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Vegan Pesto Potato Salad (Mayo-free, Whole30)

4.67 from 3 votes

What’s Inside: This creamy vegan pesto potato salad is a showstopper. It’s gluten-free, mayo-free, and Whole30 and packed full of nutritious vegetables and fresh herbs. It’s the perfect healthy addition to a summer BBQ!

Potato salad with arugula, pesto and radishes in a white bowl.

Vegan Pesto Potato Salad (Mayo Free, Gluten Free)

Summer BBQs are a fabulous time to come together over delicious, seasonal food in a fun and social atmosphere. All while showcasing your cooking skills, because you never attend a BBQ empty-handed of course. My go-to is some sort of salad. Enter: Mayo-free, Vegan Potato Salad with Pesto for the WIN.

Are Potatoes Healthy?

Before we get to all the goodies of this potato salad without mayo – real talk for a minute. I often get questions like, “are potatoes bad??”. Oh, dear!

Let’s stop labeling foods “bad”, shall we? Unless they’re processed in shiny wrappers, or come from a window in your car (in which case it’s not even food), let’s stop with the blanket statements. Frankly, statements like these have historically gotten us into loads of trouble. Keep your foods variated, seasonal, and note what works best for YOU and be ready to change it at a drop of a hat because things change. A food you thrive on could make me ill, and vice versa. It’s a dynamic process, so let’s stop trying to make it so rigid.

When you can tolerate potatoes and eat them in moderation, they’re not bad. If they’re not fried and fried in hydrogenated oils and are instead cooked in healthful fats, baked or roasted… why would they be bad? Yes, it’s a starch carb which many people might have an aversion to and especially in excess due to raising blood sugar. However, in moderation might be perfectly fine for many.

Here’s a tip: if you want to make potatoes really shine, try a potato salad. Because if potatoes are boiled and then cooled before eaten, this actually optimizes the pre-biotic starch (bug food for your gut!) which is great for digestion. Feed those bugs, people!

So in short, like with all whole foods that might get a bad rap because we’ve likely ruined them in some shape or form due to fast food or poor cooking/processing; potatoes can be wonderful on occasion if you feel fine consuming them. Listen to your body.

 Potato salad with arugula, pesto and radishes in a white bowl.

Why You Should Make This Vegan Potato Salad

Back to this delicious recipe. One of my favorites at a BBQ is a beautiful potato salad, just a little on the side of my plate makes me happy. Something about it reminds me of being a kid, although the kind I always ate was smothered in Hellman’s Mayo! My oh, my have things changed around here! I wanted to snazz this up without the mayo (and who else has left potato salad with mayo in the sun for just a little too long?? Yeah. Not good!). Given my love of pesto to solve all problems, it seemed like a no-brainer for this vegan potato salad.

I was happy to try a couple of bites since I was making it for my BBQ guests even though I haven’t been eating nightshades (currently on AIP diet), and what a nice treat that was! I just love colorful red potatoes, the pesto covers this beautifully and the radish adds a CRUNCH. But what I love most about this herbed potato salad is that it is suitable for so many people with different dietary restrictions. Whether your guests follow a Vegan or Whole 30 diet or cannot have gluten, dairy, or eggs – everyone gets to dig in. And let’s be real, when was the last time you went to a BBQ where no one had some sort of dietary restriction? Plus this potato salad without mayo is the perfect example that being on a Whole 30 or Vegan diet doesn’t mean losing out on flavor. Everybody wins! So next time you are asked to bring something to a gathering, whip a batch of this delicious vegan potato salad. 

More Recipes Using Vegan Pesto

The pesto definitely gives this herbed potato salad an extra edge. If you are a pesto lover like me you will enjoy the following recipes as well.

I would love to hear your feedback, leave me a comment below.


Potato salad with arugula, pesto and radishes in a white bowl.


Dairy-free Pesto Potato Salad (gluten-free, mayo-free, vegan) via Food by Mars

Vegan Pesto Potato Salad (Mayo Free, Gluten Free)

4.67 from 3 votes
This creamy vegan pesto potato salad is a showstopper. It’s gluten-free, mayo-free, and Whole30. Healthy CAN be delicious!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Yield: 6


  • 6-8 red potatoes (medium-large in size)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 4 radishes, sliced thinly
  • 2 cups fresh arugula


  • Scrub potatoes well and add to a large pot, covering with water by at least 2 inches. 
  • Add a pinch of salt to the water and bring to a boil over high heat. Let potatoes boil for approx. 25-30 minutes until you can stick with a fork (don't let the potatoes get so soft the skin is falling off).
  • Meanwhile, make the pesto by combining: basil, garlic, olive oil, nutritional yeast, lemon and salt to a food processor. Mix until you have a sauce (add more oil or lemon as needed). Set aside.
  • Once potatoes are finished, drain and let cool for a few minutes before handling.
  • When you can handle the potatoes, start cutting into cubes. Toss them into your serving bowl.
  • Mix potatoes with the pesto and add sliced radish and arugula. Adjust with any additional sauce, oil, lemon or salt to taste.
  • Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.
Diet: American
Keywords: dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, mayo-free, vegan, vegan pesto potato salad
Course: Side Dish

Potato salad with arugula, pesto and radishes in a white bowl.
-Alison Marras
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

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