Creamy Pesto Potato Salad is a refreshing salad with roasted baby potatoes, fresh greens, and a creamy vegan cashew basil pesto! It’s a filling side salad that you can pair with grilled meats, hamburgers, and Sunday roast, or enjoy it as a vegan meal with some artisan bread or crackers.
It's a new twist on a traditional potato salad, refreshing and with homemade pesto. Although we love all potato salads like one of our favorites classic mayo potato salad with bacon, this pesto salad is a new level of deliciousness.
This one is our absolute favorites side dishes to make for whatever main courses we come up with. Perfect for potlucks and summer cookouts and summer picnics.
- Potatoes - Fingerling potatoes, new potatoes, baby gold potatoes, or red potatoes work really well in this salad. Make sure to slice them thick or simply halve them instead.
- Arugula - Otherwise known as rucola. Make sure to wash and dry the arugula so that no excess water is added to the potato salad.
- Chives - Diced. You can also use green onions instead.
- Fresh pesto sauce - Or any other pesto you'd like (parsley pesto, spinach pesto). You can also use a similar store-bought pesto or make your own from scratch. Try my 10-minute Easy Cashew Pesto made in a food processor. All sorts of nuts can be used like pine nuts, cashews, and walnuts. But toasted cashew nuts make the most creamy and rich pesto.
- Cucumber - I’ve used 2 small cucumbers, sliced. I enjoy leaving the skin on as it’s not as thick and waxy as other larger varieties but you can peel the cucumbers if you like.
- Radishes - Use medium-sized radishes and thinly slice them so that they provide a delicate crunch in the salad!
- Olive oil - I like to use high-quality olive oil for drizzling over the potatoes and greens. Go ahead and use a different oil such as avocado oil or a nut oil instead depending on your taste preferences.
- Lemon juice - Freshly squeezed lemon juice will always taste better than bottled lemon juice. The lemon juice adds a slightly tangy flavor to the salad. You won’t need too much, though.
- Salt and black pepper - To taste.
- Fresh basil - I add this as garnish but it’s completely optional.
- Occasionally we also love to add some blanched green beans and crispy bacon to the mix.
For the full list of ingredients, please scroll down where you'll find the recipe card.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Wash and dry the potatoes. If you are going to leave the skins on, scrub the potatoes well to remove the excess layer and dirt.
Cut them into at least 1-inch thick slices or the very small ones just in half. Place potatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil and drizzle with olive oil and seasonings.
Bake for 10-15 minutes. Insert a knife into one potato to see if it’s done. It should slide out easily.
Meanwhile, in a smaller bowl, prepare arugula and drizzle it with olive oil. Massage the leaves gently. Transfer onto a serving bowl or platter.
Let roasted potatoes cool down a little (but not cold) and transfer them into a large bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients: chives, pesto, more salt, and pepper if needed, lemon juice, radishes, and cucumbers.
Mix thoroughly and arrange on a serving platter on top of the arugula. Serve while the potatoes are still warm with lemon zest, lemon slices, parmesan cheese and more pesto.
This salad can be served both, cold and warm. Potatoes will soak up more pesto flavor while still warm which is exactly what we want here.
- Fresh basil leaves are particularly reactive to heat, turning a blackish color when in contact with heat. This is just something to note when working in the kitchen with your fresh ingredients. Since this recipe calls for the potatoes to cool down before being added to the other salad ingredients, I don’t expect that you’ll have any issues adding fresh basil to this salad as a garnish.
- If you are serving to a larger crowd, you can easily double or triple this vegan pesto potato salad.
- Turn this pesto potato salad into a main meal by adding some shredded chicken, crumbled bacon, or even sliced prosciutto. Hard-boiled eggs, roasted nuts and seeds, and shredded cheese are also delicious add-ins!
- When roasting the potatoes, make sure to slice them in equal thickness or cut them in equal size so that they all cook evenly.
- You can easily roast your potatoes ahead of time to store in the refrigerator and then simply assemble the salad just prior to serving. The potatoes won’t be warm (unless you’ve reheated them) but the salad will still be delicious.
- While I roasted my potatoes for this salad, you could boil them instead if you like. Freshly cooked potatoes must be folded gently into the rest of the salad ingredients so that they don’t fall apart.
Freezing and Storing Instructions
Store the potato salad in an airtight container for up to 2 days. However, it is best you consume this salad within 12 hours as the potatoes will soak up the pesto sauce and become soggy.
If you can, store everything separately and reheat potatoes in the oven right before serving and mixing with other ingredients.
When I think potato salad, it instantly reminds me of Russian and German cuisine and their delicious and addictive meaty dinner choices!
Think hot dogs, burgers, bratwurst, steaks, sauerkraut, fried chicken, roasted crunchy veggies, cold appetizers and finger food, and many more. These are ideal to be served with a potato salad on the side.
Frequently Asked Questions
This salad is not vegan as it has cashew pesto that is made with parmesan cheese. However you can make it vegan by using a vegan pesto alternative.
This dish is intended to be served while the potatoes are still warm but you can certainly enjoy chilled leftovers without heating it up - a great option to pair with grilled meat on a hot summer day.
I usually make this pesto potato salad with either Baby gold or red potatoes. Regardless of what you decide to use, make sure to cut the potatoes into thick slices or simply halve them.
Thank you so much for reading about this Pesto Pasta Salad. Please feel free to comment with any questions you may have! I love reading your feedback.
More Easy Side Dishes
- Corn Salad - a great salad that combines well with anything and serves as a delicious add-on to your favorite side dishes for dinner
- Hot Dog Relish - great to serve with other side dishes
- If you are craving a classic Mayo potato salad
- Pasta Salad - ever tried combining cheddar and broccoli in one pasta salad?
Did you make this recipe? Please be sure to leave a rating and a comment below. Thank you!
Pesto Potato Salad
- 1 pound Baby gold or red potatoes sliced thick or just halved with or without skins
- 3-4 cups Arugula ruccola, washed and dried
- ¼ cup chives or green onions diced
- ½ cup cashew basil pesto or similar green pesto
- 2 Small cucumbers sliced
- 5-8 medium radishes sliced thin
- 2 tablespoon Olive oil
- Lemon juice to taste
- Black pepper to taste
- Fresh basil for garnish optional
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Wash and dry the potatoes. If you are going to leave the skins on, scrub the potatoes well to remove the excess layer and dirt. Cut them into at least 1-inch thick slices or the very small ones just in half. Place potatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil and drizzle with olive oil and seasonings.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes. Insert a knife into one potato to see if it’s done. It should slide out easily.
- Meanwhile, in a smaller bowl, prepare arugula and drizzle it with olive oil. Massage the leaves gently. Transfer onto a serving bowl or platter.
- Let roasted potatoes cool down a little (but not cold) and transfer them into a large bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients: chives, pesto, more salt, and pepper if needed, lemon juice, radishes, and cucumbers. Mix thoroughly and arrange on a serving platter on top of the arugula. Serve while the potatoes are still warm with lemon zest, lemon slices, parmesan cheese, and more pesto.
- This salad can be served both, cold and warm. Potatoes will soak up more pesto flavor while still warm which is exactly what we want here.