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The Ultimate Healthy Potato Salad: Creamy and Nutritious

June 13, 2024 (Last Updated: July 2, 2024)
healthy potato salad on a plate, and a fork

This healthy potato salad is creamy, nutritious, and delicious. Made with the best quality ingredients and a few smart preparation techniques, it maximizes nutrients while minimizing antinutrients and blood sugar impact. Perfect as a side dish or even as a complete meal, this potato salad is a flavorful and wholesome addition to any table.

My Inspiration

The classic creamy potato salad is a beloved staple in many households around the world, with everyone having their own variation.

Born and raised in Romania, I grew up with a version of potato salad known as “oriental salad” or “salata orientala” in Romanian. Unlike the creamy version most are familiar with, it featured potatoes, onions, plenty of black olives, and a dressing made from oil (typically sunflower), vinegar, salt, and pepper. Sometimes, it included boiled eggs, but never mayonnaise.

This taste inspired my recipe. I’ve developed a trick to create a creamy sauce without mayonnaise or dairy, which you can use in other recipes, too. Using the best ingredients and a few preparation tricks, I’ve crafted the healthiest version of potato salad you could have.

For those of you on a lectin-free diet (The Plant Paradox Program), this salad is Phase 3 compliant.

Are Potatoes Healthy?

It depends on who you ask. Potatoes are a nutrient-dense food, rich in essential vitamins and minerals. They provide vitamin C for immune function and skin health, potassium for healthy blood pressure and muscle function, vitamin B6 for brain health and energy metabolism, and fiber for digestion and satiety.

However, potatoes contain lectins and solanine. Lectins can interfere with nutrient absorption, but cooking them a certain way significantly reduces their content. Solanine, which can be toxic in high concentrations, is mostly found in green parts and sprouts, so careful selection and preparation are important.

Potatoes are high in carbohydrates, which can impact blood sugar levels. Generally, freshly boiled potatoes have a GI ranging from 78 to 85 (which is very high!).

But their glycemic effect can be moderated by chilling them overnight and consuming them with fiber-rich foods, proteins, healthy fats, and apple cider vinegar to slow sugar absorption.

healthy potato salad in a serving platter

9 (Easy) Steps to Make a Healthy Potato Salad

Here’s how you can transform the classic potato salad into a truly healthy option:

  1. Choose Organic Potatoes: Potatoes are often heavily sprayed crops, so opt for organic to avoid pesticide exposure. For this salad, I used new Danish potatoes (I think they are Yukon gold potatoes), which are great for salads as they hold their shape after boiling and cutting. Red potatoes are also great for salads.
  2. Pressure Cook the Potatoes: Follow your pressure cooker instructions. Pressure cooking reduces the lectin content in potatoes. Lectins are anti-nutrients found in many plants, especially nightshades like potatoes.
  3. Remove the Peels: This further lowers lectin and other anti-nutrients like solanine.
  4. Cool the Potatoes Overnight: Refrigerate the cooked potatoes overnight. This transforms them into resistant starch, which helps mitigate blood sugar spikes and improves gut health. Freshly cooked potato contains a high proportion of RDS (rapidly digestible starch); after chilling, this is significantly reduced, and increases in both SDS (lowly digestible starch) and RS (resistant starches) are observed.
  5. Use Healthy Oils: Traditional potato salad often uses seed oil mayonnaise, which can be inflammatory. Opt for high-quality extra virgin olive oil instead.
  6. Add Raw, Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar: Vinegar adds probiotics and helps reduce the glucose response from the carbohydrates.
  7. Skip the Classic Mayo: While everyone loves a creamy texture, you can achieve it without traditional mayonnaise. If you prefer mayo, use one made with healthy oils, like my homemade mayonnaise. But I think you will love my trick for creating a creamy sauce that tastes like mayo but is lower in fat and higher in protein (no, it’s not yogurt, this salad is dairy-free).
  8. Add Protein: Enhance your salad with hard-boiled eggs. They complement the potatoes, boost protein content, and add nutritional value, making this salad more blood sugar-friendly.
  9. Incorporate Herbs and Olives: These ingredients add polyphenols, antioxidants, vitamins, and fiber.

By following these steps, you can enjoy a delicious and healthy potato salad that’s packed with nutrients and free from unwanted ingredients.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 kg (1.1 lb) boiled potatoes (pressure-cooked, peeled, and cooled in the refrigerator overnight)
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs
  • 4-5 scallions, chopped (sliced red onion can also be used)
  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained, pat dried, and finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup whole black olives (dry cured are the best, but brined kalamata are also great)
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: your favorite herbs (dill, chives, or parsley)
ingredients for a healthy potato salad

Step by Step Instructions

Prepare the Potatoes

Pre-cook the potatoes one day in advance. Follow your pressure cooker’s instructions based on the type and size of your potatoes. For my stovetop pressure cooker, I cover the potatoes with water and cook using the vegetable setting for 3 to 6 minutes (4 minutes for 2×1.5 inch potatoes). They should be fork tender, but not overcooked. After they reach room temperature, chill the cooked potatoes in the refrigerator overnight. When ready to use, peel and chop them into bite-sized pieces.

