Table of Contents
  1. Why I love this French Potato Salad recipe
  2. French Potato Salad Ingredients
  3. How to Make French Potato Salad
  4. Tips For Variations and Substitutions
  5. Tips For Storage and Serving
  6. Frequently Asked Questions
  7. You'll love these other BBQ side dish recipes
  8. Watch how to make this French potato salad recipe
  9. Have I convinced you to make this recipe?
  10. French Potato Salad Recipe

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This bright French-Style Potato Salad uses a vinaigrette, making it a lighter alternative to a traditional mayonnaise-based potato salad. White sweet potato makes for a sweet yet creamy base. A vibrant coating of a simple vinaigrette brings seasonal brightness. Fresh herbs complete the dish, making it the perfect accompaniment to any summertime picnic or BBQ side dish!

Kaleb Wyse standing in front of light gray background with black t-shirt.

Why I love this French Potato Salad recipe

Recently, I had some friends over for a small dinner party. I planned to make a slow-roasted brisket in the oven and knew what salad to serve, but the side dish evaded me. I’ve always made a French-style potato salad, but without potatoes on hand, it didn’t seem like a possibility. But I did have white sweet potatoes, so I decided to swap those for the traditional potatoes instead. Everyone loved the meal, and I’ve been making my version of this classic recipe ever since.

The best thing about a French potato salad, as compared to a traditional potato salad recipe, is that it’s delicious warm, cold, or even at room temperature. There is no mayonnaise in the dressing, so for those who do not love mayo, this recipe is heaven-sent. Plus, since there’s no mayo in the dressing, this side dish can sit out at a summer picnic with less fear of anything going bad.

Whether you make this recipe for a BBQ or cookout, you’re going to love the sweetness of the potatoes paired with the tanginess of the vinaigrette. It’s truly one of my favorites that’s on repeat during the summer months!

Large white bowl filled with French potato salad with two yellow glasses and a yellow towel on marble surface.

French Potato Salad Ingredients

Here are all of the ingredients you will need to make this potato salad:

  • White sweet potatoes, while not the traditional choice for a French potato salad, add a hint of additional sweetness to the dish. Regular potatoes can be used in exactly the same manner as these sweet potatoes, but I would urge you to try this recipe at least once as written.
  • White wine vinegar adds acidity to balance the vinaigrette with the subtle flavor of wine.
  • Lemon juice adds a bright, fresh flavor that helps all of the other flavors taste even better.
  • Fresh parsley, fresh tarragon, and fresh dill are the perfect herbs to accompany the fresh flavors of this side dish. 
  • Shallot is sweeter than traditional onion that blends into the vinaigrette without being overwhelming.
  • Dijon mustard is necessary for any vinaigrette to create the emulsion needed to create a creamy dressing. Plus, it has a delicious flavor that pairs so well when coating the potatoes.
  • Whole-grain mustard is a unique ingredient, but one that I especially love in this recipe. The mustard grains add some texture, while the flavor adds some tanginess.
  • Garlic adds a subtle sharpness that cuts through the vinaigrette and flavors the dressing.
  • Olive oil is a mandatory ingredient in vinaigrette. And since this vinaigrette has so few ingredients, make sure to use good olive oil, as it will impart even more delicious flavor.
  • Honey adds just the right amount of necessary sweetness that the vinaigrette deserves.
White marble surface filled with all ingredients for French potato salad including sweet potatoes, shallot, mustards, fresh herbs, spices, and more.

How to Make French Potato Salad

There are three main steps to making this simple French-style potato salad recipe:

  1. Roast the potatoes
  2. Prepare the vinaigrette
  3. Mix everything together and chill

Step 1: Roast the potatoes. Dice the sweet potatoes into bite-sized pieces. Place them onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Douse with olive oil and toss to coat them evenly. Season with kosher salt and black pepper. Place into a 425°F oven for 25 to 30 minutes until browned. When done roasting, the potatoes should be fork-tender.

Step 2: Prepare the vinaigrette. Mince the garlic, finely chop the shallot, and add both to a large serving bowl. Add in the Dijon mustard, whole-grain mustard, and white wine vinegar. Squeeze in the lemon juice and add the honey. Season with kosher salt and black pepper. Add in the olive oil, and whisk until combined.

Step 3: Mix everything together and chill. Chop up the parsley, dill, and tarragon. Add to the dressing with the potatoes. Fold everything together. Serve immediately or place in the refrigerator to chill and marinate. 

Tips For Variations and Substitutions

  • Rather than using white sweet potatoes, a regular sweet potato or traditional potato can also be used. Personally, I love the level of sweetness that the white sweet potato adds while still appearing to be a white potato. If using a traditional potato, opt for russet or Yukon gold.
  • While I left the skin on my sweet potatoes, feel free to remove it. Some people have certain preferences when it comes to skin on their potatoes. I love the additional texture it adds to the dish, but the flavor will still be amazing even if you choose to peel your potatoes.
  • If you desire additional flavor, you could finish the dish with a sprinkle of scallions, chives, or green onion. Personally, I don’t think the dish needs any of these, but it is definitely an option.
  • Using fresh herbs brightens the flavors in the dish, and the herbs I chose work the best in this recipe. A touch of fresh basil could also work well to drive home the fresh flavors of this dish.

Tips For Storage and Serving

To store: If making this recipe a day or more in advance, know that the vinaigrette will continue to soak into the potatoes, making them softer. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator in an airtight container and consume within 5 to 7 days.

