Lebanese Potato Salad

5 from 6 votes
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Lebanese potato salad is light and fresh with lemon and mint. This is the perfect, healthy potato salad which has no mayo, so it is dairy-free and also gluten-free. Wow! Check this out for my tips about how to cook potatoes perfectly for potato salad.

Lebanese potato salad with lemon and mint, in a lovely blue bowl with blue gingham spoon, by Maureen Abood.com
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While we could easily classify this and all potato salads as summer salads, I learned long ago from the many recipe hunters across the internet that potato salad is made all year long and for every holiday, everywhere!

The world of potato salad recipes is just as expansive as the seekers themselves. My recipe for Lebanese potato salad is the all-time favorite here for so many reasons you’ll find below. We think of this as a warm potato salad, though it is equally wonderful at room temperature too.

What is Lebanese Potato Salad?

This is a no-mayo potato salad that satisfies on every level: super bright flavor from lemon juice and good olive oil, great buttery texture from perfectly cooked potatoes, savory notes from scallions, and fresh mint to enliven the whole plate.

Serve this salad as a side dish anywhere potato salad goes!

Why you’ll love this version of potato salad

No Mayo Potato Salad is healthy! Consider this a low-fat potato salad. The high-quality fat of extra virgin olive oil replaces mayonnaise and any dairy in this recipe. This is a light potato salad, yet so satisfying.

Lebanese potato salad has so much flavor. Lemon juice, scallions, mint…the layers of flavor don’t quit in this salad.

Texture is spot-on. I choose Russet potatoes for this salad because they absorb so much flavor from the dressing, they hold their shape just right, and they have a fluffy texture.

Watch my video tutorial for how to cook potatoes for potato salad:

YouTube video

Ingredients for Lebanese Potato Salad

Note that there is no mayonnaise or dairy used in this light potato salad!

Russet Potatoes. This is my potato of choice for its ability to hold its shape and for its fluffy texture.

Lemon juice. Lots of it! The juice from three lemons makes the grade here for all of the bright flavors we look for.

Scallions. These green onions provide both color (use the green parts!) and gentle onion flavor to the salad.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil. As with all of your salads, this is the moment for the flavorful, good olive oil you keep on hand. Try a Lebanese Extra Virgin Olive Oil and taste their world-class flavor!

Fresh Mint. Fresh herbs of any kind make a salad sing. Lebanese potato salad gets is traditional flavor profile from fresh spearmint, which is the mint you find in the grocery store and markets.

Dried Mint. You can use dried mint or buy mint salt. Next-level mint flavor abounds when fresh mint pairs with crushed dried mint. I love to use this combination to make new potatoes with mint.

Salt. Of course.

Diced potatoes in a blue bowl

How to make this recipe.

Step 1. Peel and dice the potatoes. If you are using Russet potatoes, peel them because the skin is too thick and heavy for potato salad. Cut the potatoes into 1-inch cubes.

Step 2. Cook the potatoes. This is the trickiest part of making any potato salad! We don’t want to end up with mashed potatoes! Or potatoes that are not cooked through. Get detailed information about how to cook potatoes perfectly for potato salad on my post dedicated to this. Also, watch my video tutorial more information as well. Place the diced potatoes in a large saucepan and cover by 1 inch with cold water. Add a teaspoon of salt. Cover and bring to a boil. Remove the lid and reduce the heat to medium. Test a sample of the potatoes every minute or so with the tip of a paring knife. They are ready when the knife cuts into the potato with just a hint of resistance. Taste the samples, looking for an al dente quality. Russet potatoes cook in about 13 minutes. Be careful not to overcook the potatoes or they will turn to mash when they are stirred with the dressing. Drain the cooked potatoes immediately and place them in a medium (serving) bowl.

Step 3. Season the warm potatoes. alt, lemon, and olive oil, stirring very gently. Taste and adjust seasonings. When the potatoes have cooled down almost to room temperature, add the scallions, fresh mint, and dried mint, stirring gently to combine.

Frequently Asked Questions and Tips

What potatoes are best for potato salad?

Russet potatoes, yukon gold potatoes, and red new potatoes are all good options for potato salad recipes. My recipe calls for Russet potatoes because they absorb the lemon dressing best, which means the salad has more great flavor.

Can I boil the potatoes for potato salad the night before?

You can boil potatoes for this potato salad the night before. Just be sure to dress the potatoes before chilling them. This way, the potatoes will absorb more of the dressing. Bring the salad to room temperature before serving.

Is this an easy potato salad recipe?

This is an easy way to make potato salad because there are just a few ingredients.

