German Potato Salad Recipe

Kartoffelsalat – traditional German potato salad | Fanfo

Looking to add a classic twist to your next meal? Our authentic German Potato Salad recipe is just what you need. Bursting with flavors and made with simple, wholesome ingredients, this dish is sure to impress your family and friends.

Incorporating the perfect blend of sweet, tangy, and savory, our German Potato Salad is a crowd-pleaser that is easy to make and hard to resist. Imagine sinking your teeth into tender, flavorful potatoes coated in a delicious dressing made with onions, bacon, and a tangy vinaigrette. It’s a mouthwatering combination that will have you going back for seconds.

Whether you’re hosting a backyard barbecue or craving a hearty side dish, this traditional German favorite is versatile and complements a wide range of main courses. From grilled sausages to roasted meats, our potato salad is the ideal accompaniment.

So why wait? Experience the flavors of Germany in your own kitchen with our authentic German Potato Salad recipe. Prepare to impress your taste buds and transport yourself to the heart of Europe with every bite.


German potato salad has a rich history dating back to the 19th century. Unlike the creamy American-style potato salad, the German version is known for its tangy and vinegar-based dressing. This variation originated in Southern Germany, where it became a staple in traditional Bavarian cuisine.

The origins of German potato salad can be traced back to the introduction of potatoes in Europe during the 17th century. Initially met with skepticism, potatoes eventually gained popularity due to their versatility and ability to withstand harsh growing conditions. As a result, potatoes became a staple food in Germany, and various potato dishes, including potato salad, began to emerge.

The traditional German potato salad recipe has been passed down through generations, with each family adding their own unique touch. Today, German potato salad is enjoyed not only in Germany but also around the world as a beloved side dish.

German Potato Salad Recipe


To create an authentic German Potato Salad, you will need the following ingredients:

1. Potatoes – Choose waxy potatoes such as Yukon Gold or red potatoes for their firm texture.

2. Bacon – Use thick-cut bacon for added flavor and texture.

3. Onion – A yellow or white onion works best for this recipe.

4. Apple cider vinegar – This tangy vinegar adds a distinct flavor to the dressing.

5. Dijon mustard – Adds a hint of spiciness and depth to the dressing.

6. Sugar – Balances the tanginess of the vinegar and adds a touch of sweetness.

7. Salt and pepper – To season the dish to perfection.

8. Fresh herbs – Optional, but parsley or chives can add a refreshing touch to the salad.


1. Boil the potatoes: Start by washing and scrubbing the potatoes to remove any dirt. Place them in a large pot and cover with cold water. Add a pinch of salt and bring the water to a boil. Cook the potatoes until they are fork-tender, usually around 15-20 minutes. Once done, drain and let them cool slightly.

2. Cook the bacon and onions: While the potatoes are cooking, heat a skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until crispy. Remove the bacon from the skillet and set it aside. In the same skillet, sauté the onions until they are translucent and lightly caramelized.

3. Prepare the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, sugar, salt, and pepper. This will create a tangy and flavorful dressing for the potato salad.

4. Assemble the salad: Once the potatoes have cooled slightly, peel off the skins (if desired) and cut them into bite-sized pieces. Place the potatoes in a large mixing bowl. Crumble the cooked bacon and add it to the bowl along with the sautéed onions. Pour the dressing over the potatoes and gently toss until everything is well-coated.

5. Let the flavors meld: For the best flavor, cover the bowl and let the potato salad sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together. This will also give the potatoes a chance to absorb the dressing.

6. Garnish and serve: Just before serving, garnish the potato salad with fresh herbs, such as parsley or chives. Serve it warm or at room temperature as a delicious side dish alongside your favorite main course.

Tips for achieving the perfect texture and flavor

– Use waxy potatoes: Waxy potatoes such as Yukon Gold or red potatoes are ideal for German potato salad as they hold their shape well when cooked.

– Don’t overcook the potatoes: Be careful not to overcook the potatoes as they can become mushy. Cook them until they are fork-tender but still firm.

– Let the salad sit: Allowing the potato salad to sit for a while before serving allows the flavors to meld together and enhances the taste.

– Adjust the dressing to taste: Feel free to adjust the amounts of vinegar, mustard, sugar, salt, and pepper to suit your personal preferences. Taste the dressing as you go and make any necessary adjustments.

Serving suggestions for German potato salad

German potato salad pairs well with a variety of main courses and can be served at different occasions. Here are some serving suggestions to consider:

– Barbecue or grilling parties: Serve German potato salad alongside grilled sausages, burgers, or barbecue meats for a satisfying and flavorful meal.

– Picnics or potlucks: Pack the potato salad in a portable container and bring it to your next outdoor gathering. It’s a crowd-pleasing dish that can be enjoyed at room temperature.

– Oktoberfest-themed parties: German potato salad is a must-have side dish for Oktoberfest celebrations. Serve it alongside traditional German sausages, pretzels, and sauerkraut for an authentic experience.

– Vegetarian or vegan main courses: German potato salad can be enjoyed as a standalone dish for vegetarians or vegans. Pair it with grilled vegetables or a hearty plant-based protein for a complete meal.

Variations and additions to traditional German potato salad

While the classic German potato salad is incredibly delicious on its own, you can also experiment with variations and additions to suit your taste. Here are some ideas to consider:

– Add diced pickles or cornichons for a tangy and crunchy twist.

– Incorporate chopped hard-boiled eggs for added protein and texture.

– Include diced celery or bell peppers to add a fresh and crunchy element.

– Substitute the bacon with smoked tofu or tempeh for a vegetarian or vegan version.

– Sprinkle crumbled feta cheese or blue cheese on top for an extra burst of flavor.

Feel free to get creative and tailor the recipe to your liking. German potato salad is versatile and can be customized to suit different flavor profiles.

Frequently asked questions

1. Can I make German potato salad in advance?

   Yes, German potato salad can be made in advance. Store it in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 2-3 days. Let it come to room temperature before serving or gently reheat it on the stovetop if desired.

2. Can I use regular white vinegar instead of apple cider vinegar?

   While apple cider vinegar is the traditional choice for German potato salad, you can use regular white vinegar as a substitute if needed. However, keep in mind that the flavor profile may vary slightly.

3. Can I use mayonnaise instead of a vinegar-based dressing?

   No, the authentic German potato salad recipe does not use mayonnaise. The dressing is vinegar-based, which gives the salad its distinct tangy flavor. Mayonnaise is commonly used in American-style potato salad.

4. Can I serve German potato salad cold?

   German potato salad is traditionally served warm or at room temperature. However, if you prefer it cold, you can refrigerate it for a few hours before serving. Keep in mind that the flavors may be less pronounced when served cold.