures may only be in the mid 60’s (which honestly, is way too cold for me), BUT the sun has been shining and the flowers on every single tree make me so happy! It’s definitely spring weather here, and warm sunny days mean that it’s also potato salad season.
I did not grow up eating potato salad, and whenever it was served I avoided it at all costs. The creamy, cold potatoes just never appealed to me, especially when served next to piping hot cheesy potatoes. Cold cheese-less potatoes versus hot cheesy potatoes? Yeah, the choice was an obvious one for me.
It wasn’t until I made this vegan potato salad last year that I began to embrace this warm weather salad. When made properly, potato salad can be incredibly delicious. I am LOVING everything about this pesto tossed potato salad. It’s herby, cheesy, and so simple to make.
I like to start with mixed baby potatoes and a handful of fingerling potatoes. All the different shapes and textures provide a slightly different flavor. First boil the potatoes, then leave them in the pot to steam. This creates the perfectly cooked potato that’s soft in the center and not the least bit dry!
While the potatoes are boiling I like to start working on the soft-boiled eggs. I always use this 7 minute egg recipe and they turn out perfect every single time. The eggs add a really nice hardiness to the salad, and an additional pop of color and flavor. They also give the salad a bit more of a “traditional” feel.
For the pesto, I added in some fresh spring lemon, but kept the recipe super simple. Lots of fresh basil, good Parmesan cheese, pine nuts, and olive oil. I think the key to this salad is tossing the warm potatoes with the pesto. Once the pesto hits the potatoes you’ll immediately begin to smell the basil. It’s at this point that you really realize just how good the salad is going to be!
Once you have the salad tossed up, you can serve it warm…or you can chill, and serve it cold. Either way it’s great! Just be sure to add the eggs right before serving.
I made this potato salad for our family dinner a few weeks back, since my brothers were in town. And even though they hesitated, because these potatoes were not their go-to baked cheesy potatoes, they shockingly loved this salad. They even went back for seconds. I should say, the they didn’t care too much for the eggs. They felt they were an odd addition. Oh well, win some, lose some, right? Just nix the eggs for picky eaters!
What I’m trying to say is, even if you don’t love potato salad, give this one a try. It’s not like traditional potato salad. It’s really more like pesto tossed with potatoes. And let’s be real, there’s really nothing not to love about that!
You can even make this ahead time. Obviously making this great for entertaining, and perfect for Memorial Day weekend!
If you make this pesto potato salad, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!
Pesto Potato Salad.
Calories Per Serving: 567 kcal
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
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- 2 pounds mixed baby potatoes, and or fingerling potatoes
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- kosher salt
- 2 cups fresh basil
- 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
- 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons salted butter
- 4 hard boiled eggs, halved or quartered (optional)
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- 1. Place the potatoes, garlic, and a tablespoon of salt in a large pot and fill with water. Bring to a boil over high heat and then reduce the to heat to medium, simmer 10-15 minutes or until the potatoes are just fork tender. Drain. Place the potatoes back in the hot pot. Remove the garlic cloves. Cover the pot and let the potatoes steam for another 20 minutes. 2. Meanwhile, make the pesto. In a blender or food processor, combine the cooked garlic, basil, pine nuts, parmesan, olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, and crushed red pepper flakes. Pulse until chunky smooth. 3. Cut the potatoes in half and add to a large serving bowl, tossing them with the butter. Reserve 1/4 cup pesto for serving, and then add the remaining pesto and a pinch of pepper to the bowl with the potatoes. Toss well to combine. Taste and adjust salt and pepper to your liking. Serve warm or cover and place in the fridge. Add the eggs just before serving and drizzle with reserved 1/4 cup pesto. Can be served at room temp or cold.