Vegan potato salad with creamy BBQ dressing, made without added oil, is loaded with crispy chunks of roasted potatoes, charred tomatoes, and a tangy, spicy, dairy-free salad dressing.
why you'll love this potato salad
If you pop parboiled potatoes and sliced cherry tomatoes in a hot oven and roast them, something magical happens. And while that amazing flavor transformation is happening, you can blend a dressing the is the best of smoky vegan BBQ sauce and creamy cashew sour cream.
And the result, my friends, is a tasty potato salad experience that will please any crowd.
Potatoes – Look for small, thin-skinned potatoes such as baby potatoes or even red potatoes. I like them cut at least in half so that they get crispy and brown beyond the skin.
Tomatoes – Cherry, grape, or small ‘salad’ tomatoes are best for this recipe because they get sliced and roasted. Your aim is for them to reduce and slightly char. This deepens the sweet and savory flavor of the tomatoes and adds a smoky taste to accentuate the dressing.
Red onion – If you want to reduce the harshness of the red onion, rinse and soak it in cold water for a few minutes.
Parsley – Use flat-leafed (Italian) or curly parsley. Other chopped herbs (or a combination) such as cilantro, basil, or chives can also be used.
Cashews – Blended, raw cashews are the foundation for creating a creamy dressing. Avoid roasted cashews (the brown kind). Roasted cashews contain added oil, but even more importantly, the flavor will make the dressing taste yucky – that's a fancy culinary term there (ha).
Smoked paprika – If you don't regularly use smoked paprika, you may want to cut the initial amount in half until your taste the dressing. Some people find it very strong. I usually use hot smoked paprika, but it also comes in a sweet variety.
roasted spuds pro tips
- Start by simmering whole (uncut) potatoes in water. Depending on the size of the potatoes, it should take 15-20 minutes for them to partially cook.
- Test for doneness by piercing them with a fork. The fork should easily slide in, but the potato should still be firm.
- Immediately, drain the potatoes and rinse them for at least a minute in cold water. This stops the cooking process and cools them off.
- Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them in half or quarters if they are a bit large. Place them on a lined baking tray with the tomatoes. Be sure to place the tomatoes on the tray cut-side up. Add salt and pepper and slip them into a hot oven.
- Roasting times depend on the size of the potatoes, but you are really just warming up their middles and browning the outsides. It should take about 20 – 25 minutes, at which point the tomatoes will be reduced.
Note: Roasting tomatoes is a messy business. Be sure to line your baking tray with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
This isn't a fashion statement, but if it were, we'd be talking bold, vibrant, spicy, and yes, saucy.
- I find it a best practice to quick-soak cashews. Toss the cashews in a small bowl and cover them with boiling water. Then start the potatoes. By the time they go in the oven, you are ready to make the dressing.
- For a cashew alternative, it's possible to substitute sunflower seed sour cream or another type of vegan sour cream. If you need to be nut-free and don't mind a thinner dressing, try our smoky BBQ dressing.
- Potato salad doesn't absorb dressing to the extent that pasta salad does. If you find that it has ceased (dried out) a bit after sitting, freshen it up by mixing in a bit of lemon juice.
You can easily save time by simmering whole potatoes up to 3 days ahead of time. Once you’ve rinsed them in cold water, drain them and allow them to dry. Store them in a bowl or covered dish in the refrigerator until you are ready to roast them.
We like the simplicity of potatoes, tomatoes, and onions, but you could add ½ a cup of diced celery. Diced carrots or cucumber could also be added.
Store vegan potato salad in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Before serving leftovers, stir the salad and add lemon juice it is too dry for your liking.
vegan potato salad with creamy BBQ dressing
Vegan potato salad with creamy BBQ dressing (oil-free) is loaded with crispy roasted potatoes, charred tomatoes, and spicy-sweet dairy-free salad dressing.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 60 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
- Yield: 6 1x
- Category: side salads
- Method: roasting
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegan
- 1 ½ pound (750 grams) small potatoes scrubbed
- 2 cups of cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
- Sprinkle of salt and pepper
- 1 small red onion, diced (½ cup)
- ¼ cup roughly chopped parsley
- ½ cup raw cashews (see notes for soaking instructions)
- 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 3 teaspoons maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 3 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- Soak the cashews. Place the cashews in a small bowl and cover them with boiling water. Allow them to soak for 20 minutes.
- Boil the potatoes. Add whole potatoes to a medium pot filled with cold water. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce it to a simmer. Simmer the potatoes for 20 minutes until they are tender but slightly firm when pierced with a fork. Immediately remove the potatoes and drain them. Rinse them with cold water for at least a minute until they a cold. Allow them to dry for a few minutes.
- Roast the potatoes and tomatoes. Preheat the oven to 4550 F. (2200 C.). Cut the potatoes in halves, or if they are large, into quarters. Slice each tomato in half. Place the potatoes and tomatoes on a lined baking tray and sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Bake the potatoes and tomatoes for 20 minutes until the potatoes are brown and the tomatoes have reduced and are slightly charred.
- Make the dressing. Drain the cashews and place them into a blender along with the red of the dressing ingredients. Blend until smooth.
- Finish the salad. Combine the potatoes, tomatoes, diced red onion, parsley, and dressing in a medium salad bowl. Serve warm or cold.
- Smoked paprika comes in a range from hot to sweet (mild). You can use a mix if you don't want the dressing too spicy. If you aren't familiar with the flavor of smoked paprika, start by adding half the amount and then adjusting the salad dressing after you taste it.
- Boil the potatoes up to 3 days in advance. Store them in a bowl in the refrigerator and cut them right before roasting them.
- Store prepared BBQ potato salad in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Stir it before serving and add a bit of lemon juice if needed.
Keywords: vegan potato salad; roasted potatoes; plant-based; vegan BBQ dressing; cashews