5 Potato Salads for a Lighter Picnic

These slimmed-down potato salads come with some pretty appealing nutritional benefits — without sacrificing any of the flavor.
By: Emily Lee

We’re all familiar with old-fashioned potato salad, a simple mixture of boiled white potatoes, cut into wedges and 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. While nobody can deny the comforting appeal of the classic recipe, there are countless ways to prepare this cookout staple without tossing your nutritional goals out the window. These five recipes 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. 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

When in doubt, use more produce. Crisp 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.

PESTO POTATO SALAD, Ellie Krieger, Healthy Appetite with Ellie Krieger/Cool Food, Food Network, Small Red Potatoes, Yellow Pepper, Red Pepper, Basil Pesto, Pine Nuts, Basil Leaves, Parmesan, Lemon Juice, Olive Oil

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Ellie Krieger’s bright and herbaceous Pesto Potato Salad is a great alternative to the heavier mayonnaise-coated potato salads that typically reign at summer cookouts. Throw in some chopped red and yellow peppers for a color boost and added crunch.

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Another simple way to boost your nutritional gain is to substitute sweet potatoes for regular potatoes, as Trisha Yearwood has done with her Sweet 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.

Bobby_Flay_Fit_Carmaelized_Onion_Sweet_Potato_Salad.tif

Bobby_Flay_Fit_Carmaelized_Onion_Sweet_Potato_Salad.tif

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

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.

For more crowd-pleasing potato salads, check out these recipes from our friends:

Homemade Delish: Loaded Baked Potato Salad
Creative Culinary: French Potato Salad

In Jennie's Kitchen: Italian String Bean & Potato Salad

Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Salmon and Potato Salad

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