12 Best Mayo Replacements For Potato Salad

Salads are one of those highly contested dishes people either hate or love. But we think that argument is silly based on the sole factor that a salad can contain pretty much anything from fried chicken to macaroni. Potato salads, for instance, are loaded with our favorite starchy vegetables, mayonnaise dressing, and perhaps some red onions, dill, and celery. However, the variations and possibilities for ingredients are endless, so unless you have a shaky relationship with potatoes, there's the perfect potato salad out there for you. Those who can't stand the thought of mayonnaise are even in luck, as there are dozens of mayo replacements for potato salads that can leave you with a satisfying, flavorful, spud-tastic side dish.

Who says that your potato salad must be dolloped with that eggy, fatty pile of whipped goop? Whether you're vegan, picky, or just have an aversion to mayo, we've got you covered. Find a mayonnaise replacement that tastes like the real thing, or deviate entirely from the basic creamy potato salad you grew up with. Out with the generic creamy dill potato salad, in with the culinary creativity. Create something that is unique, and leaves your guests wondering how you came up with such a breakthrough concept. Just be sure to use complementary anterior ingredients that will help your one-of-a-kind potato salad dressing to sing.


For those who enjoy the flavor and texture of mayonnaise, but don't eat eggs because of an allergy or preference, let us introduce you to your new best friend, aquafaba. Never heard of it? You're not alone. Aquafaba is the starchy bean water found in canned chickpeas. However, in order to bring it to mayo status, you have to do a lot more than just drizzle it over your potatoes. Aquafaba needs to be whipped in order to obtain that same light, creamy texture. It's sometimes used in mixed drinks instead of egg whites and can be used as an egg replacer in baking.

When buying canned chickpeas for aquafaba, look for the ingredient kombu on the label. It's a stabilizer, that will help to ensure that your whipped bean juice becomes ultra stiff without the need to add cream of tartar or agar-agar. Simply use an electric mixer to whip the bean water as you would with egg whites, and add ingredients like Dijon mustard, lemon juice, and black salt for an eggy, mayonnaise-like flavor. The mouthfeel is slightly more starchy than fatty, but you can always include some olive oil in your dressing to make it more familiar. Load the aquafaba up with complementary ingredients that you'd typically add to your mayonnaise for potato salad, let the potatoes cool before adding the sauce, and voila! Enjoy mayo-free potato salad. Who knew bean juice could be so much fun?

Blue cheese dressing

Yes, some blue cheese dressing recipes require mayonnaise, but that doesn't mean that yours has to. The most important component of our favorite tangy, creamy dressing is the cheese itself. Use sour cream, greek yogurt, or vegan mayo in place of mayo in your homemade blue cheese dressing, or buy some at the store that uses whipped oil instead of mayonnaise, which is quite common. Once you have your hands on the eggless sauce, drizzle it over your cooled potatoes, and start thinking about what other ingredients you can add to enhance the stinky cheese.

Classically, blue cheese tends to pair well with celery, which just happens to be a popular ingredient in potato salad. In addition, red onion and chives can be both punchy and aesthetically pleasing. Add apple cider vinegar for an extra-tangy sauce, and crushed black pepper to give it a subtle heat. For a spicier version, consider adding a little buffalo sauce to the mix. This can make for a great game-day side dish alongside hot wings. And although blue cheese dressing already contains that magical blue moldy cheese, we recommend adding even more. Mix some in for pungent chunks of flavor, and sprinkle some on top as a garnish, alongside additional chives, and fresh parsley.

Mashed avocado

Vegans already know about the fresh ingredient swap that can take the place of mayo, and it's something you likely have ripening on your kitchen counter as we speak. In fact, it's something you have been monitoring quite closely to ensure that you don't miss its peak ripeness by blinking your eyes: avocado. Mayonnaise is quite fatty, and avocado has a similar mouthfeel. There are several ways to use avocado in place of mayonnaise including simply mashing it and seasoning it with salt and pepper which works well for a sandwich, but for potato salad, we recommend a little more legwork.

Those avocado chunks are endearing in guacamole, but potato salad requires a nice smooth textured sauce. Blend your ripe avocado with Dijon mustard, salt, pepper, and lemon juice or vinegar. Use a high-speed blender to ensure that it whips up and becomes nice and smooth. Avocados are mild in flavor, so feel free to include extra acid, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, or any other seasoning. Consider adding herbs like parsley and fresh dill to complement the sauce, and load up on chunky vegetables alongside your potatoes. Using mashed avocado as a mayo replacement for potato salad works best if the potato salad is meant to be consumed the day the sauce is made, as avocado has a tendency to brown as it oxidizes.

