Greek Potato Salad (Easy & Light!)

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No need to drench your next potato salad with mayonnaise! This Greek potato salad is tossed in a light lemon olive oil dressing that almost ‘pickles’ the slivers of tangy red onion, capers and handfuls of fresh fragrant herbs.

This is a classy Mediterranean side dish that’s so quick and easy to make, and surprisingly delicious. Perfect for midweek meals, parties, BBQs and more!

A big white dish of Greek potato salad on a grey ceramic tray with metal salad servers in it and with ingredients and a tea towel in the background.

Why you’ll love it

  • VERY quick and easy. I don’t even bother peeling the potatoes. Just chop into small pieces, boil until just tender, then toss with the few other fresh ingredients.
  • A few simple ingredients. Mostly pantry and fridge ingredients, but don’t skip the fresh herbs!
  • No mayonnaise. I love mayo in potato salad as much as anyone, but I don’t think you’ll miss it in this lighter Greek style version.
  • Surprisingly delicious. The thin onions kind of ‘pickle’ in the tangy lemon and olive oil vinaigrette. The herbs make it beautifully fresh and fragrant.
  • A perfect ‘classy’ dish for parties and BBQs. And make ahead friendly, especially as there’s no mayonnaise!
  • Easy to customize. Consider adding crumbled feta, fresh arugula, chopped Kalamata olives, chopped pickles, sundried tomatoes, or even chopped bacon or sausage.

Ingredients and substitutions

All ingredients for Greek potato salad labelled including small potatoes, olive oil, lemon juice, red onion, salt and pepper, fresh herbs and capers.

Potatoes: I like to use small or baby potatoes so they’re easier to chop. However, you can use any potatoes at all to make this Greek style potato salad.

What kind of potatoes are best? The kind that hold their shape well after cooking and have a creamy texture. Good choices are waxy and creamy Yukon Golds, red potatoes, fingerling potatoes or ‘new’ potatoes.

I don’t peel the potatoes (no need and extra nutrition).

Red onion: I think that the slivers of crisp onion (along with the herbs!) are what make this potato salad so delicious. I’d try to stick to red onion since it’s milder and sweeter than yellow or white onions.

If you aren’t a fan of raw red onion, feel free to replace with finely chopped salad onions (scallions/spring onions), shallots, chives, or even caramelized onions.

Fresh herbs: It might seem strange to describe herbs as ‘the icing on the cake’ but I do think this is what they are in this Greek potato salad recipe. My top choices are parsley, dill and oregano – around a cup altogether, but I’d go heavier on the parsley and dill and lighter on the oregano.

Of course, you can also replace the herbs with different ones. Try chopped mint, coriander or thyme. In many of my recipes I suggest substituting with dried herbs if you like, but I wouldn’t recommend it in this case.

If you’d like to read about the best substitutions for dill or substitutes for oregano, I wrote two whole posts on this! You might find them surprisingly interesting! 😉

Lemon juice: The juice of a small lemon adds just the right amount of tangy flavor (around 2 tablespoons). If you don’t have a lemon, vinegar can work well too.

Capers: I love the addition of a few salty Mediterranean capers. It doesn’t matter whether you buy them in brine or vinegar. If you don’t like capers, simply skip them or add chopped olives or pickles instead.

Extra virgin olive oil: But of course! Use the best quality you can for that wonderful clean, fresh, fruity and peppery flavor it has.

Salt and pepper: I think this is key to bringing out the other flavors in this no mayo potato salad. I’ve suggested half a teaspoon of salt and a quarter of a teaspoon of pepper, but feel free to adjust to taste.

How to make Greek potato salad

It couldn’t be easier!

First, wash the potatoes and slice into small pieces – between 1 to 2 inches big. If you’re using small potatoes, slice into 8.

Then boil them for around 8 to 10 minutes or until ‘just’ tender but not falling apart.

Small potato pieces in a small saucepan of water, ready to be boiled.

Drain in a colander.

Meanwhile, mix all of the other ingredients together well.

Fresh herbs, red onions and salad dressing in a glass jug with a spoon ready to be mixed into potato salad.

Finally, toss the dressing and the potatoes together.

All the ingredients for Greek potato salad including potato pieces, fresh herbs, red onion and dressing in a glass bowl ready to be tossed together with a spoon.
Overhead view of a glass bowl of Greek potato salad with salad servers in it.

