German Potato Salad

June 27, 2020

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German Potato Salad recipe – made with creamy red or yellow potatoes, richly flavorful bacon, parsley bursting with freshness, vibrant red onions, and it’s all tossed with a simple, lightly tangy, perfectly tasty dressing.

So much to love in this easy potato salad!

German potato salad shown in a white bowl. A silver serving spoon and fork are resting to the side, bowl is sitting on a wooden board with parsley in the background.Hot German Potato Salad

No heavy on the mayo dressings here! This German potato salad is made with a part bacon dripping part olive oil dressing, plus chicken broth to moisten the potatoes and vinegar for a tangy boost of flavor.

Most potato salads are served chilled from the fridge, but sometimes it’s nice to switch things up and have a potato salad served warm just off the stovetop like this.

When everything is blended together here it creates a delicious harmonious flavor, each ingredient complimenting the next.

Plus it’s a side dish that’s fit for serving 365 days of the year! And potato side dishes go well with so many different things.

Really this is just one of those must try recipes!

Overhead image of german potato salad in a bowl with a grey striped napkin to the side.

German Potato Salad Ingredients and Subsitutes

  • Red potatoes: Look for those that are medium and approximately the same size. Yukon gold or other creamy yellow potatoes work great too.
  • Bacon: If you want the bacon to be extra crisp you can just sprinkle over at the end (don’t toss right in with the liquid). Unfortunately there aren’t any great subs for this ingredient since the bacon fat really helps flavor the dressing.
  • Red onion: This adds so much depth to the potato salad. Yellow onions will work as well.
  • Garlic: I like the extra boost of flavor this adds but if you want it more traditional you can omit.
  • Chicken broth: This adds a little extra something that water wont. If you’ve got homemade stashed in the freezer that will be even better.
  • Apple cider vinegar: I like the more mellow flavor of apple cider vinegar, plus overall I think it just tastes better but you can use plain white vinegar if that’s what you have.
  • Dijon mustard: Another ingredient that helps ramp of the flavor. In a pinch you could use regular yellow mustard.
  • Granulated sugar: Don’t worry, there isn’t enough here to make it overwhelmingly sweet. It’s just enough to balance out the tartness of the vinegar (though if you want it sweeter feel free to add more). Honey could work here too.
  • Salt and pepper: Add to taste. I like to wait until closer to the end after I’ve concentrated the dressing mixture in the skillet.
  • Fresh parsley: If you aren’t big into herby flavors you could omit this. Another good herb to use if you don’t have parsley would be dill (maybe 1 Tbsp or so).
  • Olive oil: I feel there aren’t enough bacon drippings to add the richness this potato salad needs, so this is added in addition to it. Extra virgin olive oil works great too.

Image of ingredients that are used to make German potato salad. Includes red potatoes, olive oil, bacon, vinegar, onion, chicken broth, garlic, dijon mustard, parsley, and bacon.

How to Make German Potato Salad

  1. Steam potatoes: Place red potatoes on a steamer basket* set in a pot with about 1 1/2-inches of water. Bring water to a simmer over medium-high heat.
  2. Cover with a snug lid and let steam until potatoes are tender, about 20 – 25 minutes (test for doneness by piercing potatoes through center with a knife, it should glide through). Set aside to cool just until warm enough to cut into chunks.
  3. Cook bacon: While potatoes are steaming, cook bacon in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove bacon, set aside and leave drippings in skillet.
  4. Saute onions and garlic: Add onions to skillet with drippings and cook 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds longer.
  5. Make german potato salad dressing: Pour in chicken broth, vinegar, dijon mustard and sugar. Bring to liquid to a simmer and let reduce by about half for a minute or two.
  6. Toss dressing mixture with potatoes: Toss in chopped potatoes, cooked bacon and olive oil. Season mixture with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Finish with herbs: Remove from heat, toss in parsley. Serve warm.

Collage of six photos showing hot to make german potato salad. Shows potatoes in pot before and after steaming, bacon in skillet before and after cooking, sautéing onions and making dressing, and chopping potatoes. Prepared German potato salad ingredients shown in a mixing bowl before tossing.

Can it be served cold?

Yes. If we are ever lucky enough to have leftovers I have served this cold. In this case you may opt to add a little more olive oil or broth because the moisture gets absorbed into the potatoes as it rests in the fridge.

Can the potatoes be boiled?

Yes. If you don’t own a steamer basket the whole potatoes can be boiled in a pot covered with water until tender through the center (directions are listed in notes of recipe).

What to eat with German potato salad?

I recommend serving this with a grilled meat such as chicken, steak, or pork chops.

Close up image of german potato salad with red potatoes, parsley, bacon and onions in white ceramic serving bowl.

More Tempting Potato Salad Recipes to Try

 

German Potato Salad

5 from 4 votes

Made with creamy red or yellow potatoes, richly flavorful bacon, parsley that's brimming with freshness, vibrant red onions and a simple, yet perfectly tasty dressing.

