Leanne Brown

Ever Popular Potato Salad

This recipe is from Good and Cheap.

Good and Cheap is a gorgeous cookbook for people with limited income, particularly on a $4/day food stamps budget. The PDF is free (ahora en Español!) and has been downloaded more than 1,000,000 times. I have more cookbooks, too!

I developed this salad because I’m not a big fan of mayonnaise-based potato salad. This is really the simplest thing: just potatoes in a regular vinaigrette. You can add all kinds of extras to it to make it more festive, but people always rave about the salad as is. The secret is that potatoes actually have really nice flavor— all you have to do is season them properly. Let potatoes be potatoes, no need to hide ’em!

If you have leftover roasted potatoes or other root vegetables, the same idea works great. Just skip the cooking part and go straight to the dressing.

Ever Popular Potato Salad

A mayonnaise free potato salad. Lovely new potatoes in a simple lemon vinaigrette and lots of chopped scallions. People are always surprised and delighted by this simple salad!
Course Salad
Servings 4


  • 2 lb potatoes
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice, lime juice, or vinegar
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper
  • scallions to taste
  • fresh dill chopped
  • fresh parsley chopped
  • paprika
  • fresh chiles finely chopped
  • pickles finely chopped


  1. Smaller potatoes are best, but whatever you’ve got will be fine! If you’re using very large potatoes, chop them into halves or quarters to speed up the cooking—or dice them into bite-sized pieces if you’re really in a hurry. Otherwise, keep the potatoes whole.
  2. Cover the potatoes with water in a large pot with a lid. Bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat, then turn the heat down to medium and set the lid askew so that steam can escape.
  3. After about 25 minutes, try piercing the largest potato with a fork. If the fork pierces the potato easily, it’s fully cooked. If not, boil for 5 more minutes. It’s fine if they’re a little overcooked, but undercooked potatoes are awful.
  4. Drain the water. Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle safely (but still warm), roughly chop them into bitesized pieces, if you haven’t already.
  5. In a large bowl, mix the olive oil, citrus juice or vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper. Whisk it briskly until the liquid is blended. If you don’t have a whisk, simply whip with a fork.
  6. Throw the potatoes into the bowl and stir to coat them in the dressing. Add a generous amount of salt as you stir. Potatoes are very bland without salt! Then let them marinate for 10 minutes.
  7. Chop a handful of scallions and sprinkle them over top. Toss the salad once more, then taste and adjust the salt, pepper, and vinegar as you see fit.
  8. This keeps very well and travels nicely to a picnic or potluck. Have fun!

View Comments

  • Potato salad is one of my favorite side dishes ever, it's always incredibly delicious and pairs well with just about anything. Thank you for the recipe!

  • Can't wait to make this, looks so delicious! I've only made potato salad with mayo & never thought to use scallions instead of onions. Thanks so much for sharing your recipe.

  • HI! I'm a legal aid lawyer. A dear client was recently diagnosed with diabetes; the diabetes clinic had him meet with a nutritionist to learn how to manage his disease through diet. He asked me to schedule a welfare hearing to increase his food stamp benefit. He's very enthusiastic about buying fresh vegetables and eating healthy food. No increase is available, of course, so I got him a paperback copy of your book. He was very moved that a person - you - would think the needs of people who rely on food stamps merit a beautiful book. Thank you very much from Leonard!

  • This is SO good. It's close enough to German potato salad that it pairs well with things like sausages and sauerkraut.

  • This salad is wonderful, I have been slowly cutting out or modifying some of favorite dishes to make a bit healthier. This is a win win. Husband loves potato salad. He was pleased with this alternative to the point he suggested I make this to take to a cookout.