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Healthy Potato Salad With Ginger Sesame Vinaigrette

This Ginger Sesame Potato Salad is a no-mayo potato salad recipe with Asian-inspired flair. Tender baby potatoes are tossed with crunchy cabbage and a zesty, spicy-and-sweet dressing for a healthy potato salad to serve at your next barbecue or picnic.

Two bowls of ginger sesame potato salad on rustic table

Potato salad doesn’t exactly have the best reputation when it comes to healthy side dishes, but this Ginger Sesame Potato Salad isn’t your ordinary potato salad recipe. Instead of pairing potatoes with a creamy mayo-based dressing, this Asian-inspired spin on the classic uses a light, gingery vinaigrette made with fresh lime juice and soy sauce.

While the dominant flavor in traditional potato salad is, well, all that mayo, this Ginger Sesame Potato Salad has layers of flavor built into each bite, from the warmth of freshly grated ginger to the acidity of the lime, toasty sesame oil, umami soy sauce, and sweet honey.

Starchy potatoes are the perfect canvas for all these flavors, but they’re not the only component of this potato salad. In addition to the potatoes, there’s red cabbage for crunch, cilantro for some herbal flavor, and thinly sliced scallions. All of these textures and flavors make for a potato salad unlike any other you’ve ever had. No mayo needed!

Ingredients for ginger sesame potato salad in bowl, before tossing

What You’ll Need

Scroll down to the recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.

For the Dressing:

  • Lower-sodium soy sauce  – Tamari will work here, too.
  • Fresh lime juice
  • Fresh ginger
  • Toasted sesame oil
  • Honey
  • Fish sauce – You can add more soy sauce instead to make this recipe vegetarian, or use a vegetarian fish sauce, which gets its fishy flavor from seaweed.
  • Chili-garlic sauce – Adjust the amount to suit your taste preferences.
  • Kosher salt

For the Salad:

  • Baby new potatoes – I like using a variety of colors for visual appeal, but all the same color is fine too.
  • Kosher salt
  • Shredded red cabbage – If you’re short on time, you can often find shredded red cabbage in the salad bar at the grocery store.
  • Cilantro – Not a fan of cilantro? Substitute mint or basil leaves, or simply omit it.
  • Scallions
  • Toasted sesame seeds – White, black, or a combination. 

Do You Have to Peel Ginger?

The skin on ginger is quite thin, so as long as you give it a good scrub, you don’t have to peel it, especially if it’s being minced or grated for a recipe. The skin actually has more fiber than the rest of the root, so it’s good for you too!

Serving bowl with ginger sesame potato salad

How to Make Ginger Sesame Potato Salad

If you’re making this Ginger Sesame Potato Salad for a party, it’s one of those recipes that you can make ahead and it tastes even better after some time in the fridge. Do plan on chilling the salad for at least 30 minutes before serving so the flavors can mingle a bit.

Cook the potatoes. Set a pot of cold water over medium-high heat and bring it to a low boil. Add the salt and potatoes and cook at a low boil for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the potatoes can be pierced easily with a fork.

Cool and cut the potatoes. Drain the potatoes and either rinse them with cold water to stop them from cooking or transfer them to a large bowl filled with cold water and ice cubes. Once cooled, cut the potatoes in half or quarters.

Make the dressing. Whisk all of the dressing ingredients in a bowl to combine.

Assemble. Toss the potatoes, cabbage, cilantro, and scallions in a large bowl with the dressing. Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes, or up to 12 hours. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, along with additional cilantro and scallions, before serving. 

Overhead view of two small bowls and serving bowl of ginger sesame potato salad

Tips for Success

These tips and hints will help you make sure your Ginger Sesame Potato Salad turns out perfect:

  • Buy uniformly-sized potatoes. If the potatoes are all roughly the same size, they’ll all finish cooking at the same time so you won’t be left with some crunchy potatoes and others falling apart.
  • Don’t skip salting the water. This little step adds so much flavor to the potatoes!
  • Cool the potatoes just enough that you can comfortably handle them. In other words, they should still be a little bit warm when you cut them. Warm potatoes will absorb the dressing better which, again, makes them more flavorful.

Serving Suggestions

This Ginger Sesame Potato Salad is the perfect fusion side dish, which means it complements all kinds of main dishes. Try serving it with:

Two small bowls of ginger sesame potato salad with serving bowl in background

How to Store Leftovers

Transfer any leftovers to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Can This Recipe Be Frozen?

I’m afraid not. While it’s safe to freeze and thaw potato salad, the texture will change and the potatoes may even turn gray, which isn’t very appetizing. If you’re looking for a freezer-friendly side dish idea, try my Sweet Potato Tater Tots or Broccoli Feta Fritters.

More Reader Favorite Potato Recipes

Ginger sesame potato salad in serving bowl with spoon

Ginger Sesame Potato Salad

This Ginger Sesame Potato Salad is unlike any other you’ve ever had! Instead of mayo, it’s dressed in a gingery Asian-inspired vinaigrette and tossed with crunchy red cabbage for contrasting textures.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Servings: 4 servings



  • 2 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice 1-2 limes
  • 1 tablespoons minced fresh ginger 1-in. piece
  • 1 teaspoon plus 1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon plus 1 tsp. honey
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoons chili-garlic sauce
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt


  • 1 pounds baby new potatoes
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cups shredded red cabbage from 1 head
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro plus more for serving
  • 1 scallions thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup), plus more for serving
  • 1 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds


  • Bring a pot of cold water to a low boil, over medium-high heat. Lower heat if water boils rapidly.
  • Add salt and potatoes. Cook at a low boil for 10-12 minutes, or until you can easily pierce the potato with a fork.
  • Drain potatoes, run cold water over to stop cooking. You can even throw in some ice cubes to cool them down quicker.
  • Cut potatoes in half or quarters depending on size of potatoes. You want the cut pieces to bite size.


  • Whisk soy sauce, lime juice, ginger, sesame oil, honey, fish sauce, chili-garlic sauce and salt in a large bowl.
  • Toss potatoes, cabbage, cilantro, and scallions with dressing in a bowl.
  • Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 30 minutes and up to 12 hours.
  • When ready to serve, sprinkle with sesame seeds, more cilantro and scallions if desired.


Transfer any leftovers to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American


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