Vegan Pesto Potato Salad

vegan pesto potato salad
vegan pesto potato salad

It's happening. The humidity and heat are beginning to force this girls nordic blood to pump the a/c. I've been eating popsicles as mid-day (all day?) snacks. Low maintenance recipes reign supreme in my kitchen once again.

vegan pesto potato salad | recipe via
vegan pesto potato salad | recipe via

Since I have finally become the sort of gardener that keeps my plants alive (yay!) I now have swaths of Genovese basil at all times. Does anyone else feel like a kid in a candy shop when walking through a healthy herb garden? So many smells, textures, tastes!

I've been planning to make all sorts of potato side salads for the blog this year. But, per usual, the most exciting and delicious version got all of my attention. I've made plenty of vegan pestos over the years. Plenty of good ones, lots of just-ok ones. After all of that trial and error, I've finally found a definitive, crowd-pleasing vegan pesto potato salad recipe that I love.

We're in a relationship now. <3

This recipe is simple, as it should be.

The majority of the work here is 1. blend pesto, 2. boil potatoes. Fold together. Done.

I'm a big advocate of using tons of basil. So this pesto is very fresh-basil heavy, and lighter on the oil than a lot of traditional pestos.

And the trick (there's always a trick) is the addition of dried shiitake mushrooms. Any dried culinary mushroom will do. But for more intensely flavored dried culinary mushrooms (e.g. truffle, porcini) just add a bit at a time, tasting as you go until the flavor is to your liking.

My cheese adoring vegetarian friends absolutely rave about this! To me that's as good as gold.

Note: If you're not down with regular potatoes this can very easily be made into a pesto sweet potato salad. Or a pesto cauliflower salad! Personally, I like to roast sweet potato and cauliflower for quite a while until they get caramelized. Go ahead, impress yer friends with yer vegan super power pesto salad skills!

Vegan Pesto Potato Salad

Created by Renee on June 13, 2016

The best vegan pesto meets your favorite summer side dish! Potato salad never felt (or tasted) so good!

  • Prep Time: 5m
  • Cook Time: 20m
  • Total Time: 25m


    • 5 lbs red potatoes, washed
    • 1/2 cup walnuts
    • 1/4 cup pine nuts
    • scant 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
    • 16 ounces basil (about 4 big handfuls), stems removed
    • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • juice of 1 lemon
    • 2 dried shiitake mushrooms (any dried common mushroom works)
    • 1/8 teaspoon fine Celtic sea salt + more to taste
    • 1/8 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
    • 1/8 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
    • 3 -6 tablespoons water


    1. Cook your potatoes in boiling water until fork-tend. Avoid overcooking. Drain and cool to room temperature. Once cool, slice each potato into quarters. Add the potatoes to your serving bowl and set aside.
    2. In the bowl of a high powered blender, combine the walnuts, pine nuts, nutritional yeast, basil, olive oil, lemon, dried mushrooms, sea salt, black pepper, red chili pepper flakes and 3 tablespoons water. Blend on high until everything comes together smoothly, adding up to 3 more tablespoons water as needed to get everything blended together smoothly.
    3. Combine the potatoes and the pesto, scraping the blender bowl of every last drop. Fold everything together. Serve immediately to retain the beautiful green color. Store left-overs in a covered container in the refrigerator (the potato salad will brown as its exposed to air but it’s still good).