This Is How You Make A Vegan Potato Salad That's Tangy, Creamy And Straight-Up Delicious

Lauren Toyota offers three secrets for getting it just right.

Just because her diet is plant-based, that doesn’t mean hot for food blog’s Lauren Toyota eschews comfort food. In fact, she couldn’t live without it.

For Chatelaine’s video series, Vegan It! with Lauren Toyota, the former MuchMusic VJ and current YouTube star and cookbook author, demonstrates how to create vegan versions of everyone’s favourite comfort classics — like grilled cheese and caesar salad — without elaborate recipes or compromising on taste.

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In this episode:

Lauren tosses together a hearty, creamy and savoury vegan potato salad. Here are her tips for:

Making it hearty

Instead of boiling red baby potatoes, Lauren roasts them in the oven and lets them get all brown and crispy. This adds rich, caramelized flavour as well as a nice, crunchy texture to the salad.

Replacing the mayo

Eggs are the main ingredient in mayonnaise, but there are plenty of vegan mayo alternatives on the market, including one by Hellmann’s. Lauren makes a creamy salad dressing with vegan mayo, Dijon mustard and classic pickle relish for tang as well as diced celery and red onions for added texture.

Adding a savoury topping

No BBQ-worthy potato salad is complete without smoky bacon. Since pork products are off the table for Lauren, she makes crunchy bacon bits by marinating coconut flakes in a mixture of soy sauce (tamari works too!), liquid smoke and smoked paprika and then baking it all until extra crispy. She suggests making the bacon bits in advance since they’ll keep for months when tightly stored at room temperature.

Vegan Potato Salad Recipe

MAKES 4 small servings

PREP TIME 35 minutes

COOK TIME 65 minutes

Vegan Coconut Bacon

  • 3 cups flaked unsweetened coconut
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free tamari (can sub soy sauce)
  • 1 tbsp liquid smoke
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • sea salt to taste

Potato Salad

  • 1 1/2 lbs small red potatoes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • sea salt & ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sweet relish
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 to 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh dill
  • 1 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 tbsp snipped chives


  1. To make the coconut fakin’ bacon, preheat the oven to 325°F.
  2. In a mixing bowl whisk tamari, liquid smoke, maple syrup, and smoked paprika together. Then add the flaked coconut into the mixture and lightly toss with a spoon to coat evenly. Spread out evenly onto a baking sheet (or 2) lined with parchment paper.
  3. Bake for 20 minutes but toss the mixture on the sheet every 5 minutes to prevent burning. Make sure you set the timer so you don’t forget and burn the whole batch! Sprinkle with sea salt right out of the oven and remove the coconut bacon from the baking sheet, which is so hot it will continue to brown. Dump it onto a large plate or another baking sheet to cool. You can store leftovers in an air tight container or jar and use it on everything!
  4. After making the coconut bacon, set the oven to pre-heat to 400°F for the baked potatoes.
  5. Cut the small potatoes in halves and toss in sea salt, ground pepper, and olive oil until evenly coated. Bake for 45 minutes in an oven safe dish or on a baking sheet until golden brown and crispy.
  6. Meanwhile, prepare the dressing by combining vegan mayonnaise, sweet relish, Dijon mustard, onion powder, and dill together until well combined. Refrigerate until potatoes are mostly cooled from baking. Right before serving toss baked potatoes in the dressing and top with coconut fakin’ bacon and chives. Serve immediately!

Watch: How to make a vegan caesar salad