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Herby French Potato Salad

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No mayo necessary.

This Ina Garten-inspired French potato salad recipe doesn’t need mayo. Instead, a fresh vinaigrette gets tossed with warm potatoes and tons of fresh herbs for a true standout side dish. 

french potato salad recipe

Why the Ina Garten French Potato Salad Recipe Is So Good

Potato salad may conjure images of lumpy, clumpy starch congealed in a mayonnaise bath. But potato salad can also be fresh and bright with acid, Dijon mustard, and herbs.

This French potato salad recipe is the latter, and one of my favorite dishes to make year round, but especially in warm summer months, when room-temperature food is a great idea. This recipe was inspired by Ina Garten’s French potato salad recipe. I’ve been making (and tweaking) it for years.

This is my easier, alcohol-free version that tastes just as good.

ingredients for ina garten French potato salad recipe

What Is French Potato Salad Made Of?

This potato salad is a vinegar-based herbed French potato salad recipe. Traditional French potato salad is usually dressed with herbs, onions, hard-boiled eggs, and the like.

This French potato salad differs from the potato salad more common in America, which relies on mayonnaise as its base.

I love a standard American potato salad, but prefer this French potato salad recipe. In addition to being a little more food safe than its mayonnaise-based cousin (at least as far as hot summer outdoor barbecues are concerned), this just feels like a more interesting, fresh take on an old standard — despite that the recipe is classic French.

Recipe Ingredients

This potato salad does not require a lot of ingredients, just a few very flavorful ones, such as vinegar, good mustard, and lots of fresh herbs. You will need:

  • 2 pounds small, waxy boiling potatoes, such as fingerling
  • 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar (can substitute white wine vinegar or champagne vinegar)
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil. Choose a good olive oil, preferably expeller pressed Italian oil.
  • 1 tbsp French whole-grain mustard, such as Maille or Pommery brands. Do not use Dijon mustard; you want that whole-grain goodness.
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to boil the potatoes
  • 1 tsp fresh-cracked black pepper
  • 1 bunch fresh scallions, green and light-green parts, sliced thin. A minced shallot can substitute for the scallions in a pinch.
  • 3 tablespoons each of chopped fresh basil, dill, and parsley, or some combination thereof

French potato salad recipe

French Potato Salad: Recipe Notes

  • Cook the potatoes in a large pot until fork tender. Try not to undercook or overcook the potatoes. Overcooking will make the potato salad mushy when tossed with the other ingredients.
  • Choose the right potato. I prefer small, waxy yellow potatoes like fingerling or Yukon Gold for this herbed potato salad. If you use Yukon Gold or anything larger than a fingerling, I would cut the medium potato in half or quarters. Red potatoes are a bit too starchy for my taste, but they can work in a pinch.
  • If you don’t have basil, just use dill, and so on. Scallions are a non-negotiable for me because the flavor is so good with potatoes, but have fun with it and use what you have. The best herb options for French potato salad are dill, scallion, basil, flat-leaf parsley, and chives. Avoid “hard” herbs like thyme and rosemary.
  • Toss the potatoes with the mustard vinaigrette and herbs in a large bowl. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Leftovers can be reheated gently on the stove with a little extra olive oil. Toss gently as the potato salad reheats, and garnish with some fresh herbs to refresh the color.

Recipe for Ina potato salad with herbs no mayo

Here are some more tasty potato recipes:

French potato salad recipe

French Potato Salad With Herbs

A French potato salad recipe that's fresh and bright with vinaigrette and lots of herbs -- no mayo. This potato salad recipe is adapted from Ina Garten's French potato salad recipe, and is the only one I like to make.
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Course: dinner, Side Dish
Cuisine: French
Keywords:: French potato salad, fresh herbs, healthy, potato salad, potatoes, side dish, summer recipes, vegan
Servings: 6 to 8 people
Print

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds small, waxy boiling potatoes, such as fingerling or small yellow potatoes
  • 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar (can substitute white wine vinegar or champagne vinegar)
  • 5 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon French whole-grain mustard, such as Maille or Pommery. Do not use Dijon; use whole grain.
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to boil the potatoes (I use Diamond Crystal)
  • 1 teaspoons fresh-cracked black pepper
  • 1 bunch fresh scallions, green and light-green parts, sliced thin
  • 3 tablespoons each of chopped fresh basil, dill, and parsley, or some combination thereof

Instructions

  • In a large pot, boil the potatoes in well-salted water until fork tender. Drain well, and return to the pot off heat.
    PRO TIP: If any potatoes are much larger than others, use a knife to cut the larger ones before boiling, so the size is uniform.
  • While the potatoes are boiling, whisk together the vinegar, olive oil, whole-grain mustard, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, and pepper. Separately, chop and toss together the scallions and fresh herbs.
  • Pour the vinaigrette over the warm, drained potatoes and stir to combine in the pot. Add the fresh scallions and herbs, reserving a bit for garnish.
  • Toss gently and taste for seasoning. Pour into a serving bowl, garnish with the reserved herbs and a little more salt and pepper, and serve warm or at room temperature.

Notes

This French potato salad recipe is fantastic served fresh, but also keeps in the refrigerator for up to one day. Refresh leftover potato salad by tossing well (the vinaigrette will settle) and maybe adding a pop of fresh green herbs.
 

5 comments

  • 5 stars
    HIGHLY recommend this to everyone. Absolutely delicious.

  • 5 stars
    This is an excellent potato salad recipe with no mayo.

  • 5 stars
    A new go-to potato salad recipe for sure. I enjoyed the tang of the vinaigrette and the herbs 🙂

  • Bob Wickett

    5 stars
    Very good flavor. We had seconds. Will make again.

  • Emilee C.

    5 stars
    I made this for dinner and it got thumbs-up :-).I have an herb garden this summer and was glad to use some of my chives and basil. I substituted chives for scallions since that is what I had, and used a little extra and it tasted wonderful.

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