If you’re planning a deli-style meal or potluck, these gluten-free Vegan Mini Potato Salad Cups need to be on the menu. This healthier classic omits the heavy mayo for a lighter version of this traditional picnic side dish.
I’ll be honest, I didn’t grow up loving potato salad, even as someone who grew up in the deep south with traditional southern-style recipes. Regardless, potato salad was always on the menu at every single barbecue, cookout, get-together, birthday party, you name it.
Potato salad was basically an icon dish that deserved to be a part of deli-style meals. It was a convenient one too. You could pick it up anywhere if you were short on time, or throw it together in no time right in your own kitchen. But the eggs, mayo, the odd yellow color; I just didn’t get the appeal of this picnic side. I tried it several times, but just never took to it. I’d have much rather had a baked potato, fries, or some other type of potato recipe. Just never potato salad.
You may be wondering how I learned to grow fond of potato salad if I didn’t grow up loving it. Oddly enough, it wasn’t until I adopted a plant-based diet and I developed this healthier classic. I fell in love with the creaminess of the sauce in this recipe and the way it dresses the potatoes without tasting pasty or dried out like other potato salad recipes I had in the past.
Mini Potato Salad Cups are perfect for entertaining!
This recipe is perfect for portion control and it makes for a great party dish that’s fuss free and similar to what people are used to. That’s where these mini potato salad cups come into play. Forget that they’re vegan, it’s not important. What is important, however, is how awesome these taste while satisfying anyone’s potato cravings whether they’re vegan or not!
This gluten-free potato salad has a wonderfully creamy texture, a rich and tangy taste just like traditional potato salad recipes do, and it features all the same spices that many potato salad recipes have which includes chives, black pepper, mustard, salt, and pepper.
Instead of mayo, I used a blend of raw tahini (which is milder in flavor than regular tahini), cashews, and non-dairy milk enhanced with a twist of lemon to give it a buttermilk flavor without any milk or dairy. I’ve also left a nut-free option in the recipe notes in case you’d like to make this without any cashews at all.
This is also a perfect recipe for anyone who doesn’t tolerate dairy or egg products, has a dairy allergy, or just wants to try to eat more plant-based foods. It’s oil-free and gluten-free too. But shhh, I won’t tell if you don’t!
Mini Potato Salad Cups are also an easy recipe you can put together in no time. They’re pre-portioned so that everyone can enjoy their own serving. They also make a nice presentation for a shower, cookout/barbecue table, or even a birthday party. I used mini mason jar style cups for the serving vessels, but you could use mini plastic punch-style cups in a pinch, too.
Give your potato salad a new look with these Mini Potato Salad Cups, a healthier classic everyone will love!
- 4 large baking potatoes (Russet potatoes work best)
- 1/4 cup raw cashews, soaked for at least 30 minutes in water
- 2 tbsp raw tahini (sesame seed paste)
- 3 tbsp non-dairy milk (soy milk works best here, but cashew will also work)
- 1 tbsp regular or Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp dried chives
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp coarse black pepper (or more if you like it extra peppery)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Juice from one lemon
- Optional: pinch of garlic and onion powder
- Wash the potatoes and pat dry. Cut off the peels and chop the potatoes into small one-inch cubes.
- Boil the chopped potatoes in a large pot covered with cold water. Add a pinch of salt to the cooking water to help prevent the starch of the potatoes from making them waxy. Boil for 10 minutes or so until they become tender.
- Remove from the heat once the potatoes are tender to a fork's touch and then strain through a colander in the sink. Rinse immediately with cold water to stop the cooking process and leave them in the colander to finish draining in the sink.
- To help the potatoes cool faster, you can transfer the potatoes to a glass bowl once they've finished draining and put the glass bowl over a bowl filled with ice. Then transfer the potatoes to the fridge to help them cool off even faster.
- After they are completely cool to the touch, put the potatoes in a clean bowl and set aside.
- Make the sauce. To do this, just add all the ingredients to a high speed blender, blend for 25-30 seconds until thick and creamy, and toss with the potatoes.
- Mix the sauce into the cooked potatoes.
- Spoon the potato salad into mini cups and sprinkle with extra pepper or fresh chives if you want a fresh garnish. Fresh parsley would also make nice garnish.
Home Chef Tips: If you have a nut allergy and don't want to use cashews, or you want to make this dish lower in fat, feel free to use 1/4 cup white beans such as white cannellini beans instead of cashews. White beans are mild in taste just like cashews and will help create that same creamy, rich flavor without any fat (plus they'll add extra fiber!). These potato salad cups will keep for 4-6 hours prepped in the fridge, but don't leave them overnight or they may get soggy. You can, however, prep the potatoes the day before and leave them in the fridge overnight. If you do this, I'd just place them in a bowl lined with paper towels in case they release any extra moisture, which will help them prevent getting soggy. The sauce can be made up to two days ahead of time.
We hope you love these Mini Potato Salad Cups from SoFabFood Home Chef, Heather from The Soulful Spoon, as much as we do. If you like this recipe, be sure to stop by our Healthier Classics section for more like it. For daily recipe inspiration, subscribe to our newsletter, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Pinterest. Enjoy!