Easy Pressure Cooker Potato Salad Recipe

When I first started pressure cooking I kept trying to make this potato salad but the potatoes kept falling apart into a mash.  I finally figured out that by reversing the process – slicing the potatoes before instead of after cooking – the result would make a perfect potato salad. Just toss the sliced raw potatoes in the pressure cooker using a steamer basket and the potatoes will keep their shape after cooking to make a salad.

This Italian potato salad (Insalata di Patate) 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 little surprises of macerated onion- and lots of parsley. Don’t forget to only add the parsley after the potatoes have cooled a bit to keep it from turning black.

I make this recipe quite often so I’d like to share a few additional refinements that bring this basic potato salad from good to… fantastic!  I macerate the onion in the vinegar while the potatoes are pressure cooking – this tones down the onions and flavors the vinegar.  I use both the parsley stems and leaves for dressing since they add a nice celery-like crunch without any extra effort.

I remember going out to lunch at a “diner” type place with my family, while I lived in the U.S,  and I innocently asked the waitress if the had a potato salad without mayonnaise.

“If it ain’t got no mayo, it ain’t no ‘tater salad, Honey!” She had such a good belly rubbing laugh teaching me the finer points of diner cuisine that she had to push up her glasses and wipe her eyes with a handkerchief smartly tucked in bra strap before taking our order.

You may not find this potato salad in a diner but now you can make it yourself… Honey!

No-mayo Potato Salad

Pressure Cooker Accessories Pr. Cook Time Pr. Level Open
3 L or larger steamer basket 5 min. High (2) Normal

5.0 from 8 reviews
Pressure Cooker Potato Salad
Nutritional Information
(per serving)
  • Serves: 6-8
  • Serving size: ⅛th
  • Calories: 237.6
  • TOTAL Fat: 7.3g
  • TOTAL Carbs: 40.4g
  • Sugar Carbs: 2.2g
  • Sodium: 310.7mg
  • Fiber Carbs: 4.3g
  • Protein: 4.8g
  • Cholesterol: 0.0mg
Recipe type: pressure cooker recipe
Cuisine: italian, german, french
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 3 pounds (1.5k) red or new Potatoes, large dice
  • 1 bunch parsley, finely chopped (stems and leaves)
  • ¼ medium white or ½ medium red onion, finely chopped (about ⅓ of a cup)
  • 3-4 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 4-5 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt - or to taste
  • a dash of freshly ground pepper
  1. Prepare the pressure cooker with 1½ cups (375ml) of water, and trivet.
  2. Scrub and wash the potatoes well and cut into about 1" (2.5cm) cubes. Place them in the steamer basket.
  3. Close and lock the lid of the pressure cooker.
  4. Electric pressure cookers: Cook for 5 minutes at high pressure.
    Stovetop pressure cookers: Turn the heat up to high and when the cooker indicates it has reached high pressure, lower to the heat to maintain it and begin counting 5 minutes pressure cooking time.
  5. Meanwhile, chop the onion finely and set in a small bowl with the vinegar salt and pepper to macerate. Finely chop the parsley stems and leaves.
  6. When time is up, open the pressure cooker with the Normal release - release pressure through the valve.
  7. When cooking is finished, transfer potatoes into the bowl with the onions and pour-on the olive oil and mix with the vinegar and onion.
  8. When the potatoes have cooled to room temperature (about 10 minutes) parsley.
  9. Serve immediately or chill overnight in the refrigerator.

step-by-step photos for stovetop pressure cookers

Pressure Cooker Potato Salad Recipe - Italian Style!

Easy Pressure Cooker Potato Salad Recipe & VIDEO!

Easy Pressure Cooker Potato Salad Recipe


EASY Pressure Cooker Potato Salad - no mayo!

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  1. Wow, I make my potato salad almost *exactly* the same way! Except I sometimes use shallot instead of onion and maybe just a spoonful of mustard on occasion… a wonderful summer treat!

  2. Sounds tasty. My husband likes Hot German Potato Salad and I basically follow that as a guide but South ‘Asianize’ it by adding curry powder, cumin, coriander or other popular South Asian spices/herbs. I think it would be hard to get used to a mayo based potato salad if that was not what you grew up eating. I like a sałatka Polski, (sałatka ziemniaczana) which normally uses sour cream, vinegar, chopped pickles, dill, etc.(a bit of other root veggies that may be available) I have been served the Americanized version w/store bought bottled mayo and it’s truly awful.


