The weather is getting warmer and it's time to start thinking about spring and summer salads. Pesto potato salad is a great option for any outdoor party, potluck, or picnic. It's easy to make, flavorful, and packed with nutrition. Nothing screams spring or summer quite like a bowl of freshly made pesto potato salad or my homemade chimichurri potato salad.
Pesto potato salad recipe
On this episode of the recipe you never knew you needed, prepare to be dazzled by our mouth-watering pesto potato salad. This dish will surely tantalize your taste buds and leave an everlasting impression! A beautiful one if you ask me, of course.
This recipe is one great way to use any leftover pesto you have in your fridge, for example, today's recipe was made possible after I made this creamy pesto pasta. waste not want not!
This flavor in this potato salad just keeps giving, better than the classic one! The combination of potatoes, basil pesto, and mayonnaise is delightfully creamy while the toasted pine nuts add an interesting texture.
Each mouthful is like a party in your mouth, this is about to be an absolute favorite among your family and friends. It is such a crowd pleaser and yes, you don't need to tell them it takes you less than 30 minutes to put together.
You can enjoy this salad warm or cold, I prefer it warm and I like to serve it with grilled or baked protein. It goes well with my BBQ chicken thighs and turkey steak, however, you choose to serve this simple potato salad, it is always a hit! let's get cooking.
What you will need
Basil pesto: You can use any flavor of pesto you want but I must say nothing beats the classic flavor in basil pesto, it is just so versatile and would turn any dish to gold!
Mayonnaise: ok, this is the only time I make an exception and tell you only full fat mayonnaise is allowed for this recipe.
Red potatoes: red potatoes are perfect for salads, they hold their shape and give the salad it's a beautiful color.
Lemon zest: It is the yin to the yang that brings this dish to life, the zest of lemon just lifts the flavors in this potato salad and makes it super refreshing.
Parmesan cheese for serving: you can never add too much parmesan cheese to this salad.
Salt and black pepper
Fresh basil leaves to garnish
How to make pesto potato salad
Boil the potatoes: scrub and wash the potatoes clean under cold running water. Place the potatoes on a chopping board and with a sharp knife, dice into 1-½ inch cubes, there is no need to peel them. Place the cubed potatoes into a large pot, cover with cold water, add salt to taste, and bring to a boil over medium heat for about 15-18 minutes or until fork-tender. Drain the boiled potatoes and place them in a bowl to cool down for about 10-15 minutes.
Make the basil pesto: See a separate recipe for my pesto, however, here is a quick overview of how to do it. You can make it while boiling the potatoes. To a food processor, add basil leaves, garlic, and toasted pinenuts and blitz for a few seconds until roughly chopped. Add olive oil, parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper and continue to pulse until full combined. Transfer to an airtight jar.
Place the warm potatoes in a large bowl, add mayonnaise, basil pesto, and lemon zest and carefully mix to combine making sure all the spuds are well coated in the creamy sauce.
Season with black pepper and salt if need be. Serve with additional grated parmesan cheese and fresh basil leaves. Enjoy!
PS: No need to refrigerate for a few minutes before serving as this salad is bursting with instant flavors.
Variations and tips
- Throw in some boiled eggs, bacon bits, peas, green beans, chopped onions, green onions and many more to make this salad more loaded.
- Substitute mayonnaise for plain or greek yogurt, aioli, or sour cream.
- Instead of boiling the potatoes, you could roast them in the oven or air fryer.
- Toast some pinenuts and sprinkle them on top of the salad for extra crunch.
- Make sure your potatoes are cut to similar sizes for even cooking.
- Make sure to add the pesto and mayonnaise to the potato while it is still warm for the flavor to meld beautifully. The basil-flavored olive oil from the pesto will infuse the potatoes too which guarantees that no mouthful is bland.
What to serve with potato salad
This pesto potato salad is an all-rounder side dish, it can be served as a side dish as well as an appetizer. It goes great with grilled or baked chicken, steak, fish, or even as a vegetarian option.
Can you freeze homemade pesto
Yes, you can freeze pesto (homemade or storebought) and you will be happy to know that it freezes well too. You can freeze in large ice cube trays, small plastic containers, or Ziploc freezer bags.
If you will be freezing in an ice cube tray, fill the tray with pesto and freeze for about 1-2 hours or until solid, carefully remove it from the ice tray and transfer it to freezer bags or plastic containers. Label, and date accordingly.
To thaw, simply place it in the refrigerator overnight or set it on the countertop for a few minutes on the day needed. You can freeze pesto for up to 6 months or longer if stored at the right temperature.
Pesto Potato Salad Recipe
- ⅓ cup basil pesto sauce
- ⅓ cup mayonnaise
- 1 ½ lb red potatoes
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Parmesan cheese for serving
- Salt and black pepper
- Fresh basil leaves to garnish
- Boil the potatoes: scrub and wash the potatoes clean under cold running water. Place the potatoes on a chopping board and with a sharp knife, dice into 1-½ inch cubes, there is no need to peel them. Place the cubed potatoes into a large pot, cover with cold water, add salt to taste, and bring to a boil over medium heat for about 15-18 minutes or until fork-tender.1 ½ lb red potatoes
- Drain the boiled potatoes and place them in a bowl to cool down for about 10-15 minutes.
- Place the warm potatoes in a large bowl, add mayonnaise, basil pesto, and lemon zest, and carefully mix to combine making sure all the spuds are well coated in the creamy sauce.⅓ cup basil pesto sauce, Zest of 1 lemon, ⅓ cup mayonnaise
- Season with black pepper and salt if need be. Serve with additional grated parmesan cheese and fresh basil leaves. Enjoy!Parmesan cheese for serving, Fresh basil leaves to garnish, Salt and black pepper
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves
- ⅓ cup pinenuts toasted
- 2 large garlic cloves
- ½ cup parmesan cheese grated
- ½ cup olive oil substitute with extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Nutritional data: Please note that the nutrition label provided is an estimate based on an online nutrition calculator. It will vary based on the specific ingredients and brands you use. Under no circumstances will thedinnerbite.com be responsible for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information.
And there you have it, a simple and delicious potato salad recipe you can make at home in no time. As always, if you made this recipe, I would love to hear from you! Kindly rate the recipe 5 star and leave me feedback in the comment section below. Tag me @thedinnerbite on Instagram and save it away to your Pinterest. Please subscribe to the blog if you haven’t for free new recipes in your inbox