Spruced-Up Spuds: 5 Better-for-You Potato Salads

By: Emily Lee

We’re all familiar with old-fashioned potato salad, an equation involving peeled white potatoes, cut into wedges and boiled, then tossed in a creamy-tangy dressing of full-fat mayonnaise and white vinegar. Perhaps you’ve encountered some diced celery, chopped onion and hard-boiled eggs tossed in for varied flavor and texture.

No one can contest the comforting appeal of the classic recipe, but there are infinite other ways to prepare this cookout staple without tossing your nutritional goals out the window. Here are five alternatives to get you started. These reimagined potato salads come with some pretty appealing nutritional benefits — without sacrificing any of the flavor.


Using light mayonnaise cuts down on fat without sacrificing any flavor in Food Network Kitchen’s Lighter Smoky New Potato Salad (pictured above). Since this recipe requires no table sugar (which, unfortunately, you’ll find in many store-bought potato salads), lime juice and paprika come in to lend bright and smoky flavor, minus the nutritional costs of sweeteners.

Potato salad in a light green bowl on a white washed tabletop

Photo by: Tara Donne ©Food Network

Tara Donne, Food Network

Potato salad in a light green bowl on a white washed tabletop


When in doubt, use more produce. Carrots, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes and radishes accompany tender red-skinned potatoes in this Spring Garden Potato Salad for a fresh, vibrant take on the old-fashioned recipe. A small amount of mayo goes a long way, adding creaminess without weighing the dish down.


One immediate way to increase your nutritional gain is to substitute sweet potatoes for regular potatoes, as Trisha Yearwood has done with her Sweet Potato Salad. Counterintuitive as it may seem, this recipe actually offers less sugar and fewer calories than the average potato salad. Trisha completes the lightened-up makeover by tossing the cubed sweet potatoes in a tangy dressing that’s made with half Greek yogurt, half mayonnaise.

Ellie Krieger's Pesto Potato Green Bean Salad As seen on Food Network

Photo by: Stephen Johnson ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Stephen Johnson, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Ellie Krieger's Pesto Potato Green Bean Salad As seen on Food Network


Crunchy green beans lend just the right textural contrast for very few extra calories in Ellie Krieger’s Pesto, Potato and Green Bean Salad. Puree basil, Parmesan cheese and lemon juice in your food processor for a light and sophisticated new way to dress your potato salad.



Bobby Flay's Caramelized Onion Sweet Potato Salad

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Bobby Flay's Caramelized Onion Sweet Potato Salad


It is prime grilling season, after all, and sweet potatoes fare very well on the hot grates thanks to their natural sugars, which release sweet caramel flavor when cooked over an open flame. And forget saccharine marshmallows, which all too often accompany sweet potatoes; caramelized red onions add an extra touch of sweet, earthy flavor to Bobby Flay’s Caramelized Onion-Sweet Potato Salad.

Check out these potato salad recipes from friends and family:

Feed Me Phoebe: French Lentil Salad with Roasted Baby Potatoes and Herbs

The Lemon Bowl: Vegan Potato Salad Recipe

Homemade Delish: Brazilian Potato Salad

The Mom 100: Egg and Potato Salad with Bacon

Creative Culinary: Sour Cream and Bacon Potato Salad

FN Dish: 7 Ways to Win at Potato Salad

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