If you’re looking for a light and flavorful potato salad recipe, you’ll love this version.

German potato salad recipe is delicious with a perfect balance of savory seasoned potatoes, in a sweet, tangy dressing, with crispy bacon bits.

Best of all, it’s really easy to make!

plated German Potato Salad

What is German Potato Salad?

This German potato salad is a version of a recipe that comes from my friend Tanja’s family, who live in Freistett, Germany.

  • This German potato salad is different than the creamy potato salad we often serve at BBQs and pot lucks.
  • German Potato Salad is often served hot or warm – although cold is also yummy!
  • The dressing is broth and vinegar based; it’s both light and flavorful.
  • Lots of smoky bacon is added for flavor.
  • Make this time-saving salad the day before so all the amazing flavors can blend even more.
ingredients to make German Potato Salad

Ingredients for German Potato Salad

Potatoes – Red and yellow potatoes are preferred in this recipe as they don’t require peeling and hold their shape well. You can peel them if you’d like, but leaving the skins on adds a little more fiber, color, and texture and saves prep time!

Bacon – Bacon adds flavor and salt, of course. Use the bacon fat to cook the onions too. If you don’t have raw bacon, you can use real bacon bits and cook the onions in salted butter instead.

Dressing – The dressing is simmered in a skillet along with the onions, and it should be added to the potato salad while warm. I use white vinegar, but apple cider vinegar works well too.

cooking dressing for German Potato Salad

How to Make German Potato Salad

This German potato salad recipe is deliciously hearty and filling.

  1. Cut potatoes into bite-sized pieces (per the recipe below). Cook and drain them well.
  2. Fry the bacon until crisp.
  3. For the dressing, cook onion in the bacon drippings. Whisk in the remaining dressing ingredients.
  4. Toss the warm potatoes with the warm dressing and half of the bacon. Garnish with remaining bacon and parsley.
adding dressing to potatoes to make German Potato Salad

Storing German Potato Salad

Keep leftover German potato salad in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat portions in the microwave, or enjoy it cold!

German potato salad can be frozen because there is no sour cream or mayonnaise in it. However, the potatoes won’t be as firm once thawed.

More Potato Salad Favorites

Potato salad is a classic side dish that’s perfect for any occasion, from picnics to family gatherings. There are so many great variations from creamy to tangy ones. Here are some of our favorites.

Did you try this German Potato Salad? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!

plated German Potato Salad
4.93 from 54 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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German Potato Salad

German potato salad is a delicious main dish or tasty side with any entrèe. Serve it warm, at room temperature, or even cold!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 6 servings
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Ingredients  

  • 2 pounds potatoes yellow or red
  • 8 slices bacon uncooked
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • ½ cup vegetable broth or chicken broth
  • cup white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons parsley

Instructions 

  • Scrub the potatoes (do not peel) and cut potatoes into bite-sized pieces. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook until tender, about 10-15 minutes. Drain well.
  • Meanwhile, in a 10-inch skillet over medium high heat, add the bacon and cook until crisp. Turn the heat down to medium low and transfer the bacon to a paper towel lined plate reserving the grease in the skillet. Add the onion to the bacon drippings and until tender, about 5 minutes.
  • Whisk in the broth, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper. Simmer over medium heat while whisking for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • In a large bowl, combine the warm potatoes, dressing, parsley, and half of the bacon. Toss to combine, season with additional salt and pepper if desired. Rest at least 1 hour before serving.
  • Top with the remaining crumbled bacon and serve warm or room temperature.

Notes

Optional additions: Add ½ teaspoon of dry mustard, 1 teaspoon of grainy mustard or 1/2 cup of chopped celery or sweet pickles to this recipe if desired.
Use waxy potatoes such as red or Yukon gold. Baking potatoes or russets are too starchy and will soak up all of the dressing.
Sweet pickles can be added, and in place of vinegar and sugar, you can use sweet pickle juice. 
Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat portions in the microwave, or enjoy it cold!
4.93 from 54 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 255 | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 19mg | Sodium: 410mg | Potassium: 873mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 125IU | Vitamin C: 24.7mg | Calcium: 63mg | Iron: 6.4mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Lunch, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American, German
German Potato Salad on a plate with a title
close up of German Potato Salad with a title
ingredients to make German Potato Salad with writing
ingredients to make German Potato Salad with plated dish with writing

