If you want a new take on the creamy picnic potato salad, this Broccoli Potato Salad recipe is one of the best make-ahead picnic salads that only gets better with time.
Why You’ll Love This Roast Potato Salad
A fresh way to make a picnic potato salad with no mayonnaise that is easy to make ahead and keeps well.
- No mayo: A fresh twist on creamy potato salad, this recipe skips mayonnaise, making it perfect for those seeking a mayo-free option.
- Make-ahead: Easily prepare this salad in advance, and it maintains its delicious flavors without becoming soggy – ideal for picnics.
- Roasted potatoes: Roasting the potatoes in their skins adds a rich and satisfying flavor to the salad.
- Crisp greens: Crisp greens provide a fresh and crunchy contrast to the dish.
- Zesty vinaigrette: The salad has a zesty vinaigrette that adds freshness.
- Roasted garlic: The added depth of flavor with roasted garlic in the dressing soaks beautifully into the robust salad veggies without making them soggy.
- Cheese and nuts: Finish with a crumble of salty feta or goat’s cheese and toasted nuts for extra texture and taste.
- Vegan-friendly: With a simple ingredient swap, this recipe can be transformed into a fantastic vegan potato salad, making it a great addition to a vegan picnic menu.
Potato and Broccoli Salad
- Baby, fingerling, or new potatoes
- Sea salt (kosher salt)
- Spring onions (scallions) finely chopped
- Broccolini or baby broccoli. (See recipe notes for broccolini substitutes).
- Arugula (rocket) *Optional
- Crumbly goat cheese or feta
- Roughly chopped pistachios (slivered almonds or toasted pine nuts are also good)
Vinaigrette Dressing with Roasted Garlic
- Olive oil (divided for roasting the potatoes and dressing)
- Balsamic vinegar
- Lemon Juice or zest.
- Fresh lemon thyme, leaves removed from stems (if using normal thyme, add a sprinkle of lemon zest).
- Garlic for roasting. (you can use fresh minced garlic if you prefer).
See my recipe card below for a complete list of ingredient measurements and notes.
Recipe Variations and Substitutions
- Broccoli: While this recipe calls for broccoli, I prefer broccolini or baby broccoli florets. They tend to be less bitter than normal broccoli and add a nice look and texture to the salad. Of course, normal broccoli is fine.
- Vegan Version: Use vegan feta or leave the cheese out for a vegan potato salad.
- Nuts: You can use any chopped nut you like or opt for seeds if allergies are an issue.
- Optional or Substitute Vegetables: Kale or blanched green beans and peas can be added or used as a substitute for broccolini. If adding or substituting with kale, soak it well in the dressing to tenderize. If adding arugula, it may go soggy if added too early. Save the arugula until just before serving.
How to Make
Step 1: Preheat oven to 390°F (200°C).
Step 1: Wash potatoes and leave the skins on, coat them with olive oil, sprinkle them with sea salt, and arrange them on a baking sheet with whole garlic cloves.
Roast until the potatoes are cooked and the skins golden – around 30 minutes. Remove the garlic as soon as it is soft – around 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool
Step 2: While the potatoes are cooking, quickly blanch (parboil) the broccolini stems in a pan of boiling water. Be sure not to overcook them. You still want some crunch in the stems. A minute or two will be more than enough.
Potatoes: I like to cook the potatoes so they cook through and caramelize without becoming too crispy. You can also boil the potatoes first and toss them in olive oil with a little sea salt in a hot pan to lightly brown the skins.
Garlic Cloves: You must remove the garlic cloves before finishing the potatoes. Check halfway – You want the center to be squishy – not completely dried out.
Step 3: When the broccolini is blanched, immediately run it under cold water to stop it cooking further and place it straight in the fridge.
Note: Some people like to plunge it into an ice bath, but I find this additional prep unnecessary if you are careful not to overcook the broccolini. Cold running water and the fridge should suffice.
Step 4: Also while the potatoes are cooking, combine all your salad dressing ingredients in a bowl or jar – remaining olive oil, balsamic, lemon juice or zest, and fresh thyme and squeeze the roast garlic in, disposing of the skins.
Give the garlic a mash with a fork or use a whisk to combine the dressing. This method blends the garlic into the vinaigrette better than shaking it in a jar. You could also blitz in a mixer.
