I wanted to make a Potato Salad that was going to be exposed to fairly extreme heat during an upcoming picnic and wanted to make sure it wouldn't spoil as quickly as it does sometimes. Is there something other than Mayo that I can use to bind it together - here is the rest of the recipe:

  • 5 cups peeled and cubed potatoes
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons seasoning salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/3 cup chopped celery
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

8 Answers 8


Direct substitution options would include sour cream, plain yogurt, or cottage cheese pureed in your blender to do a one-to-one substitution, but I don't know that these would necessarily solve your issue of having the salad sit out with ingredients that could spoil.

This question has a whole list of substitutes. Tofu is one that might suit your needs, although it would change the flavor profile.

Consider instead a German potato salad, which does not have mayonnaise to begin with. Yes, this departs from your original recipe, but it will definitely solve your issue.

  • 4
    Agreed on the alternate non-mayo potato salads. There's plenty of great ones out there that use a vinegrette, or you can go with an Austrian potato salad, where it's the starch from the potatoes that acts as the binder and gives creaminess
    – Joe
    Sep 2, 2010 at 14:45

Another option is a commercial product called Vegenaise. You should be able to find it at any health food type store, or Whole Foods. It is really quite a good substitute; not quite as much flavor as say Best Foods / Hellman's, but close, and a near identical texture.

  • +1 even though the name makes it sound disgusting...
    – yossarian
    Sep 2, 2010 at 17:03
  • 3
    @yossarian It's made from pureed vegans, so it has to be good. Sep 2, 2010 at 21:29
  • 1
    naah, vegans are stringy and flavourless.
    – daniel
    Sep 2, 2010 at 22:12

I know this may depart from the answer you are looking for but put it in a bowl of ice. Not your potato salad the bowl your potato salad is in. A picnic in extreme heat could only last a couple of hours and as long as you check on your ice and give it a stir every once in awhile you should be gtg (good to go). Anything longer and the people at the picnic will have heat prostration and will not feel like eating anyway. :)


I would suggest using a really good olive oil instead of a bland vegetable oil. The salad may also benefit from omitting the sugar, and perhaps adding some good black or green olives.


Yogurt gives potato salad a nice tang; if you try it, use a full-fat brand.

  • I've used yogurt rather than Mayo for decades. To switch things up a bit, try adding some a lttle sesame oil. Apr 29, 2019 at 1:53

I grew up on mustard potato salad and prefer it to the mayonnaise variety. It usually has some mayo in it, but you could adjust the recipe and omit it.


A nice dolop of creme fraiche can bring a 'mayo-free' potato salad together nicely - and would work well with your other ingredients. It's fairly stable in the heat too.

If you wanted to take things in a slightly different direction, a generous spoon of a wholegrain mustard can really work wonders.


Another way to prepare mayonnaise is with hard boiled egg yolk, instead of fresh eggs. The cooking will kill salmonella, so this mayo will be safer.


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