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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Comments

  1. Holly, Holy Cow!!!! this is excellent. I have made other recipes but none tasted or turned out so perfect. Yahoo !!! Everyone loved the taste, texture and boy was it easy to make. I must say, I use so many of your recipes that i don’t even try anything else first. Kudos, to you. Keep up the good work Sweetie.5 stars

  2. I reviewed this recipe several years ago, and I just had to come back and comment again. This recipe has become a spring/summer staple in my household. I give the recipe to everyone I know. Do yourself a favor, add the mustard powder. It’s my favorite part of the flavors!5 stars

  3. Was very disappointed. Made it as per directions and the dressing turned out to be very soupy. Perhaps the bacon grease should have been reduced by at least 1/4 th or 1/3rd. I had to add a small amount of onion poeder as I didn’t have a large enough sized onion.

    Any suggestions? Thank You.

    Sandra3 stars

    1. Oh no! I haven’t had this issue so I can’t say for sure what happened. Did you sauce simmer for a few minutes? Did you let it rest before enjoying?

  4. Hello, will definitely give this a try, sounds tasty. My German mother made similar potato salad but only used a vinegar/oil dressing or lemon juice/oil. Also added just onions, salt and pepper and maybe chives’ sometimes sliced cucumbers in the summer and it was always served room temperature. Around holiday time pickled herring was cut up and added to it. Must be an acquired taste.

  5. I want to make this & add celery. Should the celery be cooked? or tossed in raw?
    Sounds delish…can’t wait to try it.

    1. Either would be fine, but I would add it in raw for a little bit of crunch. I can’t wait for you to try it!

  6. I made this with half sweet potatoes and half white potatoes with the Bacon vinegar dressing and onions. my husband loves it made like this. it’s still German potato salad.5 stars

  7. I’m from Bavaria Germany and this is how we always made potato salad except we added hard boiled eggs too. Loved this recipe…reminded me of the old country.

  8. I have a question. Would love to make this for an upcoming picnic but would like to use turkey bacon. Have you ever tried this and any thoughts? I have been a vegetarian for 35 years so although I still cook meat for family, have lost reality with it:).
    Also – Do you think this would hold up well in a crockpot on buffet table? I am thinking Yukon gold might hold up best?

    1. I haven’t tried this with turkey bacon. It will have a bit of a smoky/salty flavor but it may not have enough drippings to cook the onions. You might like to add some extra salted butter if needed. Yukon gold would work perfectly in this recipe.

    1. You definitely can use russet potatoes in this recipe, but they don’t hold up as well. So they may mash a little while mixing and serving.

    1. The amounts for the ingredients are listed on the recipe card. You can scroll down to it, or click Jump to Recipe at the top of the post! Enjoy Bonnie!

  9. I’ve been eyeing this recipe for quite some time. We were grilling burgers today, so I decided today was THE day. If there’s anyone out there like me, I was completely put off by the presence of vinegar. I have used recipes including vinegar in the past and was not satisfied. However, this one was really good. It doesn’t give it a vinegary taste. Just tangy and good. Well worth the try!4 stars

  10. How can you have nutritional information without a serving size? It could be anywhere between 1/2 cup and 2 cups!

    1. My grandma as from Hungary and she made it every time she visited. At first I didn’t care for it but after the second time, I loved it!5 stars

  11. I tweaked it a little, (as usual) it’s pretty good. A nice change up to the regular grilling menu. I will definitely make this again.4 stars

  12. Please cgange the name of this to southern German style potato salad. I’m from the northern part of Germany and ours is traditional made with mayonaise and served cold. Wish people would be more considered and do some research before calling something “German “.

    1. THIS IS JUST HOW WE MAKE OURS AND WERE BORN AND RAISED IN GERMANY BUT WE HAVE OTHERS WE MAKE DIFFERENT TOO SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE SO RUDE PEOPLE MAKE THINGS DIFFERENT EVEN THIS

    2. Oh, get a life! Even if people are from the same country, same city, same town, same community, people make things different. There is not a “cookie-cutter” recipe for just one recipe. Every family makes one recipe in a different way, even if they live on the same street or even in the same house!!! You are just rude and unwelcome here or anywhere, where decent, and polite people are welcomed!!!