This dairy-free, vegan sweet potato salad uses vegan mayo and is loaded with veggies and add-ins for a BBQ, potluck, and picnic side dish that’s creamy, sweet, savory, crunchy, and ready to impress!
Fully Loaded Vegan Potato Salad With Sweet Potato
With just a couple of ingredient swaps, it’s amazingly simple to prepare a creamy, moreish vegan potato salad. We’ve already shared recipes for a French potato salad and artichoke lemon potato salad. Now it’s the turn of this pantry-friendly vegan sweet potato salad.
This creamy dairy-free potato salad is fully loaded with veggies and add-ins to pack in tons of texture and flavor for a side dish worthy of any special event or family dinner. With a combination of sweet potatoes and red or purple potatoes, this vegan potato salad with sweet potatoes is subtly sweet and incredibly moreish.
Better yet, this recipe is also very customizable. On top of the base recipe, we’ve added dill pickles, red onion, capers, pimento peppers, and olives for a delicious combination of flavor and texture. However, feel free to omit what you don’t have or sub it/them with one of our many recommendations below.
You can prepare this sweet potato salad recipe in under 20 minutes and simply leave it to ‘marinate’ for several hours before serving! Of course, you can save the leftovers for several days, too!
At its most basic, we can make this vegan potato salad with sweet potato with just potatoes, green onion, and the dressing. However, with our combination of ingredients, get ready to try a potato salad you’ll want to prepare time and time again!
The Sweet Potato Salad
Potatoes: This sweet potato salad recipe actually uses a combination of sweet potatoes and red or purple potatoes.
Celery: Optional, but adds a wonderful fresh crunch.
Red onion: Or sweet onion or shallots, finely chopped.
Dill pickles: Will add tangy flavor and crunch. Alternatively, sweet relish would work.
Capers: (optional) Briny, tangy flavor. Leave out if preferred.
Pimentos: (optional) Will add a sweet crunch with very little heat. Bell peppers would also work.
Olives: (optional) Use any colored olives, finely sliced for extra salty, tangy flavor.
Green onion: No vegan potato salad would be complete without fresh herbs to garnish. We love using green onions.
The Creamy Dressing
Vegan mayo: Use your favorite vegan mayo (or make your own).
Sugar: Use regular white sugar (or a sugar alternative like erythritol) for the most neutral flavor. However, feel free to experiment with unrefined sugars and adjust the amount to taste.
Apple cider vinegar: Or you could use some of the juice from the dill pickles and adjust the amount of sugar and salt accordingly. Another option would be to combine the ACV with lemon juice/ lime juice OR try white wine vinegar—plenty of options!
Mustard: Yellow mustard, Dijon mustard, or Wholegrain mustard will work.
Garlic: Adjust the amount of minced garlic according to taste. Powdered garlic should also work in a pinch.
Salt & Black pepper: To taste.
Optional add-ins & Recipe Variations
This sweet potato vegan potato salad is highly customizable. Along with the above ingredients and their substitute, you could use/add:
Plant-Based yogurt: For a lighter sweet potato salad with no vegan mayo, substitute some or all of the vegan mayonnaise for a plain, unsweetened vegan yogurt.
Tofu: Another way to substitute the vegan mayo is with silken tofu and a splash of oil.
Radish: For extra crunch.
Corn: For extra color and sweetness.
Apple: If you like sweet and savory, add some thinly sliced apple sticks to the sweet potato salad with plant-based mayo.
Cauliflower: To make a lower-carb version of this sweet potato salad recipe, swap out some potatoes for small cauliflower florets.
Other herbs: Feel free to swap out the green onion for dill, chives, and/or parsley.
Celery salt: Use celery salt instead of regular salt for added flavor depth.
Celery seed: Adds a wonderful flavor and depth.
Spice: Add some finely chopped jalapeño/pickled jalapeño OR red pepper flakes.
Protein: Make a heartier dairy-free potato salad with chickpeas or white beans.
Seeds: Bump up the nutrients with a sprinkle of pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, or a seed blend.
How to Make Vegan Sweet Potato Salad?
There are just five steps to making this sweet potato salad, all of which are super simple. You’ll have it ready in no time!
1) First, wash and then chop the potatoes into bite-sized pieces (around ½-inch - make sure they’re cut evenly).
2) Transfer the potatoes to a large pan filled with cold water and bring to a boil. Then reduce to a simmer and cook for between 8-10 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork-tender. Then drain them immediately.
The exact time will vary based on the size of your potato pieces and pan.
3) Meanwhile, prepare all the vegetables. Chop the celery and dill pickles, mince the red onion, and slice the olives and green onion.
4) Next, prepare the dressing. Combine the vegan mayonnaise, sugar, mustard, minced garlic, and apple cider vinegar in a small bowl and mix well.
5) To assemble the vegan sweet potato salad, add all the ingredients to a large serving bowl and toss to combine. We highly recommend allowing it to then sit for 3-4 hours (or overnight) for the flavors to meld and develop. Enjoy!
Do I need to peel the potatoes?
We didn’t, for the extra fiber. However, if you’d prefer to, then that’s fine. You could even save the peelings to toss with oil and salt and bake into crispy chips.
Should I salt the potato water?
You can if you’d like, but we find it unnecessary since this dairy-free potato salad tastes amazing after resting, without the added salt.
Is sweet potato salad healthy?
Aside from the vega mayo (and even that in moderation is fine!), we loaded this sweet potato salad recipe with good-for-you ingredients. Top of the list is the sweet potatoes, which are loaded with antioxidants, fiber, and various micronutrients (vitamins and minerals – including vitamin C and vitamin A).
As long as it’s eaten in moderation, there’s no reason this sweet potato salad with plant-based mayo can’t be considered relatively healthy.
Can you freeze vegan potato salad?
Technically yes - the base potato salad recipe (potatoes and dressing) could be frozen. However, the texture changes upon thawing, so we don’t recommend it.
Can I use regular potatoes?
Absolutely; that’s fine if you’d prefer to adapt this to a regular vegan potato salad. We recommend using waxy potatoes like Yukon Gold potatoes, red potatoes, or new potatoes.
Top Recipe Tips and Notes
Don’t skip the resting: This will allow all the flavors to meld and become cohesive, so it doesn’t taste too much of any specific element.
Adjust the sweetness: You can increase, reduce, or even eliminate the sugar entirely.
Chop the potatoes evenly: That way, they’ll cook evenly, too.
Don’t overcook the potatoes: While this may seem obvious, nobody wants a mushy potato salad (unless you’re specifically making a mashed potato salad). Drain them when they are ‘just’ tender, as they’ll continue to cook from residual heat.
How to Make Ahead and Store?
As this sweet potato salad requires ‘marinating’ time, we highly recommend preparing it a day in advance and storing it in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.
You could also prep some individual aspects in advance. I.e., cook the potatoes, chop the veggies, mix the dressing, and wait to assemble them until desired.
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.
How to Serve Sweet Potato Potato Salad?
This dairy-free potato salad with sweet potato is the perfect vegan BBQ side dish and addition to any potluck. However, you can enjoy it all year with: