This healthy dairy-free Cuban potato salad recipe was originally shared with us by Cate O. back when she ran the blog FitFare.
Potato salad is synonymous with summer, barbecues, and picnics. Like peanut butter and jelly, you really can’t have one without the other. In an issue of Latina Magazine, there was a feature on three ways to make Cuban Potato Salad: traditional, healthy, and fast. Guess which one I chose? Gold star if you guessed healthy. Simple to make and flavorful enough that it got my I-don’t-eat-potato-salad husband to have not one, but two, helpings.
Cuban Potato Salad made Healthy, Dairy-Free, and So Flavorful!
We’ve since updated Cate’s recipe for healthy Cuban potato salad, and also have answers to some FAQs we’ve received over the years.
What Type of Potatoes Should I Use?
For Cuban potato salad, we really like yellow potatoes, but Russets and reds will also work well. Yellow potatoes, like Yukon gold, are a bit buttery and on the soft side. Russets are the classic potato salad option with a starchy but somewhat soft texture. Red potatoes are firmer and waxier.
Do I Have to Peel the Potatoes?
It’s truly up to you. I usually peel the potatoes if using Russets. But I never peel yellow potatoes, and very rarely peel red potatoes. The latter two types are much thinner skinned, and the skins add both flavor and color to the dish. Whichever option you choose, make sure your potatoes are well washed before boiling.
What are Green Olives?
In the past, when someone mentioned green olives, they were usually speaking of the pimento stuffed ones. But these days, there are many type of green olives on the market, and they’re giving black olives a run for their money. I usually just get the basic “ripe green olives” from brands like Lindsay or Pearls. Green olives (without the stuffing and heavy vinegar soak) are a bit milder and more buttery in flavor than black olives.
I Hate Celery. Can I Omit It from this Cuban Potato Salad?
Of course! The celery, bacon, red onion, dill pickles, green olives, eggs, and scallions are all add-ins. You can omit one or possibly two without dramatically affecting the recipe. If you opt to omit more of the add-ins, I would consider increasing another ingredient or substituting something else for the ingredients.
Should I Use the White or Green Part of the Scallions?
Definitely use the green part, but it’s up to you if you want to use the more pungent white part, too. If you don’t have any red onion on hand, then I would definitely add the white part of the scallions / green onions.
Special Diet Notes: Healthy Cuban Potato Salad
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, peanut-free, and optionally soy-free. Just be sure to choose the bacon, mayo, and hot sauce that suit your dietary needs.
For egg-free and dairy-free Cuban potato salad, omit the egg and use vegan mayo.
For vegan Cuban potato salad, follow the egg-free recommendations and omit or substitute vegan bacon for the turkey bacon.
- 2 pounds potatoes
- 4 slices turkey bacon, thinly sliced (optional; can sub regular bacon or vegan bacon)
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 small red onion, diced
- ½ cup sliced celery
- ½ cup diced dill pickles
- ½ cup diced green olives
- 4 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
- 4 scallions / green onions, thinly sliced
- ¾ cup mayo (regular, low-fat, or vegan)
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon mustard
- 1 to 2 teaspoons hot sauce, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Put the potatoes in a heavy-bottom saucepan and cover generously with cold water. Place the pot over high heat and bring the water to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet, pan fry the bacon (if using) over medium heat until crisp. Place the bacon on paper towels to drain. Once cool, crumble it.
- When the potatoes are cool, peel and cut them into bite-size pieces.
- Put the potatoes and vinegar in a large bowl and gently stir to coat. Let cool for 10 minutes. Add the onion, celery, pickles, olives, eggs, and scallions.
- In a separate small bowl, whisk together the mayo, garlic powder, mustard, hot sauce, and black pepper.
- Pour the mayo dressing over the potato salad ingredients and gently stir to combine. Sprinkle the bacon (if using) over the salad and serve.
Also Enjoy Our Favorite Dairy-Free German Potato Salad!