Note: Ensure the potatoes and broccolini are completely cooled before assembling the salad. If the broccolini stems are very long, cut them in half. The stem end will add some extra texture and help your broccolini go further in the salad.
Step 5: Once the potatoes and broccolini are cooled, toss through the dressing.
Toss through the chopped shallots and, if serving immediately, a few handfuls of arugula if you choose to add it. Otherwise, save the arugula until just before serving.
Step 6: Refrigerate until ready to serve, or pack your picnic.
When packing your picnic or when ready to serve, toss the salad again to ensure all vegetables are well coated with dressing and top with chopped pistachio (or nut of your choice) and crumbled feta or goat cheese.
If using any optional or substitute veg listed in the notes, add these at step 5, especially if adding or substituting with kale; it needs to soak in the dressing to tenderize.
If stored in an airtight container in the fridge, this salad will last at least three days without becoming sad or soggy.
Yes, you can use regular-sized potatoes, but you may want to cut them into smaller pieces for even roasting.
Leaving the potato skins on adds flavor and texture, but you can peel them if you prefer a smoother texture.
- Use small, new potatoes. This will give you a more flavorful salad, and the potatoes will be less likely to fall apart when you toss them.
- Don’t overcook the potatoes or the broccolini. You want them to be tender, but you still want some bite.
- Let the potatoes and broccolini cool completely before assembling the salad. This will help the salad to stay fresh and prevent it from becoming soggy.
- Use a good quality olive oil and balsamic vinegar. The flavor of the oil and vinegar will come through in the dressing, so it’s important to use high-quality ingredients.
- Don’t be afraid to experiment with different flavors. Try using other herbs like rosemary or oregano in the dressing. You could also add a pinch of red pepper flakes for heat or cracked black pepper.
- To make the salad ahead of time, assemble it without the arugula or feta cheese. Store the salad in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. When you’re ready to serve, add the arugula and feta cheese and toss to combine.
- If you’re packing the salad for a picnic, pack it in a cooler with ice packs. This will help to keep the salad fresh and prevent it from spoiling. See my tips for keeping picnic food cold to make sure your potato salad arrives looking fresh.
Broccoli Potato Salad With Roast Garlic Vinaigrette
- 1 lb Baby, fingerling, or new potatoes
- Sea salt - kosher salt
- 2-3 Scallions - finely chopped
- 1 Bunch broccolini or baby broccoli. - See recipe notes for broccolini substitutes.
- 2 Handfuls arugula - Optional
- 3 oz Crumbly goats cheese or feta - More if you like feta. Remove or substitute for vegan.
- 2 tbsp roughly chopped pistachios to garnish - slivered almonds or pine nuts are also good
Potato Salad Vinaigrette Dressing with Roasted Garlic
- 6 tbsp olive oil - divided for cooking the potatoes
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 small lemon – Approx 4 tablespoons of fresh juice. - You can also add additional zest if you like.
- 1 tbsp Fresh lemon thyme - leaves removed from stems (if using normal thyme, add a sprinkle of lemon zest).
- 5-6 Large cloves of garlic for roasting. - You can use minced garlic if you prefer
- Preheat oven to 430°F (220°C).
- Wash potatoes and leaving the skins on, coat with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and arrange on a baking sheet with whole cloves of garlic. (See cooking note on potatoes & garlic)
- Roast the potatoes until cooked and the skins golden – around 30 minutes. Remove the garlic when soft – about 15 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool
- While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the broccolini and dressing.
- Quickly blanch (parboil) the broccolini stems in a pan of boiling water for a minute or two. Be sure not to overcook them. You still want some crunch in the stems.
- Immediately run broccolini under cold water to stop further cooking and place it straight in the fridge.
- Make sure the potatoes and broccoli are cold before assembling the salad.
- Combine all of your salad dressing ingredients, squeeze the roast garlic in and combine well. Whisking or blending works best to combine the garlic.
- Toss the cooled potatoes and broccolini with the dressing adding the chopped shallots. Add additional or optional veg listed in the notes at this time as well.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- When ready to pack or serve, top with chopped pistachio (or nuts of your choice) and crumbled feta or goats cheese. (For vegan, leave feta out or use a vegan substitute)