What to Bring to a Potluck: Lemony Potato Salad

With the beautiful weather we’ve been having, it’s time for potlucks, barbecues and picnics. This potato salad is my favorite thing to make for a potluck or BBQ, so when Eric’s mom invited us to one for his grandpa’s birthday, I immediately offered to provide the potato salad. I’m not usually able to eat very much mayo, and that’s typically what potato salad is full of. But this is a light, creamy version, that uses only a little mayo for the whole salad, the rest of the zing comes from lemon juice. Another option, if you want to completely cut out mayo is to use buttermilk instead. Every time I bring this potato salad people love it and get so excited to hear that it’s actually a healthy potato salad.

The kind of potatoes you can use for this salad are really flexible. This time around I bought a big bag of golden red potatoes because I have a barbecue one or more times a week for the next month, so I figured I need a lot of potatoes. When I make it at home I use the small red potatoes. The nice thing about red potatoes is that by leaving the skin on, you get some added color to the potato salad, as well as a good dose of Vitamin C, fiber and Potassium. I prefer the skin left on because I have a weird thing about textures in my food and if it’s too mushy, I can’t eat it. I leave the skins on in my mashed potatoes too. I’m weird that way!

This recipe is also incredibly affordable, I always have to factor in cost when bringing a dish somewhere. When it comes to potato salad, it’s cheaper and healthier to make your own. My husband used to work in the deli at a grocery store, and knowing what was put into the different food items they serve, he doesn’t eat them. The other nice thing about this is that it’s really flexible. I throw some peas in for added nutrition and color. I usually use dried herbs in it, but my mother in law has fresh ones at her place so I grabbed some when I got there. If I’m just making a small amount for the two of us, I use 4 small potatoes, only a TBS of mayo and a couple of lemon juice. Play around with it, it’s really hard to mess it up.

By the way, anyone have any secrets for keeping potatoes from going bad? We’re more of a rice household, so it seems like whenever I buy more than four potatoes at a time, I end up having to throw some away. Potatoes get NASTY when they go bad. Oh man, the first time I experienced it I was pet sitting and I thought the dog had peed on the bag of potatoes. But then it happened to me and I don’t have a dog! Try not to think about that as you make yourself potato salad :)

Lemony Potato Salad
serves 12

15 medium red potatoes
1 tsp kosher salt
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup mayonnaise
8 TBS lemon juice
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
2 TBS fresh dill finely chopped or 2 tsp dried
4 stalks fresh chives finely chopped or tsp dried
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp pepper


Cut potatoes into 1 inch chunks. Fill a large pot with water and add 1 tsp kosher salt. Put the potatoes in and put on high heat. Allow to come to a boil and cook for about 25 minutes total or until potatoes are tender. During the last five minutes of cooking, add frozen peas to the boiling water.

Drain potatoes and peas in a colander. Dump into a large bowl and add remaining ingredients. Mix well with a wooden spoon, leaving chunky. Taste to see if you’d like additional lemon juice or herbs. Refrigerate for at least an hour.

Approximate cost per serving: $3.18!!!! I know, cheap! Getting such a big bag of potatoes helped with the cost.
Gluten Free/Vegetarian: Some mayonnaise is gluten free, and I also know there are vegan mayos out there. Read your labels!

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No Responses to “What to Bring to a Potluck: Lemony Potato Salad”

  1. Jen @ MyKitchenAddiction.com
    May 31, 2009 at 4:21 pm #

    This potato salad looks delicious! I like that it is light on the mayo and has extra flavor from the lemon juice and herbs… wonderful!

  2. Jenn
    May 31, 2009 at 5:59 pm #

    Yummy looking potato salad. I like the extra flavors you threw in. I never knew that buttermilk can be a replacement for mayo. I’ll have to try that next time I make my potato salad.

  3. Chow and Chatter
    May 31, 2009 at 6:14 pm #

    like lemon and potato combo i like the skin also, lol

  4. Nurit "1 family. friendly. food."
    May 31, 2009 at 7:56 pm #

    I keep potatoes in a brown paper bag in the pantry where it’s nice and dark.

  5. Dan
    May 31, 2009 at 8:49 pm #

    Looks absolutely lovely! It just looks like a healthy potato salad… definitely the anti-KFC potato salad.

  6. SouthAsiaRocks
    May 31, 2009 at 10:38 pm #

    That looks really good! i can’t wait to try it! :)

  7. 5 Star Foodie
    June 1, 2009 at 4:39 am #

    Lovely potato salad with the lemony flavor! Perfect for summer!

  8. natalia
    June 1, 2009 at 8:57 am #

    I really want to try it ! I love lemon !!

  9. Calm In The Kitchen
    June 1, 2009 at 2:56 pm #

    I love lemon, I love potatoes..great recipe~

    I don’t know of a good way to keep them from spoiling. I need to research that because I always have that one potato that is just…ew.

    ;) amy

  10. Anne
    June 2, 2009 at 1:37 am #

    I love the looks of this salad, Diana! Like you, I do not like potato salad with a lot of mayo. The heavy and bland taste makes me wonder why it is so popular, in general. But with a lemony zing? That sounds just wonderful. I’ll have to give it a go.


  11. Lori
    June 2, 2009 at 1:39 am #

    Sounds like a great version of potato salad!

  12. Diana
    June 4, 2009 at 8:26 am #

    Thanks everyone! Let me know what you think when you try it. Nurit, I'll have to try the brown paper bag. I leave them in their plastic bag in my kitchen :)

  13. The Duo Dishes
    June 4, 2009 at 1:37 pm #

    Lemons and potatoes and chives and dill…great, light, vibrant flavors!

  14. Marilyn
    July 6, 2011 at 6:54 am #

    I read this recipe 3 times — it says on the header, no mayo, it’s oil and vinegar, but there IS MAYO IN IT AND I never saw oil or vinegar mentioned, so explain please where is the recipe for oil and vinegar and no mayo?

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