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Lighten up your next barbecue with this Healthy Blue Cheese Bacon Potato Salad! Swap the mayo for Greek yogurt, add just enough sharp blue cheese and salty bacon for flavor, and you get an easy summer side dish that’ll disappear fast.
Creamy Potato Salad with Bacon
Potatoes get a bad rap. Perhaps that’s because most of the time we eat them fried, covered with cheese, or mashed with copious (admittedly delicious) amounts of butter and cream.
Away from all the bad influences, however, one medium-sized potato has only 110 calories, zero fat, more potassium than a banana, two grams of fiber, and half your daily value of vitamin C! All this to say: potatoes can definitely be part of a healthy diet.
Which is a good thing, because everyone in my family goes nuts over potato salad. This healthier, no-mayo potato salad recipe uses plain Greek yogurt in place of mayonnaise, amped up with just the right amount of blue cheese and lean bacon for flavor. I’ve honestly never had a potato salad hit the palate in so many ways in just one bite!
What You’ll Need
Here’s everything you need to make this amazing, healthy potato salad! The creaminess and tang from the yogurt, combined with the sharp bite of blue cheese and smoky lean bacon is truly next level. Find full amounts for each ingredient further down in the recipe card!
- Potatoes: For this recipe, I use small red potatoes and quarter them. When it comes to potato salads, I recommend using varieties of red, white or Yukon Gold potatoes, as Russetts will fall apart when cooked.
- Bacon: I opted for center cut bacon. This is a leaner cut, with the fat trimmed off.
- Greek Yogurt: This recipe substitutes fat free or low fat Greek yogurt in place of mayonnaise, for a lighter, no-mayo dressing. You can use full fat Greek yogurt if you prefer!
- Apple Cider Vinegar: I like apple cider vinegar for the sweetness and acidity it brings to the dressing. Alternatively, you can use another kind like balsamic vinegar or wine vinegar.
- Seasoning: Dry mustard and cayenne pepper, for flavor and a bit of kick.
- Scallion: Substitute chopped scallion with chives or diced onions if needed.
- Blue Cheese: Regular fat blue cheese or low fat, crumbled.
- Salt & Pepper
What Kind of Bacon is Best?
Any bacon you like! My lightened-up bacon potato salad uses center cut bacon, since it’s a lean version of regular bacon that has the fat trimmed off. You can use another variety like smoked bacon or even turkey bacon as well, thin or thick cut – though I find thin cut bacon is best as it sticks nicely to the potatoes!
How to Make Blue Cheese Bacon Potato Salad
This lightened-up potato salad with bacon is easy to pull together in just four steps:
Cook the Potatoes: First, boil the potatoes in water until they’re fork-tender. Drain and leave them to cool. It’s important that the potatoes cool completely, so that the dressing doesn’t melt and slide off!
Cook the Bacon: Crisp the bacon up in a skillet, drain any grease, and then chop or crumble it.
Make the Dressing: In another bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the Greek yogurt dressing. You can also chop up the scallions while you’re at it.
Toss and Serve: Fold the bacon bits into the dressing, followed by your crumbled blue cheese and scallions. Finally, combine and toss the potatoes with the dressing, and serve!
Some extra guidance to make your potato salad a roaring success for your next cookout:
- Cut the Potatoes First: You’d be surprised how easy it is to forget, and throw the potatoes whole into the pot for boiling! Not only will potatoes cook quicker when cut into pieces, but you won’t have to fuss with cutting up cooked potatoes, which are more likely to crumble.
- Boiling the Potatoes: If you’re wondering how long to boil potatoes for potato salad, the exact time might vary! This recipe can serve as a guideline for cooking smallish-sized potatoes. Depending on how small your potato pieces are, you may want to start checking them for doneness around the 10 minute mark, just to be safe. On the other hand, larger potatoes may need more time in the pot!
- Test for Tenderness: The easiest way to check if your potatoes are tender-cooked is to pluck one of the quarters out of the pot, and poke it. Use a fork, knife, or toothpick, and if the potato can be easily pierced, it’s cooked!
- Scale the Recipe: This recipe makes a load of potato salad! Perfect for feeding a crowd, but if you’re catering for less people, go ahead and halve the recipe.
- Revive the Dressing: If you make this potato salad ahead, add only two tablespoons of vinegar to the dressing at first. Add the remaining tablespoon just before serving to moisten it up again! It’s also the perfect opportunity to give the potatoes a good toss to redistribute the vinegar and dressing.
