Brazilian Potato Salad (with Mayonnaise)

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Video Potato salad with raisins

Our Brazilian Potato Salad is an easy recipe made with mayonnaise, lime juice, olives, garlic, onions, and herbs. It’s a great summer side dish, ideal for serving with grilled meats just like this best potato salad without mayo!

close up of a bowl of Brazilian potato salad

Summer is right around the corner… and along with that comes lots of barbecues and outdoor fun.

Our table wouldn’t be complete without one of the most popular side dishes of all, a refreshing and tasty Brazilian Potato Salad!

Potato Salad with Mayonnaise

Although there is more than one version of potato salad in my home country of Brazil, I gave this one the name “Brazilian Potato Salad” because this type is really the standard: mayonnaise-based (as opposed to oil/vinegar based) and with both herby and tangy notes.

It is one of those easy Brazilian recipes that I grew up eating. Why? Because this type of Brazilian potato salad is a family recipe made basically from cubed boiled potatoes, mayo, lime juice, olives, garlic, onions, and fresh herbs.

Diced classic hard-boiled eggs or air fryer hard-boiled eggs are the optional ingredients because they can either be added or left out, according to one’s taste.

Brazilians love to serve picanha roast and grilled meats (e.g. Grilled Chicken Legs with Bacon) with potato salad.

In fact, different mayonnaise-based versions of potato salad are available on the salad bar of a Brazilian steakhouse (churrascaria) such as Fogo de Chão or Texas de Brazil.

There is usually at least one version similar to ours but with diced, hard-boiled eggs added, as well as another type with potatoes, pineapple, raisins, and apples (potato salad with raisins), and sometimes the third type with potato, carrots, green beans, and peas.

Brazilian hot dogs are another favorite item to pair potato salad with for summer cookouts.

I hope you try our gluten-free Brazilian Potato Salad Recipe. … It’ll be a hit!

Brazilian potato salad served in a bowl and eaten with a fork

Ingredients and Substitutions

Our Brazilian potato salad call for simple ingredients, making a side dish that is savory, tangy, herby, and super refreshing.

Here is what you’ll need:

  • Potatoes: Wash, peel, and cut them into 1-inch cubes. Make sure to use either waxy or all-purpose potatoes. My fave is Yukon gold potatoes because these all-purpose potatoes not only hold their shape but are also buttery and flavorful!
  • Seasonings, spices, herbs, and condiments: I used salt, black pepper, apple cider vinegar, mayonnaise, fresh lime juice, fresh garlic, white onion, fresh mint, fresh cilantro, or parsley, and green onions. They add flavor, a fresh touch, and acidity to this mayonnaise potato salad.
  • Olives: Although I used Kalamata olives, Brazilian usually use green olives which are the most common type of olives in Brazil. They add color and an extra touch of acidity to this Brazilian potato salad.
  • Hard-boiled eggs: This is an OPTIONAL Make sure you chop them before adding them to our Brazilian salad.

recipe ingredients

How to Make Brazilian Potato Salad

  1. To make the best potato salad with mayo, place potatoes in a large pot with enough water to cover by at least 1-2 inches. Bring to a boil over high heat, add a good pinch of salt, and reduce heat to medium-low. SEE PIC. 1
  2. Cook for about 8-10 minutes or until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork. Drain in a colander but do not rinse them.
  3. Transfer potatoes to a large bowl and drizzle with vinegar. Set aside and let fully cool!
  4. Meanwhile, in a separate large bowl combine mayonnaise, lime juice, garlic, grated onion, chopped olives (green olives are often used in this dish although I used Kalamata olives for mine), mint, cilantro (or parsley), green onions, salt and pepper to taste. If desired, combine the chopped hard-boiled eggs (in this case, stir in an extra ¼ cup of mayo into the mixture). SEE PICS. 2 & 3
  5. Add cool potatoes to the mayo mixture, stirring gently to combine. Cover and chill for 1 to 2 hours (or more) before serving. SEE PICS. 4 & 5
  6. Garnish top of the Brazilian potato salad with whole olives and chopped green onions. Enjoy! SEE PIC. 6

recipe steps

What Are Potatoes?

