This German potato salad is loaded with bacon and has the best homemade vinaigrette dressing. It's served warm and always goes quickly!
This is the best potato salad. Really. The magic comes from tossing the potatoes in the fat that's left from cooking the bacon, and trust me, this is worth every calorie. The dressing is tangy and slightly sweet, and the smokiness of the bacon, flavor from the onions and garlic, and burst of freshness from the parsley just takes it over the top.
If you've never had potato salad hot/warm before, you're in for a treat.
What is German potato salad?
I'm going to preface this by saying that there's literally thousands of versions out there, and every German grandmother makes her potato salad a little differently. 😉 It seems that what many people are looking for when they type "German potato salad" into Google is one that uses bacon, doesn't have mayo, and has a tangy and slightly sweet vinaigrette dressing and is often served without chilling it first. Some use a splash of broth to add a bit of moisture to it (like my version), and others do not. Mine is more of a Bavarian style.
How to make German potato salad (overview):
Boil your potatoes (skins on). Add the dressing ingredients to a bowl and whisk together. Meanwhile, cut the bacon up and fry it in a skillet until crispy, then transfer it to a paper towel lined plate (leave the bacon fat in the pan). Add in the onion and sauté for 5 minutes, then stir in the garlic and dressing mixture and cook it until it's reduced by half. Add in the cooked potatoes (cut them up while the onions are cooking), cooked bacon, and parsley. Toss it right in the skillet and serve hot with extra salt & pepper if needed. (Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below)
Can you eat it cold?
Yes! I find it's tastiest when it's hot and freshly made, but it's delicious room temperature or cold as well!
Recipe notes & tips:
- You can use Yukon Gold potatoes if you prefer (you don't need to peel them either). Use Russets if you want more of a mashed potato consistency (they don't hold their shape as well), and be sure to peel them.
- I find the dressing to be plenty sweet (in fact, I ended up halving the sugar from the first time I tested this recipe), but if you're someone who knows they like really sweet dressings, you can increase the sugar up to about 1 tablespoon or so.
- The chicken/veg broth adds a little moisture to the potato salad.
- If potato salad has sat out for 2+ hours, be sure to finish it right away or throw it out for food safety reasons. If properly refrigerated, it'll last 4-5 days (if no one eats it sooner, that is!).
What to serve with hot German potato salad?
Parmesan Crusted Chicken or a schnitzel would go fabulously. It's a rich and filling dish, so you could even serve it with a lettuce-based salad and call it dinner. It also works as something you can bring to a BBQ/potluck/gathering.
More delicious side dishes to try:
Questions about this warm German style potato salad recipe? Let me know in the comments below! I hope you love it as much as I do. Bacon and potatoes... two of my favorite things!
German Potato Salad
- 2 pounds red potatoes
- 12 ounces bacon cut into small pieces
- 1 medium red onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth
- 3 tablespoons white vinegar or cider vinegar
- 1/2 tablespoon white sugar see note
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard or German mustard
- 2-3 tablespoons Italian parsley chopped
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Chives for garnish optional
- Boil the potatoes (cut them in half if they're large and leave the peels on). Once they're done, drain and let them cool just enough to handle.
- Meanwhile, add the broth, vinegar, sugar, and mustard to a bowl and whisk together. Set aside.
- When the potatoes are close to being done, cut the bacon cup (easy with kitchen shears) and fry it in a large skillet until crispy (about 10 minutes).
- Turn the burner off for this step to allow the skillet to cool a bit. Take the bacon out of the skillet and transfer to a paper towel lined plate. Leave the bacon fat in the pan.
- To the skillet, add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes over medium heat.
- Meanwhile, cut the cooked potatoes up into chunks or slices (large or small is totally up to you). You can leave the peels on or peel them with a knife - the peels will be very easy to remove.
- To the skillet, stir in the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.
- Add the broth mixture to the skillet. Scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, let it come to a boil, and then cook for 1-2 minutes or until the liquid has reduced by about half (don't let it evaporate too much).
- Take the skillet off the heat and then add the potatoes, cooked bacon, and parsley to it. Toss to coat.
- Season with salt & pepper as needed and transfer potato salad to a serving bowl, or you could serve it right in the skillet as it retains heat and will keep it warmer for longer. Top with chives and enjoy warm.
- Serves 4-6 as a side depending on how hungry people are. Or share it with one other person and eat it as a main course. I won't judge.
- The dressing is fairly sweet without being cloying. If you're someone who loves sweet dressings, increase sugar up to 1 tablespoon (I found it too sweet with 1 tablespoon sugar when I first tested it). You could probably use less than suggested if you don't like sweet dressings, but it helps balance the vinegar.
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.