Potato Salad Lite - My Way!


When I first moved to Germany, I thought that the potato salad was a staple side for the Germans. Any restaurant, cafe, food stall or fast food place, regardless if they were 3 or 5 star places, all served the kartoffelsalat. Almost all of them had one thing in common they were made with thick, heavy mayonnaise! It's served with all kinds of things here - the bratwurst, meat patties, fried fish pan fried pork steaks and grilled meat to name a few. There are also a few variations to this basic dish, but I never really fancied the thought of all that mayo clotting my arteries!!

I am not a huge fan of mayonnaise. Never was, even the type I make at home once every two years. I cannot even remember when I last ate mayo to be honest. So, imagine my distress when I first moved here I would get served potato salad everywhere I went. "Try some traditional potato salad!" I was told. SPLAT! A huge ladle was spooned onto my plate before I could even say a word. There were many occasions when this type of potato salad seemed to be wicked and followed me. Any party or barbecues I was sure to bump into the the ole spud covered in a thick white coating. Pot lucks were the worst, then I was sure to find two or three different varieties!

Then one day I decided to retaliate. I decided to make my own version of the potato salad. My goal: not to use any mayonnaise! I think I did well the first time, but I needed more then just potatoes. So I started to experiment with a variety of different vegetables and substitutes for the mayo ... and I really did come up with a fantastic tasting potato salad.

The key for a good potato salad is finding the perfect potato. Potatoes that have a high moisture content and are waxy, like the red potato or the Yukon Gold, are perfect for salads. The next step is boiling them - the potatoes need to be cooked to the perfect point and then it is important to get them right out of the hot water. Potatoes can be boiled whole or cut into smaller pieces. The boiling time is reduced the smaller the pieces. I prefer boiling them whole with the skin left on. Furthermore, add salt to the water before the potatoes are placed into water. When the potatoes are tender enough to bite through, but before they turn mushy, it is time to remove them from the water. Drying the potatoes is very important as they are not supposed to cook any further and also need to soak in the dressings, oils and seasonings. This is done best when they are dry. Potatoes also soak up flavors the best while they are hot. However, care needs to be taken while adding anything that can be spoiled by heat. While the potatoes are hot it is best to season them with a light mixture of oil with whatever herbs and spices being used. Once the salad has cooled it can be completed with other ingredients.

As I think I have a perfect, not so heavy and ever so yummy salad here I'll be joining Lisa and Kelly and anyone else at their Salad Stravaganza!

Music to my ears

Pink ft. The Indigo Girls - Dear Mr. President
Controversial and thought provoking. This is a song that gets under my skin.


Get your scrumptious ice-cream creations for July's MM - Scream For Ice Cream over to me soon.
Deadline is July 4th!


500 g red potatoes - washed and left unpeeled
2 eggs - hard boiled
100 g frozen or fresh peas - blanched in salt water for 3 minutes
100 g carrots - coarsely diced
1 red or orange bell pepper - diced
2 large pickled gherkins - sliced
2 tablespoons of the gherkin vinegar - from the jar the gherkins were in
1 red onion - finely chopped
100 g yogurt
75 g Quark or substitute with low-fat sour cream
Handful of chives
Salt and pepper



Cook potatoes with their peels on, depending on their size for approx. 15 to 20 minutes. Take out of water when done and dry well. Peel the potatoes and slice in thickish slices.

Place all of the ingredients, except for the potatoes, in a large bowl and mix well until incorporated and all the vegetables are coated in the dressing. Salt and pepper generously. Add the potatoes while still warm and gently toss, making certain the potato slices do not break up. Allow the potatoes to absorb the dressing for 10 to 15 minutes, then sprinkle with chives and serve.


My issue with the mayo ladened potato salads resolved itself as soon as I started serving this salad to my friends. It knocked their socks off and ever since then they too have been making their potato salads similar to my version. My dad always did say I was very diplomatic LOL! I really like this style of potato salad. It's not heavy and with the addition of fresh vegetables it is not only colorful to the eye but also healthier. The yogurt gives it a wonderful smooth flavor and the quark lends the salad dressing it's thickness making the salad more refreshing. Perfect for barbecues and picnics.

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  1. Heya, in some parts of Germany you don't use mayonaise at all, but rather vegetable stock, so maybe that might be another alternative...I think this is known as the thuringian version of the salad...other's than that I really like your recipe!

  2. I tasted mayo first time in Germany. It was smeared on breakfast bread with loads of hard boiled eggs in between.. Loved that stuffff sooooooo much.. But those were the 85 pound weight days..

    Loved your version of the salad...

  3. Meeta, your salad is lovely. I like the fact that you substitute quark for mayo, must be lovely!

  4. This salada is more healthy with yogurt than mayo. I use yogurth to substitute many dishes with mayo.The photo is great !!

  5. Love the colours... I too don't like mayo in potato salad..I am also happy that u dint use celery....Not a big fan :D

  6. Sounds lovely---and timely! I just was experimenting with red potatoes in a skillet with some new herbs and lime zest... and decided in the end if I had blended in a bit of creme fraiche it would have been a nice combo... I am still working on my version of potato salad! I will have to try yours too!