    1. Kitty, your “Asianized” version sounds delightful!!



  3. Ciao Franco… you can’t mess with a classic – it became so for a reason. I’m sure there are lots of fancy adaptations of this recipe around but it is, after all, a salad and shouldn’t take attention away from the main dish!



  4. Fantastic recipe – this will become a staple, so easy, so quick and delicious – thanks!!!

  5. I was born and raised in Africa but my family is of South East Asian decent. I had never tried mayonnaise till I went to England at age 18. Never really became a great fan of mayo during my 37 years in Vancouver, British Columbia.
    However, we too have a similar potato recipe. We used to dress the boiled, skinned and diced potatoes with fresh lime juice, diced shallots, cilantro, cayenne and sea salt. No oil either. I
    like the taste of good olive oil so tend to add it to almost all my salads. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

  6. Shaida, thanks for sharing your recipe – lime juice in place of vinegar sounds absolutely divine!



  7. I am looking forward to trying this, it sounds similar to a warm potato salad that my mother in law made one time that was super yummy. I love my pressure cooker and am always looking for more things to make with it! Great Post!

    1. Silverfire, this is it. This potato salad can also be served warm – especially great in the winter!



  8. I avoid potato salads because of the may…this recipe is awesome. I added my version of seasonings, didn’t have parsley so I substituted fresh lemon balm from my herb garden and fresh chopped oregano. Roasted a Jalapeno pepper and chopped finely.

    Vinegar I used rice wine vinegar, and ume plum vinegar, its all I had on hand.

    I’m getting ready to pressure cook another batch of this potato salad. It’s hot over here and the potato salad is perfect for the
    hot weather were having right now.

    I’ll be attending a family reunion pretty quick. I’ll introduce your potato salad at this gathering. At least I won’t need to worry about keeping it cool, because its dairy free. I’m also going to use your 3 bean salad. Great!

    I appreciate all the hard work you put into your site. “it’s awesome!

    1. Oh wow. Lemon balm sounds delicious! This is the second spicy variation – Shahida used Cayanne pepper when growing up in Africa. I think this merits an investigation!!



    2. What a great practical idea in favor of this potato salad.. “no dairy products” so it can survive the heat!



  9. The weather is hot and the potato salad is refreshing and cool. this is my second batch of your awesome potato salad.

    I’m new to pressure cooking and I love to cook. I got a fantastic story to tell you.

    I bought a brand new Magefesa 6 qt.Pressure Cooker right out of the box at a thrift store for $8.00 never heard of this particular type of pressure cooker. It had the instruction booklet, gasket seal, and basket, it was complete.

    Had no idea what to cook. Awhile back I had bought Lorna Sass Vegetarian Cookbook and it contained pressure cooker recipes. So I got a good start.

    So I’ve been cooking up a storm. After cooking with the 6 qt. cooker I decide I wanted another 6 qt.and a 4 qt.cooker.
    I love to cook and I got tired waiting for the cooker to finish cooking. That’s when I realized I needed another cooker. I love entertaining. So I place an order for a dual set of pressure cookers.

    Meanwhile I went back to the same little thrift store and this time they had 3 Microwave Nordic Ware Tender Cookers (3 qt.)Pressure Cooker. They didn’t have the instruction booklet so I had no idea on how to use the little cookers. I sent Nordic Ware an e-mail asking for instructions and they sent all the recipes to me. All I had to do was download them into my computer.

    I cooked 1 cup white Jasmine rice in the Tender Cooker, added 1 1/2 cups water, placed it in the microwave for 10 minutes and it cooked the rice perfectly. The rice was moist light and fluffy.I wanted to make rice pudding

    When you cook with a little Tender Cooker you cook everything on HIGH POWER for the time indicated. You don’t have to wait for the pressure to come up and then start counting your time. It automatically come up to pressure in 8 minutes then it cooks 2 more minutes and the microwave goes off. Then let it stand for 3 minutes, placed the pot under cold water and in 3 minutes the rice was ready to serve.

    You can cook a 3 lb. roast in 30 minutes with vegetables.
    I made a stew it took 20 minutes. It was delicious and I can’t tell any difference from cooking with a stove top pressure cooker. The only draw back if you want to brown your meat you need to brown it on your stove top in a skillet.

    They sent me recipes to make soups and Chicken Cacciatore and meatballs with rice and good variety of other recipes.

