Italian potato salad is a lighter, fresher, and more boldly flavored salad that skips the mayo common in American potato salads. Instead, this quick and easy side dish is loaded with crisp green beans, briny olives, fresh cherry tomatoes, and a garlicky red wine vinaigrette.

close up of Italian potato salad on a serving platter.

To me, the best potato salad recipes, from this Italian potato salad to our Greek potato salad or even my signature version with mustard and dill, share a common thread. They treat the potatoes as a sponge, to soak up loud, confident flavors creating a tasty bed for loads of fresh herbs and veggies. The potatoes are creamy on their own so there's really no need for mayo (although, I wouldn't blame you for serving a little garlicky Aioli on the side.)

In writing this recipe, I was inspired by the regional potato salads from the south of Italy. In Sicily, this dish is often called Insalata di Patate Siciliana or Insalata Vastasa. The name vastasa, meaning “uncouth,” likely comes from the humble, affordable ingredients. This recipe is also reminiscent of Insalata Pantesca, a typical dish from the southern Italian island of Pantelleria, where they add their famous capers–feel free to throw some on if you have them on-hand. 

This Italian potato salad has a deliciously bright dressing and plenty of fresh flavor. It’s a great make-ahead dish: Allow at least 30 minutes for the potatoes to soak up the dressing if you can. 

Table of Contents
  1. Italian Potato Salad Ingredients
  2. How to Make Italian Potato Salad 
  3. What to Serve with Italian Potato Salad 
  4. More Mediterranean Potato Recipes
  5. Potato Recipes with a Mediterranean Twist
  6. Recommended For This Recipe: Nocellara
  7. Italian Potato Salad Recipe
ingredients for italian potato salad including parsley, baby potatoes, green beans, red wine vinegar, garlic, cherry tomatoes, and dried oregano.

Italian Potato Salad Ingredients

Italian potato salad takes a tangy approach, swapping the rich mayo in American-style potato salad for a garlicky, bright vinaigrette. All of the ingredients are easy to find, and likely already living in your pantry! Here’s what you need: 

  • Potatoes: Baby potatoes cook quickly, hold their shape well, and their skin has a nice flavor so there’s no need to peel them. If you’d like to substitute with Yukon gold or russet, cut them into bite-sized pieces. 
  • Seasonings: Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper enhance the flavor. Red pepper flakes add a nice heat, but you can omit them if you’re not into spice. Dried oregano adds an aromatic quality.
  • Green beans: Any type you like will work well. If you’re using a thinner variety, like Haricots Verts, be sure to boil them until they’re just barely tender. 
  • Tomatoes: I like juicy cherry tomatoes, but any small variety works well. If you’re going to substitute, opt for tomatoes that are still firm when they’re ripe, like Roma or grape. 
  • Onion: Red onion or shallots are mellow and sweet enough to enjoy raw. 
  • Olives: I like the buttery richness of Castelvetrano olives from Sicily, but you can substitute with any green olive you like. 
  • Parsley: Use the flat-leaf Italian variety, which is less bitter than its curly cousin. 
  • Garlic: Adds a kick of flavor to the dressing. 
  • Red wine vinegar: Potatoes can handle quite a lot of vinegar, which lightens their richness. The best substitute for red wine vinegar in this recipe is Apple cider vinegar, which has a similar balance of tang and sweetness.
  • Olive oil: Use a high quality extra virgin variety, like our buttery and smooth Italian Nocellara.
overhead photo of Italian potato salad on a serving platter next to a stack of blue plates with 3 forks, and a small bowl of chopped parsley.

How to Make Italian Potato Salad 

Italian potato salad is very low maintenance and only gets better as it sits. Here’s how to make it:

  • Get ready. Halve 2 pounds of baby potatoes. Trim 12 ounces of green beans. halved baby potatoes and green beans in a glass mixing bowl.
  • Prepare the dressing. Whisk together 1 minced garlic clove, ¼ cup red wine vinegar, and 1 teaspoon dried oregano. Season with a big pinch of salt, pepper and red pepper flakes, if using (about ½ teaspoon each). Continue whisking vigorously as you stream in ½ cup of olive oil, whisking until emulsified. a close up of a measuring cup with salad dressing next to a fork and a cutting board with sliced cherry tomatoes and green olives.
  • Cook the potatoes. Add the potatoes to a medium saucepan. Cover with a couple of inches of water and set over medium-high heat. When the water is boiling, season liberally with salt. Boil until the potatoes are easily pierced with a fork, 10 to 15 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer them to a large bowl to cool, leaving the boiling water on the stove. 
  • Prep the raw ingredients. While the potatoes cook, slice 2 cups of cherry tomatoes in half. Chop enough parsley to yield ¼ cup of chopped leaves. Halve ¾ cup of pitted Castelvetrano olives. Slice 1 red onion or 2 shallots in half, peel, and then slice into thin half moons. Prepare an ice bath and set it next to your sink.sliced shallots, cherry tomatoes and green olives on a cutting board with a knife.
  • Blanch the green beans. Once you’ve transferred the cooked potatoes to a bowl, drop the green beans in the boiling water. Boil until just tender but still snappy, about 2 to 3 minutes, then drain and transfer to the ice bath to stop them from cooking further. 
  • Mix and dress. Add the potatoes and green beans to a large serving bowl, along with the tomatoes, onions, parsley, and ¾ cup Castelvetrano olives. Pour the dressing all over the salad and gently toss to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking. overhead photo of sliced red shallots, green olives and tomatoes in a glass mixing bowl with green beans and halved baby potatoes.
  • Rest and serve. For best flavor, allow the salad to rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Or, cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days, allowing it to come to room temperature before serving. 
Italian potato salad on a serving platter.

