German Potato Salad
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lbs medium red potatoes, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds and boiled to tender
slices bacon, cooked and drained on paper towel
cup apple cider vinegar
tsp ground black pepper
Add the potatoes to a large bowl. Crumble the bacon on top and stir to combine.
Whisk together the vinegar, olive oil, mustard, parsley, sugar, paprika, salt and pepper. Pour immediately over the potatoes and stir well to combine.
Serve immediately, warm, or chill until ready to serve.
More About This Recipe
- If you're a regular reader, by now you know I’m a sucker for German food.
It runs in my German genes – give me leberkase, rouladen, spaetzle or sauerkraut any day and I’m a happy girl…
But give me German Potato Salad, and I’m over the moon!
My grandmothers – both German, natch – make their own equally delicious versions of potato salad. Legend has it my parents discovered me sitting in my car seat one day, fistfuls of potato salad in hand and my face covered in food.
Legend also has it I would stand by my grandmother while she chopped up fresh potatoes, waiting for a bite of a raw piece (yes, raw potato – I was a strange kid).
It’s safe to say I’m a potato salad girl. To this day, I cannot pass up the opportunity to make or eat potato salad at any occasion. And with summer in full swing, it’s the perfect time to make one of my favorite foods for a picnic, potluck, Fourth of July party (hint, hint) or just because.
This German Potato Salad is particularly easy to make, in my opinion, because it requires no peeling of the potatoes and only five ingredients. It’s also relatively healthy, too, minus the bacon bits – but a little bacon never hurt anyone.
Some might be surprised at first by the vinegary taste of the salad, but trust me. Over time, the vinegar soaks up into the potatoes, yielding a delicious sweet-tart flavor. The green onions add extra zing, and the bacon – well, it’s bacon. Enough said.
I love red potatoes in potato salad, especially with the skins left on, though you can use any type of potato you want, including Russets and Yukon Golds. This is definitely a “to taste” recipe, so feel free to add as much or as little vinegar as you want, as many green onions as you want and, of course, as much bacon as you want. Or, add some extra ingredients to the mix. It’s all good.
Stephanie (aka Girl Versus Dough) joined Tablespoon to share her adventures in the kitchen. Check out Stephanie’s Tablespoon member profile and keep checking back for her own personal recipes on Tablespoon!
German Potato Salad
My German Potato Salad is made with vinegar, bacon, and onion and can be served warm or cold. A perfect hearty side dish for any occasion, from holiday dinners to BBQs!
I’m German and I love potato salad! I took my Grandmother’s recipe and tweaked it a little bit to make it easier for you to make an authentic German potato salad that tastes like the one you get in a Bavarian restaurant or at the Oktoberfest. It’s tangy and loaded with bacon and onions.
A Bavarian potato salad should be moist but not wet, the dressing will have an almost creamy consistency that coats the potatoes. It should definitely not be dry !
The hot potatoes soak up the flavor of the delicious dressing and the added bacon makes this simple recipe so finger-licking-good. Sprinkle the salad with chopped chives or parsley and voila: German potato salad perfection!
What you’ll need to make German potato salad
The recipe calls for new potatoes, such as baby gold or red bliss. These waxy potatoes hold their shape when cooked and have soft, creamy texture — and the best part is that they don’t need to be peeled.
The recipe also calls for a whole red onion, which might seem like a lot but have faith: the sliced onions get pickled in the vinaigrette, which tempers their sharp edge and makes them tangy and sweet. They are 100% the best part of the salad (and I say that as a raw onion-phobe).
Want even more inspiration? Check out all of our potato salad recipes!
- 1 1/2 pounds (about 8) small red potatoes
- 3 slices (about 4 ounces) thick-cut bacon, diced
- 2 medium (3/4 pound) red onions, diced
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1/3 cup low sodium vegetable or chicken broth (store-bought or homemade)
- 1 tablespoon prepared yellow mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh herbs (I like a mixture of chives and parsley)
Fill a pot with an inch or two of water and set a steamer basket inside. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Rinse the potatoes and place them in the steamer basket.
Steam the potatoes, covered, for 20 minutes. To test for doneness, use a paring knife to pierce one of the potatoes steam for a few more minutes if not quite done.
Remove the steamer basket from the pot and let the potatoes cool for 20 minutes.
In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté the bacon until it begins to render some of its fat, about 5 minutes. (For crispier bacon, cook for 8 minutes.)
Add the onions and sauté for 5 more minutes, until the onions are softened and translucent, and the bacon is cooked through.