Is potato salad gluten-free?

Yes, potato salad is typically gluten-free because potatoes are gluten-free!

Is this potato salad vegan?

Lebanese potato salad is vegan, and it contains no mayonnaise or dairy of any kind, or any animal products.

How long to boil potatoes for potato salad?

Russet potatoes cook 13 minutes. Yukon gold potatoes cook in 15 minutes. Red potatoes cook in 16 minutes. All are diced or halved before cooking.

How long does potato salad last?

This potato salad lasts a good week in the refrigerator. Choose this recipe for pot luck meals and picnics because it can hold at room temperature longer than mayonnaise-based potato salad.

Is this low fat potato salad?

This potato salad is much lower in fat and calories than potato salad with mayonnaise.

Lebanese Potato Salad in a blue dish with green herbs on top
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5 from 6 votes

Lebanese Potato Salad with Lemon and Mint

Dress the potatoes while they’re still warm, but wait to add the mint until the potatoes have cooled off —otherwise the mint will turn dark and you’ll lose the green that makes the salad so pretty. I love the healthy quotient of this dish: vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free!
Prep: 12 minutes
Cook: 13 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients 

  • 3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut in ½-inch dice
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Juice of three large lemons
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup finely sliced scallions, white and green parts
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh mint
  • 2 teaspoon dried mint or Mint Salt
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Instructions 

  • Cook the potatoes: place them in a large saucepan and cover by 1 inch with cold water. Add a teaspoon of salt. Cover and bring to a boil. Remove the lid and reduce the heat to medium. Test a sample of the potatoes every minute or so with the tip of a paring knife. They are ready when the knife cuts into the potato with just a hint of resistance. Taste the samples, looking for an al dente quality. Russet potatoes cook in about 13 minutes. Be careful not to overcook the potatoes or they will turn to mash when they are stirred with the dressing.
  • Drain the potatoes and place in a medium bowl. Season the warm potatoes with salt, lemon, and olive oil, stirring very gently. Taste and adjust seasonings. When the potatoes have cooled down almost to room temperature, add the scallions, fresh mint, and dried mint, stirring gently to combine.
  • This potato salad is delicious warm, as well as the next day (cover and refrigerate over night. Bring to room temperature and add more fresh mint, again stirring gently).

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Author: Maureen Abood
Prep Time: 12 minutes
Cook Time: 13 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 8
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49 Comments

  1. Donna says:

    This was amazing! I added the zest from the lemons as well because I love that flavor. It is so good to have a non mayo salad recipe!!!!!

    1. Maureen Abood says:

      Ohhh the zest, what a lovely addition to the salad Donna, thank you for sharing!

  2. John Roy says:

    My Situ used mashed garlic in her potato salad…

    Interesting to read about another variation of Lebanese potato salad.

    1. Maureen Abood says:

      Ohhh that sounds delicious. Will try adding garlic next time, a natural thank you!

  3. Debbie says:

    I’m making the salad now for a party tomorrow. Used the 3x recipe calculator an noticed that all ingredients increased except for the lemon juice. Just wanted to point this out. I made this once before and overcooked the potatoes, but it was only for my consumption and it still tasted great. It was the best Lebanese mashed potatoes I’ve ever had!

    1. Maureen Abood says:

      Thanks so much Debbie, should definitely triple the lemon juice when tripling the recipe and I will check out the recipe calculator for any issues. So funny about the “mashed” potatoes, still delicious!

  4. Kathie Randall says:

    I have been using red potatoes for many, many years as did my Lebanese mom and aunts. Would that be alright for this recipe or stick with the russets?

    1. Maureen Abood says:

      Yes, red potatoes are a delicious option for this salad and beautiful!

  5. Marilyn Nader says:

    Happy New Year to All,
    Four years ago, when we sold mom’s house in Brooklyn after she passed away, I brought some of her na’ana plants to our house on Long Island. It grew tall and healthy and became a very wide patch. I am going to try and take some of that to our house in Florida as the mint I have gotten here does not compare to that from mom’s house.

    I have been making Lebanese potato salad for years and years. There are all kinds of variations. You can use red onions instead of scallions, parsley instead of mint, but always a lot of lemon and the best olive oil. I usually use a lot of parsley and a lot of scallions. One time I made a mistake in calculating the ratio of mint and scallions to the potatoes. For some reason, I thought I was using twice as many potatoes so I chopped an over abundance of the parsley and scallions. Well, I put them all in anyway, and it was really, really good that way. You should try it sometime. You can’t have enough Na’ana or parsley and scallions. And, as I said before you have to have enough lemon and olive oil.

