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German Potato Salad

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German Potato Salad |

Guten tag, meine freune!

Ok, I had to look up the “my friends” part of that on Google translate. Clearly my German is not quite on par with my Spanish. But hey, on the day that this post goes live, I will have already spent a week in Austria and Germany during my European adventure. So hopefully my vocab will have at least improved a little by then. One thing’s for sure, though — I know that I will have already consumed lots of potatoes by then!

Oh man, if there’s anything I remember about traveling through Germany in high school, it was the potatoes and sausage. So many potatoes and sausage!  I’m not too big on the latter, but I have to hand it to the Germans with how they serve their potatoes, especially in potato salad. I remember lots of potatoes garnished with parsley, usually tossed in a light vinegar dressing, sometimes onions, and always blessedly mayo-free. (Yes, I’m probably the one food blogger who could do without mayo in life.)

So when my sister was in town about a month ago and we were needing for a side to go with our dinner, we decided to make a German-style potato salad in honor of our upcoming trip. We tossed ours with lots of bacon, and also sauted the onions in the leftover bacon grease for extra bacon-y flavor. And per custom, dressed the whole thing in a light apple cider vinegar dressing. Super easy, and super good.


German Potato Salad |

Here’s how to make it!

German Potato Salad |

Just boil some buttery Yukon gold potatoes until they are cooked, and then drain and cut them into bite sized pieces.

While the potatoes are cooking, though, cook your bacon in a saute pan until crispy. Then saute your onions in the leftover bacon grease until they are cooked.

Once the potatoes are done, add them to a large bowl. Then top with the cooked bacon and onions, and add in some vinegar, salt and pepper, and toss to combine. Top the whole thing with some fresh parsley…

German Potato Salad |

…and then serve it warm! Or you can cover and toss the salad in the fridge, and serve it cold later. Definitely a delicious and simple potato salad, especially for the non-mayo-fans amongst us. :)


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German Potato Salad

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  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 0 About 3-4 servings 1x


This simple German potato salad recipe is made with bacon and onions and tossed in a light vinegar dressing.


  • 2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes
  • 8 thick slices bacon
  • half a large yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt (plus extra for salting the potato water)
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely-ground black pepper (or more, to taste)
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley leaves


  1. Add potatoes into a large stockpot and cover with cold water that extends at least 2 inches above the potatoes. Stir in a generous pinch of salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium, and continue cooking until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork, about 15–20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, cook bacon in a large saute pan over medium heat until crisp, stirring occasionally, about 10-12 minutes. Transfer bacon with a slotted spoon to a plate that has been covered with paper towels, and later break it into small pieces. Reserve 1 tablespoon of bacon grease in the pan, and discard the rest. Add onions to the saute pan and cook in the reserved bacon grease for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until cooked and translucent. Remove from heat and transfer onions to the plate with the bacon.
  3. When the potatoes are cooked, drain them and cut into 1-inch cubes. Add potatoes to your serving bowl, and top with the cooked bacon, onions, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Toss to combine. Serve topped with fresh parsley.

German Potato Salad |

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31 comments on “German Potato Salad”

  1. Yum! Bacon and potatoes were created to go together. This looks really good. I hope you are enjoying your trip!

  2. I studied abroad in Austria and Germany in college! Hope you’re having the best time! This potato salad looks sooo good!

  3. Lovely potato salad! Want!!

  4. Potato salad might be the ultimate summer side! Love this picnic perfect dish.

  5. I will never say no to tasty tater salad! I hope you are having a blast in Germany!!

  6. Beautiful dish! Hope you are having a great time in Europe, can’t wait to hear about it :)

  7. LOVE a simple potato salad. This will certainly be on my dinner table this week.

  8. Guten Tag, meine Freunde.*

  9. I do like some mayonnaise, but prefer my potato salad a little lighter. Looks scrumptious!

  10. I don’t like mayo either Ali!! In fact, I despise it and I’m always looking for potato salads without it!

  11. Hello Ali,

    I hope you had a nice time in our country ;o) As a german girl I love my potato salad with vingar as well, but I know a lot of people who like it with Mayo. It depends a bit on the are where you live.
    Also, Germany is not only sausage – please! We have really good food here and sausage is only a tiny part of it.


  12. I LOVE German potato salad! I’m headed to a family reunion this weekend and my mom is making my great-grandmother’s recipe. I am already so excited!

  13. Stunning! You can never go wrong with bacon!!

  14. This is my kind of potato salad!

  15. Totally making this for my family this summer!

  16. Your action gif is perfect and this recipe looks awesome!

  17. Love this salad. It has always been one of my favorites.

  18. YES for the extra bacon. I had forgotten about German potato salad. How could I? Its so good! Thanx for the reminder.

  19. I LOVE German potato salad….for the exact same reason. NO mayo :D I’m not a fan, so you’re not alone, Ali. I first had German potato salad when I was studying abroad in Sweden. I had roommates that were from Germany and Austria- they made this with dinner one evening…ohhhh my! I loved that it was warm, and of course, no mayo! SO yummy. Your version looks great! Thanks for sharing!

  20. Made this and it was great! Just a recommendation, if you are making it but not eating right away, wait until just before eating to mix the crunchy bacon pieces in. I made this for a BBQ, and by the time we got around to eating it the bacon was a bit soft. But the pieces I picked at and ate right after mixing were fantastic!

    • Thanks Steffi, we’re happy you liked it! Also, thank for your recommendation!

  21. I also take mustard seeds,place them in the vinegar, then heat it in the microwave.  Gives a slightly cruncy taxture and the warm/hot vinegar soaks into the potatoes better.

    • We think that sounds like an awesome tip Betty — thank you for sharing with us!

  22. Hi Ali, I stumbled upon your site while looking for an Orange Chicken recipe. I saw the German button and clicked on it. I lived in Germany for 22 years, raising my daughters there. I am a real foodie/health nut and loved experiencing the regional differences in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. You are on to something with this recipe, but one massive secret to great Bavarian potatoe salad (German actually has mayo in it, along with chopped up onions, hard boiled eggs, celery, and hearty bologna) is to scrub the potatoes and boil them in their skins. When a knife is inserted into the potatoes, and the potato slides slowly down from the knife, they are perfectly cooked. Let them cool on the counter and peel them when you can handle them comfortably. Then cut , and preceed with your recipe. Instead of salt, use hot broth and vinagar warmed in the frying pan with the remaining bacon drippings and pour over the potatoes. (The potatoes absorb the hot liquid better, for truly through and through flavor.) When cool, add chopped parsley and spring onions and enjoy!!

    I hope I don’t sound like a know-it-all, that isn’t my intention, but I thought you could appreciate upping your game. If you would like more German dishes to try, I’d be happy to share!!

  23. Cooking the onions makes such an amazing difference to my usual way of making this! Love! I used a red onion for color. Also, I added a cup of diced celery and used the celery leaves instead of parsley! So much flavor. Loved this recipe and will absolutely make again!