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Italian Potato Salad With Green Beans & Red Onions Recipe

Italian potato salad, with green beans and red onion is a super fresh and delicious salad, perfect as a side dish but also as a main course for a easy lunch.

Since the recipe requires only the cooking of simple boiled potatoes and green beans, it is a candidate to be one of the most popular dishes of the summer.

Not to mention the not insignificant advantage of being able to cook them in advance during the less hotter hours of the day, and let them rest for them to get the best flavor.

italian potato salad


This potato salad takes inspiration from a Sicilian recipe, which we Sicilians call “insalata vastasa”.

The term “vastasa”- which in dialect means “rude and vulgar person”- probably refers to the exaggerated and disproportionate use of ingredients.

Traditionally, the preparation of the dish includes potatoes, green beans, tomatoes or cherry tomatoes, red onion, white and black olives, oregano, salt and pepper, and, of course, plenty of extra virgin olive oil. 

But in my version I prepare it without the tomatoes and olives.

Ingredients Needed For This Italian Potato Salad

These are the main ingredients you need for this potato salad recipe.

For the step-by-step directions and measurements, scroll down to our printable recipe card.

Green beans: You can use fresh ones, but frozen ones are fine too.

fresh green beans for potato salad

Potatoes: Yellow-fleshed potatoes are best; they are firm, low in flour and resist cooking better.

Red potatoes can also do well, which have a flesh inside is which is pale, firm and compact, and remains firm even after long cooking.

Other types of potatoes that go well with this recipe:

  • Yukon Gold
  • Fingerling Potatoes
  • Small Boiler Potatoes or baby potatoes

Red onion: Gives a unique flavor to our salad.

If you do not like raw onion, you can opt for this little trick so as to eliminate much of their intense flavor and help digestion.

Simply slice them and soak them in water and vinegar for about 1 to 2 hours, then drain the slices, blot them with paper towels and add them to the salad.

sliced onions for italian potato salad

Origano: Makes the salad super flavorful, use some fresh basil if you prefer.

Salt and pepper: To taste.

Oil and balsamic vinegar: To dress this salad, we use oil and balsamic or red wine vinegar, the classic Italian dressing.

How To Make Italian Potato and Green Beans Salad

Prepare the onion: First clean the onion and slice it.

Place it in a bowl with very cold water for at least half an hour.

This will make the onion more digestible and cause the pungent elements it contains to run off into the liquid.

Cook the potato and green beans: Put the potatoes in a pot with salt water and cook them with a lid.

From boiling, cook for about 25/30 minutes.

Then peel and dice the hot potatoes in bite-sized pieces and let cool.

Cut of the ends of the green beans and cook them in salted water for about 10 minutes.

Then drain them and keep them aside.

Assemble the salad: In a large bowl put in the potatoes, the green beans and the onion.

Season the salad with salt and pepper, and add the dressing of oil, oregano and balsamic vinegar.

Mix well and refrigerate.

italian potato salad in a bowl

How to Cook Potatoes For Italian Potato Recipe

how to cook potato

Pot: Choose new, even-skinned potatoes, wash them under running water, and if necessary use a brush to remove soil.

Then place the potatoes inside a large pot with cold water covering them completely and add a tablespoon of salt (for every kg of potatoes), then bring them to the fire on high heat.

When the water comes to the boil, lower the heat and finish the cooking, checking from time to time by piercing the potatoes with a tip of a knife.

Microwave: It is also possible to boil potatoes in the microwave, the rule of washing them carefully is the same, then without removing the skin, then we will operate the cooking at 750w, 6 to 12 minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes.

Halfway through cooking, turn the potatoes over and continue cooking on the opposite side.

Pressure cooker: Alternatively, we can boil the potatoes in the pressure cooker, with only 3 cups of water, close the special lid and bring to the stove, calculating about 15 minutes of cooking time.

Recipe variations:

  • Add sundried tomatoes, olives or boiled carrots, you will make this salad even tastier.
  • Make this salad a unique dish by adding chicken or tuna or even hard-boiled egg and serve it with this delicious focaccia.

How to serve:

This salad for my taste is best served cold; I always make it in the morning for lunch and dinner.

Letting it sit for a few hours in the refrigerator helps and let the flavors blend together.

This potato salad is a perfect pairing with this chicken cutlets for a delicious dinner.

I also love to serve it with yummy chicken pesto sandwich.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should The Potatoes Be Peeled?

I, as per the family recipe, make this salad with peeled potatoes, but if you prefer with the peel, that’s perfectly fine too. 

When cooking I always leave the peel on.

You have to consider that the peel is like a protection for the potatoes, which in this case prevents the potatoes from absorbing too much water and thus prevents them from flaking after cooking.

Should Italian Potato Salad Be Served Hot Or Cold?

My advice is to serve it cold, letting it sit for at least an hour in the refrigerator makes the flavors blend together better

Can I make Italian Green Bean Potato Salad ahead of time?

Yes 100%, even better.

You can also prepare it the night before. 

How to store leftovers:

 It will keep in the refrigerator for 2 days in an airtight container.

I do not recommend freezing.

Recipe Tips For The Perfect Potato Salad

  • Always start by boiling the potatoes with cold water to prevent the outside from becoming soggy.
  • Potatoes require a lot of salt!

Add one teaspoon of kosher salt per pound of potatoes.

  • Do not overcook the potatoes so as to avoid a mappy salad. Always check the potatoes with the help of a toothpick while cooking.
  • Drains excess water from all ingredients.


Easy Italian Potato Salad Recipe

italian potato salad with green beans pintarest


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Yield: 4 serving

Italian potato salad, with green beans and red onion recipe

Italian potato salad recipe

A potato salad with a Sicilian twist. This Italian potato salad can never be missing from my table.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Rest in the fridge 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes


  • 5 Large potatoes
  • 2 cups Green bean (300g)
  • 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Salt, black pepper & oregano to taste
  • 1 Red Onion


  1. Slice the onion and put it in a bowl along with water and ice. Let it sit for a minimum of half an hour.
  2. Wash the potatoes well and boil them with all their skins on in cold salted water.
  3. Let them cook for about 25 to 30 minutes. Check the cooking from time to time with the help of a toothpick.
  4. As soon as they are cooked, peel them, let them cool then cut them into chunks. Avoid overcooking them to prevent them from falling apart later.
  5. Cut of the ends of the green beans, wash them and steam them for 5 minutes or in salted water for 10 minutes.
  6. In a small bowl prepare the dressing with extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar and oregano.
  7. Drain and squeeze the onion well.
  8. Compose the salad in a large salad bowl by placing the peeled and chopped potatoes, well-drained green beans, and dried onion.
  9. Add the dressing with the oil and mix well. Allow to rest in the refrigerator.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 468Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 186mgCarbohydrates: 86gFiber: 10gSugar: 8gProtein: 11g

Nutrition is automatically calculated by Nutritionix - please verify all nutrition information independently and consult with a doctor or nutritionist for any and all medical and diet advice.

Did you make this recipe?

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Shay L.

Friday 24th of March 2023

I love that there's no mayo in this potato salad! Lighter, healthier, and the perfect summer side dish!


Friday 24th of March 2023

This reminds me of my grandmother's easy potato salad which was a great meal. Delicious and fulfilling. Thanks for the recipe.


Friday 24th of March 2023

I love how simple this was to whip up! The balsamic vinegar gave it such a different flavor too, a great switch up from the classic.


Friday 24th of March 2023

Thank you :)

amy liu dong

Friday 9th of September 2022

It looks so delicious and is easy to make. My husband will def love this, yum!

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