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Potato salad with bacon and herbs (and no mayo) has tons of flavor and is quick and easy to toss together. Makes a great, flexible buffet and picnic option.

potato salad with bacon and herbs (no mayo) in a bowl with a serving spoon
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Why we love this recipe

Potato salad makes me happy. That sounds basic, maybe. I don’t care. (Man, it’s good to be over 40.)

My OG potato salad was a mayonnaisey number from Steck’s Delicatessen in Bridgewater, NJ. I’d sometimes go with my dad to buy a couple of pounds of it before family parties. At Gratzer parties we didn’t just throw a bunch of burgers and dogs onto the grill. You had to declare in advance, publicly, to a man with a note pad and pen, what you wanted. We had some big eaters in the family back then, so it wasn’t uncommon to hear an unabashed, “Two cheeseburgers and three hot dogs, with buns.” You had to declare your buns, too.

Still, everyone seemed to have room for potato salad.

These days I tend to make my own potato salad, and it almost always looks a lot like this one.

  • Really good, gold-fleshed, bite-sized potatoes cut in half and boiled in salty water until tender.
  • Plenty of crumbled bacon.
  • A simple, punchy Champagne vinaigrette.
  • Minced shallot.
  • And a ton of herbs.

A potato salad like this is super-flavorful but also feels kinda breezy and hot-French-ladyish to toss together. It holds up well on a buffet or at a BBQ/picnic since it’s mayo-free. What else do you need, my friend?

I first published this recipe here in 2018. I’ve since updated the post for clarity, but the recipe remains the same.

What you’ll need

Here’s a glance at the ingredients you’ll need to make this recipe.

ingredients in bowls
  • Gold-fleshed potatoes have a perfect combo of creaminess and starchiness, and they hold their shape well in potato salad while still absorbing tons of great flavor from the dressing. You can use any size.
  • In many contexts I prefer a really thick-cut bacon. For potato salad, I actually prefer something a bit thinner — but still thicker than standard supermarket bacon — so that it yields easily when you take a bite.
  • A mix of fresh flat-leaf parsley, tarragon, and dill is super-flavorful.
  • If you don’t have champagne vinegar, regular white wine vinegar will work, too.

My favorite sources for meat & pantry staples

For years, I’ve been sourcing our meat from ButcherBox. We love this curated meat delivery service, which provides grass-finished beef, heritage breed pork, organic chicken, and more from small farms direct to the customer. You can learn more in my extensive Butcher Box review and unboxing.

I love Thrive Market for a wide variety of products. Often described as one part Whole Foods, one part Costco, they’re a membership-based online market for healthier products at discounted prices. Plus, they’re mission-driven, engaged in the community, and not currently owned by a giant corporation. You can learn more in my Thrive Market review and unboxing.

How to make it

Here’s an overview of what you’ll do to make a great batch of potato salad with bacon and herbs (and no mayo). You can see the steps in action in the video that accompanies this post, and get all the details in the recipe card below.

step by step
  1. Cut the potatoes into bite-sized pieces, place into a pot of cold, salted water, and boil until tender. Drain well.
  2. Chop up and cook the bacon. Drain on paper towels.
  3. While everything cooks, make the dressing right in the serving bowl.
  4. Toss it all together and serve. That’s it!

Expert tips and FAQs

Can I substitute different herbs?

Yes, you can play around with the herbs in this recipe. They’re great as-is, but if you’ve got a garden or fridge full of fresh summery herbs, just grab a handful and chop away. Chervil, chives, lemon sorrel, basil, and more could all work well.

Can I make this recipe in advance? What about leftovers?

You can make this salad up to a couple of days in advance, store in an airtight container in the fridge, and bring to room temperature before serving. Consider stirring in the fresh herbs at the last minute.

Leftovers keep well in an airtight container in the fridge for a week.

More favorite no-mayo salads

potato salad with bacon and herbs (no mayo) in a bowl with a serving spoon

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potato salad with bacon and herbs (no mayo) in a bowl with a serving spoon
4.75 from 28 votes

Potato Salad with Bacon and Herbs (No Mayo)

By Carolyn Gratzer Cope
Potato salad with bacon and herbs (and no mayo) has tons of flavor and is quick and easy to toss together. Makes a great, flexible buffet and picnic option.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 6
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Ingredients 

  • 1 ½ pounds (680 grams) gold-fleshed potatoes
  • 8 ounces (227 grams) bacon
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) Champagne vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons (10 grams) Dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill fronds
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon leaves
  • 1 medium shallot, minced
  • Flaky sea salt

Instructions 

  • Cut potatoes into 1-inch pieces.
  • Place in a medium pot with two tablespoons kosher salt and cold water to cover by two inches.
  • Bring to a boil, then cook until tender throughout but not falling apart, 10-15 minutes after boiling. 
  • While potatoes boil, chop bacon into small pieces, place in a cold pan over medium heat, and cook until crispy. Drain on paper towels.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, mustard, sugar, fine sea salt, and pepper.
  • When potatoes are done, drain and place into the bowl with the dressing and toss to coat. Stir in bacon, herbs, and shallot.
  • Sprinkle with flaky salt if you like.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature.

Step-by-step video

Notes

  1. Gold-fleshed potatoes have a perfect combo of creaminess and starchiness, and they hold their shape well in potato salad while still absorbing tons of great flavor from the dressing. You can use any size.
  2. In many contexts I prefer a really thick-cut bacon. For potato salad, I actually prefer something a bit thinner — but still thicker than standard supermarket bacon — so that it yields easily when you take a bite.
  3. If you don't have champagne vinegar, regular white wine vinegar will work, too.
  4. You can play around with the herbs in this recipe. They're great as-is, but if you've got a garden or fridge full of fresh summery herbs, just grab a handful and chop away. Chervil, chives, lemon sorrel, basil, and more could all work well.
  5. You can make this salad up to a couple of days in advance, store in an airtight container in the fridge, and bring to room temperature before serving. Consider stirring in the fresh herbs at the last minute.
  6. Leftovers keep well in an airtight container in the fridge for a week.

Nutrition

Calories: 245kcal, Carbohydrates: 20.3g, Protein: 6.2g, Fat: 16g, Fiber: 3.2g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Sides
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @umamigirl or tag #umamigirl!

Hungry for more?

Subscribe to Umami Girl’s email updates, and follow along on Instagram.

Hungry for More?
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About Carolyn Gratzer Cope

Hi there, I'm Carolyn Gratzer Cope, founder and publisher of Umami Girl. Join me in savoring life, one recipe at a time. I'm a professional recipe developer with training from the French Culinary Institute (now ICE) and a lifetime of studying, appreciating, and sharing food.

4.75 from 28 votes (28 ratings without comment)

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