Servings: 6
Prep Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs red potatoes or Yukon gold potatoes (each about the same size for even cooking)
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 2 cups chopped red onion
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp granulated sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil

Instructions

  1. Place red potatoes on a steamer basket* set in a pot with about 1 1/2-inches of water. Bring water to a simmer over medium-high heat.

  2. Cover pot with a snug lid and let steam until potatoes are tender, about 20 - 25 minutes (test for doneness by piercing potatoes through center with a knife, it should glide through). Set aside to cool just until warm enough to cut into chunks.

  3. While potatoes are steaming, cook bacon in a 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until crisp (about 6 - 7 minutes). Remove bacon, set aside and leave drippings in skillet.

  4. Add onions to skillet with drippings and cook 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds longer.

  5. Pour in chicken broth, vinegar, dijon mustard and sugar. Bring to liquid to a simmer and let reduce by about half for a minute or two.

  6. Add chopped potatoes, bacon and olive oil and toss. Season mixture with salt and pepper to taste.

  7. Remove from heat, toss in parsley. Serve warm (or see notes to serve chilled). If mixture seems to be just slightly dry you can either toss in a little more olive oil or chicken broth.

Recipe Notes

  • *If you don't own a steamer basket potatoes can also be cooked in water. To do so:
  • Place potatoes in a large pot  and cover with water by an inch or two. Season water with salt (about  1 Tbsp). Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until potatoes are just tender all the way through, about 10 - 15 minutes (they should pierce easily with a knife, but you also don't want them really tender/mushy). 
  • Tip: This salad is also good served chilled then when ready to serve you can add more olive oil or broth to moisten potatoes (they absorb some of the moisture as they rest in the fridge).
Nutrition Facts
German Potato Salad
Amount Per Serving
Calories 287 Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Fat 14g22%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Cholesterol 15mg5%
Sodium 300mg13%
Potassium 905mg26%
Carbohydrates 34g11%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 7g14%
Vitamin A 432IU9%
Vitamin C 26mg32%
Calcium 43mg4%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: German
Keyword: German Potato Salad
Author: Jaclyn

Categorized:

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21 Comments

  • Kimberly Moore

    I made this yesterday. It was SO good! My whole life I’ve only had one German potato salad from a restaurant locally and they haven’t been open, so I decided to try it myself. I thought there’s no way it’ll be as good as theirs but I honestly think the one I made is better. I even had some for breakfast. There’s so many recipes out there but this one is for me and I couldn’t imagine it being as tasty without the Dijon. Thanks so much for sharing!

  • Carolina Joannon

    Wonderful! I enjoy EVERY recipe you share, I don’t use to comment on the web; this time I’ve got to tell you I’m continually impressed by your great generosity. I’m from the southern hemisphere so sometimes I make them immediately and many times I search on your website. Thank you so much!

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      Thanks so much for the kind words Carolina! I love to know you’ve been enjoying my website!

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      I love to know you enjoyed it Van! Thanks for taking the time to leave a review!

  • Angelina

    To: Sandra Zwierlein: WOW, couldn’t you be any more rude?! If you’re SO offended, why not just grace all of us with YOUR authentic German Potato Salad recipe. All recipes, everywhere, differ a bit from the so-called original, depending on which region you’re from, so who’s to say what is actually “authentic”. This particular recipe sounds exceptionally delicious to me (and I’m an experienced cook) so stop your whining!

  • Van

    Can the potatoes be cooked in a instapot without them getting to soft to cut up?

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      Probably but it would be a little tricky to find the perfect time based on the size of the potatoes.

  • Sandra Zwierlein

    This is not German potato salad. I’m offended that you would say it was. German potato salad does not contain Dijon mustard,chicken broth or olive oil. You are making it incorrectly.

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      I’m sorry I don’t mean to take away from tradition, that’s never my intention. I just felt the salad was dry without the two additional liquids and didn’t want to add more vinegar or it would be too tart for me.

      • S. Zwierlein

        Traditional German potato salad is not dry if made correctly. My recipe is from my German grandmother. It is authentic.

      • Annie

        Can’t wait to try YOUR version of German potato salad! You are a fabulous cook/chef!
        I have made several of your dishes with great success!
        Sandra Z. needs to get over herself. There are kinder ways of offering HER version of “official” “real” German potato salad – like offering the recipe in the comments.

      • Lucy Teicher

        Actually our German relatives in Stuttgart add vegetable stock and Dijon mustard to their potato salad.

      • Monika

        My entire family is from Germany (Baden-Württemberg). I am the first born in the United States. Our salad is served cold and it is made with a little oil and some vegetable broth. This is a recipe handed down generations. Every region in Germany makes potato salad different. So that woman is Wrong! I’ve had different potato salad all over Germany. She needs to get her facts straight.

  • Bill

    The instruction about the dressing are not clear to me. Do I reduce the liquid by 1/2? If so it will take more than a minute or two on simmer. Can you please clarify.

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      In a large skillet it does reduce down pretty quickly especially since starting in a hot pan.

  • Corinna Rüger

    In Deutschland nehmen wir nie Olivenöl für den Kartoffelsalat sondern Sonnenblumenöl. Deine Rezepte liebe ich und koche sie oft nach.
    Liebe Grüße aus Deutschland.