    “OK! I ended buying all three brand new Tender Cookers for $6.00 they wanted to get rid of them. So I now I have two 6 qt. Magefesa pressure cookers and one Magefesa 4 qt. and 3 Nordic Ware 3 qt. Microwave Tender Cookers (pressure cookers).I’ll be using the Tender Cookers to make my veggie side dishes and for rice. I’m all set.

    I’m now developing recipes for the little Tender Cooker (pressure cookers)now that I have their basic measures for how much water or liquids, I need to cook grains, veggies and cooking different cuts of meat.

    The next time I go thrift shopping I’ll be looking for extra pressure cooking baskets and trivets. I’ve seen scads of them in the thrift stores.

    I just wanted to share the info…about the Tender Cookers by Nordic Ware because it’s and awesome little Microwave pressure cooker. There made for 600 to 700 watt microwave ovens.

    You can fine brand new pressure cookers or used ones in excellent condition at thrift stores. Its a good place to fine and buy an extra pressure cooker if you’re looking for one.

    I was wanting to know if you had ever cooked with Nordic Ware Pressure cooker? Or if you had ever heard of them?

    1. Oh, wow! What a great thrift store you have, nearby!

      I do not have a microwave so I have not cooked with the Nordic Ware Pressure cooker.



      1. Laura, I know there are a lot of claims on the internet that cooking with microwaves somehow destroys food or that it is dangerous, but it isn’t true. It actually preserves nutrients in food better than some other methods of cooking. When I cook broccoli in the microwave, I don’t add water (the only water is what is left on the broccoli from washing it), I put it in a glass pyrex with a lid and I cooked enough for two people on high for 3 minutes. It is perfect . . . crisp and green and cooked to death. I just wanted to ask you to take a look at the actual scientific research on this topic before giving up on the microwave completely. There has been a campaign against them for years which has no scientific basis. I’m posting some links to articles reviewing the actual studies about microwaves and nutrients.

        Here’s a quote from the NYT article which gave a balanced (fair) look at the evidence: “In studies at Cornell University, scientists looked at the effects of cooking on water-soluble vitamins in vegetables and found that spinach retained nearly all its folate when cooked in a microwave, but lost about 77 percent when cooked on a stove. They also found that bacon cooked by microwave has significantly lower levels of cancer-causing nitrosamines than conventionally cooked bacon.

        When it comes to vegetables, adding water can greatly accelerate the loss of nutrients. One study published in The Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture in 2003 found that broccoli cooked by microwave — and immersed in water — loses about 74 percent to 97 percent of its antioxidants. When steamed or cooked without water, the broccoli retained most of its nutrients.”


        1. That should say “not cooked to death,” LOL!

        2. Thanks for your kind comment, Redbird. Nutritional value is not the reason I do not have a microwave. Some of the research I have found on vitamin retention in the pressure cooker includes comparisons to the microwave – in some cases, particularly with broccoli (which was used in the study), the pressure cooker has excelled even the microwave in nutritional retention. I reference the study here:

          The reason I do not own a microwave is because my husband is an engineer and he’s concerned about seal failure. Eventually, all mechanical things will fail and this includes microwave doors and seals. His concern is that it is not readily apparent, visually or otherwise, when a microwave door seal has failed and is leaking microwaves in the near-by environment.

          He is not the only one, as I noticed mentions of the dangers of microwave door seal failures in this Canadian OSHA document:

          I do not advocate either for or against microwave use. Each cook should evaluate the risks and benefits of any cooking appliance, including the pressure cooker, and decide for themselves if it’s right for them.



          1. Thank you, Laura, for the information. Definitely something that I need to consider.

    2. This is the exact recipe my mother, a first generation Italian American used for potato salad. She made just about everything in her pressure cookers, the same ones I still use all the time. They’re more than 50 year old Prestos, but I can’t bring myself to buy a new one. Great site for pressure cooking!

  10. This is wonderful. I only had Yukon gold potatoes on hand. Sometimes you just have to use what you have. I loved it and will be making my potato salad this way from now on. Thanks.

