This German Potato Salad recipe will change the way you think about potato salad from here on out!  Tender baby potatoes are tossed with smoky bacon, a tangy, sweet dressing and fresh herbs.  It’s packed with flavor, it may be eaten warm or cold and it’s so easy to make!

German potato salad in a white bowl

I’ve never been a huge fan of potato salads because most are completely laden with mayo. My grilled potato salad has been a favorite for years because it’s smoky, delicious and mayo free, but now it has some stiff competition!

This German Potato Salad recipe has become a fast favorite in the past few months. Before I moved a few months ago, I tried my mother-in-law’s family recipe, which is baked in the oven.

I tweaked her recipe to eliminate the baking step, so it’s even easier and it’s on the table faster! I also adapted the dressing to suit my tastes, and added some fresh herbs that really take the flavors over the top.

The glory of cooking is having the ability to take a classic recipe and recreate it with your own personal spin. It can be done by changing the cooking method(s), ingredients, etc. to make them even more approachable or to suit your family’s tastes.

The foundation of this recipe was built from my mother-in-law’s, which makes it extra special to me.

German potato salad in a white bowl with herbs and a linen

Why you’ll love this recipe:

  • This is a potato salad like no other. Tender baby potatoes are tossed with crispy bacon, a warm bacon dressing that’s sweet and tangy, and fresh herbs.
  • It may be served hot or cold, making it perfect for picnics, barbecues and potlucks.
  • German potato salad is dairy and gluten-free.
  • It may be made in advance, and it keeps for up to 3-4 days in the fridge.

Recipe ingredients

The ingredients for this German potato salad recipe are easily accessible and may be customized a number of ways as outlined below.

German potato salad ingredients
  • Potatoes. I highly recommend using red baby potatoes are they’re the perfect size, and they have great flavor, creamy texture and color. Baby gold potatoes would be a good substitute, or use larger red potatoes and cut into 1.5″ chunks.
  • Bacon. Like my grilled sweet potato salad, this recipe includes crumbled bacon and a warm bacon dressing is made from the drippings. I prefer to use thick cut bacon in this recipe.
  • Red onion. The red onion adds additional flavor, but it may be substituted with white or yellow if you don’t have any on hand.
  • Vinegar. I recommend using white vinegar for its more neutral flavor. Apple cider vinegar may be used in a pinch, but it will change the flavor of the dressing significantly.
  • Maple syrup. You may substitute the maple syrup with the sweetener of your choice.
  • Grainy mustard. I love the grainy mustard for it’s milder flavor and flecks of mustard seeds. If you don’t have any on hand, you may substitute it with 2-3 teaspoons of dijon mustard. Keep in mind that dijon has a more pungent flavor.
  • Herbs. Fresh parsley and dill add freshness and flavor to this German potato salad, and I can’t imagine it without them. If you’re not a fan of dill, substitute it with more parsley.

How to make this recipe

German potato salad is extremely easy to make. There’s about 10 minutes of prep, and it cooks up in about 15 minutes.

Pro tip: Get the potatoes cooking first, then cook the bacon and dressing while the potatoes are boiling.

How to cook potatoes and bacon collage for German potato salad
How to make German potato salad collage
  1. Place the potatoes in a large pot and fill with water until it is 1″ over the top of the potatoes. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Remove the lid and reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 8-10 minutes until the potatoes are tender but still firm. Drain the potatoes well in a colander.
  2. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut in half and place in a large bowl.
  3. While the potatoes cook, cook the bacon in a large skillet according to package instructions. Place the cooked bacon on a paper towel lined plate to blot excess grease.
  4. Crumble or chop the bacon when cool enough to handle.
  5. Reserve 1/4 cup of the bacon drippings, and add the red onion. Cook over medium heat until softened, about 3 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds longer.
  6. Add the water, vinegar, maple syrup, mustard, salt and pepper to the pan and whisk well.
  7. Bring to a boil and cook until reduced by half and thickened, about 5 minutes.
  8. Add the warm bacon dressing, fresh parsley and dill to the potatoes and toss gently to coat. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. Enjoy warm or cold!
Warm German potato salad in a bowl with parsley and dill

FAQs

Is German potato salad better the next day?