Boil the Eggs

Boil water in a saucepan, add the eggs once the water is boiling, reduce the heat to low-medium, cover, and cook for 8 minutes for gooey yolks or 10 minutes for hard-boiled eggs. Immediately transfer the eggs to a bowl of iced water to cool. This method makes peeling easier.

Prepare the Dressing

Once the eggs are cold, transfer one whole boiled egg, the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, mustard, and a pinch of salt and pepper to a jar. Blend with an immersion blender until creamy, like a thin mayo.

ingredients for a healthy potato salad

Assemble the Salad

Add the potatoes, remaining eggs (chopped), scallions, capers, and olives to a mixing bowl. Pour over the dressing and toss until well mixed. Season generously with high-quality salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

chopped ingredients for a healthy potato salad in a bowl

Chill and Serve

If you have time, let the salad rest in the refrigerator for an hour to allow the flavors to meld. Taste again before serving and adjust seasoning if needed. Sometimes, I finish with an extra drizzle of olive oil and apple cider vinegar. Transfer to a serving platter, sprinkle with fresh dill or your favorite fresh herbs, and enjoy.

healthy potato salad in a serving platter

A Few Ways to Serve This Potato Salad

This healthy potato salad is delicious on its own and makes a perfect side dish for your summer cookout and outdoor dining.

Here are a few add-ons and combinations I love:

  • Combine it with a giant green salad and some non-starchy vegetables like asparagus, or add some microgreens for an extra boost of fiber and nutrients.
  • Make it a complete meal by adding extra protein such as tuna, sardines, wild-caught salmon, shrimp, chicken, or prosciutto di Parma.
healthy potato salad with sardines on a plate and a fork

Enjoy!

*This post contains affiliated links, which means I get a small commission if you choose to purchase something via one of my links, at no extra cost to you.

The Ultimate Healthy Potato Salad: Creamy and Nutritious

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (3 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
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By Claudia Curici, Health Coach Serves: 4
Prep Time: 20 minutes Cooking Time: 15 minutes

This healthy potato salad is creamy, nutritious, and delicious. Made with the best quality ingredients and a few smart preparation techniques, it maximizes nutrients while minimizing antinutrients and blood sugar impact. Perfect as a side dish or even as a complete meal, this potato salad is a flavorful and wholesome addition to any table.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 kg boiled potatoes (pressure-cooked, peeled, and cooled in the refrigerator overnight)
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs
  • 4-5 scallions, chopped (sliced red onion can also be used)
  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained, pat dried, and finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup whole black olives (dry cured are the best, but brined kalamata are also great)
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: your favorite herbs (dill, chives, or parsley)

Instructions

1

Pre-cook the potatoes one day in advance. Follow your pressure cooker's instructions based on the type and size of your potatoes. For my stovetop pressure cooker, I cover the potatoes with water and cook using the vegetable setting for 3 to 6 minutes (4 minutes for 2x1.5 inch potatoes). Chill the cooked potatoes in the refrigerator overnight. When ready to use, peel and chop them into bite-sized pieces.

2

Boil water in a saucepan, add the eggs once the water is boiling, reduce the heat to low-medium, cover, and cook for 8 minutes for gooey yolks or 10 minutes for hard-boiled eggs (you want them hard-boiled for this recipe). Immediately transfer the eggs to a bowl of iced water to cool. This method makes peeling easier.

3

Once the eggs are cold, transfer one whole boiled egg, the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, mustard, and a pinch of salt and pepper to a jar. Blend with an immersion blender until creamy, like a thin mayo.

4

Add the potatoes, remaining eggs (chopped), scallions, capers, and olives to a mixing bowl. Pour over the dressing and toss until well mixed. Season generously with high-quality salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

5

If you have time, let the salad rest in the refrigerator for an hour to allow the flavors to meld. Taste again before serving and adjust seasoning if needed. Sometimes, I finish with an extra drizzle of olive oil and apple cider vinegar. Transfer to a serving platter, sprinkle with fresh dill or your favorite herbs, and enjoy.

Notes

For more details about potatoes, preparation techniques, and nutritional values, as well as ideas on how this salad can be served, check out the post above.

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Willow Williams
    June 27, 2024 at 3:10 pm

    Thank you this is great!

    • Reply
      Claudia
      June 29, 2024 at 4:51 am

      My pleasure! I’m glad you love it. xx

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