German Potato Salad – Satisfy your potato salad cravings with this tangy, sweetly savory, and bacony salad. Perfectly boiled red potatoes mixed with crispy bacon bits and tossed in a mouthwatering vinaigrette dressing make a delicious picnic side!
Ohhh… potatoes! From our favorite fast-food fries to share with your friends to the mashed potatoes that accompany your family’s favorite steak, potatoes are always there for you. In fact, potatoes are the most important non-cereal crop in the world! It ranks the 4th most important crop in the world, right after corn, wheat, and rice.
And so I’ve created and shared many potato-related recipes because that’s what you want, right? Aaaannnnddd, I couldn’t wait to share one of my favorite potato recipes – German Potato Salad! Happy cooking!
What Makes It German?
What Makes it German Potato Salad?
We all love classic potato salad made from boiled potatoes with a mayo-based dressing. However, additional ingredients vary (hard-boiled eggs, pickles, celery, grated carrots, onions, garlic, and the list goes on) to make a fabulous dish.
But then there’s this simple German version of potato salad that I’m sure you’ll love as much as I do! Unpeeled, boiled red potatoes loaded with crispy bacon (sounds heavenly, right?!) tossed in a vinaigrette (vinegar, mustard, and bacon fat) and served warm. Trust me; it’s so out of this world that just describing it makes me hungry.
- Red Potatoes – These guys naturally have less starch and more sugar. Their firmer texture makes them better for salads and soups because they keep it together.
- Bacon – The salty, smokey goodness from this ingredient also adds more protein, besides being absolutely delicious. Are you a bacon lover? Then double what the recipe calls for.😉
- Onions and Garlic – Bacon and onions are traditional in many German foods. Gotta love it! And garlic is the ideal flavor enhancer.
- Dressing – Apple cider vinegar, sugar, and Dijon mustard combine for a sweetly tart dressing that ramps up the flavor factor in this potato salad.
- Green Onions and Parsley – Gorgeous green garnishes that also add incredible flavor.
How to Make German Potato Salad
- Prep Potatoes – Wash the potatoes and cut them into about 1-inch cubes. Fill a large pot with water and add salt. Boil the potatoes for 12-14 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
- Cool Potatoes – Drain the water from the pot and allow the potatoes to cool. Set aside.
- Fry Bacon – In a medium saucepan, cook the bacon, occasionally stirring, for 7-8 minutes or until crispy. Put it in a small bowl and set it aside.
- Saute Onions – Remove excess bacon fat from the skillet, leaving 2-3 tablespoons. Saute onion and garlic until translucent, 2-3 minutes.
- Make Dressing – Next, add the apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, sugar, and pepper flakes and mix until fully combined. Simmer for about 2 minutes while stirring.
- Assemble – Toss in the potatoes, parsley, and half of the bacon, and cook for another 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve – Remove the potato salad from the pan and serve on a plate sprinkled with the remaining crispy bacon bits, fresh chives, and parsley.
- Tuber Trade-Out – Taro, yams, sweet potatoes, yuca, and green plantains all make tasty “potato” salad. The big difference between these guys and red potatoes is that you have to peel them.
- Meat Swap – While classic German potato salad has bacon, pepperoni and sausage are both terrific substitutes. You’ll want to cook the sausage first, but you can chop up pepperoni and throw it in as is.
- Additions – For an even more authentic German potato salad recipe, chop up some dill pickles and toss them in with a dash of ground celery seeds. You can also add some crunch to the texture with a bit of diced celery.
Tips and Tricks
- Everyone’s tastes differ on the amount of sugar. If in doubt, start slow. You can add a tablespoon and taste test before adding more.
- When you boil your potatoes, put them in a pot of cold water and then heat it to boiling. That way, the potatoes cook evenly to the core.
- Drain your potatoes the moment they’re done, then let the steam dry a bit (5-10 minutes) before adding them to the salad.
- Gently stir the salad after adding the potatoes so they don’t fall apart and turn to mush.
You can make this wunderbar German potato salad a day ahead and refrigerate it covered. Let it come to room temperature 30 minutes before serving.
Serving and Storage Instructions
I love this salad still hot, or at least warm. But it’s just as good cold. How’s that for versatility?
You can refrigerate leftovers for four days. You can enjoy it chilled or let it come to room temperature. If you want to warm it up a bit, a few seconds in the microwave will help you out.
Leftover potato salad tends to dry out. So if that happens to you, just add more dressing or a glug of cream to moisten it back up.
Potatoes are divided based on texture—waxy, in-between, and starchy. Waxy potatoes make better potato salads. These include new potatoes, fingerlings, and red potatoes (among others). They retain their shapes well even when boiled and have thinner skins, making peeling optional. Yukon Gold and other white potatoes will work in a pinch.
German Potato Salad is traditionally served warm because of the bacon fat. But, it’s your call if you want it cold, room temperature, or hot. Just make sure you don’t leave it out for more than two hours before refrigerating to prevent spoilage.
What to Serve With German Potato Salad
Potatoes are rich in nutrients and carbs. Thus, potato salads are often paired with protein-packed dishes like pork chops, sausage, or fish.
More Incredibly Refreshing Salad Recipes
Summer wouldn’t be fun without having a simple picnic or camping in your yard or at the park with your family. Make it more fun and memorable with these perfect summer salad recipes!
German potato salad is a popular mayo- and egg-free salad to warm the soul. Do you have childhood memories of your Oma’s potato salad? Please do share them in the comments.❤️
German Potato Salad
- 2 pounds red potatoes
- ½ pound bacon, cut into 1-inch thick pieces
- 1 cup onion, diced
- 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
- ⅓ cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 green onion, diced
- ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
- pepper flakes, optional
- Season a large pot with salt and boil the potatoes for 12-14 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
- Drain the water from the pot and allow the potatoes to cool enough to handle without burning yourself. Cut the potatoes into ½-inch thick slices. Set aside.
- In a large skillet, cook the bacon, occasionally stirring, for 7-8 minutes or until crispy. Put it in a small bowl and set it aside.
- Remove excess bacon fat from the skillet, leaving 2-3 tablespoons. Saute onion and garlic until translucent (2-3 minutes).
- In another small bowl, whisk together apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, sugar, salt, and pepper. Pour the mixture into the sauteed onion and garlic and simmer for about 2 minutes while stirring.
- Toss in the sliced potatoes and green onions and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove the potatoes from the pan and sprinkle with crispy bacon and fresh parsley on top.
- Best served warm. Sprinkle it with pepper flakes if desired.
Tips & Notes:
- Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.