German potato salad will taste just as good or even better the next day as the flavors meld even more over night. Leftovers may be served cold, or warm it up slightly if you prefer it warm.

How long will German potato salad last in the refrigerator?

Leftover German potato salad will keep for up to 3-4 days in an air tight container in the refrigerator.

How do you tell if potatoes are done for potato salad?

Baby potatoes or potatoes cut into about 1.5″ in size usually take between 7-10 minutes to cook. Check for doneness after 6 minutes by piercing with the tip of a knife or fork. Potatoes should be tender yet still firm enough to hold their shape.

How to serve this recipe

German potato salad is a great addition to cookouts, picnics and any type of gathering because it may be served hot or cold, and it’s versatile enough to serve with almost any main course.

Recipe notes

  • Pro tip: If you want hot or warm German potato salad, cook and assemble just before serving, or prepare it in advance and heat it slightly. If you prefer cold German potato salad, you can make it several hours or up to one day in advance!
  • I prefer to use red baby or new potatoes for this recipe as they’re the perfect size and I love the color and flavor.  If you can only find larger red potatoes, be sure to cut them into about 1 1/2″ chunks.
  • Grainy mustard has a more subtle flavor than dijon mustard, so if you’re substituting with dijon be sure to use less.
  • If you don’t have white vinegar on hand, it may be substituted with apple cider vinegar.
Warm german potato salad in a white bowl with a serving spoon

More potato recipes you’ll love:

If you try this recipe I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment and rating below, or tag me at @flavorthemoments on Instagram!

German potato salad in a white bowl

German Potato Salad Recipe

This German Potato Salad is the best potato salad recipe! Tender potatoes are tossed in a warm sweet, tangy dressing with crisp bacon and fresh herbs. Eat it warm or cold for the ultimate side dish!
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Ingredients

  • 1.5 pounds red baby potatoes
  • 4 slices thick cut bacon
  • 1/2 red onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup water may substitute with chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/3 cup white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup may substitute with your favorite sweetener
  • 1.5 tablespoons grainy mustard may substitute with 2-3 teaspoons dijon
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt add more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper add more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped dill

Instructions 

  • Place the potatoes in a large pot and fill with water until it is 1" over the top of the potatoes. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Remove the lid and reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 8-10 minutes until the potatoes are tender but still firm. Drain well in a colander.
  • When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, place in a large bowl.
  • While the potatoes cook, cook the bacon in a large skillet according to package instructions. Place the cooked bacon on a paper towel lined plate to blot excess grease.
  • Crumble or chop the bacon when cool enough to handle.
  • Reserve 1/4 cup of the bacon drippings, and add the red onion. Cook over medium heat until softened, about 3 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds longer.
  • Add the water, vinegar, maple syrup, mustard, salt and pepper to the pan and whisk well.
  • Bring to a boil and cook until reduced by half and thickened, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the warm bacon dressing, fresh parsley and dill to the potatoes and toss gently to coat. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. Enjoy warm or cold!

Notes

  • Pro tip: If you want hot or warm German potato salad, cook and assemble just before serving, or prepare it in advance and heat it slightly. If you prefer cold German potato salad, you can make it several hours or up to one day in advance!
  • I prefer to use red baby or new potatoes for this recipe as they’re the perfect size and I love the color and flavor.  If you can only find larger red potatoes, be sure to cut them into about 1 1/2″ chunks.
  • Grainy mustard has a more subtle flavor than dijon mustard, so if you’re substituting with dijon be sure to use less.
  • If you don’t have white vinegar on hand, it may be substituted with apple cider vinegar.

Nutrition

Calories: 208kcal, Carbohydrates: 24g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 16mg, Sodium: 419mg, Potassium: 611mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 143IU, Vitamin C: 13mg, Calcium: 30mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.

Tried this recipe?Mention @flavorthemoments or tag #flavorthemoments!

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