This dreamy, Creamy Whole30 Potato Salad is my summertime side dish of choice. It’s incredibly easy to prepare, requires only a few ingredients, can be made ahead of time, and travels well. It goes great with just about everything from grilled chicken, smoked ribs, you’re your favourite steak.
What You Need To Make Creamy Whole30 Potato Salad
You may or may not have come across the term “waxy” potato before. In a nutshell, it refers to various potatoes that have a thin and smooth skin with a creamy, yet firm flesh. Unlike “floury” or “starchy” potatoes, “waxy” potatoes are low in starch, yet high in moisture, meaning that they tend to keep their shape a bit better when cooked.
When it comes to making potato salad, a waxy potato will hold up a bit better because it won’t completely fall apart on you once tossed with the dressing and other ingredients. Waxy potatoes also tend to have a more pronounced potato flavour, which is ideal here because you want it to stand up against the creamy and tangy dressing.
Personally, I’m a fan of Creamer potatoes or Yukon golds in my potato salads. New potatoes are also great if you can find them. Creamers and new potatoes have the benefit of being smaller and cooking quicker than larger potato varieties. They also have very thin and delicate skins that don’t necessarily need to be peeled. Yukon golds are also fantastic in this Creamy Whole30 Potato Salad, they just take longer to cook and cool, and depending on their condition, the skins may need to be peeled.
For crunch, colour and flavour, diced celery is the way to go. I like to chop mine fairly small so that it can barely be seen. That way, it’s like a little surprise when someone takes a bite and is greeted with a crunchy pop of flavour.
Truth be told, the main reason I call for red vs yellow onion is because of colour. It just stands out better among the other elements in the potato salad. So, if you only have white or yellow onion, feel free to use that. Or, you can try to mixing things up a bit by using green onion!
My love of dill pickles is no secret. I use it everywhere and anywhere I can and this creamy Whole30 potato salad is no exception. It adds a briney, juicy, crunchy and flavourful element that just can’t be replaced. It also takes me back to eating “Olivye” (pr. Ah-leev-yeh), a very common Russian potato salad I regularly ate growing up.
You can easily make your own Whole30-compliant mayonnaise in less than a minute. Or, you can buy a jar. These days, there are a few brands making Whole30-approved and Whole30-compliant mayonnaises. Some even come in different flavours. For this potato salad, I recommend using an unflavoured one.
In a perfect world, I would only be buying Pomerry Moutarde de Meaux, a very fancy, French, old-world, whole-grain mustard that comes in a beautiful ceramic crock. Not only is it a seriously delicious, whole-grain mustard that happens to be Whole30-compliant, but the jar can be reused to store kitchen utensils and cutlery. It does come at a pretty price point, so most of the time I look for a more affordable option.
As long as the mustard is whole-grain, tasty and made with compliant ingredients, it’s good here. You can also use a creamy Dijon mustard if that’s what you have. You just won’t get the same look and texture from the mustard seeds.
Dill and potatoes go together like Jordan and Pippen. There’s something magical about the combo. For me, when the two are combined, I’m immediately transported back to my parents’ kitchen and my childhood eating pots of Half-Smashed Garlic and Dill Potatoes.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Tangy, sharp, acidic and slightly sweet. Apple cider vinegar perfectly balances the creamy mayo-based dressing and cuts through the richness of the potatoes. It’s more complex in flavour than your regular white or red wine vinegar and also a bit healthier.
For something a bit fancier, you can try using an aged sherry vinegar – my all-time favourite.
The Secret to Perfect Potato Salad
The single-most important tip I can give is to boil the potatoes whole, with their skins intact, in salted water. Even if you know you’re going to end up peeling the skin anyways, you should still boil the potatoes whole, with the skin on.
You’ll have a much more flavourful finished product, more of the nutrients will remain intact, and the potatoes will retain their shape better.
Creamy Whole30 Potato Salad
- 2 pounds waxy potatoes such as new potatoes, creamers or Yukon golds
- Kosher salt
- 1/3 cup Whole30-compliant mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon grainy mustard
- ¼ cup fresh dill finely chopped
- freshly-cracked black pepper to taste
- 2 stalks celery – diced
- 1/3 cup finely chopped dill pickle around 2 large pickles
- ½ red onion – diced
- Scrub potatoes clean of any dirt and remove any spuds. Add the potatoes to a stockpot and cover with water. Add 1 tablespoon salt and bring to a boil. Cook the potatoes until completely fork-tender, around 20 minutes or longer depending on their size. Drain the water and let the potatoes cool completely.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, prepare the dressing by combining the mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Whisk until incorporated. Add the celery, pickle and onion. Using your hands, roughly tear the potatoes into 1"-square chunks and add them to the bowl. Toss well with a spatula until coated and some of the potatoes become slightly creamy. Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt and pepper as desired.
- Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 5 days.