How Italians do it: Perfect Potato Salad

While living in the U.S. I remember going out to lunch at a “diner” type place with my family and I innocently asked the waitress if the had a potato salad without mayonnaise since I didn’t know what the potato salad I grew up with was called in English.

“If it ain’t got no mayo, it ain’t no ‘tater salad, Honey!” She had a good belly rubbing laugh teaching me the finer points of diner cuisine and had to push up her glasses and wipe her eyes with a handkerchief she fished from her bra to take the rest of our order.

This salad, and slight variations of the same in France (Salade de Pommes de Terre), Germany and Austria (Kartoffelsalat), is a popular summer dish in Europe. Unlike the American version, which is laden with mayonnaise, this salad is only dressed in oil and vinegar – with a little surprises of macerated onion.

I make this dish quite often, so I spent a little extra time refining this recipe for you. I used to boil the potatoes in the pressure cooker whole and dice them while hot – messy and dangerous. Getting a whole potato cooked evenly is challenging and just a few seconds of error will turn your potato salad recipe into potato mash.

The best way to make this salad is to dice the potatoes first, steam the pieces and then proceed with the recipe.

You may not find this recipe at an American diner but now you can make it yourself… Honey!

Pressure Cooker Accessories Pr. Cook Time Pr. Level Open
5L or larger steamer basket 10 min. High (2) Natural
Pressure Cooker Potato Salad (Insalata di Patate)
Recipe type: pressure cooker recipe
Cuisine: italian, german, french
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

  • 3 lbs. (1.5k) Red or New Potatoes, large dice
  • 1 bunch Parsley, finely chopped
  • ¼ White Onion, finely chopped (about ⅓ of a cup)
  • 3-4 Tbsp. White Wine Vinegar
  • 4-5 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  1. Chop the onion finely and set in a small bowl with the vinegar and pepper to macerate.
  2. Scrub and wash the potatoes well and cut into about 1″ (2.5cm) cubes. Place them in the steamer basket.
  3. Prepare the pressure cooker with 1 cup of water, and trivet. Then lower the steamer basket with the potatoes cubes and a sprinkle of salt.
  4. Close and lock the lid. Turn the heat to high and when the pan reaches pressure lower the heat and cook for 10 minutes at HIGH pressure.
  5. When time is up, open the pan with the natural method – turn off the heat and don’t do anything (about 10 minutes).
  6. While the potatoes are cooking, finely chop the parsley.
  7. When cooking is finished, transfer into a mixing bowl and while the potatoes are still hot dress them with the vinegar and onion. When they have cooled to room temperature (about 10 minutes) add the salt, pepper, olive oil and parsley. Salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Serve immediately or chill overnight in the refrigerator.


Pressure Cooker Potato Salad Recipe - Italian Style!