Add the vinegar to the skillet. Stir it in with the onions and bacon and let it reduce, about 2 minutes. Stir in the vegetable broth, mustard, salt, and pepper, and turn off the heat.
(If your potatoes aren't quite ready yet, turn off the heat, but then warm briefly again before mixing in the sliced potatoes in Step 4.)
Use your fingers or a paring knife to gently peel the potatoes. (You can also leave the skins on if you like a more rustic potato salad.) Slice the potatoes 1/4-inch thick.
Add the potatoes and chopped herbs to the skillet with the vinaigrette. Gently stir until the potatoes are coated evenly with the herbs, onions, and bacon.
German Potato Salad
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A favorite that I grew up with is the herring salad. A super simple fast supper this one is. Tasting sweet and creamy, served with boiled new potatoes. That's all that's needed. It's a real kid pleaser, for my kids anyways.
Of course there are the traditional potato salads, meat salads, cucumber salads, and so many more.
Then there's the popular meat salad. In northern Germany, with its use of mayonnaise or cream, it's called fleischsalat. In the south, without that mayonnaise or cream, it's called wurstsalat. Both are so good!
There's even the "new" traditional - Corn Salad - a colorful and quick German salad. When I said "new" traditional, that's because I didn't grow up with corn.
In Germany, corn was food for animals, not people. That's the tradition my parents brought to Canada with them when they emigrated from Germany.
Although I enjoyed corn at my friend's house, it took quite a while before I saw it in our house. It carried the stigma of "cattle feed."
So, imagine my surprise when I visit Germany for the first time 50 years later and order a house salad in a very fine restaurant. A lovely salad arrives, sprinkled on top with corn! Canned corn!
Grab your copy of Oma's favorite salads in her Summer Salads e-Cookbook.
Take a peek at all Oma's eCookbooks . They make sharing your German heritage a delicious adventure!
But one of my very favorites is the cucumber salad. The one I grew up with has mayonnaise. In southern Germany, it's made without. Both are delicious. Both are traditional. Both are the best!
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Kartoffelsalat is the name of German Potato Salad in the German language.
Either! German Potato Salad can be served either warm or cold. It’s a matter of personal preference, and it is delicious either way.
Storage of Leftovers: When chilling, you can simply cover the bowl in plastic wrap and place it in the fridge. For longer term storage, this salad should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Since it can be enjoyed cold, no reheating is required.
Other German Recipes:
Watch the video below where Rachel will walk you through every step of this recipe. Sometimes it helps to have a visual, and we’ve always got you covered with our cooking show. You can find the complete collection of recipes on YouTube, Facebook Watch, or our Facebook Page, or right here on our website with their corresponding recipes.
- 4 pounds baby Yukon Gold potatoes
- 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 cup cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 pound bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 2 small white onions, finely diced (about 1 cup)
- 2 cups beef broth
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Peel potatoes, and place in a large pot with enough water to cover by several inches. Bring to a boil over high heat, add 1 tablespoon salt, and reduce to a gentle boil. Cook until potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife, about 10 minutes.
While the potatoes cook, combine the vinegar, sugar, and remaining 2 teaspoons salt in a small saucepan, and place over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved.
Drain potatoes into a colander. Using gloves or paper towels to protect your hands, slice the hot potatoes into 1/8-inch-thick rounds. Drizzle with hot vinegar mixture, gently stirring until all potatoes are coated. Set aside.
Saute bacon in a large skillet placed over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until browned and crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. Drain excess fat from skillet, leaving a thin coating in bottom. Add onions saute until translucent but not browned.
Add beef broth bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer, and cook until reduced by half, about 20 minutes. Pour over the reserved warm potato mixture, and sprinkle with the reserved bacon and chopped parsley. Gently stir to combine, and serve immediately.
Recipe Chef Notes + Tips
Make-Ahead: You can make this recipe up to 1 day ahead of time.
How to Reheat: Place the desired amount in a small pan or pot and heat over low heat until warm. You can also heat in the microwave until warm.
How to Store: Cover and place in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. You can freeze this recipe, although you will lose moisture and flavor, for up to 3 months, covered.
This potato salad will taste better the next day after infusing the flavors while in the refrigerator.
German potato salad can be served hot or cold.
This dish will go well with Pork, Sausage, Schnitzels, or at your next backyard BBQ get-together.
You can substitute the Yukon potatoes for russet or red bliss potatoes.
Feel free to substitute the beef stock for vegetable stock.
Make sure the strained potatoes have little to no water on them before frying in the bacon fat.