Bright and fresh, this lemony potato salad with fresh herbs is a tangy twist on the classic. Apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, and Dijon mustard give the dressing just the right amount of kick.
Memorial Day is next week which means that outdoor dining season is officially on! Bring me all of the pasta salads, potato salads, BBQ off the grill, and no-bake pies please. We are headed to the beach in North Carolina which feels so wonderful and almost hard to believe after the year we’ve all collectively had. Our plans include very little except to relax, swim, build sand castles, eat popsicles, and cook all the delicious summer things.
This potato salad will be finding its way into more than one of our beach-trip meals. Any potato salad is at home on a summer table, but this one is extra bright and fresh. Flavored with tart lemon juice and finished with any and all of your favorite fresh herbs, this is a bright twist on the classic vinegar potato salad. Super simple too! Here’s all it takes…
- Small Potatoes – Red, new, and baby Yukon potatoes hold their shape well and are easy to prep. You can use larger potatoes and cube them if you prefer. Russets tend to get more jagged edges which hold their shape less but are good for absorbing dressing. I like to leave the peels on, but if using larger potatoes you can always peel them first.
- Shallots – These add a tart flavor and some extra texture to the finished dish. Shallots have a bit more natural sweetness than onions, but minced onions would work fine here too.
- Apple Cider Vinegar – Common in German-style potato salad, the subtle natural sweetness of apple cider vinegar balances the tart flavors of lemon juice in this version.
- Fresh Lemon Juice – Don’t skip the fresh-squeezed lemon juice here. It makes this potato salad stand out from other versions.
- Dijon Mustard, Sugar, Kosher Salt, Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Pantry staples that you’ll need to finish the dressing for the potatoes.
- Fresh Chopped Herbs – Use any of your favorite! This is a great salad to make if you are growing an herb garden this summer. I like a combination of fresh basil, parsley, and dill. Be sure to follow the instructions in the recipe and wait to add the herbs until right before serving.
How Far Ahead Can Potato Salad Be Made
Potato salad benefits from being made ahead and refrigerated. Make the salad at least 2 hours ahead and up to 24 hours ahead for best results. The flavors will develop as the salad sits and the dressing will mellow the sharpness of any shallots or onions included.
The potato salad will still be great after the first day, but some ingredients may lose their bright color and freshness.
Variations on Potato Salad
The sky is the limit when it comes to customizing potato salad, but here are a few great additions:
- Mayonnaise (2-3 Tbsp will give the salad just a hint of creaminess)
- Diced Celery
- Chopped Hard-Boiled Eggs
- Crumbled Cooked Bacon
- Dried Spices / Herbs (paprika, thyme, Old Bay, or a blend like a BBQ dry rub seasoning are great)
- Mix up the type of vinegar you use or try pickle juice instead of vinegar
More Summer-Friendly Sides
- Slow-Cooker Brown Sugar Baked Beans
- Easy Roasted Broccoli
- Creamy and Tangy Coleslaw
- Fruit Salsa with Baked Cinnamon Sugar Chips
- Marinated Chickpeas with Bell Peppers and Cucumbers
- Parmesan Roasted Potatoes
- Pesto Pasta Salad
- Caprese White Bean Salad
- Instant Pot Italian Pasta Salad
- Sesame Peanut Noodles with Zucchini and Sweet Potato
Lemony Potato Salad with Fresh Herbs
- Mixing Bowl
- 3 lbs Small potatoes, red, baby Yukon gold, or new, halved (or quartered if large)
- 1 1/2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 Tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice
- 1 tsp Dijon Mustard
- 1/2 tsp Sugar
- 1 tsp Kosher Salt
- 2 Tbsp minced Shallots
- 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1/4 cup Chopped Fresh Herbs (I like a combination of basil, parsley, and a small amount of dill, but use any that you have on hand)
- Combine potatoes and 1 Tablespoon of salt in a large pot. Fill with water to completely cover.
- Bring the water to a boil and then lower heat and simmer until potatoes are tender (test them for doneness by piercing them with a knife - they should be easily pierced by not fall apart), 8 to 12 minutes.
- Drain the potatoes into a colander. Place the potatoes over the empty pot (off the heat) and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Let them steam and cool for 15 minutes while preparing the dressing. (Letting the potatoes steam prevents them from being water-logged.)
- Whisk together apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, sugar, salt, and shallots. Slowly add in olive oil while whisking.
- When potatoes have cooled, pour dressing slowly over top, gently folding it into the potatoes until they are well coated. (You may not need all of the dressing right away to complete coat the potatoes, but they may absorb more as they sit. If you have some dressing leftover, save it and you can stir some more into the potatoes right before serving.)
- Let potato salad rest in the fridge for at least 2 and up to 24 hours for the flavors to blend.
- Just before serving, fold in fresh herbs. Taste and season with some more salt, if needed.
- Serve cool or at room temperature.
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