Quick Vegan Potato Salad – Arthritis Friendly!

Quick vegan potato salad comes together in half the time as traditional. A southern style mustard salad, great for cookouts and holidays.

It’s tangy and pickle-y and creamy and lovely. And of course, potato-ey! All without peeling or chopping. It’s egg and dairy-free, and a wonderful alternative for vegans and people with allergies.

Bowl of potato salad flanked by american flag themed napkins and a spoon

I don’t know about you, but time management is not my strong suit. #ADHDlife

This potato salad is one of my most requested dishes for cookouts and get-togethers, but the old version took too long. I was always rushed and left with no time to boil the potatoes, much less peel them. Then arthritis in my hands also makes peeling and chopping the potatoes quite painful – so the recipe evolved to accommodate both of my problems.

The Magic Ingredient

So, what was my solution to both my time constraints and my decrepit hands?


Large glass bowl full of instant potato flakes

Yes, you read that right! All we have to do is simmer, pour, and stir. No peeling. No chopping. No boiling. No carrying heavy pots full of scalding water to pour into a collander. NOPE. So much easier!

And it works out perfectly because my family always wanted me to mash up the potatoes in the salad anyway.

The Other Ingredients

Honestly, you can use whatever ingredients you want. Just use instant mash to make your life easier! So if you’ve got a family favorite recipe, or another you’ve found online you’d like to try, feel free to go to town with those! But this is my “famous” southern style mustard potato salad. I promise it’s good, but also know not everyone loves this version.

Anyway! Here’s what I use:

Photo of the potato salad ingredients listed below

• Instant potato flakes
• Water
• Soft or medium firm tofu (this is instead of eggs. Omit or sub for almond or rice milk + agar “egg whites” if you’re avoiding soy)
• Vegan mayonnaise (y’all know I love my mayo! If you’re avoiding soy, grab one without like Fabanaise or make your own. If you’re avoiding oils, you can also make your own oil-free version!)
• Dill pickle juice
• Dill pickle relish (no chopping required! I actually prefer more coarsely chopped dill pickles, but my arthritic hands just won’t let me sometimes)
• Dehydrated minced onion (again, no chopping!)
• Yellow mustard
• Black salt (for the eggy taste)
• Paprika or Cajun seasoning for garnish

If you try to use sweet pickles, I will find you.

This potato salad is also very tangy – that’s how we like it! If you’re not as much of a vinegar fan as we are, you can totally tone it down. I won’t judge you. 😉

Equipment required to make it

You don’t need any specialized equipment! But this is what I use and recommend:

• A stovetop
• A 10-12″ high-walled skillet (I use this instead of a sauce pan or stock pot to simmer the water and mix the potatoes because the larger surface area means they cool off quicker.)
• A silicone spatula. Never leave home without one!
• A fork
• A small bowl
• A large bowl for serving, if desired (You can totally just use the pan, but it doesn’t feel as fancy.)
• Measuring cups and spoons if you’re not adept at dump-cooking

How to serve the potato salad

Serve this vegan potato salad just like you would any other! It’s the perfect replacement for the traditional version made with eggs.

Creamy potato salad in a glass bowl on a grey concrete tile

Loads of folks prefer to eat theirs chilled, but my family is a bunch of weirdos and we like it warm. I guess that comes from my German side! Either way is great, though. Keep in mind it will be softer if you eat it warm. And it’ll firm up if you chill it.

(pssst: it’s super even much more deliciouser the next day!)

How to store it

Store your potato salad in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. I don’t recommend freezing it. It gets grainy and gummy.

Fun variations and additions for quick vegan potato salad

• If you prefer a chunky potato salad, add in a can of new potatoes! Drained, of course.

• Chopped celery is a welcome addition for a lot of people.

Bac’n bits (vegan ones, sold in the salad dressing aisle)

• Some people like to stir in shredded cheddar style cheese (Violife and Moocho are my faves)

• Chopped green onion is yummy here, and adds a nice pop of color

How-To video

Coming soon!

Pin it for later

Pinterest pin for the potato salad


Yield: 6-8 servings

Quick Vegan Potato Salad

A bowl of delicious potato salad!

Quick vegan potato salad comes together in half the time as traditional. A southern style mustard salad, great for cookouts and holidays.

Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Additional Time 5 minutes
Total Time 12 minutes


  • 4 c (130g) instant mashed potato flakes*
  • 5.5 c (1.3L) water*
  • 1/2 block (8oz or 225g) soft or medium firm tofu, drained
  • 1/2 tsp black salt
  • 1/4 c (25g) dehydrated minced onion (or 1/2 fresh onion, finely chopped)
  • 1/2 c (120g) dill pickle relish
  • 1/3 c (80ml) dill pickle juice
  • 1/4 c (60g) yellow mustard
  • 1 1/4 c (280g) vegan mayonnaise
  • Paprika or Cajun seasoning for garnish


  1. Set your water to simmer in a 10-12" high-walled skillet over high heat
  2. While the water heats up, mix your onion into your pickle relish and set aside.
  3. Mix the black salt into the tofu, crumbling and mixing with the back of a fork, and set aside.
  4. Once the water is simmering, almost at a boil, remove from heat and fold in the potato flakes with a silicone spatula until no dry bits remain.
  5. Gently stir in all of the remaining ingredients except the mayonnaise and garnish. If you stir too vigorously, your potatoes will become gummy. Be gentle!
  6. You can either chill the potatoes now before you add in the mayo if you prefer a lighter colored salad, or add in while warm for a creamier one.
  7. Transfer into your serving dish, if desired.
  8. Chill if you'd like a sturdier, more firm salad.
  9. Sprinkle either paprika or Cajun seasoning on top for a little color, and enjoy!


My mashed potato flake to water ratio is according to the back of my box, which states 4 c of flakes to 4 c of water and 2 c of milk. 4 + 2 comes out to 6 c total liquid, and I subtracted the pickle juice and moisture from the tofu and relish.

You may want to double check the back of your box to see what the ratios are for 12 servings, and subtract a half a cup of liquid.

See post for ingredient substitutions

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