Lemon Rosemary and Sundried Tomato Potato Salad

Lemon Rosemary and Sun-dried Tomato Potato Salad - a simple, delicious, no Mayo potato salad that everyone loves! thecafesucrefarine.com

Simple, delicious, this no-Mayo potato salad is always popular!

When I was growing up, there was only one kind of potato salad…

German potato salad was exceedingly popular around our little neck of the woods, a small Wisconsin community where everyone knew everyone (and most everyone had a grandparent or a grandparent’s grandparent who was straight from, what they called, “the old country”). German Potato Salad was actually so popular that most of us didn’t even know any other kind existed.

It’s funny to think about how different life was back then. For example, almost every Sunday my mom would make a big bowl of the infamous German potato salad – she would simmer little red potatoes to perfect tenderness, then slice them somewhere between thick and thin. They were then immersed in a delicious sweet/sour dressing made with bacon fat (yes!), vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper. There were no measurements; just a scoop of this and dash of that – then a tiny taste to see if things were just right or still in need of a bit of “adjustment”. Crisp, smoky bacon was sprinkled over the top along with a layer of sliced, hard boiled eggs. It was a mouthwatering sight with a beautiful garnish of fresh parsley and paprika.

There would also be some kind of simple, pretty jello mold and a big smoky ham (or a kettle of brats in beer) hanging out on the back of the stove. The aroma of chocolate cake or apple kuchen (a cinnamon-laced German apple cake) would waft it’s way through the house as we waited to see who would show up at the front door. It might be aunts, uncles and cousins, grandparents, or just old family friends. There were no formal invitations, everyone just knew they were welcome. I can still clearly recall the love and laughter shared around the table those long ago Sundays… and memories of that fabulous potato salad will linger forever in my mind!

These days, it’s only on rare occasion that I make German potato salad. I don’t make classic mayonnaise-based potato salad (sometimes called French potato salad) either. Most of the time it’s much lighter and leaner than either of those; but still full of flavor and memory-making deliciousness.

Lemon Rosemary and Sun-dried Tomato Potato Salad - a simple, delicious, no Mayo potato salad that everyone loves! thecafesucrefarine.com

Just like my mom, I like to use the small red (or sometimes yellow) potatoes. I halve or quarter them before cooking, then simmer with plenty of salty water. The salt infuses the potatoes as they cook, instead of simply seasoning the surface. The rest is classic; a delicious dressing made of olive oil, fresh lemon juice and zest, Dijon mustard and garlic. Finely diced sundried tomatoes add lots of flavor and a shower of fresh rosemary and parsley are this dish’s crowning glory.

Lemon Rosemary and Sun-dried Tomato Potato Salad - a simple, delicious, no Mayo potato salad that everyone loves! thecafesucrefarine.com

This Lemon, Rosemary and Sundried Tomato Potato Salad comes together quickly, is addictively delicious and perfect for picnics, parties and potlucks, since you don’t have to worry about the mayonnaise going bad. It’s also good the next day, tucked in an omelet, a quesadilla or a salad. But you probably won’t have leftovers, as it tends to disappear quickly – so be sure to make plenty!

Lemon Rosemary and Sun-dried Tomato Potato Salad - a simple, delicious, no Mayo potato salad that everyone loves! thecafesucrefarine.com

Here are a few favorite salad bowls and accessories. Each image is clickable.

Lemon, Rosemary and Sundried Tomato Potato Salad - a simple, delicious, no Mayo potato salad that everyone loves!

Lemon, Rosemary and Sundried Tomato Potato Salad

Lemon, Rosemary and Sundried Tomato Potato Salad - a simple, delicious, no Mayo potato salad that everyone loves!

5 from 6 reviews

A simple, delicious, no Mayo potato salad that everyone loves! Make plenty, it will be a popular dish on your table!

  • Author:
  • Category: Side


  • 3 pounds small red potatoes, scrubbed, rinsed and cut in halves or quarters
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • For the dressing:
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • Finely grated zest from 1 medium lemon
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • Seasoning:
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Fill a large pot halfway full with water and 1 tablespoon salt (don’t worry, most of that salt stays in the water, but it does help to season the potatoes all the way through. Stir to combine, then add potatoes. Water should cover potatoes by at least 1 inch. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce to a steady simmer. Cook until potatoes are tender all the way through, about 15 minutes (they should pierce easily with a knife. Just be careful not to over cook or the salad will be mushy).
  2. Drain potatoes well in a colander, then return to pot.
  3. While potatoes are cooking prepare the dressing by combining all dressing ingredients in a bowl and whisking till oil and mustard are well incorporated
  4. Pour dressing over warm potatoes and stir gently to coat. Taste and season with sea salt or kosher salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving bowl. I like to let the salad sit at room temperature for 30 minutes or so before serving to allow the flavors to meld and the dressing to absorb into the potatoes. Drizzle with just a bit more olive oil just before serving. Serve at room temperature or warm slightly in the microwave before serving.


Leftovers are wonderful in a green salad, an omelette or a quesadilla.


26 thoughts on “Lemon Rosemary and Sundried Tomato Potato Salad”

  • Chris, we must both be from that same small Wisconsin area and I’m still here. German Potato Salad, French Potato Salad (who has heard of that but us?). Apple Kuchen and Sundays with family and friends! Also, The Milwaukee Journal, and lighthouses along Lake Michigan’s shores,

    Have recently discovered so many terrific recipes on your site. I especially enjoy the personal stories and photos you add to make the recipes special. Thanks for taking the time to do so. Oh, thanks also to Scott for that fabulous garden growing all those wonderful veggies.. I’ll be all over the roasted cherry tomatoes in the next few days.

    • How nice to meet you! Thanks so much for your kind and encouraging words.

      I grew up in West Bend and studied nursing at UWM. It’s funny, we’ve been in North Carolina for almost 35 years but I still feel “at home” when I’m in Wisconsin. It’s a wonderful place to live.

      I had no idea growing up that everyone in the world didn’t eat Kuchen 🙂 It was a bit of a shock when I moved away from the area.

      Enjoy the beautiful Wisconsin fall, I know it’s getting quite lovely there right about now!

  • Your Mom’s German potato salad sounds really good too. I love your recipes, will try this soon. Thanks

  • Love the flavors. I have always thought some sort of social study could be done on the type of potato salad one grew up with and what it says about you and your family. In fact, I did a post once about “Potato Salad and You.” 🙂 Great recipe, Chris!

  • What a colorful and flavorful side dish to go with just about anything! Thanks for sharing this lovely memory of your childhood Sundays. It sounds like such a love-filled welcoming home!

  • This potato salad looks perfect and you know I love sun dried tomatoes! I bet the combination of flavors is terrific. I’m so glad people started making new potato salad recipes instead of just the plain old, same mayonnaise variety. Thanks! Have a lovely weekend Chris.

  • Beautiful potato salad Chris, I have been making mostly oil based potato salads the last few years and really love them. Looks delicious!

  • Your post brought back so many wonderful memories for me. My mom was famous for her potato salad and our house was always full of aunts, uncles, and family friends. Your potato salad looks amazing!

  • Again, so pretty! And it can be hard to make potato salad look pretty. The mayo kind is so full of calories, not to mention all the carbs. I remember the German kind! That seems to have been kind of a food fad, You don’t hear much about it anymore. Now I know where you get your excellent skill from, your mom!

  • Chris your potato salad looks so tasty. I love everything in it. I’d have to remove the rosemary if making for my family since my hubby despises it. but, I love this.. Beautiful dish and photo!

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