  7. Meeta,

    I'm a total sucker for potato salad! Yours looks refreshing and not heavy, which is often my biggest complaint when it comes to potato salad.

    Love it!

  8. I'm not a big may fan either. I started making my own, only because I can make only enough I want for a recipe or for the odd craving (tuna/chicken/egg salad).

    Great salad--it looks so tasty.


  9. Germans offer also a stock and vinegar version of potatoe salad!

    Your salad looks delicious!

  10. I admit that I can't stand store bought mayo and the only one I like resembles the "aioli" my grandma used to make: loaded with garlic. I make it heavy on garlic and then only use a few Tb. to add to a potato or chicken salad, because B. "has" to have it.
    Your recipe sounds wonderful. I love quark and this is going on the to do liat for this week.

  11. Potato Salad - kartulisalat - is an Estonian staple. Most birthday tables would feature one, and my mum would always make a bowl of potato salad whenever I was visiting from Edinburgh. As it's so widely popular here, every cook has their own recipe. Traditionally the 'sauce' is half mayo, half sour cream, though my favourite is probably 1 part mayo to 2 parts sour cream..
    Hungry now:)

  12. Just as you say, part of the problem with mayo-based potato salads is they're really mayo salads with a few potatoes thrown in. The proportions are just way off.

    I'm glad you've found one that suits your taste. "Print"

  13. Liked your lite salad without the mayo :)

  14. Meeta, We're right there with the issue about mayo in our house. My husband completely freaks out about it. I too have tried a variety of ways to rid potato salad of mayo. We enjoy the taste of garlicky dill pickles so have found a way with those, onions, celery and eggs that seems to meet with people's approval. Yours sounds lovely -- and the pictures are terrific -- even at this time when I'm thinking about breakfast!

  15. You've got the perfect technique with the potatoes and great accents for the potatoes! The yogurt and quark is a must try combo, I'm always experimenting with the dressing. For potato salad mayo just seems wrong and heavy to me.

  16. I know that in some parts of Germany there is a version with chicken or vegetable stock, which is great but I always find it kind of makes the salad mushy.

    Glad to see that many of you share my sentiments about mayo and hope I was able to provide you all with a decent alternative.

  17. Wow! I think you HAVE hit upon the perfect lite potato salad EVER. It looks unbelievably delicious, Meeta! Thank you so much for submitting this to the Stravaganza! I can't wait to try it!



  18. Wow Meeta! That sounds great! I often substitute yogurt for sour cream and mayo in recipes, so I am sure this tastes delicious and light!

  19. looks lovely. i'm not a huge fan of mayo myself but i do love me some potato salad. can't wait to try this recipe!

  20. oh this salad looks lovely. just reminded me i have to make mine sometime again. kartoffelsalat - bratwürstchen - I.LOVE.THAT.STUFF! yours looks so refreshing, perfect for summer!

  21. thats one beautiful shot
    and one beautiful salad
    i have one orange pepper
    cool color huh
    i luv the idea of gherkin sauce :)


  22. Yeah, I am not a big mayo person in my potato salad either. We usually have a parmesan vineigrette to go with mine.

  23. I like your alternative to Mayo, your combo should definitely offer a unique (meaning good) taste to the salad. Potato salad is a favourite in hese parts.

  24. I dislike potato salad for the same reason as you.. mayo. I have to give this a try! Delicious!

  25. Hi Meeta! I love potato salads, but I know what you mean about mayo. I used to like mayo a lot! Then at some point, I decided mayo loaded salads weren't my way. Now I do my potato salads with sour cream, lemon juice and chopped spring onions. Mm!

  26. Hi!
    That is lovely...... pic looks so good!!!!

  27. I do dig potato salad both with and without mayo depending on my mood

  28. I like mayo potato salad but only one!

    I like trying othrs too, and yours sounds really well balanced and colourful too.

  29. Your potato salad is so colorful! I could eat bowls of it and I won't feel guilty. :D It's great that you used yogurt! I like to put a little bit of chopped apples in my potato salad.

  30. Meeta, the potato salads we have here are made with mayo, too - and I don't like them.

    I think that I should try your version, it looks so good!

  31. Thanks everyone for your feedback. There are so many variations of the potato salad and everyone has there own favorite. I am so glad to see that many prefer the lighter type. Hope you all enjoy making this. Please do let me know how you liked (or disliked ;-)) it.

  32. Erst einmal schöne Grüße aus Österreich ;)

    Ich habe noch nicht ganz so viel gelesen, deine Website finde ich aber schon jetzt toll!

    In Österreich wird auch viel Kartoffelsalat gegessen. Bei uns allerdings ohne Mayo! Googel einmal nach österreichischen Kartoffelsalat. Er ist auch etwas süßer. Vielleicht schmeckt dir der besser ;)

    Ich mag ihn auch nicht mit Mayo.
    LG Jenny


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