Potatoes are tuber vegetables native to the Andes Mountains, where they’ve been grown for about 8,000 years.

There are more than 4,000 varieties of native potatoes, mostly found in the Andes.

They come in many sizes and shapes.

But most varieties fit in one of these 3 types of potatoes: All-purpose, waxy, and starchy potatoes.

Their uses and cooking methods will depend on their type which takes into account the amount of starch and water content they have.

Brazilian potatoes in a platter

Are Potatoes Healthy?

Although they are high-carb vegetables (about 37 grams per potato), potatoes are good for you!

One potato contains about 70% of the recommended daily value of vitamin C and is also high in vitamin B6, B1 (thiamin), and B3 (niacin).

Moreover, they have more potassium than a banana.

Types of Potatoes and Their Uses

There are basically 3 types of potatoes:

  • Starchy potatoes: Also called mealy, they are high in starch and low in water content. When cooked, they break apart creating a fluffy, starchy texture that can become gluey if overcooked. The most common starchy potato is the Russet which is perfect for baked potatoes, French fries, hash browns, and latkes.
  • Waxy potatoes: They are high in water content and low in starch, retaining their shape after cooking. They also tend to have thin skin. When cooked, they create a dense, moist texture that’s good for gratins, potato salads, and soups. New potatoes are a well-known waxy variety.
  • All-purpose potatoes: They have medium levels of starch and water, not only mostly holding their shape when cooked but also tend to be tasty. Yukon Gold potato is one of them and also makes great Brazilian potato salad!

close up of Brazilian salad recipe with potatoes and mayo

Best Potatoes for Potato Salad

The best types of potatoes for making potato salad are those that hold their shape when steamed or boiled as follows:

  1. Waxy potatoes – Because they are low in starch and high in moisture, they don’t break apart when boiled. E.g. new potatoes (aka baby potatoes), red potatoes, and fingerling potatoes.
  2. All-Purpose Potatoes – They contain both a medium amount of starch and have a medium water content, helping them hold their shape when boiled. E.g. Yukon gold potatoes and German butterball!

How to Boil Potatoes for Potato Salad

The best way to boil potatoes for potato salad is to cook them over high heat in a pot with enough cold, salted water to cover them by at least 1-2 inches.

After the water starts boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to cook them until fork tender (about 8-10 minutes for 1-inch of potato chunks).

When tender, drain in a colander but do not rinse them!

How Long to Boil Potatoes for Potato Salad?

The cooking time will depend on the size of the potato chunks you cut the potato into and also the type of potatoes (waxy or all-purpose potatoes).

Waxy potatoes contain less starch than all-purpose potatoes and they tend to cook a little quicker. However, the factor that influences the most cooking time is the size of the chunks. Potato cut into 1-inch chunks cook in 8-10 minutes after bringing to a boil.

The best way to find out whether a boiled potato is cooked is to pierce a fork in it. It has to tend tender yet firm enough to keep its shape.

Summer side dish from Brazil garnished with olives


Don’t leave potato salad with mayonnaise out for more than two hours (or one hour, if the temp is above 90 degrees F) if contains either homemade mayo or hard-boiled eggs.

Chill any leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 2-3 days.

Do not freeze! It will alter the texture of the potatoes and make the mayo watery.

Other Brazilian Salad Recipes

  • Zucchini Salad (Salada de Abobrinha)
  • Heart of Palm Salad Skewers (Salada de Palmito no Espeto)
  • Black Bean Salad
  • Brazilian Chicken Salad (Salpicão de Frango)
  • Homemade Coleslaw (Brazilian-Style)

Other Brazilian Side Dishes

  • Yuca Fries
  • Mashed Sweet Potatoes
  • Farofa Recipe
  • Pan Fried Collard Greens (Couve a Mineira)
  • Corn Gratin
  • Pan Fried Potato Patties (Bolinho de Batata)


potato salad with mayonnaise ina bowl with garnishes on the side

This was once a compensated campaign in collaboration with The Idaho Potato Commission and Society Culinaria. I altered the post and republished it for using any type of all-purpose or waxy potatoes you prefer.

Published first on June 11, 2015.

Brazilian potato salad with black olives on top and juice on the side

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