Go Back
+ servings
No mayo potato salad with parsley garnish in white bowl with black rim on top of a white plate.

Italian Potato Salad without Mayo

Italian Potato Salad is bursting with incredible flavor from savory olives, briny capers, sweet sun-dried tomatoes and sharp pecorino cheese in a bright lemon, garlic and extra virgin olive oil dressing. You definitely won’t miss the mayonnaise in this recipe!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Resting TIme 5 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Side Dish, Salad
Cuisine Italian, American
Servings 8 servings



  • 3 pounds red potatoes, peeled and cut into ¾-1” cubes (or other waxy potato-see Notes.); hold in cold water if not using immediately
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil or garlic oil
  • cup garlic confit cloves, mashed with a fork
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp salt + salt for potato water
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 4 green onions, chopped (about 1 cup chopped)
  • ½ cup black, oil-cured olives pitted and lightly chopped
  • ½ cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes (drained of any oil)
  • ¼ cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • ¼ cup capers, drained
  • ¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley (optional)


  • Prep and gather all ingredients according to specifications above. Make garlic confit if you do not have any on hand. Add potatoes to a large pot and cover them with cold water. Place pot on the stove and bring water to a simmer.
    (Please see the section above in the blog post for Step-By-Step instructions with photos.)
    ⅓ cup garlic confit cloves,, 3 pounds red potatoes,
  • Make the dressing by whisking together the olive oil, smashed garlic confit cloves, fresh lemon juice, salt and black pepper in a bowl that is large enough to hold all the other ingredients. Set this aside.
    ½ cup extra virgin olive oil, ⅓ cup garlic confit cloves,, ¼ cup fresh lemon juice, 1 tsp salt, ½ tsp black pepper
  • Once the water comes to a rolling simmer, add a large pinch of salt and stir. Cook until the potatoes are tender, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Simmer, don’t boil, the potatoes. Also, don’t overcook the potatoes or they will fall apart when making the salad!
  • Once the potatoes are cooked, drain them well in a colander, then immediately transfer them while still hot to the bowl with the dressing. Do not run cold water over the potatoes.
  • Carefully mix the potatoes and dressing together until the potatoes are well-coated. Let this mixture sit for 5 minutes then stir it again carefully.
  • Next, fold in all remaining ingredients and stir until well-combined.
    4 green onions,, ½ cup black, oil-cured olives, ½ cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes, ¼ cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese, ¼ cup capers,, ¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Serve the salad immediately warm or refrigerate for at least 1 hour to serve a traditional chilled potato salad. Buon Appetito!


  • I used a waxy red potato in this recipe. Red bliss, fingerling and all-purpose potatoes can also be used. For more information on the different types of potatoes, see above.
  • Be sure to cut the potatoes into pieces that are the same size for even cooking.
  • For increased lemon flavor, add 1 to 2 tablespoons lemon zest to the dressing. (Be sure to zest the lemons before juicing them!)
  • Roasted garlic can be used in place of garlic confit.
  • I really love the lemony flavor of this dressing, but if you prefer, white or red wine vinegar can be used. I would start with ¾ of the amount of fresh lemon juice and adjust from there.
  • Be sure to mix the potatoes with the dressing while they’re still hot for perfect absorption and best results.
  • You can make this salad up to two days in advance, but I suggest adding the green onions and chopped fresh parsley right before serving if you plan on doing this.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Enjoy cold or at room temperature. Freezing is not recommended.
Recipe by Mangia With Michele. Please visit my site for more great cooking inspiration!
If you try this recipe, please share a photo on INSTAGRAM or FACEBOOK and tag it @MangiaWithMichele and #MangiaWithMichele. I’d love to see it!
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!