    1. What a lovely photo – I’m sure it tasted deliciously potato-y with Yunkon gold potatoes!



  11. Thank you. I will be making this for a crowd this weekend, but I will use the red potatoes, they are prettier. terry

  12. Making this tonight to go with lobster. Can’t wait!

  13. I want to try this recipe, but have no tribute or basket. What can I use instead in my electric pressure cooker? 4 quart size

    1. You could try doing it without a steamer basket, but the potatoes in the water would be slightly over-cooked.

      Take a look at my steamer basket accessory page for recommendations and suggestions for post-sale steamer baskets:




  14. I love this web site, trying out my new pressure cooker with your food, the recipes are fantastic, if I see the book in the shops I’ll be buying it, I prefer hardbacks to an iPad

  15. I have found it easier to cut the potatoes first, place in steamer basket, cook 5 minutes, under pressure, and do an immediate release. I find the potatoes seem to hold their shape better. I use a stove top PC or a Presto electric, for these, so I am not sure how the time translates to a digital cooker.

    This recipe seems much healthier than our American mayonnaise covered recipes. It is a pleasant and well received alternatve. Thanks again. Terry

    1. I’m glad to read you tried it out and enjoyed it!



  16. I just wanted to let everyone know that I’ve added a video of this recipe. Come have a look, and rate the recipe!



  17. Looks easy to make and it would be a change from the mayonnaise version.

    Do you think steaming the potatoes for 5 minutes is long enough to avoid raw centres? I would have thought 8 – 10 minutes? Would the natural release keep the potato skins intact?

    I definitely want to make this one day soon, especially with summer (hopefully!) being around the corner. :-)

    1. David, if the potatoes are room temperature (seeing your question I’m realizing that I probably didn’t test this with refrigerated potatoes) and they are sliced small enough 5 minutes at high pressure with a quick release is plenty.

      The natural release is only important for “boiled” potatoes which are immersed in liquid. Releasing pressure quickly with potatoes in liquid will boil the water and scramble the potatoes around, ultimately mushing them them up. This recipe simply has them steaming so the “scrambling” of a faster Normal release is not an issue.

      Some of the skins may still come off even with this steaming technique – but it won’t be as many compared to “boiled” potatoes.



      1. Thanks for explaining.

        I used to put potatoes in the fridge to keep them preserved for longer, but I discovered that refrigerated potatoes acquire an unpleasant sweet taste and also turn into starchy mush when pressure-cooked! It’s true, never keep potatoes in the fridge.

        I keep potatoes in a sealed dark bag, at room temperature and I don’t mind throwing-out the old/bad potatoes, but I will probably use them all before they go bad when I make this potato salad. :)

        I think this recipe can be made with most (if not all) varieties of potatoes? The only variety I’ve found tricky to pressure-cook is the “King Edward” potato: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_Edward_potato

        I will remember to slice the potatoes small enough when making this recipe.

        1. I’m somewhat convinced that for potatoes to remain “salad” they should be new or a waxy variety. I’m concerned that the description of the King Edward Potato mentions it having a “floury” texture. I would do a test potato first before declaring it acceptable for salad. And, BTW, this salad paired with some cold cuts, pickled vegetables and fresh mozzarella can qualify as dinner. In fact, that’s what we ate tonight! : )



  18. When you say prepare the pressure cooker with water do you mean to add cold water or add water and have it hot? Looks hot to me in the video. sorry, just not sure. Thanks you.

    1. Sande, it can be tap water from the sink. Generally, for steaming, you can use room-temperature water. Only for special timing-specific recipes with delicate ingredients (eggs, pasta, etc.) is the water temperature important.



  19. Your instructions say to “release pressure thru normal release” and then to “release pressure thru valve”. I thought normal release was to let the pressure go down by itself. Which is it? I guess I am confused about normal release.

    1. Hi Coleen, Normal release means using the valve. Natural release means letting it go by itself. Here’s more than you ever wanted to know about pressure cooker releases : )




  20. Thanks for the clarification. I got the “normal” and “natural” switched. BTW…..I am madly in love with my Cook’s Essential pressure cooker. Only one problem….I got the 4 quart and should have gotten the 6 or 8 quart. One of those will be my next one. My son has already laid claim to the 4 quart. Thanks again.

  21. Made this today and it tastes great! It’s the first time I’ve eaten a non-mayonnaise potato salad and yes I will be making it again.

    I noticed the pressure cooker took about 12 minutes to reach full (high) pressure with the 1.5 kg of potatoes inside and measured amount of cold water. I used red potatoes. Timed 5 minutes at high pressure (15 psi), normal release and the potatoes cooked perfectly.

    Watching your video was definitely helpful. I hope you can include a video with every future recipe.

    1. Forgot to ask: is there an easier way to print this recipe?

      1. Have you tried the print button just above the start of the comment Section?

        On my iPad it is the second last icon in the group labeled ‘caring is sharing’

        Personally I have not tried it as I avoid hard copy, but I know it’s there.

