Carbs in Potato Salad

Potato salad is a traditional mayonnaise-based side dish made from boiled potatoes and a variety of other ingredients and served cold.

potato salad keto

Because potatoes are used to make this salad, traditional potato salad is a higher carb side dish. Traditional potato salad should be avoided while following a Keto diet or eaten in careful moderation while following a more liberal low carb diet.  However, you don’t need to forgo potato salad forever.  Don’t fret!  You can revamp your favorite potato salad recipe with the clever low carb substitutions mentioned in this article.

There are several ways to make a low carb version of potato salad.  For example, you can use fewer potatoes and add in more of the low carb veggies and boiled eggs as fillers.  You really only need to use a few potatoes to make a whole potato salad that serves four.  Dice your potatoes into small pieces, so that they stretch further.  Once you add all your other ingredients in, it makes a large bowl full!

Baby potatoes or purple potatoes are lower in carbs than other types.  You can also substitute cauliflower for the potatoes to make a mock potato salad or switch out half of the potatoes for cauliflower.  For an even lower calorie potato salad, use calorie-reduced mayonnaise or substitute half the mayonnaise for fat-free Greek yogurt.  A simple trick to cut the fat and calories in half.

Trust me, you’ll barely notice any difference, except the difference in your waistline!

Is Potato Salad Keto-Friendly?

Potato salad has a fair amount of carbs (28 grams per cup); therefore, many Keto dieters substitute cauliflower for the potatoes for a lower carb mock potato salad.  I have included a recipe for Keto Mock Potato Salad later in this article, so keep reading…

How Many Carbs are in Potato Salad?

There are 11 grams of carbs in a 100 gram serving of potato salad.  A whole cup of the stuff contains 28 grams of carbs.

How Many Calories are in Potato Salad?

There are 143 calories in a 100 gram serving of potato salad.  A whole cup of potato salad contains 357 calories.

Potatoes are loaded with nutrients including fiber, vitamin C and potassium.  They’re also free of fat and cholesterol.  However, potato salad can contain up to 30 grams of fat per serving.  For a lower calorie potato salad, cut the mayo in half and replace it with fat-free Greek yogurt.  This quick substitution cuts the fat in half, while retaining the creaminess and great flavor.


During the 16th century, Spanish explorers discovered the potato in South America and took the root vegetable back home.  The potato was then introduced to Europe by merchants and farmers.   Potato salad is believed to have originated in Germany from where it spread throughout Europe and later gained popularity in European colonies.

Health Benefits of Potato Salad

potato salad calories

Potatoes are low in calories and fat-free.  They contain no sodium nor cholesterol, yet pack nearly half your daily value of vitamin C and more potassium than a banana.  They’re an excellent source of B6, fiber, and magnesium.  Additionally, they contain healthy resistant starch and several antioxidants.

Adding in olive oil based mayonnaise to your potato salad provides healthy fats and proteins as this delicious dressing is made with eggs.  Any low carb diced veggies you decide to add to your potato salad after that will only increase the nutrient value of your salad. 

Benefits of Resistant Starch in Potatoes

  • Maintains heart health and fights heart disease.
  • Promotes weight-loss.
  • Keeps your digestive system running smoothly.
  • Improves and regulates blood sugar.

Nutrition Facts

Based on a 100 gram serving of potato salad:

Calories 143 % Daily Value
Total Fat 8 g 12%
Saturated fat 1.4 g 7%
Polyunsaturated fat 3.7 g
Monounsaturated fat 2.5 g
Cholesterol 68 mg 22%
Sodium 529 mg 22%
Potassium 254 mg 7%
Total Carbohydrate 11 g 3%
Dietary Fiber 1.3 g 5%
Protein 2.7 g 5%
Vitamin A 3% Vitamin C 16%
Calcium 1% Iron 3%
Vitamin D 0% Vitamin B-6 5%
Cobalamin 0% Magnesium 3%

Keto Purple Potato Salad Recipe (with Cauliflower and Pickles)       


  • 1 head of cauliflower, chopped into 1/2 inch flowerets (no stalks)
  • 2 baby purple potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise (full fat for Keto dieters or reduced fat for calorie counters)
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon or yellow mustard
  • 1 teaspoon relish
  • 1 teaspoon fresh dill
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped dill pickle
  • 1 large celery stalk, diced
  • ¼ cup diced cucumber, deseeded (cut length-wise before dicing to deseed or salad will become too wet)
  • 3 radishes, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon pickle juice
  • 6 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Pink Himalayan Sea Salt, to taste
  • Fresh ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Fill a large pot with 2 cups of water and 1 teaspoon salt and bring it to a boil. Add the cauliflower and diced purple potatoes and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside in a large salad bowl.  You can hard-boil your eggs at the same time in a separate pot.  (The perfect hard-boiled egg takes exactly 11 minutes, no more and no less.  Boiling your eggs any longer could result in that unsightly gray ring around the yolk.)
  2. Meanwhile, in a small salad dressing bowl, combine the mayonnaise, mustard, dill, parsley, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Set aside.
  3. Chop 3 of the eggs and add to the bowl with the cauliflower. Slice the remaining 3 eggs to garnish the top of salad
  4. Add pickle, cucumber, radishes, celery, 1/4 teaspoon salt, pepper, and red onion. Add the mayo mixture and pickle juice to the cauliflower and cooked baby potatoes, tossing to evenly coat.
  5. Garnish with the reserved hard-boiled egg slices and sprinkle with paprika.  You may wish to add more salt and pepper to taste before serving.  I like to serve a scoop of this salad on top of a lettuce leaf, alongside a serving of lean protein, like barbequed chicken.  Yum!

Each ¾ cup serving contains only 6 grams of carbs.

Related Questions:

Is Potato Salad Fattening?

The addition of mayonnaise, oily dressings and even bacon bits will fatten up potato salad quickly. You’re looking at over 420 calories and 30 grams of fat per cup of the high-fat variety.  Make healthy potato salad by cutting the mayo in half and replacing it with fat-free Greek yogurt.

Is Potato Salad Gluten-Free?

You may be thinking that potato salad is naturally gluten-free, but it is the mayonnaise in the creamy recipes that is the culprit. Make sure you choose a gluten-free salad dressing.  Hellman’s Real Mayonnaise, Light Mayonnaise, Low-Fat Mayonnaise Dressing are gluten-free, while other types may contain wheat. Look for the words “gluten-free” in the ingredients panel to be sure there aren’t any sneaky wheat-based fillers added.

Is Potato Salad Safe for Diabetics?

Some potato dishes are better than others for people with diabetes. A potato salad can be a good option as the potatoes are whole. However, other ingredients, such as mayonnaise, should be low-fat with no sugar added.  Believe it or not, when you eat cold cooked-potatoes, you receive a lower blood sugar response compared to hot potatoes. Pre-cooked potatoes that have been cooled and then reheated also result in a lower blood sugar response compared to a hot, freshly-cooked potato.  You can eat baby potatoes even if you have prediabetes or insulin resistance.  Baby potatoes, also known as “new potatoes” are the best potatoes for diabetics to consume as they are slower to digest.  Baby purple potatoes are even better as they give an even lower blood sugar response.

Melissa Marshall

A litigation paralegal and writer. Her first novel debuts this fall. She lives with her kitten, Zoey overlooking the waterfront in beautiful Dartmouth, Nova Scotia - also known as the “City of Lakes”.

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