This fun and colorful baby potato salad is inspired by the sun-baked shores of the Mediterranean with chickpeas, olives, tomatoes and a tangy harissa olive oil vinaigrette instead of mayo. It’s veggie packed and comes together in just 25 minutes!

woman in green dress holding potato salad in bowl
This baby potato salad is inspired by the sun kissed shores of the Mediterranean and is delicious all year round!

When I say I love potatoes, I mean it. I love creamy mashed potatoes. I love roasted potatoes. I love a baked potato (try the ones in Good For Your Gut cookbook!) and I DEFINITELY love a really good potato salad whether it’s my creamy avocado ranch potato salad or this tangy, colourful treat.

I mean, what’s not to like? 

Potatoes are so comforting, they love to drink up sauces and get even more delicious in the process. So, it’s interesting to me that we typically think of potato salad just one way: all mayo’d up with maybe a little pickle or celery. It’s delicious…but we can have a little more fun than that, yes?

Which is why I dreamt up this easy baby potato salad, loaded with Mediterranean-inspired ingredients. It’s totally mayo free, with a tangy, not-too-spicy harissa dressing and absolutely loaded with plants, from sweet cherry tomatoes and herbaceous Italian parsley to crunchy almonds and salty olives.

I tend to use baby potatoes most often in my plant-based recipes because in my opinion, baby potatoes have a superior texture – firmer, waxier – that stands up well in almost any way you want to serve them. Plus they’re quick to halve or quarter, and most importantly, you can leave the skin on (yes, the dietitian wants you to eat more fibre!) and super fast to cook.

Gather your ingredients for this baby potato salad

This flavourful veggie-packed side is much easier than you think! Just 7 ingredients for the salad, plus a delicious harissa-spiked dressing that really takes it over the top.

chickpeas and potatoes in bowls with vegetables
Just 7 wholesome ingredients – plus a tangy harissa vinaigrette – make this a satisfying and nourishing potato salad!
  • Baby potatoes: no more mushy potato salads! Baby potatoes have a firmer, waxier texture and they’re much faster to cook! Use any colour of baby potatoes you like; red and purple skins pack an extra antioxidant punch.
  • Italian parsley: Parsley is an overlooked leafy green packed with phytochemicals and flavour. Flat leaf Italian parsley is my pick for this recipe, but you could absolutely use cilantro or curly parsley if that’s what you have on hand.
  • Shallot: I like the milder, sweeter flavour of shallots here. Be sure to chop them very fine! If you find shallots too acidic, here’s a tip: soak them in the vinaigrette and it will neutralize their sting.
  • Cherry tomatoes: I use cherry tomatoes because they are quick to slice, extra sweet and lower in water so they hold better in the salad
  • Chickpeas: for a little extra plant-based protein and fibre! I always use no-salt-added chickpeas. 
  • Almonds or walnuts: I needed a little crunch here, so I added some nuts but you could easily substitute sunflower seeds for a nut-allergic house.
  • Kalamata olives or capers: for a salty, briny tang! Don’t skip them
  • Harissa vinaigrette: my tangy, not-too-spicy harissa vinaigrette recipe makes this mayo-free potato salad a show stopper and takes 3 minutes to shake up.

FAQ: what are the best kind of potatoes for potato salad?

In my opinion, you want a waxy potato like Yukon gold or baby potatoes. I especially like baby potatoes as they are quicker to cook and usually come pre-washed so prep is fast. Cook only until fork-tender…an overcooked potato makes a mushy potato salad! Better to err on the slightly undercooked side if you are unsure as the starch will continue to gelatinize as they cool.

How to make this mediterranean baby potato salad, step by step

This simple salad punches WAY above its weight in terms of colour, flavour and fun. Because I’ve used baby potatoes, it comes together quickly too, in just 25 minutes.

Step One: cook the potatoes. Pop the halved potatoes into boiling, salted water and cook until just fork tender, about 10-14 minutes.

Step Two: drain and cool potatoes. Drain and rinse potatoes with cold water in a colander. Want to speed up the process? Spread potatoes on a parchment-lined baking sheet as you prep the rest of the salad.

Step Three: Shake up the harissa vinaigrette. Yep, it’s that easy!

Step Four: Assemble the salad. Just toss all the ingredients together with the dressing and you’re ready to eat! You can enjoy the salad immediately but I have to admit, it tastes even better if you make it in advance so it can sit for 30-60 minutes while the potatoes drink up the dressing.

