This flavorful vegan potato salad is made with tender red potatoes in creamy cashew dressing with fresh dill, red onion and a (totally optional) sprinkling of tempeh bacon.
When I first went vegetarian, I made many-a-meal out of items from the local supermarket deli case, and one of my favorite things was a Scandinavian potato salad that was loaded with dill, cottage cheese, sour cream and red onions. I cringe to think about it for now, but that was my dinner, as in, like my whole dinner, several times a week.
This version is vegan, and considerably lighter. I still wouldn’t advocate making an entire meal out of this, but it’s definitely a delicious side, and it’s at least as tasty as my old favorite from twentyish years ago.
The base is made of cashews, and I’m pretty confident that it’ll fool any dairy eater. This stuff is very rich and creamy, and the mix of dill, scallions and red onion gives it lots of flavor.
I also went and added a sprinkling of vegan bacon, just because. I’m not sure if that takes away from the whole Scandinavian aspect of the dish (I know pretty much nothing of Scandinavian food), but it’s super tasty and adds a little protein to the dish. I feel like I miss out on protein at most cookout meals, so every little bit helps. For a quick and easy version, or if you just aren’t into the tempeh bacon thing, feel free to skip it. It’ll still be awesome.
Creamy Dill Vegan Potato Salad with (Optional) Tempeh Bacon Bits
For the Tempeh Bacon
- 3 tbsp. soy sauce or tamari
- 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 tbsp. maple syrup
- 1 1/2 tsp. liquid smoke
- 1-8 oz. package tempeh, finely minced or crumbled
- 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
For the Vegan Potato Salad
- 2 lbs. small red potatoes
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water 4-8 hours and drained
- 3/4 cup unflavored soy or almond milk
- 3 tbsp. red wine vinegar
- 1 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion, about 1/4 of a medium onion
- 1/2 cup chopped scallions (about 2)
- 2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh dill
- salt and pepper to taste
Make the Tempeh Bacon
- Stir soy sauce or tamari, vinegar, maple syrup and liquid smoke together in a small bowl. Stir in tempeh and allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes. (You can skip to making the potato salad in the meantime.)
- Coat the bottom of a medium skillet with oil and place over medium-high heat. Add tempeh and marinade. Allow to cook until most of the liquid has cooked off and tempeh is nicely browned, about 10 minutes, flipping once or twice.
Make the Vegan Potato Salad
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add potatoes, bring water back to a boil and allow to cook until potatoes are fork tender, about 15-20 minutes. Drain into a colander. Return to pot and allow to cool.
- While potatoes cool, place cashews, milk, vinegar, Dijon mustard, and garlic into blender or food processor bowl. Blend until completely smooth, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl or pitcher as needed.
- Cut the potatoes in half, then place into a medium bowl and add cashews mixture, along with red onions, scallions and dill. Stir until all ingredients are blended. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
- Divide potato salad onto plates or bowls and top with tempeh bacon. Serve.
Prep time does not include cashew soaking time.