    Enjoy the new year and be safe. I am glad 2020 is behind us. But I did do a lot more Lebanese cooking this year, so that was enjoyable.

  6. Marcia O'Dea says:

    Dear Maureen I love you’re stories and recipes! Nostalgic memory lane ! My brother even planted nana at gravesite of my parents! Blessings!

    1. Maureen Abood says:

      I LOVE that Marcia, how dear. Thank you so much for sharing!

  7. Louise says:

    This is identical to our family recipe, although we don’t measue! And when you mentioned nana, it brought tears to my eyes! Our Sitti always called it that and we only know it as nana! I have 5 brothers who all raise nana and we dry it for winter. Thanks for sharing one of our favorite summer dishes…!

    1. Maureen Abood says:

      Beautiful Louise, thank you!

  8. Maureen says:

    I’ve always used parsley, but I can’t wait to try it with mint. I use organic red potatoes. They have less starch, and I leave the skins on for color, flavor, and nutrients. Instead of cubing, I save time by thin-slicing the spuds with the mandolin.

    By the way, my mom’s Irish side of the family always looks forward to my Lebanese potato salad at their O’Malley+McAfee reunions.

    1. Maureen Abood says:

      That sounds delicious!

  9. Barbara Shaheen Campbell says:

    So nice to see a recipe for Lebanese potato salad. Growing up we called it “Syrian Potato Salad.” The only difference in ours is that we made it with garlic and not green onions, although I like the idea of both. Garlic is what makes the salad! I’d use a couple of cloves, mashed.

    /.

    1. Maureen Abood says:

      I bet the garlic is absolutely wonderful here. I’m going to try it! Thank you!

  10. Evelyn Salem Negrete says:

    Love your recipe, same as ours. Sometimes we also substitute with parsley. Glad to know that you cook so much like we do.

    1. Maureen Abood says:

      Thank you Evelyn!

  11. Karen Blais Wechner says:

    My mom and I would have added Za’atar…

    1. Maureen Abood says:

      Mmmmmm–great idea!

  12. Tina hogan says:

    All I know is wait till the potatoes are cool yo add the mint(we prefer parsley). One time I put it in when they were warm and had green potatoes! Since tim is Irish I guess that would work! Love, cousin Tina

    1. Maureen Abood says:

      Haha! Hi Tina!

  13. Liz Polston says:

    HI Maureen: My mother made her potato salad with lemon juice, salt, oil, and chopped parsley. I continue to make it the same way, but would like to try it with green onions and nana. It sounds very good.

    1. Maureen Abood says:

      It’s so good any way you season it, isn’t it?!

  14. Donna Falkowski says:

    Maureen, This is my “go to potato salad.”
    LOVE that there’s no mayo. I add some Italian flat leaf parsley to mine along with the mint and scallions.
    Refreshing taste and change from the same ol potato salad we Americans are so accustomed to.
    Thank you. Keep those authentic Lebanese recipes coming.

  15. Lamia says:

    My teta makes her potato salad with lemon and allspice, and sometimes green onion. I remember sneaking to the fridge at night with my sister to eat it straight out of the container. I’ll have to try the minty version! And I’ll definitely be using your potato-cooking technique. I can never seem to get that part right!

    1. Maureen Abood says:

      Your teta’s recipe sounds divine, Lamia!

  16. Cathy Earp says:

    I served your recipe this evening beside our Cornish Game Hens which were cooked in a Weber kettle. It was perfect! My beautiful mint is being crowded out by Mexican Primrose-I have to get at it now that I’ve found your recipe for this lovely potato salad!

  17. Tanya says:

    My grandmother used to send me into her backyard garden to get mint for cooking and to make tea. I was fascinated by all the plants there. Sometimes, she would send me to the woods to find chamomile, my personal favorite. This recipe and your story really took me back to that memory of childhood and comfort. I made your potato salad for dinner this evening and packed the remainder in the fridge for tomorrow’s lunch. What a wonderfully delicious dish. Thanks so much for sharing it with us.

    1. Maureen Abood says:

      How special Tanya, thank you!

  18. Kevin | keviniscooking says:

    This looks lovely and I have a batch of some fennel preserved lemons all ready to mix in with this!

  19. Carol at Wild Goose Tea says:

    I love potatoes, so therefore I love potato salad. This type of potato salad I am totally unfamiliar with, which makes it all the more fun.

  20. Big Bad John says:

    This recipe looks terrific, but do you have any suggestions if I don’t like mint? Thank you.

