Rachael Ray's Flavorful Alternative For A Mayo-Free Potato Salad

No summer barbecue is complete without a series of side dishes: Corn on the cob, baked beans, and, of course, potato salad. For celebrity chef Rachael Ray, however, potato salad looks — and tastes — a little bit different. Rather than make a mayonnaise-based potato side dish, Ray skips the creamy condiment altogether. In its place, as she shared on Food Network's "30 Minute Meals," she opts for a combination of olive oil, white wine vinegar, and horseradish, alongside seasonings that include scallions, celery seed, and dill.

An oil-based potato salad won't taste exactly like one made with mayonnaise ... but that's kind of the point. Ray has previously voiced her dislike of store-bought mayonnaise, pinpointing the condiment's consistency. An oil-based potato salad allows the flavors of Ray's potato salad to shine, no longer masked by a creamy mayo. In fact, this preference for oil over mayo evokes French versions of potato salad and works well because it binds the ingredients together with flavor. 

As for how, exactly, Ray makes the recipe, her technique is as simple as adding mayonnaise to potato salad. It also applies across various iterations of potato salad, so the approach is as versatile as it is delicious.

Replace mayonnaise with olive oil, white wine vinegar, and horseradish

Potato salad remains one of the most malleable side dishes, whether you make it with mayonnaise or — yes — olive oil. In fact, given the neutral nature of olive oil and vinegar, you can go mayonnaise-free across potato salad recipes. To make Ray's mayonnaise substitution, simply pour a mixture of olive oil, horseradish, and vinegar over your potatoes. Ray pairs 1/3 cup of olive oil with 3 tablespoons of white wine vinegar and 2 tablespoons of horseradish for every 2.5 pounds of potatoes. 

Once you've primed your potato salad, you can then add your desired seasonings. For inspiration, try making a classic Southern potato salad or a derivative flavored with dill – hold the mayonnaise. Herbs and Mediterranean flavors like citrus work especially well in oil-based potato salad recipes, complementing the oil and vinegar base. 

Once you've perfected your oil and vinegar-based potato salad, try the swap in other mayonnaise-based side dishes. Ray's version of tuna salad, for example, likewise uses oil — alongside lemon — to enhance the flavors of the canned fish. While oil doesn't mirror mayonnaise, it's a great way to switch up your favorite potato salad recipes.