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This classic French potato salad recipe is one of my summer favorites! You will love the combination of mouth-melting potatoes with crunchy green beans and the tangy Dijon mustard (choose the one with seeds if you can).
This simple recipe is full of fresh flavors and is made with a handful of basic ingredients. It’s a perfect side dish with grilled meat, fish, or chicken as simply as a main dish with a cheese platter and a nice glass of wine!
More summer side dishes
List of ingredients
- Potatoes: Choose waxy potatoes like Yukon Gold or new potatoes for this salad. Waxy potatoes hold their shape well after cooking and have a creamy texture when cooled.
- Green beans: You can choose fresh or frozen green beans. Adapt the cooking time if necessary.
- Cornichons: These are small, tangy pickles, very famous in French cuisine!
- Fresh parsley and dill: Fresh herbs like parsley and dill add freshness and aromatic flavor to the salad.
- Shallots: Shallots are milder and sweeter than onions. Green or red onions will make a good alternative (reduce the quantity to one only).
Dijon vinaigrette dressing
- Dijon mustard: This classic French mustard is the hero in this delicious dressing. I recommend Dijon mustard with seeds if you can!
- White wine vinegar: You can substitute with red wine vinegar, Champagne vinegar, apple cider vinegar or even lemon juice.
- Olive oil: Choose a good olive oil to enhance the overall flavor of the salad.
You can find the exact quantities in the recipe card.
More tips about vinaigrette? Have a look at my full recipe for a Dijon mustard vinaigrette.
How to make a French potato salad
- Prepare the vegetables. Wash potatoes and cut them into equal-sized pieces. Wash green beans, remove ends, and cut them into halves or thirds.
- Cook the vegetables. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Cook for 15-20 minutes until potatoes are done. Seven minutes before the end, add the green beans.
- Make the dressing. Mince shallots. Cut cornichons into small slices. Pour in the Dijon mustard, salt, and white wine vinegar into a large salad bowl, and mix well. Add the olive oil and whisk to emulsify the sauce. Add the shallots and gherkins.
- Assemble the salad. Once the potatoes and beans are cooked, pour them into the still-warm large bowl. Add the herbs and mix well. Chop the parsley and dill. Add at the last moment to retain freshness and mix one last time.
Note: You can serve this salad immediately warm or chill it in the fridge. Take it out of the fridge 20 minutes before serving.
1. Warm potatoes. Add the potatoes to the salad while they are still warm. This will allow the Dijon vinaigrette dressing to adhere better to the potatoes and be richer in flavor.
2. Set some vinaigrette aside. If you prepare this salad in advance. Reserve half the dressing for later, and pour it over the potatoes at the last minute. The potatoes tend to absorb the Dijon vinaigrette and the salad becomes bland over time. Adding half the dressing at the last minute gives the salad a more pronounced taste.
3. Add lots of fresh herbs. As with all my recipes, I recommend plenty of fresh herbs to give this salad an intense flavor. I chose dill and parsley, but fresh tarragon, chervil, and basil also work wonderfully in this salad.
FAQ: French potato salad
For a French Potato Salad, it’s best to use waxy potatoes such as Yukon Gold, new potatoes, or fingerling potatoes. These potatoes have a creamy texture and hold their shape well when cooked, making them ideal for salads. Red potatoes and baby potatoes will also work in this recipe. Any thick-skinned potatoes will do.
Yes, you can prepare the French Potato Salad in advance. Allowing the flavors to meld together over time can enhance the taste.
Absolutely! French Potato Salad is versatile; you can make it your own based on your preferences and the ingredients you have at home. While the classic version includes potatoes, herbs, and a vinaigrette, you can add your twist.
Don’t hesitate to leave me a comment, it always makes me very happy!
French Potato Salad (with Dijon vinaigrette)
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For the potato salad
- 1 lb potatoes
- 1/2 lb green beans
- 1 cup fresh parsley
- 1 cup fresh dill
For the Dijon vinaigrette dressing
- 3 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 shallots
- 1/2 cup cornichons , French pickles
- Black pepper
- Wash potatoes and cut into equal-sized pieces. Wash green beans, remove ends and cut into halves or thirds.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Cook for 15-20 minutes, until potatoes are done. 7 minutes before the end, add the green beans.
- Mince shallots. Cut cornichons into small slices.
- Pour Dijon mustard, salt and white wine vinegar into a large salad bowl and mix well. Add the olive oil and whisk to emulsify the sauce. Add the shallots and gherkins.
- Once the potatoes and beans are cooked, pour them into the still-warm large bowl. Add the herbs and mix well.
- Chop the parsley and dill. Add at the last