To serve: This potato salad can be prepared and mixed together a few hours before serving and can be served warm, cold, or at room temperature. The longer the potatoes sit in the vinaigrette, the deeper the flavors will permeate. While a side dish like this is traditionally served during the summer months, it can be prepared at any time throughout the year. Some of my favorite recipes to serve this potato salad alongside are:

Chunks of diced sweet potato covered in a homemade vinaigrette with mustard seeds and fresh herbs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a different type of potato be used in this? 

Of course! I really recommend trying the recipe as written, but if you cannot find white sweet potatoes or simply do not enjoy sweet potatoes, a regular potato will work as well. I recommend using russet or Yukon gold potatoes as substitutes.

What temperature should this be served at?

This dish is great at a variety of temperatures. It’s great when it’s first assembled warm, but can also chill in the fridge and marinate, deepening the flavors. 

How long will this recipe last?

Any leftovers should be placed in the refrigerator and will last for 5 to 7 days. As the potatoes sit in the vinaigrette, they will tend to soften.

How long can this potato salad sit out?

This is a tricky question and really depends on the environment in which it is sitting. I would always err on the side of caution and place any leftovers in the refrigerator as soon as possible, but it should be able to sit at room temperature for a few hours without issue. If serving outdoors, try to keep out of full sun if possible, just so the salad can stay at a slightly cooler temperature.

Why did you roast the potatoes instead of having them boil in water?

I prefer the crisp texture that’s achieved with roasted potatoes, and I think doing so elevates this dish to something truly delicious. Plus, I think the process of roasting is much easier than cooking the potatoes in water. Rather than having to watch them boil on the stove and then drain them to remove the water, roasting feels like a pretty hands-off process with caramelized goodness on each piece of sweet potato.

Watch how to make this French potato salad recipe

YouTube video

More side dish recipes

Have I convinced you to make this recipe?

I hope you make this recipe and put some food on your table. Leave a comment and share a star rating so you can let others know how much you love this recipe. This helps show others that this is a recipe they, too, can make, enjoy, and love!

White bowl filled with diced sweet potatoes covered in mustard vinaigrette for a French potato salad.

French Potato Salad

5 from 3 votes
This bright French-style potato salad uses a vinaigrette, making it a lighter alternative to a traditional mayonnaise-based potato salad. White sweet potato makes for a sweet yet creamy base. A vibrant coating of a simple vinaigrette brings seasonal brightness. Fresh herbs complete the dish, making it the perfect accompaniment to any summertime picnic or BBQ side dish!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 lb white sweet potatoes or Yukon gold potatoes (skin on) cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 10 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tbsp minced shallot
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp whole-grain mustard
  • 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon

Instructions
 

  • Prepare the potatoes. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Spread the prepared potatoes on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Toss with 2 tbsp olive oil, salt, and black pepper. Roast in the oven until they are browned and tender, 25-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and set the potatoes aside.
    3 lb white sweet potatoes or Yukon gold potatoes (skin on), 10 tbsp olive oil, 1 ½ tsp kosher salt, 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • Make the dressing. In a bowl, whisk together the garlic, shallot, Dijon mustard, whole-grain mustard, vinegar, lemon juice, honey, and remaining 8 tbsp olive oil.
    3 cloves garlic, 2 tbsp minced shallot, 2 tbsp Dijon mustard, 1 tbsp whole-grain mustard, 3 tbsp white wine vinegar, 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice, 2 tsp honey, 10 tbsp olive oil
  • Assemble the salad. Toss the dressing with the warm potatoes. Add the dill, parsley, and tarragon. Pour into a serving bowl or platter. This can be served immediately, but the flavor deepens when refrigerated and rested for 4-6 hours.
    2 tbsp chopped fresh dill, ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley, 1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon

Notes

Rather than using white sweet potatoes, a regular sweet potato or traditional potato can also be used. Personally, I love the level of sweetness that the white sweet potato adds while still appearing to be a white potato. If using a traditional potato, opt for russet or Yukon gold.
While I left the skin on my sweet potatoes, feel free to remove it. Some people have certain preferences when it comes to skin on their potatoes. I love the additional texture it adds to the dish, but the flavor will still be amazing even if you choose to peel your potatoes.
If you desire additional flavor, you could finish the dish with a sprinkle of scallions, chives, or green onion. Personally, I don’t think the dish needs any of these, but it is definitely an option.
Using fresh herbs brightens the flavors in the dish, and the herbs I chose work the best in this recipe. A touch of fresh basil could also work well to drive home the fresh flavors of this dish.

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 314kcal
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Difficulty Easy
Method Roasting

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Kaleb

I’m Kaleb! I'm not a chef, professional baker, landscaper, or designer, but I like to play each on Knollgate Farm. Come join me on my journey and let's learn together!

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5 from 3 votes

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4 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I have a French background and have had some French Potato salad but not like this. It was fanomanal…. loved loved it…. thanks Kaleb for posting it…..

  2. 5 stars
    I just made this (with some tweaks based on herbs and vinegar at hand) and it’s delicious! I’ll definitely be making it again. The white sweet potatoes are a wonderful change.

  3. 5 stars
    Lovely recipe that allowed me to finish up my 2023 harvest of white sweet potatoes. We made this as directed with the addition of chopped cornichon and capers. I also had no honey in the house so used home-made maple syrup. Delicious! Thanks for the great recipe, Kaleb and happy Fourth!