Pesto potato salad is a creamy, savory, herby mix of tender baby potatoes, parmesan cheese, mayo, and homemade pesto. Serve this classic side dish at all your picnics and BBQs this summer.

For more delicious potato recipes, try my Air Fryer Sweet Potato Fries and Parmesan Crusted Potatoes next.

plated pesto potato salad

Summer is here and it’s time for all the light and refreshing dish that are easy to make and perfect for outdoor gatherings. This pesto potato salad is the perfect dish for all of your summer fun. It’s a fresh, zesty twist on traditional potato salad that everyone will love. It pairs well with grilled meats, fish, or vegetables.

Why This is the Best Pesto Potato Salad Recipe

  • Easy: Simply toss chopped boiled potatoes with pesto and other delicious ingredients and then serve. It really is that easy to prepare!
  • Delicious: Potato salad with pesto is nutty with a vibrant touch of citrus. It’s creamy and indulgent and tastes amazing with food fresh off the grill.
  • Versatile: Even though this recipe is a variation of another recipe, there are still so many ways to switch up the flavor and presentation. Have fun making this dish your own!
plated pesto potato salad

Ingredients

  • Baby Gold Potatoes: Halve these smooth potatoes for the best results.
  • Homemade Basil Pesto: This is the base of the flavor. Check out my pesto recipe to make your own, quickly and easily. I whip it up in just 5 minutes, using a food processor.
  • Mayonnaise: This provides gives the pesto potato salad a creamy consistency.
  • Red Onion: Use diced onions for a zesty bite, color, and a pops of crisp texture throughout the salad.
  • Lemon Zest: This adds a bright pop of citrus flavor.
  • Red Pepper Flakes: Add this for a touch of spice
  • Seasoning: For bold flavor, season with Italian seasoning, ground black pepper, and sea salt.
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese: This adds a sharp, salty taste.
  • Toasted Pine Nuts: This enhances the flavor of the pesto and adds great texture and presentation as a garnish.
  • Fresh Basil: Add for garnish, finely chopped.
pesto potato salad ingredients in a clear bowl

How to Make Pesto Potato Salad

Wash and cut the potatoes in half. Cook them in a pot of salted boiling water for 20 minutes or until tender.

While the potatoes are cooking, make pesto. You may also use a store-bought pesto but I highly recommend making it from scratch. It’s super easy to make and tastes even better.

Once the potatoes are cooked, drain them using a colander and run under cold water to cool them down.

In a large bowl, combine the potatoes, prepared pesto, mayonnaise, red onion, lemon zest, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, black pepper, and salt. Gently stir to coat the potatoes with the sauce.

Top with grated parmesan cheese, basil, and pine nuts.

Serve immediately or the next day. They taste even better after marinating in the sauce for 24 hours. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

plated pesto potato salad

Pro Tips

  • Do not use russet potatoes. They are too starchy and will make the potato salad gluey once mixed with the other ingredients.
  • Cut the potatoes before boiling so they cook faster. Chop them into roughly even chunks.
  • Enjoy potato salad warm, room temperature, or chilled; whichever you prefer!
plated pesto potato salad

Recipe Variations

  • Pesto Potato Salad with No Mayo: Make this recipe lighter by using plain Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise. For a dairy-free version, omit the cheese and use vegan mayo instead.
  • Warm Pesto Potato Salad: Cold potato salad is so refreshing but there’s something especially comforting when it’s served warm. Roast potatoes instead of boiling them.
  • Add Veggies: For depth of flavor, add sun-dried tomatoes or arugula.
  • More Add-Ins: Make this potato salad even heartier by adding chopped boiled eggs (bring water to a boil then let it sit for 8 minutes for perfectly boiled eggs), bacon bits, or pre-cooked chicken.