Hot tip!! Salt your potato cooking water for the best potato salad.  We think of potatoes as not having much flavour but have you tried cooking them in salted water? You season them from the inside out and intensify the potato flavour for an even more delicious salad. Once the water comes to a boil, salt and add the potatoes.

Why potatoes are so dang good for you

Yes, I said it: potatoes are good for you! We’re living in this weird time where people are hating on whole plant foods because they have carbs…but NEWS FLASH: your body was designed to run on carbs!

Carbohydrates provide energy for each and every one of your cells. Plus, carbohydrate-rich foods like potatoes tend to be filling, affordable, satisfying and nutritious.

One cup (250 mL) of baby potatoes contains:

  • About 2 grams of fibre (eat your potatoes with the skin!) and 2 grams of protein 
  • About 10% of your daily intake of heart healthy potassium, vitamin B6 and energizing copper as well as 1 mg of iron. 
  • Plus, waxier potatoes like baby potatoes and Yukon golds have a lower glycemic impact and cooked and cooled potatoes contain microbiome-boosting resistant starch

Nutrient data from Little Potato Co (unsponsored!) cross-referenced with the Canadian Nutrient Data File

FAQ: Is the resistant starch in potatoes good for you?

Cooked and cooled potatoes develop something called resistant starch which – just like it sounds – resists digestion. How is that possibly a good thing? Well, it travels through your gut to feed your gut bacteria, meaning it acts like a prebiotic!

Tell that to anyone who tells you that potato salad isn’t “healthy”.

Tips, Tricks and Substitutions

  • Want to make this salad ahead of time? You can either cook the potatoes the day before, or prepare the whole salad the day before…as it keeps well for 3-4 days, it’s a great make ahead!
  • Allergic to nuts? Substitute pumpkin or sunflower seeds for the almonds
  • Low FODMAP? You could make a low FODMAP variation of this salad by omitting the shallot and garlic in the dressing, keeping chickpeas to 1/4 cup per serving (best to add at the table) and substituting green pepper for the tomatoes (1/2 cup green pepper is low FODMAP)
  • I love serving this salad with my kidney bean and oat burgers, but it would also be delicious with some simple grilled tofu or on it’s own as a light meal!
vegetable salad close up
This salad is a party of different colours, textures and flavours…SO satisfying!

More vegan summer salads

  • Healthy Vegan Broccoli Salad
  • Cold Chopped Asparagus Salad with Fried Capers
  • Peach + Arugula Salad
  • Avocado Ranch Potato Salad
potato and vegetable salad in pink bowl with spoon


25 Minute Mediterranean-style Baby Potato Salad

This colorful baby potato salad is inspired by the flavours of the Mediterranean, with chickpeas, olives, tomatoes and a tangy harissa olive oil vinaigrette instead of mayo. It’s veggie packed and comes together in just 25 minutes! Perfect for BBQs and potlucks.
Course Main Course, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Mediterranean
Diet Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword olives, parsley, potato, Tomato
Dietary Preference dairy free, Gluten-Free, vegan, vegetarian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Author Desiree Nielsen, RD


  • 2 pounds baby potatoes halved or quartered, depending on size
  • 1 small bunch Italian (flat leaf) parsley leaves and tender stems, chopped
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes halved
  • 14 ounce can chickpeas rinsed and drained
  • ¼ cup minced shallot
  • ½ cup almonds or walnuts chopped
  • ½ cup pitted Kalamata olives halved, or ¼ cup capers
  • 1 batch harissa vinaigrette
  • salt for seasoning


  • Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Add salt and potatoes and cook until potatoes are just fork-tender, about 10-15 minutes depending on size.
  • While the potatoes cook, prepare the harissa vinaigrette and veggies.
  • Once cooked, drain potatoes in a colander and rinse with cold water. If you want to cool them faster, spread the potatoes on a parchment-lined baking sheet to cool until slightly warm or fully room temperature, your choice!
  • In a large salad bowl, combine the potatoes, parsley, tomatoes, chickpeas, shallot, almonds, olives and ¾ of the dressing. Serve immediately, or for best flavour, let sit for 30-60 minutes for the potatoes to soak up the dressing.
  • Leftovers keep well, covered in the fridge, for up to 3-4 days.

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