Tropical Jerk Grilled Chicken with Charred Mango Salsa Verde.
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!
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
Hey Tiegan (and helpers!)
Think you could do the same recipe but roast the potatoes first?
Sounds delish, trying it for a Baby Shower brunch side.
Do you mean instead of boiling them? Sure, that would probably work for you! I hope you love the recipe! xTieghan
Going to make it this week end … found a few different varieties of basil at the farmer’s market. I don’t mind using mayo since they know have ones made with avocados as well as vegan options. As far as potato prep….we have steamers that we use in the microwave to cook the potatoes. They come out perfectly fine.
That is so great! Thank you for trying this Kathleen! xTieghan
This was excellent! My husband is very sensitive to the overt smell and taste of garlic, but by boiling the garlic with the potatoes it becomes nicely mellow and exactly what I believe garlic should be – an enhancement, not an overwhelming element vying for attention. The only variation I made was to slightly undercook the potatoes in the boiling stage, then salt and roast them briefly to done-ness on high heat to give the skins a nice crispiness.
This dish was my offering to a Memorial Day gathering and I was asked multiple times to share the recipe. In order to use up all the basil I had on hand I made extra pesto. It has become a great accompaniment for many things this past week. Avocado, arugula, tomato, and HBH Lemon Pesto sandwiches are amazing for dinner in our Southern heat.
I love your cookbook and have gifted it to my daughter, who, in turn, has also gifted it to others in her circle. I always look forward to your sharing your take on food. Thank you so much!
Hi Alison! I am so glad you loved this recipe and I hope your daughter is loving the cookbook! Thank you so much! xTieghan
Pesto with potatoes is the absolute best! I love this salad!
Thank you so much! xTieghan
Such a nice spin on a traditional! I don’t LOVE the mayonnaise counterpart, so when I saw this, I knew I needed to try it! Was easy to prep, and superb in flavor. Win/win! What great find for a year round side, especially going into grilling season!
Thank you os much Steph! xTieghan
My kinda potato salad – not soaked in mayo! 🙂
YES! Thank you Natasha! xTieghan
Is it vegan if it has cheese in it?
Hi Kathy! It is not vegan if it has cheese in it, but there are many options of vegan cheese! xTieghan
For those wondering about the butter.. In the 3rd set of instructions, you toss the butter with the cut potatoes in the large bowl, before adding half of the pesto. It sounds like a tasty spin on tater salad. Cannot wait to try :).
Thank you Heather! xTieghan
where does the butter come in and how many garlic cloves are you supposed to use?
Hi Joyce! You need 2 cloves of garlic and the butter is tossed with the warm potatoes. Recipe is all fixed, sorry about that. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan
How many cloves of garlic? I’m definitely trying this for picnics this summer.
Hi Lorie! You need 2 cloves of garlic. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan
Didn’t see where the butter came into recipe?
Hi Missy! The butter is tossed with the warm potatoes. Recipe is all fixed. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan
You made me laugh…cold potatoes next to warm cheesy potatoes…totally agree with you. Love your blog! So glad I found you :-).
Thank you so much Bobbi! xTieghan
Can you tell me where the 2 tablespoons of butter is used? Thanks! This is perfect for this weekend
HI Bryn! The butter gets tossed with the warm potatoes. Recipe is all fixed, so sorry about that! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan
I want to try this – how much garlic in with the potatoes?
Hi there Liz! You can use 2-3 cloves of garlic. Recipe is all fixed! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan
I usually use yogurt instead of mayo, but this sounds like my new go to!!
That is so great! Thank you so much Ruth! xTieghan