What to Serve with Pesto Potato Salad

  • Chicken: Serve it with grilled or fried chicken.
  • Burgers: Pair it with a juicy burger as a yummy alternative to fries.
  • Ribs: Serve this on a plate with some saucy ribs for an indulgent, mouthwatering meal.
  • Kebabs: Potato salad would taste great with some kebabs fresh off the grill.
  • Grilled Veggies: For a vegetarian meal, serve with corn, asparagus, or eggplant.

Can Pesto Potato Salad Be Made Ahead?

Potato salad is great when made in advance. Make it up to 24 hours in advance so the flavors have time to mingle as it chills in the fridge.

Storing Leftovers

Store leftover potato salad in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

close up view of pesto potato salad

Common Questions

What are the best potatoes for pesto potato salad?

Use waxy potatoes because they have less starch. Baby potatoes are great because they have a thin skin so you don’t have to peel them. New potatoes and fingerling potatoes are also great options.

How to keep potatoes from falling apart when making potato salad?

To prevent potatoes from falling apart, be sure not to overcook them. Remove them as soon as they are fork-tender. Remember to rinse them after removing them from the boiling water in order to stop the cooking process.

Why is my potato salad always watery?

Thoroughly drain the boiled potatoes before adding them to the other ingredients. Allowing them to cool down after boiling should prevent this.

More Salad Recipes:

Chicken Pesto Pasta Salad

Fall Harvest Salad

Bacon and Jalapeno Chicken Salad

Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

Leave a star rating and comment below to let us know your thoughts. You can also share the recipe on Instagram and tag @eatwell.withlex.

plated pesto potato salad

Pesto Potato Salad

Pesto potato salad is a creamy, savory, herby mix of tender baby potatoes, parmesan cheese, mayo, and homemade pesto. Serve this classic side dish at all your picnics and BBQs this summer.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 5

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb Baby Gold Potatoes halved
  • cup Homemade Basil Pesto
  • 2 tbsp Mayonnaise
  • cup Red Onion diced
  • 2 tsp Lemon Zest
  • 1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • ½ tsp Italian Seasoning
  • ¼ tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • ½ tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 tbsp Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 tbsp Toasted Pine Nuts
  • Fresh Basil for garnish, finely chopped

Instructions
 

  • Wash and cut the potatoes in half. Cook them in a pot of salted boiling water for 20 minutes or until tender.
  • While the potatoes are cooking, make pesto. You may also use a store-bought pesto but I highly recommend making it from scratch. It's super easy to make and tastes even better.
  • Once the potatoes are cooked, drain them using a colander and run under cold water to cool them down.
  • In a large bowl, combine the potatoes, pesto, mayonnaise, red onion, lemon zest, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, black pepper, and salt. Gently stir to coat the potatoes with the sauce.
  • Top with grated parmesan cheese, basil, and pine nuts.
  • Serve immediately or the next day. They taste even better after marinating in the sauce for 24 hours. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?Share your creations on Instagram! Tag us @Eatwell.withlex and use #eatwellwithlex! Don’t forget to leave a star rating and comment.

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Recipe Rating




4 comments

Summer Berry Salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette | Eat Well With Lex June 14, 2023 - 1:50 pm

[…] more summer side dish recipes? Try my Pesto Potato Salad and Chicken Pesto Pasta Salad […]

Reply
Sadé June 17, 2023 - 4:39 pm

5 stars
I’ve had American potato salad, Caribbean potato salad, German potato salad but never pesto potato salad. I figured I would try this recipe because obviously, I love potato salad. Sooo good! It’s so refreshing and the perfect compliment to barbecue! This will for sure be a staple at my summer gatherings this year. Yum!

Reply
Eat Well with Lex June 20, 2023 - 7:30 pm

So glad you enjoyed this potato salad! From a potato salad expert like yourself I am happy this one was a hit for you.

Reply
Parmesan Crusted Potatoes | Eat Well With Lex October 27, 2023 - 3:36 am

[…] more tasty potato recipes try my Pesto Potato Salad and Air Fryer Sweet Potato […]

Reply

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