A potato salad is such a versatile add-on to any meal! You can swap out and add in ingredients to suit your family’s unique taste. Here are some ideas:
- Try Different Potatoes: This potato salad recipe will work with other red, white, or yellow potato varieties like creamer potatoes or Yukon golds. You can use either baby potato sized, or larger potatoes cut into bite-sized pieces. The only variety I wouldn’t recommend is Russet potatoes, only because these tend to cook up extra tender and may fall apart in a potato salad.
- Use Different Vinegar: In case you don’t have apple cider vinegar, play around with other vinegars instead. Champagne vinegar, white vinegar, or red or white wine vinegar can also work to brighten the dressing. Even balsamic, though keep in mind that whichever you use, the taste will vary!
- Use Different Cheese: Blue cheese really seems to be one of those ingredients that people either love or loathe! If you’re not a fan of strong cheeses (or if you’re making this to serve to kids), there’s no need to miss out on this delicious bacon potato salad! Feel free to sub out the blue cheese in your salad with alternatives like shaved parmesan, diced cheddar, or goat cheese instead.
- Change Up the Herbs: I use scallions, but you can definitely swap them out or add in more fresh herbs to your liking! Freshly chopped chives, dill, basil, parsley, and tarragon all complement the flavors in this recipe nicely.
- Adjust the Spices: Feel free to omit the cayenne pepper, or sub in different spices to your preference. Try paprika instead for a milder flavor, or amp up the heat with added crushed red pepper flakes!
- Skip the Creaminess: You can easily make this recipe more similar to a German potato salad by leaving the Greek yogurt out of the dressing altogether. It will be a vinaigrette instead!
- Make It Vegetarian: You can easily transition this recipe to be vegetarian-friendly by omitting the bacon. Swap it out with another plant-based protein like tofu or chickpeas, or toss in some walnuts for extra crunch!
- Add Egg: If you love your potato salad with egg, chop up 1-2 hard boiled eggs to add to the recipe.
Make It a Meal
Potato salads are so synonymous with summer, that’s immediately where my mind goes when I think of serving suggestions! And it goes so well with a nice, lean filet, some roasted asparagus, and a nice Cabernet. A perfect summertime meal.
I love to bring this healthier take on a classic bacon potato salad along to potlucks, too. And 4th of July barbecues. Not only is it tasty and healthy, but the red potatoes, white dressing, and blue cheese matches the theme, too! Serve it next to other favorite grilling recipes:
- Grilled NY Strip Steaks (perfect with the blue cheese!)
- Grilled Flank Steak with Balsamic Marinade
- Homemade Stuffed Burgers or vegetarian Black Bean Quinoa Burgers
- Loaded Buffalo Hot Dogs
- Lemon Herb Grilled Chicken
- Easy Greek Chicken Souvlaki
For more simple sides to complete the barbecue menu, enjoy your potato salad alongside the following:
- Chili Lime Corn
- Easy Baked Beans
- Quick and Easy Coleslaw
- Easy Three Bean Salad
- Grilled Asparagus with Lemon
- Berry Fruit Salad
- No Mayo Deviled Eggs
Leftover potato salad keeps well in the fridge for up to one week. In fact, the flavors only get better with time! Store potato salad airtight and serve it either right from the fridge or let it come to room temperature.
Can I Freeze Potato Salad?
Technically, yes. However, freezing potato salad should be a last resort. Even though this recipe doesn’t contain mayo, it still contains dairy – and as a result, is not ideal for freezing. Potato salad that’s been frozen and thawed just doesn’t have the same taste and creamy texture as it does when it’s fresh!
More Healthy Sides to Try
- Healthy Coleslaw with Apples
- Instant Pot Potato Salad
- No-Mayo Apple Broccoli Salad with Walnuts and Cheddar
- Caprese Zoodles Salad
- Creamy Mexican Pasta Salad
Healthy Blue Cheese Bacon Potato Salad
- 2 lbs. red potatoes small sized, quartered
- 3-4 slices bacon (center cut)
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt fat free or low fat
- 3 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- black pepper freshly ground, to taste
- 1 Tablsppoon chopped scallions
- 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese,
- Place the potatoes in a pot and cover with cold water.
- Bring to a boil and cook until fork tender, about 12-15 minutes.
- Drain the potatoes, place in a bowl, and cool completely.
- Cook the bacon in a pan until crispy, and drain well on a paper towel.
- Crumble the bacon and set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine the Greek yogurt, cider vinegar, dry mustard, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper, and stir until well-mixed.
- Gently fold in the reserved bacon, blue cheese, and scallions.
- Pour the Greek yogurt mixture over the potatoes, and toss gently.