Greek yogurt

Greek yogurt has become increasingly popular in the United States, and not just coupled with fruit or granola for breakfast. It's often used alongside savory dishes, and in place of sour cream for foods like tacos, alongside proteins, and mixed into dips. It's fattier, thicker, and stiffer than sour cream, but has a similar tangy flavoring. This is why Greek yogurt is the key to delicious baked potatoes. The two go together like peanut butter and jelly, so it's no surprise that Greek yogurt makes an incredible mayo replacement for potato salad.

Using Greek yogurt will give your side dish a refreshing, ultra-creamy, and slightly tangy flavor. Considering pairing with other fresh ingredients like diced celery, chives or green onions, fresh dill and parsley, lemon juice, and dill pickles. Use red baby potatoes for beautiful coloring, and don't forget to add a little Dijon mustard for that classic potato salad flavor. Consider leaning into the Greek yogurt's Mediterranean roots and loading the salad up with capers, extra virgin olive oil, olives, fresh mint, and dill. Mix in dill pickle juice for a salty, briny tang along with lemon juice, and lemon zest. Add your creamy dressing after the potatoes have had a chance to cool, and keep the salad refrigerated until serving it to guests.


If a mayo dressing really isn't your thing, but you're a huge fan of potatoes (who isn't?), then you must try a classic French potato salad recipe. There's no need to find a creamy replacement for mayo here because this style of potato salad is oil and vinegar based. Instead of the mayo-coated potatoes we are used to, French potato salad is made with a vinaigrette. In fact, potato salad can really contain just about any tangy dressing on the planet, sweet dressings aside. However, vinegarettes work particularly well because they have similar base ingredients to a classic potato salad dressing like oil, vinegar, dijon mustard, and salt and pepper.

Because a vinaigrette-based potato salad tends to have a lighter feel and more intensity of flavor, includes aromatics like shallots and minced onion. Fresh herbs like dill, chives, and parsley should make an appearance in abundance. For a unique aesthetic appeal and texture, use whole-grain mustard. And when it comes to selecting your olive oil, choose a high-quality extra virgin variety. Unlike a creamy potato salad, consider adding your vinaigrette before the potatoes have had a chance to cool fully. They will absorb some of the sauce, making the potatoes extra flavorful. Garnish with cracked black pepper and flakey sea salt.

Ranch dressing

There's nothing Americans love more than ranch dressing. And what's not to love? It's creamy, tangy, refreshing, and herby, and goes with just about anything from baby carrots to deep dish pizza. Depending on the recipe you find for homemade ranch dressing it may or may not include mayonnaise, but we think a mayo-free version is best. Ultimately, that version will be lighter and more refreshing, typically featuring sour cream and buttermilk over whipped eggs. The key to a successful ranch dressing is to load up on the spices, including onion powder, garlic powder, and fresh herbs. Once you've perfected the recipe, it's time to put it to some use and pair it with potatoes.

Consider using ranch dressing in your potato salad, along with homemade ranch powder for an extra kick of flavor. Because ranch is classically used as a dressing, it pairs well with just about every vegetable out there, so the world is your oyster when it comes to selecting the produce to accompany your potatoes. Consider the classics, or think outside of the box with shredded carrots, red pepper, and crunchy cabbage. Although ranch is already quite herby, don't be afraid to use additional fresh herbs as garnish. Fresh chives in particular are an important component of ranch, and also make for a beautiful topping.

Sour cream

Sour cream is no stranger to potatoes. In fact, the dynamic duo are often served together as they are a match made in heaven. The tangy yet creamy dairy product helps to balance the dense and mild starchiness of potatoes, so why not feature it in place of mayo in your potato salad?

Similar to Greek yogurt, sour cream has an acidic tang to it, with a consistency closer to regular yogurt, which is less fatty. However, sour cream is still quite rich and creamy, which is why it can be used to balance intense flavors like tomato-based dishes, spicy foods, or seasoned meats. And while it's tempting to grab some Daisey Sour Cream from the grocery store, consider making your own homemade sour cream recipe with just four ingredients: heavy cream, lemon juice, salt, and whole milk. Mix it into your potato salad, and use classic loaded baked potato ingredients like chives or green onion, chopped broccoli, bacon bits, and black pepper. This potato salad theme will be a huge hit for anyone who enjoys a basic steak-house baked potato. However, using sour cream in place of mayonnaise also gives you the opportunity to lean into using fresher ingredients like celery, dill pickles, chopped radish, and parsley.


While you might feel you don't know everything you need to about aioli, one thing's for sure: Aioli and mayonnaise are not the same thing. Often, the word "aioli" is used in place of a flavored mayonnaise, for example, one that has sriracha or garlic whipped into it. And while we are fine to go along with this charade, it's also important to understand the differences between the two sauces, especially if you are avoiding mayonnaise in your life. Mayonnaise, in its most basic state, is made with eggs, canola oil, vinegar, and salt, while aioli contains olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and salt. That's right, originally aioli is naturally vegan and egg-free. However, it tastes a heck of a lot like mayonnaise, so if you make your own or can find some using the original ingredients, it makes for a great mayo replacement in potato salad.

