5 Potato Salads for a Lighter Picnic

We’re all familiar with old-fashioned potato salad, a simple mixture of boiled white potatoes, cut into wedges and tossed in a creamy-tangy dressing of full-fat mayonnaise and white vinegar. Perhaps you’ve encountered some diced celery, chopped onion and hard-boiled eggs tossed in for varied flavor and texture. While nobody can deny the comforting appeal of the classic recipe, there are countless ways to prepare this cookout staple without tossing your nutritional goals out the window. These five recipes come with some pretty appealing nutritional benefits — without sacrificing any of the flavor.

Creamy
Using light mayonnaise cuts down on fat without sacrificing any flavor in Food Network Kitchen’s Lighter Smoky New Potato Salad. Since this recipe requires no table sugar (which, unfortunately, you’ll find in many store-bought potato salads), lime juice and paprika come in to lend bright and smoky flavor, minus the nutritional costs of sweeteners.

Crunchy
When in doubt, use more produce. Crisp carrots, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes and radishes accompany tender red-skinned potatoes in this Spring Garden Potato Salad for a fresh, vibrant take on the old-fashioned recipe. A small amount of mayo goes a long way, adding creaminess without weighing the dish down.

Colorful
Ellie Krieger’s bright and herbaceous Pesto Potato Salad is a great alternative to the heavier mayonnaise-coated potato salads that typically reign at summer cookouts. Throw in some chopped red and yellow peppers for a color boost and added crunch.

Sweet
Another simple way to boost your nutritional gain is to substitute sweet potatoes for regular potatoes, as Trisha Yearwood has done with her Sweet Potato Salad. Trisha completes the lightened-up makeover by tossing the cubed sweet potatoes in a tangy dressing that’s made with half Greek yogurt, half mayonnaise.

Grilled
It is prime grilling season, after all, and sweet potatoes fare very well on the hot grates thanks to their natural sugars, which release sweet caramel flavor when cooked over an open flame. And forget saccharine marshmallows, which all too often accompany sweet potatoes; caramelized red onions add an extra touch of sweet, earthy flavor to Bobby Flay’s Caramelized Onion-Sweet Potato Salad.

For more crowd-pleasing potato salads, check out these recipes from our friends:

The Mom 100: Classic Potato Salad with Celery and Fresh Thyme
Feed Me Phoebe: Creamy Red Potato Salad with Capers, Radishes and Chives
Homemade Delish: Loaded Baked Potato Salad
Creative Culinary: French Potato Salad
In Jennie’s Kitchen: Italian String Bean & Potato Salad
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Salmon and Potato Salad
The Heritage Cook: Potato, Spring Vegetable and Bacon Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
Taste with the Eyes: Pretty Petite Potato Salad, Vinagre de Jerez Dressing
FN Dish: The New Age of Potato Salad: 7 Ways to Do It Up Right

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