French Potato Salad

BY : PUBLISHED : July 24th, 2012 UPDATED: August 5th, 2022

I'm not sure this counts as a "French" potato salad in any kind of classic sense - it evolved out of my quick-and-dirty adaptation of the way Julia Child tells you to make the potatoes for salade Niçoise in Mastering the Art of French Cooking, with the addition of some Spanish and just generally summery spices. Despite its suspect origins, though, this French Potato Salad is really easy and really good, it's a great make-ahead dish, and it's definitely one of my go-tos, especially in the summer.

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The trick here is to toss the hot potatoes with the shallot (or onion) and parsley - the heat from the potatoes tempers the shallot's bite and opens up the parsley's flavor - and then add the oil and vinegar while everything's still steaming so the potatoes absorb the oil and vinegar as they cool. (If you mix cold potatoes and oil, all you get are oily, cold potatoes.) Since I'm usually making this French Potato Salad in the summer, pimentón - Spanish smoked paprika - adds a great smokiness that matches up well with things coming off the grill. Still, pimentón is kind of a specialty item (though not impossible to find), and regular paprika is a totally acceptable substitute. (You can also swap in chile powder for the paprika and cilantro for the parsley and take things in a more Mexican direction.) As long as you stick to the basic hot-potatoes-and-oil-and-vinegar thing, though, you can take this in more or less any direction, and come up with whatever "French" potato salad works for you.

French potato salad in a white bowl.

From Plant-Based on a Budget: This French Potato Salad is not your typical American style dish but it is packed with flavor and it looks a lot fancier at a dinner party! Are you excited to try it? We are too!

Recommended equipment:

Photos by Alfonso Revilla
French potato salad in a small bowl with a set of wooden spoons next to it.

French potato salad in a white bowl.

French Potato Salad

A new spin to the classic Amercian version, this French Potato Salad is fresh and super easy to prepare! Oh la la! Will you try it?
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine French
Servings 4 servings
Calories 200 kcal
DIET Vegan


  • 1 ½ pounds of small boiling potatoes, washed and quartered
  • 1 shallot or ½ red onion, minced
  • handful of Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons of cider vinegar or red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon of pimentón (Spanish smoked paprika) or paprika
  • ½ teaspoon of ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon of ground coriander
  • kosher salt and black pepper, to taste


  • Put the quartered potatoes in a decent-sized pot and add cold water to cover, and around 2 teaspoons of salt. Place over high heat, cover, and bring to a boil. Uncover, and boil until the potatoes are tender, around 10-15 minutes.
  • Put the shallot and parsley in a medium bowl. Drain the potatoes, and, while they're still hot, add them to the bowl with the shallot and parsley, and give it all a toss. Add the remaining ingredients, toss well, and let sit at room temperature for at least 10 minutes, until the potatoes have absorbed all the oil and vinegar. Serve warm or at room temperature.


The trick here is to toss the hot potatoes with the shallot (or onion) and parsley – the heat from the potatoes tempers the shallot’s bite and opens up the parsley’s flavor – and then add the oil and vinegar while everything’s still steaming so the potatoes absorb the oil and vinegar as they cool.


Calories: 200kcalCarbohydrates: 31gProtein: 4gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gSodium: 12mgPotassium: 748mgFiber: 4gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 46IUVitamin C: 36mgCalcium: 26mgIron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Please tag us at @PlantBasedonaBudget! 🙂

Disclaimer: Although attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, kindly note that these are only estimates. Nutritional information may be affected based on the product type, the brand that was purchased, and in other unforeseeable ways. will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information. If you need to follow a specific caloric regimen, please consult your doctor first.

French Potato Salad | Plant-Based on a Budget | #vegan #french #potato #salad #plantbasedonabudget

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