What to Serve with Italian Potato Salad 

Italian potato salad is satisfying and versatile enough to play many different roles on your table. Enjoy it on its own as a vegetarian main or serve it as part of a larger meal with Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers.

For those who enjoy beef, chicken or fish, this salad pairs well with lemony Pork Chops, simple Grilled Chicken Breasts or Baked Grouper.

For a Mediterranean-style picnic, serve with an assortment of reimagined picnic classics. I love the bright and briny potatoes with a Summer fruit salad and Grilled Chicken Wings or even a Chicken Sandwich, but check out our round up of 25 Picnic Recipes With A Mediterranean Twist for more inspiration.

More Mediterranean Potato Recipes

Browse all Mediterranean recipes.

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Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil from hand-picked, cold-extracted Nocellara olives.

A bottle of extra virgin olive oil.
5 from 14 votes

Italian Potato Salad

Suzy Karadsheh
an overhead photo of Italian potato salad on a serving platter next to a stack of blue plates with forks, and a small bowl of chopped parsley.
Italian potato salad swaps rich mayonnaise for bright, fresh, and briny flavor and classic Mediterranean staples. It’s great served a few minutes after preparing, but the flavors are even better if you’d let the salad sit for a few hours to marinate.
Prep – 10 minutes
Cook – 12 minutes
Resting Time (optional) 30 minutes
Total – 22 minutes
Cuisine:
Italian
Serves – 6 people, as a side
Course:
Entree or Side Dish, Sides/Salad

Ingredients
  

For the Dressing

  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes optional
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil

For the Salad

  • 2 pounds baby potatoes halved
  • Kosher salt
  • 12 ounces green beans trimmed
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 small red onion or 2 small shallots, halved and thinly sliced
  • ¾ cup pitted Castelvetrano olives halved
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped parsley

Instructions
 

  • Prepare the dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic, vinegar, oregano, and red pepper flakes (if using). Season with a big pinch (about ½ teaspoon) of salt and pepper. Pour in the olive oil, whisking vigorously until emulsified. Set aside for now.
  • Cook the potatoes. In a medium saucepan, cover the potatoes a couple of inches of water and set over medium-high heat. When the water is boiling, season liberally with salt. Boil until the potatoes are easily pierced with a fork, 10 to 15 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer them to a large bowl to cool, leaving the boiling water on the stove.
  • Blanch the green beans. Prepare an ice bath and set it next to your sink. Drop the green beans in the boiling water until just tender but still snappy, about 2 to 3 minutes, then drain and transfer to the ice bath to stop them from cooking further.
  • Mix and dress. Add the potatoes and green beans to a large serving bowl. Add the tomatoes, onions, olives, and parsley. Pour the dressing all over the salad and gently toss to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking.
  • Rest and serve. For best flavor, allow the salad to rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Or, cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days, allowing it to come to room temperature before serving.

Notes

  • If you don’t have a slotted spoon, add the green beans in with the potatoes in the last couple of minutes of cooking. Drain everything together, then use tongs to transfer the green beans to the ice bath.
  • Visit our shop to browse quality Mediterranean ingredients including olive oils, honey, jams, and spices.

Nutrition

Calories: 338.8kcalCarbohydrates: 35.4gProtein: 5.1gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 2.9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2.3gMonounsaturated Fat: 15.1gSodium: 287.4mgPotassium: 925.7mgFiber: 6.4gSugar: 5.2gVitamin A: 969.5IUVitamin C: 52.9mgCalcium: 68.6mgIron: 2.7mg
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I'm Suzy; born and bred right on the shores of the Mediterranean. I'm all about easy, healthy recipes with big Mediterranean flavors. Three values guide my cooking: eat with the seasons; use whole foods; and above all, share! So happy you're here...
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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I love this recipe! Delicious flavours, love the beans in it, and have made it many times. Great as a lunch on its own.

  2. 5 stars
    Fabulous salad! Serving it at room temperature is key. Such a great combination of late summer ingredients and it remained fresh and delicious the next day.

  3. 5 stars
    I made this today. It is DELICIOUS! It could be served room temperature or cold. Sent some to my Italian neighbor. She loved it too! Thanks @themeditteraniandish.

  4. 5 stars
    This recipe is perfect for using all the late-August veggies in my garden, including the potatoes, beans, onions and grape tomatoes. We love the light dressing and brightness of the oil and vinegar dressing. I love this recipe for seasonal fresh veggies and its versatility, since you could substitute any fresh veggie for the beans.