French Bistro Warm Potato Salad: Instant Pot & Stovetop

Delicious steamed new potatoes tossed with crisp herb vinaigrette for a simple make-ahead French warm potato salad. It tastes great warm or room temperature and contains no mayonnaise. This gluten-free and vegan recipe is perfect for picnics, potlucks, and barbecues.

July 3, 2022

Warm Potato Salad with herb vinaigrette in a bowl

What's the Secret to the Best Warm Potato Salad?

Potato salad is a favorite crowd pleaser at gatherings because it is so delicious and affordable. There are as many recipes as there are potato varieties;  some have a hint of sweetness with sugar or pickle relish; others are creamy with mayonnaise or sour cream, and other variations can include hard-boiled eggs, bacon, and celery. This simple recipe is a classic French Bistro style using new potatoes and fresh herbs in an oil and vinegar dressing. The secret is to add the vinaigrette when the potatoes are warm to immerse the flavors. 

Ingredients for Warm Potato Salad on a cuttings board

What are the Best Potatoes for a Salad?

Potatoes come in three categories: waxy, starchy, and all-purpose. This recipe calls for waxy potatoes, which are low in starch, have tender skins, and maintain their shape after cooking. Waxy potatoes are generally small and round; they have a firm texture and will hold up when you blend the ingredients. Look for these names at the grocery store or farmer’s market:

  • red-skinned potatoes, both large and small
  • blue, purple fingerlings
  • new potatoes
  • French fingerlings
  • red bliss
  • pee wees
  • baby potatoes

What is the Difference Between French Bistro and German Potato Salad?

German Potato Salad and French Bistro Warm Potato Salad are similar because they are dressed with oil and vinegar and served warm. Both also use unpeeled new red potatoes. The German potato salad is usually sweetened with sugar, contains bacon bits, and uses bacon grease in the dressing.

How to Keep Potatoes from Getting Mushy

Steaming potatoes rather than boiling them potatoes will help maintain their firm texture and hold their shape. Use the Instant Pot or steam potatoes with a steamer basket in a skillet with a lid for best results.

Cooking Method Options

Steam waxy new potatoes in the Instant Pot
1

Steam bite-sized potatoes in the Instant Pot using a trivet.

Steam waxy new potatoes with steamer basket and skillet with a lid
2

Or steam potatoes in a lidded skillet with a steamer basket.

Tips and Tricks

  • Wash the potatoes well, cut them into bite-size pieces before steaming, and do not peel.
  • Toss the dressing with the potatoes very gently so that they maintain their shape and don’t turn into mashed potatoes.
  • Serve it warm or at room temperature. It can stay on the counter for 2 hours, making it great for potlucks.
  • If making ahead more than 2 hours, place in the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour before serving.
Warm potato salad in a bowl
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Warm Potato Salad with herb vinaigrette in a bowl

French Bistro Warm Potato Salad: Instant Pot and Stovetop


Description

Delicious steamed new potatoes tossed with crisp herb vinaigrette for a simple make-ahead French warm potato salad. It tastes great warm or room temperature and contains no mayonnaise. This gluten-free, vegan recipe is perfect for picnics, potlucks, and barbecues, and the recipe inspiration comes from Patricia Wells Bistro Cooking


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 11/2 pounds of small new red potatoes, scrubbed but not peeled, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine or white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated pepper
  • water for steaming potatoes: 1 cup for Instant pot, and 2 – 4 cups for stovetop
  • 1 teaspoon salt for simmering water
  • 2 shallots, minced about 1/3 cup
  • 1/3 cup chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley or curly parsley
  • 1/4 cup chives, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

 


Instructions

  1. Cut potatoes into bite-sized pieces. Quarter ping-pong-size potatoes and cut all others to be uniform. See below for directions to steam potatoes in Instant Pot (pressure cooker) or stovetop.
  2. A. Instant Pot –  add 1 cup of water and 1 teaspoon salt to the pressure cooker pan. Place the trivet on top of the water and add potatoes. Lock the pressure cooker lid and set the valve to pressure. Select high pressure for 4 minutes. It will take about 9 minutes for the pressure to get high then the 4-minute timer will begin. When the timer goes off, turn off the cooker and release the pressure immediately. Carefully remove the lid, allowing the steam to escape away from you. Carefully place the potatoes into the serving bowl.
  3. B. Stovetop – add 2 – 4 cups of water and 1 teaspoon of salt into a skillet with a lid. The depth of the water should fill just below the basket. Place the steamer basket into the pan and top with potato pieces and cover. Bring water to a simmer and cook until tender, about 20 minutes.
  4. Combine dressing while potatoes are cooking; combine 1/3 cup olive oil, apple cider vinegar, wine or balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper. Whisk to combine.
  5. Pour dressing over cooked potatoes and allow to sit for 30 minutes. Swirl a few times to integrate the potatoes on the top with the vinegarette.
  6. Chop parsley, chives, and shallots and add to a small bowl. Add 1 Tablespoon of olive oil and blend.
  7. Add the herb mixture to the potatoes and gently combine just before serving.

Notes

This recipe can sit on the counter for two hours. If making ahead more than two hours, store in the refrigerator and place on the counter 30 – 60 minutes before serving or reheat in the microwave for 2 minutes on reheat and stir and check for temperature. Repeat if necessary.

  • Prep Time: 15 Minutes
  • Marinate: 30 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 Minutes
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: French

Keywords: vegan, summer salad, Oktoberfest side dish

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  1. Literally my favorite side to bring to a bbq or get together! I typically never got to eat potato salad because I hate Mayo and mustard based things, so this is a WINNER! I made it today and was excited that there was just enough left over for me to have some when I got home 🙂

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