Be sure to add your olive oil-based aioli for a cool potato salad to prevent it from melting and ending up more like a vinaigrette. Include any crunchy vegetables and fresh herbs you would in your typical potato salad recipe. Add additional lemon juice for a tangier flavor, and don't forget to go heavy on the garlic.

Green goddess dressing

Green goddess dressing is ultra-creamy and herby and has many variations when it comes to ingredients. However, the main theme is that it's so loaded with fresh herbs and spices that it comes out bright green. Choose a base of avocado, tahini, buttermilk, Greek yogurt, or sour cream to get started, and add any leafy greens you have in sight. Include fresh herbs like parsley, cilantro, basil, and tarragon, along with aromatics like shallots and garlic. Blend with olive oil and an acidic component like vinegar or lemon juice.

All in all, the dressing should be thick, herby, green, and to die for. Green goddess dressing is one of the absolute best ingredients to elevate potato salad because it comes pre-loaded with flavor. Get creative with the vegetable sidekicks, and include produce like snap peas, radishes, capers, green peppers, and shaved Brussels sprouts. Use Yukon gold potatoes, which are extra rich, and look beautiful with the green theme too. Reserve some herbs from your blended sauce to sprinkle on after everything has been mixed together, and garnish with freshly cracked black pepper. Enjoy this potato salad served over a bed of fresh arugula or baby kale. Believe us, you won't be able to get enough of this herby-green side dish.

Cashew cream

When looking for mayonnaise replacements, just follow the vegans! Cashews are their replacement for anything creamy including milk, cheese, and mayonnaise. And surprisingly, these little nuts get the job done when processed correctly. There are endless uses for cashew cream when cooking, but in order to make vegan cashew mayo there are just a few simple steps. Start by soaking raw, unsalted cashews in water overnight. For faster results, use hot water and soak cashews for about 15 to 30 minutes, or until they split apart when pressed between your pointer finger and thumb. The goal is to have them soft enough to blend, which is the next step. Blend the cashews, along with Dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper, and enough water to cover it all in a high-speed blender until creamy. Then, blend for an additional 30 seconds to ensure it reaches a similar texture to mayonnaise.

Use this cashew cream mayo alternative in place of mayo in a typical potato salad recipe. It will have a slightly more dense mouthfeel that's less fatty, or melt-in-your-mouth than mayonnaise. However, this protein-rich alternative has a pleasant smoothness and mild flavor that can help to highlight the creamy potatoes and fresh herbs included in the recipe. And while this is a great vegan alternative to use for potato salad, it won't change the flavor profile very much from a standard recipe, so it can be enjoyed by all, except for those with nut allergies.


Everyone loves buttermilk pancakes. But how many of us actually know what buttermilk is and how to cook with it? Buttermilk is the liquid that is leftover after making butter... hence its name. It's intensely thick and creamy and has a slightly sour flavor to it. This makes it the perfect candidate to replace mayo in potato salad.

When making a dressing for potato salad, simply omit the mayonnaise and use buttermilk instead. It will have a slightly creamier, more dairy-like flavor to it, rather than the eggy and oily composition of mayonnaise. This can be quite pleasing to the palate, and create an opportunity for a different style of potato salad. Consider using whole-grain mustard alongside buttermilk in your dressing, as well as red onion, celery, pickled vegetables, and fresh dill. Because buttermilk carries its own unique flavor, it's best not to overwhelm the palate with dozens of anterior ingredients, so stick to highlighting the potatoes themselves. Use red baby potatoes, and add a splash of apple cider vinegar for an extra tangy flavor. Capers can add a burst of salty flavor without dominating the composition, and a dash of extra virgin olive oil can add an extra element of fattiness. Be sure to mix in the buttermilk dressing after the potatoes are fully cooled, and serve with roasted robust vegetables, and gamey meats for balance.


Hey, maybe creamy potato salad just isn't your thing. Break from the norm and lean into an oil-based potato salad with our favorite herby sauce that's often used in Italian pasta dishes: pesto. To make basil pesto simply blend fresh basil with olive oil, salt, garlic, and pine nuts. Ingredients like lemon juice, capers, parmesan cheese, and nutritional yeast can be used to enhance its flavor. The mixture can be pulsed in a food processor for a chunkier outcome, or the ingredients can be blended until smooth. The sauce should melt in your mouth, as the pine nuts are quite buttery and the olive oil is rich and smooth. Replace pine nuts with cashews or walnuts for varying flavors and textures, or use a combination.

Because pesto is so intense in flavor, there is no need to load your pesto potato salad with crunchy vegetables. However, you can certainly add ingredients like whole pine nuts, roughly chopped basil leaves, and other starchy mild vegetables like peas to help create texture. Add your pesto when the potatoes are still warm to help them absorb the flavors and oil. Don't be afraid to add quite a bit of sauce, as potatoes are mellow and could use some pizazz.