There are so many varieties of potato salad that I could live on them. Because potatoes are cheap and filling, I have been making many of them. I made a budget-friendly parsley pesto to transform my potatoes into this creamy and vibrant Pesto Potato Salad. The leftover potatoes were roasted the next day to make a delicious, crispy side dish. (More about that below.

Homemade pesticides that are budget-friendly

I created my own parsley pesto to make this recipe both affordable and flavorful. Parsley costs a fraction of what fresh basil does, so I omitted the pinenuts to keep the recipe affordable. This pesto is still delicious and green, even without pinenuts or basil. Add walnuts, pumpkin seeds, or sunflower seeds to stretch your budget.

What type of potatoes should I use?

Due to my budget-cutting efforts with the pesto, I spent a bit more and bought baby gold potatoes. These little potatoes are smooth and tender and hold their shape very well. They make a beautiful potato salad. You can use any variety of potatoes. So, choose the one that fits your budget. You can use many potatoes by cutting them into smaller pieces and boiling them before. This will reduce the cooking time.

Make it CREAMY or Not.

This recipe initially consisted of roasted potatoes that were soaked in parsley pesto. But this time, I wanted a more creamy and moist version. I decided to boil the potatoes instead of roasting them and added a bit of mayonnaise to the pesto for a creamy pesto sauce. The mayo is optional. This salad is still delicious and flavorful if you use pesto.


We played around with the leftovers from this potato salad. We smashed potatoes onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and baked them at 400oF until the edges were crispy. The mayo-pesto combination made the potatoes crispy, and the flavor was terrific.


1.5 lbs. potatoes ($3.65)

Half a bunch of Italian parsley (0.7$)

One clove of garlic ($0.08)

Parmesan, 1/4 cup grated (0.36)

1 Tbsp Lemon Juice ($0.04)

1/8 tsp salt ($0.01)

2 Tbsp Olive Oil ($0.32)

2 Tbsp mayonnaise ($0.15)


Add the potatoes and cover them with water in a pot. Add about one tablespoon of salt to the water. Cover the pot and bring it to a rolling boil.

The time to boil the potatoes will vary depending on their size. Drain the potatoes, and let them cool.

Make the pesto while the potatoes are boiling. Add the garlic, parsley, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, and olive oil into a food processor. Pulse the ingredients until they form a slightly chunky mixture.

You can adjust the amount of salt or lemon according to your taste. However, remember that the flavor may mellow once you add the mayonnaise and mix the pesto with the potatoes.

Mix the mayonnaise with the pesto for a creamy pesto dressing.

When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them in half.

Stir the potatoes with the dressing in a large bowl until they are evenly coated. Serve immediately or chill until ready to serve.

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