Helen’s Top Tips

  • Try not to overboil the potatoes. Keep a close eye on them until a knife will ‘just’ slice into them easily (8 to 10 minutes, usually). You don’t want them to fall apart when you toss them with the vinaigrette.
  • Leave the potatoes in the colander to steam for a few minutes after draining. This gets rid of most of the excess moisture.
  • The reason I recommend stirring the vinaigrette ingredients together (including the thin onions and herbs) first is because they become almost ‘pickled’ in the lemon juice and oil. Mmm!
  • If making ahead, stir the fresh herbs through at the last minute for maximum freshness.
  • Serve hot, warm or cold – your choice, all delicious!
  • For a heartier twist, try adding cooked bacon or chopped cooked sausage. Other tasty additions could include caramelized onions, chopped olives (any color), crumbled feta, arugula or thinly sliced radish, or chopped pickles or marinated vegetables.

Serving ideas

This delicious Mediterranean potato salad makes a perfect light and breezy summer side dish. Serve for dinner with some of the ideas below, take along to a party, or serve at your next BBQ.

Here are some of my favorite ideas to serve with potato salad:

Recipe FAQs

How long does potato salad without mayo last in the fridge?

It will last well for 3 to 5 days in the fridge if stored in an airtight container. However, the fresh herbs may wilt in the vinaigrette. If you plan on making it ahead, I’d recommend adding the herbs just before serving.

Can you freeze this Greek potato salad?

I wouldn’t recommend it since the potatoes and herbs can become mushy and unappetizing after defrosting.

Love the Greek theme of this recipe? If you haven’t already, you just have to try this legendary Greek potato recipe as well!

More easy summer side dishes

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A big white dish of Greek potato salad on a grey ceramic tray with metal salad servers in it and with ingredients and a tea towel in the background.
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Greek Potato Salad (Easy & Light!)

Greek potato salad doesn't have mayo in it, but you won't miss it! Lemony and packed with herbs and 'pickled' onions, it's easy and delicious, and ready in about 20 minutes. This is the perfect choice for a summer BBQ or family dinner, especially when you really don't want to turn on the oven.
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients 
 

  • 1 pound potatoes, washed but unpeeled (small/new potatoes or any waxy potatoes such as Yukon Gold, red potatoes or fingerling potatoes)
  • medium red onion, sliced really thinly (or increase to around ½ an onion, or to taste)
  • 1 cup fresh herbs, washed and chopped (roughly ½ cup parsley, ¼ cup dill, 2 tablespoons oregano)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice, (roughly 1 small lemon)
  • 2 tablespoons capers, or to taste (in brine or vinegar)
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, (good quality if possible)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper

Instructions 

  • Start by chopping the potatoes into small pieces about 1 to 2 inches big. I usually cut a small potato into 8.
    1 pound potatoes
  • Bring a medium sized saucepan of salted water to the boil. Then add the potatoes and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes or until 'just' tender but not falling apart (check with a sharp knife).
  • Meanwhile, stir all of the other ingredients together in a jug or small bowl.
    ⅓ medium red onion, 1 cup fresh herbs, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 2 tablespoons capers, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Once the potatoes are tender, drain them into a colander and let steam for a couple of minutes to let some of the water evaporate. Then empty the potatoes into a large bowl.
  • Empty the onion herb vinaigrette mixture on top of the potatoes. Toss really well with salad servers. Serve hot, warm or cold – your choice!

Notes

Portion size: Note that this recipe will serve up to 4 people as a small to medium sized side dish. Depending on the size of the main, you may wish to add another small side such as bread, vegetables or salad. Alternatively, this will serve 2 to 3 as a larger side dish.
Substitutions/Additions: Feel free to swap red onion with thinly sliced pickles, salad onions (spring onions), chopped olives, chives or shallots. Crumbled feta, arugula (rocket), chopped olives, chopped cooked bacon or sausage, sundried tomatoes are all very tasty additions. 
Feel free to substitute the fresh herbs I’ve suggested with other fresh herbs such as mint, coriander or thyme. 
Storage and making ahead: Leftovers will keep well in an airtight container for up to a few days, however the herbs will wilt (they’ll still taste good!). If making ahead, feel free to make the Greek potato salad up to a couple of days in advance, but stir through the fresh herbs just before serving. I don’t recommend freezing this potato salad.

Nutrition

Calories: 219kcal, Carbohydrates: 22g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 10g, Sodium: 417mg, Potassium: 585mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 1273IU, Vitamin C: 46mg, Calcium: 39mg, Iron: 2mg
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About Helen Schofield

Don't expect to find anything fussy or complicated here. Just QUICK, EASY & (mostly!) HEALTHY recipes from the Mediterranean and beyond. ENJOY!

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