Scooping a spoonful of Calabrese potato salad from the bowl
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Calabrese Potato Salad with Green Beans + Tomatoes (Italian, No-Mayo)

This simple mayo-free Italian potato salad recipe includes fresh & dried oregano, olive oil, & red wine vinegar. A Calabrian family favorite!

Scooping a spoonful of Calabrese potato salad from the bowl

I learned to make this mayo-free potato salad from my Italian father-in-law, who grew up in Calabria, Italy. The mixture of potatoes, green beans, tomatoes, oregano, and vinegar makes for such a refreshing side dish.

This is a family favorite that is especially great when made with fresh summer produce, though we make this recipe all year round.

My family enjoys garlicky recipes, and this Italian potato salad is no exception. Some of our other garlicky recipe favorites are:

Why we love this recipe

  • It’s a great make-ahead side dish. In fact, it tastes better after sitting in the refrigerator for at least a few hours.
  • This potato salad is mayo-free, so it doesn’t feel super heavy. It’s a great alternative to a lot of picnic and BBQ side dishes that tend to be packed with mayonnaise.
  • You don’t need to peel the baby potatoes used in this recipe. That means less prep work and more nutritional benefits. It’s a win/win!
  • This salad is the perfect way to use fresh summer tomatoes. I know many people end up with a bounty of garden tomatoes, and this recipe really lets them shine.

Ingredients for Calabrese Potato Salad with Green Beans + Tomatoes.


Ingredients

See recipe card below for quantities.

A bowl of multi-colored baby potatoes being cut with a knife.
Adding salt to a pot of colorful baby potatoes.
Pouring water into a large pot of raw potatoes.

🧂 A Note About Salt

This recipe uses kosher salt which can be found in your grocery store located in the baking aisle.

For my cooking, I use Morton coarse kosher salt. The other popular brand is Diamond Crystal kosher salt.

There’s no right or wrong kosher salt to use, but the type you use can cause big differences in your recipe results.

Due to the difference in flake size, Diamond Crystal and Morton need to be measured differently.

Morton flakes are smaller, meaning more of that salt can fit in the same measure as Diamond Crystal.

The general rule of thumb is that you should use 1.5 times the amount of Diamond Crystal as you would Morton.

So for this particular recipe, my measurement of 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of kosher salt should be changed to 2 tablespoons if you’re using Diamond Crystal.

You can read more about the differences in salt types in this post from Taste of Home.

How to make this recipe

This Italian potato salad is super simple to prepare:

  1. Place quartered potatoes in a large pot with salt and cover with cold water by at least 3 inches.
  2. Bring to a boil, then add the green beans. Cook until potatoes are fork-tender.
  3. Drain the veggies and stir in the remaining ingredients while everything is still warm.
  4. Let the mixture cool down at room temperature, give it a stir, and refrigerate until ready to serve.

See recipe card below for full instructions.

Drizzling olive oil onto a bowl of hot potatoes and green beans.
Pouring minced garlic and oregano into a bowl of potatoes and green beans.
Pouring tomatoes into a bowl of potato salad with green beans.

Recipe tips

Tossing the oil, vinegar, and herbs into the potatoes while they’re still hot is key here. It helps all of the seasonings absorb into the potatoes.

Be sure to let the mixture sit out on the counter to cool off before transferring it to your refrigerator. You don’t want it to be piping hot when you move it to the fridge to chill.

We like this potato salad best when served cold, but it’s also delicious while it’s still warm.

I know because I usually take several “quality control” bites to taste for seasoning while it’s cooling off. It’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it.

Stirring a bowl of Calabrese potato salad.

What kind of potatoes are best for this recipe?

My father-in-law always used red potatoes in this potato salad recipe. He would cut them into big chunks before boiling.

The skin of red potatoes isn’t as thick as some other varieties of potatoes, and they’re less starchy.

I thought it’d be nice to use new potatoes (also called baby potatoes) when I first made this recipe.

I opted for a multi-colored bag, much like when I learned to make his recipe for Baked Chicken Thighs with Potatoes and Peas. The texture and flavor work beautifully in both dishes.

This swap got his stamp of approval, so I’ve used those smaller, colorful potatoes when making these recipes ever since. It gives these dishes a little extra pop of color but isn’t necessary.

Feel free to go with single-colored baby potatoes if that’s what you find at the store.

Fingerling potatoes are similar to baby potatoes and can be used here, too. You may need to cut them into a few more pieces to accommodate their longer shape.

