Potato salad and salads made from fresh vegetables, such as summer vegetables in red sauce, are both delicious when there are a lot of options to choose from.

Recently, I’ve been gravitating more toward potatoes since they’re cheap and filling, and this Pesto Potato Salad is a tasty way to use up my potatoes.

I made a budget-friendly pesto from parsley and made a creamy and vibrant dressing. The leftover potatoes turned into an amazing crispy side dish the next day when we roasted them.

Homemade Pesto on a Budget

In order to keep the cost of this recipe affordable as well as make it super flavorful, I made my own homemade parsley pesto.

I skipped the pinenuts to make it even more affordable, since fresh basil is much more expensive than parsley.

The flavor of this pesto is incredible without basil or pinenuts, and the color is as beautiful as you can imagine.

In addition to sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds, if you have a little spare money in your budget and would like to add some other nuts, you can also add some walnuts.

What Kind of Potatoes to Use

what kind of potato to use

Having made such big cuts to my pesto budget, when it came time to choose my potatoes for the recipe, I decided to go with baby gold potatoes instead.

Having tender, smooth skins, these little potatoes hold their shape well and make for a very pretty potato salad.

However, you can substitute almost any type of potato, so choose whichever one best fits your budget.

When cooking a large potato, just cut it into smaller pieces before boiling so it won’t take too long to cook.

Make It Creamy or Non-creamy

The original version of this recipe merely consisted of roasted potatoes drenched in parsley pesto, but I wanted to develop a richer and moister potato salad this time around.

The potatoes were boiled instead of roasted, and I made a creamy pesto dressing by mixing mayonnaise with pesto. It’s totally up to you whether you want mayo or not.

This salad is still amazing and full of flavor if you just use the pesto alone.

Leftovers Can be Repurposed

With the leftovers of this potato salad, we had some fun.

On a lined baking sheet, we mashed the potatoes and roasted them at 400oF for 20-30 minutes, or until they were crispy and delicious.

Potatoes turned out super crispy and tasted incredible with that mayo-pesto combination.

Side view of a bowl of pesto potato salad.

Pesto Potato Salad Recipe

A delicious summer side dish, Parsley Pesto Potato Salad is an inexpensive, filling, and vibrantly flavored side dish.

Author: Beth – Budget Bytes

Prep Time: 15 minutes/ Cook Time: 15 minutes/ Total: 30 minutes

Servings: 6


  • 1.5 lbs. potatoes ($3.65)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan ($0.36)
  • 1/2 bunch Italian parsley ($0.70)
  • 1 clove garlic ($0.08)
  • 2 Tbsp mayonnaise ($0.15)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil ($0.32)
  • 1/8 tsp salt ($0.01)
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice ($0.04)


  • Put the potatoes in a pot and cover them with water. Boil the water with one tablespoon of salt, cover it, and let it simmer for about 15 minutes.
  • When the potatoes can easily be pierced with a fork, they are done (the total cooking time will depend on the size of your potatoes). Make sure that the potatoes are drained and allowed to cool.
  • Make the pesto while the potatoes are boiling. The parsley, garlic, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, salt, and olive oil should be combined in a food processor. Combine the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until a paste forms.
  • Make sure the flavor of the pesto is strong, since it will go mellow a little when the mayonnaise and potatoes are added, so you don’t want to add too much salt.
  • Creating the creamy pesto dressing requires stirring the mayonnaise into the pesto.
  • When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them in half (or into 1-inch pieces if using large potatoes).
  • Make sure the potatoes are well coated with the dressing by adding them to a bowl and stirring well. You can serve it immediately or store it in the refrigerator until ready to eat.


Serving: 1 serving ・ Calories: 181 kcal ・ Carbohydrates: 21 g ・ Protein: 4 g ・ Fat: 9 g ・ Sodium: 161 mg ・ Fiber: 3 g

The nutritional values shown here are only estimates. Please see our nutrition disclaimer.

Make Pesto Potato Salad – Step by Step Photos

Baby potatoes in a pot with water.

Fill a pot with water and add 1.5 lbs of potatoes. To enhance the flavor of the potatoes, sprinkle a tablespoon of salt on them. The water should be brought to a boil under a covered pot.

Depending on the size of your potatoes, you may need to boil the potatoes for a longer period of time (the total time will be determined by the size of your potatoes). Let the potatoes cool after they have been cooked.

Pesto ingredients in the food processor.

Make the pesto while the potatoes are cooling. 1 clove of garlic, ½ bunches of parsley, ¼ cup grated Parmesan, 1 Tbsp lemon juice, ⅛ teaspoons salt, and 2 Tbsp olive oil are added to a food processor along with 1 clove of parsley and 1 clove of garlic.

It is possible to make double the pesto recipe and freeze half of it if desired.

Finished parsley pesto in a food processor.

Make a paste out of the mixture by pulsing it in a food processor until it resembles a chunky paste.

close up of parsley pesto on a spatula.

When mixing the mayonnaise with the potatoes and spreading it on the potatoes, you may need to adjust the salt or lemon to taste.

Mayonnaise added to the pesto in a bowl with a spatula.

To make a creamy pesto dressing for the potato salad, stir 2 Tbsp mayonnaise into the pesto.

Sliced potatoes on a cutting board.

Cut the potatoes in half once they are cool enough to handle (or cut them into 1-inch pieces if you are using a larger potato).

Creamy pesto dressing added to the potatoes in a bowl.

Creamy pesto dressing should be combined with the potatoes in a bowl.

Finished parsley pesto potato salad in a bowl with a spatula.

You are now ready to serve. Just stir until all the ingredients are coated and you are done. With any summer meal, potato salad is a great accompaniment.

Overhead view of parsley potato salad in a bowl.

A salad recipe is quite simple and delicious, isn’t it? Try making it to exchange dishes for your family this week. Let us know the results once you’re done.