        1. Thanks for helping. :)

          When I click on it, I get lots of graphics etc. I see you can delete sections that you don’t want printed. I think a printer ‘button’ above or below the recipe itself would be better really. When I printed this recipe, I first had to copy the text and paste it into my word processor (LibreOffice Writer).

          1. As it happens, my wife asked me to print a few recipes for her this morning. One was from here, so I got to play with it today. There is a check box at the top to turn off graphics. That helps a lot.

            But she also asked for a couple from the Kitchn. Their system worked a whole lot better. Perhaps @Laura could liaise with them to improve her system. I know she has posted there more than a few times.

            I use the Copy & Paste into a Word processor quite a bit too. It seems to be the only way to get it just right. But for recipes I mostly download to a Recipe App on my iPad and avoid printing altogether.

    2. Hi David, I won’t be able to do a video with EVERY future recipe, but each recording session I do two recipes at a time. Right now I’m focusing on doing a new one and an old one – so that the really good old ones can still get lots of play and attention.

      Believe it or not, doing the video (without the intros ; ) is a lot easier than cooking and stopping every 2 minutes to take a photo – I do the whole set-up before hand. If you have more feedback on this or previous videos, please add it here – for example, I’ve done more prep in this one as requested earlier:



      P.S. Glad to read you enjoyed this recipe!

  22. Hi Laura –

    I just made your recipe and it is fantastic – a revelation actually. My only experience with potato salads have been the heavy, mushy, drowned-in-mayonnaise variety. Your recipe is fresh, flavorful, and very simple! I had been reluctant to try another potato salad recipe after finding one last year called something like “The last potato salad you’ll ever make”. It was a lot of work and used bacon which completely overpowered the salad. In contrast your recipe lets the potato flavor come through as it should, it is potato salad after all!

    Thanks very much for the recipe I will use it again and again.

    1. Thanks Greg, thank goodness THAT was not the last potato you ever made!!! : )



  23. Hi Laura,

    I love, love, love this recipe. I’ve made it 3 times to take to outdoor events and everyone enjoys it. I appreciate the fact that I don’t need to worry about it spoiling right away. I use red wine vinegar and sweet onions as a personal preference and it works perfectly.

  24. Looks great. I’ve not used the pressure cooked potato–simply boiled and peeled, and cut up. Also, use Braggs vinegar, olive oil, and instead of parsley, I use dill weed. Sometimes I fry a few strips of bacon, chop it up and add to the salad.

  25. Made this for the first time last night and served it warm. My husband LOVED it. I liked it better cold the next day, but it was good either way. Next time I might try sweet Vidalia onion instead of the red. Maybe the red one I got was a little hot, but it was not as mild as they usually are. It’s a keeper recipe.

    1. Ann, the macerating step (putting the onions in the vinegar) is essential for toning down “bite” of fresh onion. So glad to read you tried and enjoyed it!!!



      1. Hi, Laura,

        Yes, I macerated the onions in the vinegar the whole time the potatoes were cooking. In fact, I put them in the vinegar before I even turned the pressure cooker on. The last two times I have gotten a red onion, they have been quite hot, even hotter than the regular white or yellow onions. I will certainly make the recipe again. My husband can’t stop talking about it, LOL!!

        1. Oh wow! OK, don’t worry this recipe will actually work with any onion so just go with the ones that won’t leave you breathing fire after dinner! ; )

          BTW, I just made this for dinner tonight (along with the eggplant dip) and I made it in late-afternoon so that it could cool down in time.



          P.S. We’re going through a monster heat wave right now, so I’m doing everything possible to keep lunch and dinner easy and cool!

          1. I made this again with a Vidalia onion (sweet onion). I made it in the morning so it would be cool by supper time. That worked out really well, but I actually think it is better the next day as leftovers. All the flavors seem to be more pronounced the second day.

            It was better than the first time with the hotter red onion. This time and the previous time I used red wine vinegar because I didn’t have the white, but I finally found the white so that will be what I will use from now on. In fact, I told my husband I wasn’t making it again until I got the white wine vinegar and he went to two different stores until he found it. He really wants me to make it again, LOL!

          2. I can identify with your heat waves. I live in Texas where we sometimes get weeks of 100 degree weather. This year it has been rather mild. I think we have only had 2-3 days of 100 degrees. Some years it lasts from May through September.

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