The key is really that the cut potatoes should all be consistently sized. This helps them cook more evenly.

Looking for a different potato salad recipe that uses baby potatoes? My Easy Instant Pot Herbed Potato Salad is a fantastic choice!

Chopping tomatoes on a cutting board.
Campari tomatoes are a good all-year round option.

What kind of tomatoes should be used?

This recipe really showcases the beauty of perfectly ripe tomatoes.

My first choice would be a tomato straight from the garden. An heirloom variety from the farmers’ market would be awesome.

But since I make this recipe all year round, I most often opt for Campari tomatoes. They’re usually sold still on the vine in clamshell containers at the grocery store. They’re pretty consistently ripe all year round.

If you aren’t familiar with Campari tomatoes, Wikipedia says, “Campari is a type of hybrid tomato noted for its juiciness, high sugar level, low acidity, and lack of mealiness. Camparis are deep red and larger than a pear or cherry tomato, but smaller and rounder than common plum tomatoes.”

My next choice would be cherry or grape tomatoes. Just go for the ripest tomatoes you can find, and you can’t go wrong.

Stirring a bowl of Calabrese potato salad to combine.

Equipment

You need a large pot to accommodate the potatoes and green beans in this recipe.

If you have one with a strainer lid, perfect. Otherwise, you’ll need to use a colander or spider to separate the veggies from the boiling water.

I like to use the largest bowl of my mixing bowl set (the 4-quart size) because it fits perfectly and has a tight-fitting lid.

Storage

This potato salad holds up really well in the refrigerator for several days when kept in a sealed container.

Plate with Calabrese potato salad, sliced steak, and corn on the cob.

What to serve with Calabrese potato salad

This side dish is super versatile and can be served with all sorts of dishes. It’s great to bring along to a BBQ, picnic, or potluck.

We often serve it with grilled steak, chicken, or sausages. It’d be delicious with burgers as well.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family does!


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Scooping a spoonful of Calabrese potato salad from the bowl

Calabrese Potato Salad with Green Beans + Tomatoes (Italian, No-Mayo)

  • Author: Big Flavors from a Tiny Kitchen – Ashley Covelli
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes (plus refrigeration time)
  • Yield: 10 Servings 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian

Description

This simple mayo-free Italian potato salad recipe includes fresh & dried oregano, olive oil, & red wine vinegar. A Calabrian family favorite!


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 48 ounces (3 pounds) baby potatoes (preferably multicolored), quartered
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided (see notes)
  • 14 ounces green beans, trimmed and halved
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 cups chopped tomatoes (see notes)

Instructions

  1. Put potatoes and 1 tablespoon kosher salt in a large pot. Cover with cold water by at least 3 inches and place on the stovetop over high heat. Once the water comes to a boil, add beans.

  2. Once the water comes back up to a boil, reduce heat to medium and let cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are fork tender (about 10-15 minutes, depending on the size of your potatoes). Drain well.

  3. Transfer potatoes and beans to a large bowl. Drizzle oil and vinegar onto the hot potatoes and beans. Add minced garlic, fresh and dried oregano, remaining 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, and black pepper. Add chopped tomatoes and toss everything together well.

  4. Allow salad to sit out at room temperature for 15-30 minutes to cool. Give it another good stir, cover, and refrigerate until well chilled.

  5. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if needed before serving.



Notes

See notes about salt in my post above – the brand you use can make a big difference in the flavor here.

Baby potatoes, new potatoes, or fingerling potatoes all work well in this recipe.

See notes in my post above for what types of tomatoes I recommend using in this potato salad.

You can eat this potato salad warm, but the flavors really benefit from at least an hour in the refrigerator.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: About 1 cup
  • Calories: 141
  • Sugar: 4 g
  • Sodium: 277.2 mg
  • Fat: 3.2 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 26.4 g
  • Fiber: 3.9 g
  • Protein: 3.7 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Keywords: italian potato salad, calabrese recipe, summer side dish

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2 Comments

  • Vicci

    YES!!! This is exactly what I was looking for (a potato salad with green beans and a vinaigrette-type dressing) and my first heirloom tomato is ready to be picked. Thanks so much for posting, I’ll let you know how much we loved it (with all of those fresh summer flavors, who could just “like” it?!)

  • Ashley

    I really hope you enjoyed it! My father-in-law was just telling me today that he came up with a new spin on it – he leaves out the tomatoes and adds hard boiled eggs and some mayo. I’ll have to give that a try soon, too!

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