    1. Maureen Abood says:

      Absolutely John–this salad is delicious using basil, dill, cilantro or tarragon!

  21. Nadia says:

    Another hit! This potato salad was absolutely delicious (the lemon flavor was divine in this) and a huge hit with my Lebanese family. I am addicted to your website Maureen! Every recipe is so delicious :). Thanks!

  22. Deanna Ryan says:

    I married into a Lebanese family and we frequently had this salad in the summer months – the only difference being, young green beans (blanched) and finely chopped parsley were also added. Delicious!

    1. Maureen Abood says:

      Green beans with this, and parsley, sound SO good! I will try it–thank you!

      1. Lisa C. says:

        Just chiming in to say that I just returned from southern Italy (the Amalfi coast) where I had a delicious cold salad of very small potatoes, green beans and thinly sliced fennel dressed with olive oil and lemon. It was divine. Going to try it at home. All of these variations sound delicious.

        1. Maureen Abood says:

          That sounds SOOOO delicious Lisa, I’ll try it!

  23. Mimi Scoretz says:

    Maureen, thank you for your lovely writing and interesting potato salad recipe. I’m going to try taking it to a potluck lunch with family this Easter Saturday. I love that it is relatively low-fat and gluten free.

    I’m just wondering about the mint. Do you prefer nana that is peppermint or spearmint? Which do you think I should use?

    Kindest regards, Mimi

    1. Maureen Abood says:

      Hi Mimi–my mint is spearmint, as is the mint that is grown and sold in markets and grocery stores. That’s what you want for our classic flavors. Happy Easter and enjoy the salad!

  24. Amanda says:

    Just thought I’d pipe up and say we tried the salad (with lamb burgers and grilled zucchini and eggplant) and it was really quite divine. Light even, if potatoes can ever be light. Going to have a hard time stomaching traditional American potato salad in the future when your recipe is in my flavor memory. Thanks!

  25. Geri Kalush Conklin says:

    Maureen, growing up it was common place to hear my mother tell one of us to go out and pick some nana. I too dug up a clump from my mother’s yard and planted it in a large container and it didn’t come back. I just planted some in a raised bed at our cottage and can’t wait to tell my grandkids to “go pick grandma some nana” as I try to pass on this “tradition”.
    Another wonderful memory you’ve stirred up.
    I love what I thought was so unique in our home was just the same in yours and many others, a fine example of the beauty and strength of our heritage. Thank you, Geri

  26. Geralyn Lasher says:

    I have loads of nana at my house that you are welcome to come dig out and try to transplant if you want. It is spearmint and I actually prefer peppermint nana since that is what Grandpa planted at Mom’s house 51 years ago (and still grows like crazy every year).

    1. Jerry Wakeen says:

      Ah yes, nana. I wondered for years if it was spearmint or some other kind of mint. Your mention of peppermint is likely the only other alternative. Sad to say when in Wisconsin I often go to a dry goods store and buy an entire pound bag of the dried spearmint for $10 (several years ago). Now we also have what I suspect is spearmint planted in a small container, otherwise it will take over all of Maryland!

      Maureen you lost me with the potato salad recipe. It is probably wonderful but I can’t imagine other than the typical salad with mayonnaise. My wife gets your newsletters, perhaps she will take the hint and try it, she loves Lebanese foods.
      best, Jerry

  27. Gregory Jarous says:

    I tried bring my mom’s mint from her house in Lansing to MN, without success, then i got some more from her house from the new owner’s when we moved to MA, again without success. I now have a nice patch growing in GA, which a friend gave me from his garden.

  28. Diane Nassir (My maternal grandmother was an Abowd) says:

    Maureen, once again!! The mint for the Nassir gardens in CA came all the way from Grandma Frieda Nassir’s garden in PA. She brought it with her when she moved west with two of her sons, and then once it became abundant, each of the remaining sons and daughters, as they made their way West, took a few sprigs from her garden to their own house, and, all of it prospered! Your words bring to mind all the rituals of my own childhood growing up in southern CA! Sadly, I don’t believe any of us cousins kept that tradition going and now that the children (our parents) and their homes are all gone, so too, is the nana.

  29. Kristen English says:

    My Mom’s mint grows at Higgins Lake! Here’s the secret: sandy soil is terrible for gardens, so she buys topsoil and tills the garden so it goes down deep enough, then adds another layer on top. Also good for the chives, rosemary, tomatoes, etc.

    On another note, red potatoes/new potatoes may not be good for this recipe, but they’re divine with a sour cream-based dressing – not as healthy but a nice treat!

    Thanks for cooking and eating with us, K