German Potato Salad Recipe

This classic German potato salad is a savory, tangy side dish that pairs perfectly with various main courses, especially during grilling season or at a hearty family gathering. Unlike traditional American potato salad, this one is served warm and includes a vinaigrette based on bacon, vinegar, and mustard rather than mayonnaise.


  • 2 pounds medium-sized red potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon + 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1 pound thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard (add more if desired)
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley


  1. Cook the Potatoes:
    • Place the potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Add 1 tablespoon of kosher salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender but still firm, about 15-20 minutes depending on size.
    • Drain the potatoes and let them cool slightly. Once they are cool enough to handle, slice them into 1/2-inch thick rounds.
  2. Render the Bacon:
    • While the potatoes are cooking, place the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook until the bacon is crisp and the fat has rendered out. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside on a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
  3. Sauté the Onions and Garlic:
    • In the same skillet with the bacon fat, sauté the diced onion over medium heat until translucent and starting to brown, about 5-7 minutes.
    • Add the minced garlic and cook for another minute until fragrant.
  4. Prepare the Dressing:
    • Add the apple cider vinegar, whole-grain mustard, Dijon mustard, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and black pepper to the skillet. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 2 minutes to blend the flavors together.
  5. Combine the Salad:
    • In a large mixing bowl, gently toss the sliced potatoes with the warm dressing, cooked bacon, and chopped parsley until everything is well coated.
  6. Serve Warm:
    • Serve the potato salad warm, or let it sit for a bit to allow the flavors to meld together even more.


  • Potato Type: Red potatoes are great for this salad because they hold their shape well when cooked and have a waxy texture, but you can also use Yukon Gold potatoes.
  • Adjust the Mustard: The amount of mustard can be adjusted according to taste; some prefer a more robust mustard flavor.
  • Make Ahead: This salad can be made a few hours in advance. It allows the flavors to deepen, making the salad even more flavorful.
  • Additional Ingredients: For variations, consider adding some capers or sliced green onions for an extra burst of flavor.


German potato salad is a deliciously different approach to potato salad, offering a warm, tangy twist that complements a wide range of dishes. Perfect for any occasion, it’s especially popular at BBQs and family reunions, providing a hearty side that stands out from the typical cold potato salad. Enjoy this tasty, comforting dish at your next gathering!