Humza Yousaf has repeated claims that his daughter was unfairly stopped from getting a place in a Broughty Ferry nursery.
The first minister was responding to questions in an interview with former Labour spin chief Alastair Campbell and ex Tory MP Rory Stewart, who run a popular podcast.
Dundee-based Mr Yousaf and his wife Nadia El-Nakla, a Dundee councillor, tried to sue the Little Scholars nursery for £30,000.
The couple had worked with a newspaper to submit a number of false applications after being told there was no space for their daughter.
They alleged the nursery responded to the fake inquiries “non-ethnic” names, saying spaces were available – a claim the nursery always denied.
The action at Dundee Sheriff Court was dropped in February last year.
Earlier, a complaint to the Care Inspectorate alleging discrimination was partly upheld.
The report set out that rather than discrimination over race, inspectors criticised a “chaotic” approach to managing applications.
A spokesperson for the regulator, speaking at the time, added: “We found that the service did not promote fairness, equality and respect when offering placements.”
After the case was dropped, nursery owner Usha Fowder said she felt vindicated.
But on the new podcast, Mr Yousaf said he felt the same.
Asked why he dropped the case against Little Scholars, Mr Yousaf said: “I think it was just not wanting to have to go through the rigmarole of a long, drawn-out court case.
“Our vindication came when the Care Inspectorate looked at the case and said they upheld our complaint.”
He was also asked why he thought the row started.
“I believe it was because of, probably, of the religion of my daughter as opposed to the colour of the skin.”
The Courier approached Little Scholars for comment.
‘There never was any discrimination’
In February last year, Ms Fowder reacted to the dropped case.
She said: “Whilst we were 100% prepared to see Ms El-Nakla in court, we are extremely pleased this baseless legal action has been terminated.
“It bears repeating that, despite some extremely misleading headlines and spurious allegations, the Care Inspectorate identified administrative processes for improvement which had nothing to do with discrimination, because there never was any discrimination.
“Any attempt to twist this fact should be called out for what it is.”