Italian Potato Salad: the easy, vegan salad recipe perfect for summer

Total time: 35 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 4 people
By Cookist

Mention potato salad and most of us think of a rich, creamy salad. But not this recipe! A classic Italian potato salad is an easy vegan Italian side dish recipe—it’s a great alternative to the classic mayo-based potato salad. It’s also dairy-free and gluten-free, which makes it suitable for a wide variety of diets!

Italian potato salad is made with olive oil and vinaigrette (typical ingredients of a vinaigrette), making it savory and zesty and perfect for summer.  You simply boil the potatoes, add chopped ingredients, and drizzle with olive oil. The result? A fresh, healthy salad, suitable for serving next to any main meal.

Italian Potato Salad Ingredients

Potatoes – use any of your favorite potatoes; you can leave the skin on if you prefer.

Tomatoes – use cherry tomatoes as they are full of flavor.

Red onion – red onion is good for eating raw; don’t substitute it with white onions as the flavor will be too pungent.

Capers – capers add zestiness.

Olives – use black olives or kalamata olives.

Herbs – use basil or rocket (arugula), the pepperiness adds flavor to the salad.

Vinegar – white wine vinegar had a milder flavor than white vinegar.

How To Make Italian Potato Salad

Cook the potatoes. Boil the potato cubes in salted water until just cooked, it should still have some bite to it. Prepare the other ingredients. Thinly slice the red onion, and soak in the vinegar for at least 15 minutes.

Once the potatoes are cooked and the onion is pickled, mix it together with the cherries, capers, olives, and basil. Drizzle with olive oil.

Italian Potato Salad Variations

If the dish is not for vegetarians, you can add meat. Use chopped bacon, smoked chicken, or smoked salmon. If using bacon, just sauté it beforehand.

Seafood Potato Salad – add a bit of crème fraiche, smoked trout, and cooked peas to the salad.

Create a slightly French salad by adding boiled, halved eggs.

Tips For Making Classic Italian Potato Salad

If you want, you can also add cheese: cubed cheddar, crumbled feta, or pieces of goat’s cheese.

For a more intense flavor, you can substitute the cherry tomatoes with sundried tomatoes.

Don’t overcook the potatoes, otherwise, it will not hold in the salad and will become mushy.

You can substitute the vinegar for balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, or apple cider vinegar.

How To Store Italian Potato Salad

Store the salad in the refrigerator (in an airtight container) for up to 3 days.

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potatoes, peeled and chopped
4 to 5
Cherry tomatoes
10 to 12
small red onion, sliced
10 to 12
black olives, pit removed
Fresh basil leaves
Olive oil
80 ml (6 tbsp)
White wine vinegar
120 ml (1/2 cup)


Boil chopped potatoes in salted water until done. Set aside to cool down.

Meanwhile, half the onion and slice into thin slices.

Pour the vinegar over the sliced onions and set aside for 15 minutes.

Cut the cherry tomatoes in half.

Add cherry tomatoes to the cooked potatoes.

Add the olives, capers, and seasoning.

Finish off with the onions, basil, and vinaigrette.

Toss to combine and serve.


This Italian Potato Recipe is perfect for your next cookout, barbecue, summer picnic, or potluck. Or even as a side to a midweek meal! It can be made up to two days ahead. Add basil and olive oil just before serving. Serve at room temperature.

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