German Potato Salad

German Potato Salad: Done in the style of Southern Germany with Bacon & Vinegar. This is based off an old family recipe handed down from Grandma!

If you’ve never had a really good German Potato Salad, you might think you might think you don’t care for it. I know this to be true because I’ve tried, from time to time, grocery store deli German Potato Salad. It doesn’t compare to what you can make at home.

German Potato Salad

Just a little tart from the vinegar, rich with bacon and absolutely delicious, home-made German Potato Salad will blow you away. It’s a great item to bring to a potluck when you want to bring something just a little bit unexpected. There’s no big worries about toting German Potato Salad along like you might have with anything made with mayo.

Great warm or at room temperature, German Potato Salad can be a bit of a cheat when getting dinner on the table. No need to chill like you’d do with a standard potato salad.

I had such a craving for German Potato Salad that I didn’t run to the store to get red potatoes and used the russets I had on hand. Russets absorb too much of the vinaigrette; it was fine when I served it, but then got a little dry, so I’d really recommend using the firmer red potatoes or another waxy type. I also recommend using the lesser amount of potatoes because I like the tart bacon vinaigrette to shine through a little more.

The only pricey item in this recipe is the bacon – do watch for sales, especially during holiday weeks (and we have so many in the summer), stock up and freeze. Potatoes are never usually expensive but if you have a cool place to store pick them up on sale – but don’t store potatoes and onions together.

German Potato Salad

German Potato Salad

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print
  • 1 3/4 to 2 pounds red or waxy potatoes peeled or in their jackets, cut into bite bite sized pieces
  • 4 slices bacon, in 1/2 inch dice (stack & cut through)
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 1 stalk of celery with leaves, diced small, optional
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar, divided
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (if needed)
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • salt and pepper to taste (be generous with the salt)
  • good pinch of sugar, optional
  • parsley or green onion for garnish

Cook potatoes in salted simmering water, about 15 minutes until just done. Drain and add to a large bowl in layers, sprinkling each layer with salt and pepper and a total of two of the tablespoons vinegar.

While potatoes are cooking, prepare the vinaigrette:

In a saute pan, cook bacon until brown & crisp and remove. Add onion (and celery if using) to pan and cook until the onion is golden brown and softened. If the bacon was lean, add the optional oil. You’ll want about two tablespoon of unabsorbed drippings/oil,

Add the beef broth, bring to a boil and remove from heat. Add the remaining two tablespoons vinegar and bacon, taste for salt and pepper, and add a pinch of sugar if desired.

Drizzle over potatoes and gently toss. Garnish with parsley or green onion. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Nutrition Facts
Servings 8.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 128
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 5 g 8 %
Saturated Fat 1 g 5 %
Monounsaturated Fat 3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 4 mg 1 %
Sodium 172 mg 7 %
Potassium 511 mg 15 %
Total Carbohydrate 15 g 5 %
Dietary Fiber 2 g 7 %
Sugars 2 g
Protein 3 g 7 %
Vitamin A 0 %
Vitamin C 15 %
Calcium 1 %
Iron 4 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.


I’ll be bringing this recipe to Fiesta Friday, hosted this week by Monika @ Everyday Healthy Recipes and Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook.


48 thoughts on “German Potato Salad

    • Hi, and thanks! It’s been so much fun to hear about the differences in the potato salads in the regions of Germany and that has led me to surmise how our regular old mayo based/pickle relish tomato salad came to be, too.

  1. This is my favourite variant of potato salad also (though always with added chopped gherkins and their pickling fluid instead of vinegar). I have to say that there are lots of different variants of German Potato Salad, though! In my region, it’s normally made with onions, gherkins, cubed bologna and mayonnaise. (I find it completely unattractive). Often, tinned peas are added. (They don’t make it better.) Other regions use only gherkins and mayo. My grandmother’s place of origin, on the other hand, does potato salad with broth, vinegar and chives. In general, Northern Germany seems to love ladling on mayo, while Southern Germany prefers vinegar. But Austria, even further south, apparenty uses mayo again.

  2. No wonder my potatoes are always sprouting! I store them next to the onions, oops! But then I can toss them in the garden and get more potatoes πŸ€” I’d better make this today before all my potatoes start sprouting!

    • Sorry, Angie – I missed your comment on my German Potato Salad – a potato was what hooked me on gardening. We were instructed to bring one to school, we cut them up and grew them in styrofoam cups and got to bring them home to plant on the last day of school. When I dug them up they were the best potato I ever had and there must have been like 40 small baby potatoes. πŸ™‚

  3. Pingback: Potato Salad | The Pantry Portfolio

  4. Well, homemade is always the best! I love the addition of beef broth! This potato salad sounds fantastic! Thanks for bringing another lovely dish at this week’s FF party!

    • Oh, I think it’s a must make but it is funny that I haven’t made it for so long…I think it really went out of fashion during all the low fat years! I’m pretty sure the reason I stopped making it was the bacon fat…

  5. Oh my lanta, this looks so yummmm. I didn’t know there was such thing as German potato salad (I always just knew the traditional time!). This looks super scrumptious. I bet this would be a perfect side for the 4th coming up!

  6. Hi Mollie– looks great! I made German potato salad 40 years ago!! But who knows where the recipe is now??. So thanks for the reminder. Our daughter’s getting married in Wisconsin in August– and afterward we’re having a Beer & Brats party here for friends/family who couldn’t make it back to the wedding– so they can all meet John. Anyway, wouldn’t this be a good side dish with brats?? We want it to be Wisconsin-ish. Always find great recipes on your blog– thanks friend! xo

    • I just worked my way down the list of comments and just said it would be great with brats, lol!! Great minds think alike, haha? Wisconsinites can be a little picky about their traditional German influenced foods, but this would be absolutely spot on! πŸ™‚

      When I do brats, I do them with onions, too. I like to prick the brats about 7 or 8 times with a fork then simmer them in beer, then grill. πŸ™‚

    • After seeing some of the comments here, I realized my Mom’s potato salad (mayo)and my Grandma’s (bacon and drippings) and mine (olive oil& vinegar) only begin to scratch the surface!

      But I do love this, so thanks! πŸ™‚

  7. As a German by birth how can I not like German potato salad? I do, of course. But to get bacon here is impossible, so I have to cheat and use chicken “frankfurters”, which I can find in our Hypermarket. But to have this from a shop/deli – impossible. You are of course aware of the fact that nearly every German family has their own recipe?😁 Thanks for posting this. Made me hungry.

    • Oh my gosh, chicken frankfurters – is that a sin? lol! Well this is based off the GPS (German Potato Salad) I had as a kid (my grandpa was German, 1st generation American and so was pretty much the whole town he lived in – all of 200 people) – but I picked up the little hint of shaking vinegar on the warm potatoes and using broth instead of water from a tv show, lol!! πŸ™‚ Don’t tell my Grandma! πŸ™‚

      Oh, and this is one I had to keep making so I could write down the recipe – I have a bad habit of never measuring our old recipes, just a bit of this, a smidge of that…and the phrase that I use that my daughter hates the most? Just a titch…

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