Good potato salads are a must for summer cookouts. This Creamy Pesto Potato Salad is one of our absolute favorites because it is so incredibly flavorful.
You’ll love how the roasted potatoes and the creamy homemade basil pesto pair so well together…like a match made in heaven.
This pesto potato salad is make-ahead friendly and highly customizable. Make this salad yours by incorporating all your favorite add-ons!
Summer is soon coming to an end, so I needed to squeeze in another potato salad for a summer cookout. We’ve already made our Blue Cheese and Bacon Potato Salad and this Dill Potato Salad a few times, but the pesto potato salad is my absolute favorite.
It has become one of our faves because it’s packed with flavor and it’s very easy to make! I often make it ahead, 1 or 2 days in advance.
What makes this pesto potato salad so good is roasting the potatoes. This step adds flavor depth that pairs really well with that homemade creamy pesto. Simply boiling or steaming the potatoes would make a really boring and plain potato salad.
Why we love this salad:
- SO SO delicious! Roasted potatoes with creamy pesto is a match made in heaven.
- Make-ahead friendly: It stays fresh for 1 to 2 days in the fridge.
The Creamy Pesto Dressing
The star of this delicious pesto potato salad is, of course, the pesto! It’s packed with lots of flavor and then combined with plain Greek yogurt for that creaminess factor. They go so well together!
The pesto itself is made with fresh basil leaves, almonds, shredded parmesan cheese, olive oil, and a little bit of red wine vinegar. If you want to make a fancier pesto, use pine nuts instead of almonds.
If desired, you can make the pesto 2 or 3 days in advance and refrigerate in a sealed container.
You only need a few ingredients! As always, here are a few kitchen notes. The detailed ingredient list with quantities can be found in the recipe card down below.
- Baby gourmet potatoes: These have a smooth texture and hold their shape well. Quartered yukon gold or red potatoes work too. Do not use Russets/
- Olive oil, salt and pepper to roast the potatoes.
- Fresh Italian parsley to give the salad aromatic flavors and freshness. Do not use dry parsley, it won’t be the same.
- Plain Greek yogurt: When combined with the pesto and the rest of the ingredients, it adds the perfect amount of creaminess to the pesto potato salad.
- For the homemade pesto, you’ll need: fresh basil, almonds, parmesan cheese, olive oil, red wine vinegar.
You’re only a few steps away from making the best pesto potato salad! It’s very easy and you can even make it ahead.
Step 1 | Roast the potatoes
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. In a sheet pan, toss the halved baby potatoes with a few drizzles of olive oil, salt and pepper. Arrange in one single layer, flat side down. Roast for about 25 to 30 minutes, flipping once after about 20 minutes into the roasting time. Let the roasted potatoes cool for a bit.
Tip: The key to making golden brown roasted potatoes is to let the flat side down roast undisturbed for about 18-20 minutes before flipping, rather than halfway through.
Step 2 | Make the pesto
In a food processor, combine the pesto ingredients. Process for a few seconds until a pesto forms. If needed, scrape the sides of the bowl and process a few more times until evenly combined.
Step 3 | Combine salad ingredients
In a large bowl, combine the roasted potatoes, the prepared pesto, yogurt, and Italian parsley. Mix until evenly combined. If needed, season with salt and pepper to taste (the pesto is already salty). I like to serve it slightly warm.
Substitutions and Variations
I love to customize this pesto potato salad by adding extra fresh ingredients, such as:
- Asparagus or green beans (blanched or roasted)
- Peas (blanched)
- Diced bell peppers
- Toasted pine nuts or almonds
If you’re looking to add proteins to the salad, try hard-boiled eggs, grilled shrimp, or bacon. It’s great for lunch!
Make Ahead Tips
You can make the entire pesto potato salad 1-2 days in advance. Because it has yogurt, I’d recommend not going past 2 days.
You can also prep the pesto 2-3 days in advance and refrigerate, and then assemble the salad later.
Pairing and Serving Ideas
This pesto potato salad is great for summer cookouts! My favorite way to serve it is with classic American burgers. I also love how well it goes with grilled steak kabobs or these easy Greek chicken kabobs.
Looking for more amazing summer side dishes? Check these out!
Yes! Make it 1-2 days in advance and keep refrigerated in a sealed container.
I use baby gourmet potatoes because I love their smooth texture. They also hold their shape really well. Other options: quartered yukon gold or red potatoes.
Do not use russet potatoes, as these tend to get too soft and starchy when cooked. They will fall apart easily.
I’d highly recommend roasting the potatoes rather than just boiling. Roasted potatoes have a lot more flavor and texture that complements really well with pesto. Trust me, it will take your pesto potato salad to another level!
You can, but the dressing could turn out very dense and heavy. I’d highly recommend using plain Greek yogurt.
This recipe was published in 2020 and updated in August 2022 to include new photos and information, plus a few recipe modifications.
Tips for Success
- Roasting the potatoes is the key to a super delicious salad! The flavor of roasted potatoes plus the creamy pesto are match made in heaven. Simply boiling to steaming the potatoes would result in a bland dish.
- The key to making golden brown roasted potatoes is to let the flat side down roast undisturbed for about 18-20 minutes before flipping, rather than halfway through. Total roasting time should be 25-30 minutes.
- This salad can be served warm or cold. If serving warm, wait for the potatoes to cool a little bit, about 15 minutes before adding the dressing.
Creamy Pesto Potato Salad
- 2.5 to 3 pounds baby potatoes, halved
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ½ cup plain greek yogurt
- ¼ cup finely chopped Italian parsley
- 2 cups basil leaves, packed
- ⅓ cup sliced almonds
- ½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil - or to taste
- ½ tablespoon red wine vinegar - or to taste
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- In a large sheet pan, toss the halved potatoes with olive oil (about 3-4 tablespoons), and salt and pepper to taste. Arrange in a single layer, flat side down. Tip: Divide into 2 sheet pans if the potatoes are too crowded in one sheet pan.
- Roast potatoes for about 25 to 30 minutes, flipping after about 18-20 minutes into the roasting time. Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes.
- Make the pesto: To a food processor, add the fresh basil, almonds, parmesan cheese, garlic, olive oil, and red wine vinegar. Process for a few seconds until a pesto forms. Scrape the sides of the bowl and process a few more times until evenly combined.
- Assemble the salad: In a large bowl, toss the roasted potatoes with the prepared pesto, the yogurt, and Italian parsley until combined. If needed, season with more salt and pepper. Serve warm or cold. Enjoy!
- Roasting the potatoes is a key step to making a delicious potato. The deep flavors of roasted potatoes pair really well with that flavorful basil pesto. Boiled or steamed potatoes would make this salad quite bland.
- Serve warm or cold. If serving warm, let the potatoes cool down somewhat, about 15 minutes after it’s out of the oven.
- Make ahead: Make 1-2 days in advance and keep refrigerated until ready to serve
- Add-ons: asparagus, green beans, peas, radishes, bell peppers, pine nuts.
- Protein add-ons: hard-boiled eggs, grilled shrimp, bacon.
- Need to use store-bought pesto? I think homemade pesto is best, but if you have a favorite pre-made pesto, feel free to use that.