This cilantro lime potato salad screams "summer" and is perfect for your next picnic or cookout. The combination of creamy yukon gold potatoes and decadent cilantro lime sauce pairs well with a veggie burger, sandwich, or veggie kebabs.
Making great plant based potato salad
Great vegan potato salad starts with potatoes. Different potato types have slightly different consistencies when cooked. For a potato salad, we need a potato that's creamy and rich, but holds its shape when diced. That's where yukon gold potatoes come in.
To prepare potatoes, slice into quarters (or halves) and place into a pot. Cover with water, and bring to low boil. Once boiling, set timer for 30-45 mins. They're ready when you can easily pierce with a fork. From there, remove from pot using a slotted spoon, and let cool for 10-15 mins.
Meanwhile, prepare the dressing. I tried a couple different dressing bases (cashew sour cream and a couple vegan mayos) and Hellman's Vegan Mayo provided the tanginess and smooth consistency that potato salad requires. You can find it at your local grocery store - I've seen it at Publix and Harris Teeter.
To create that yummy cilantro lime flavor, we're going to add some mayo and cilantro leaves (no stems) to a blender with 1-2 jalapenos (depending on how much spice you like), ½ tsp cayenne powder, the juice of 2 limes and 1 orange. There is an optional secret ingredient if you're feeling feisty: ½ oz tequila for additional spice and pizzaz. Blend until smooth.
Pro tip: if your blender is too big and you can't seem to get everything blended, try an immersion blender or food processor. My Vitamix is a tad too big for this volume of sauce.
If you prefer to remove the potato skin, now is the time. Otherwise, dice into ½ to ¾ in cubes and place in large mixing bowl. Add dressing and lightly mix. Taste for seasoning and place in fridge for at least 1 hour. The fridge time will help the flavors meld together.
Where do I find vegan mayo? My local grocery stores (Publix, Harris Teeter, Whole Foods, The Fresh Market) all have vegan mayo options. Make sure to check both the refrigerated sections (e.g. near the dairy or produce) and aisles. Some vegan mayos need to be refrigerated, some don't. I found Hellman's near the other Hellman's mayos in the aisles.
Can I use [insert potato of choice] here? Here's the thing: potato salad is all about consistency, and some potatoes just don't hold their shape as well as others. You could probably get away with a red potato or fingerling potato if you're ok with the starchier texture, but I wouldn't recommend a russet or sweet potato, they'll just break apart when you try to mix.
I don't like cilantro, is there another version of this I can make? Yes, of course! Swap out the cilantro for a few Tbsp of dill, and replace the lime with lemon. Remember, this recipe is simply a guideline. Do whatever you need to make it taste great to YOU.
How do I make my potato salad less watery? Great question - there are a few reasons why your potato salad might be watery.
- First, make sure you're using the right potato - yukon golds are preferred because of their slightly waxy texture that holds up in a salad.
- Second, make sure your potatoes are cool before adding to bowl - they should not be steaming, and should not be hot to the touch. If you're not sure, it's better to let them cool more (trust me).
- Finally, do NOT to add any salt until the potato salad is on your plate and you are ready to eat. Salt causes vegetables to release their water, which adds extra liquid to your salad.
Some experts blame wateriness on a dressing that is too liquid-y - I did not find that issue with this recipe given the thickness of the mayo.
Cilantro lime potato salad recipePrint
- 2 ½ lbs yukon gold potatoes, quartered
- 3 scallions sliced
- 1 ½ cup Hellman's vegan mayo
- ½ cup cilantro leaves (no stems)
- 1-2 jalapenos, roughly chopped (remove seeds for less spice)
- ½ oz tequila
- Juice of 2-3 limes
- Juice of ½ orange
1. Prepare the potatoes: place quartered potatoes in a pot and cover with 1 in of water. Do NOT add salt. Bring to a simmer, then cover and cook for 30-45 mins or until you can easily pierce with a fork.
2. Prepare the dressing: meanwhile, add all dressing ingredients to a blender or food processor, and blend until relatively smooth. Cilantro leaves should be in small pieces. Taste and adjust as needed. Need thicker dressing? Add a couple more Tbsp of mayo. Thinner? Maybe a tsp of apple cider vinegar or another squeeze of lime or orange.
3. Cool potatoes: once potatoes are ready, remove from water with a slotted spoon, and let cool for 10-15 minutes. If you prefer peeled potatoes, peel after they've cooled. The skin should come right off. With your unpeeled (or peeled) potatoes, chop into ½ in cubes and add to a large mixing bowl.
4. Add dressing & chill: add half of your dressing dressing and scallions to your bowl of potatoes, and gently mix. Taste and decide if it needs more dressing. Then, cover and refrigerate for at least one hour (preferably overnight).
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