This delicious vinegar based German Potato Salad recipe is loaded with tender potatoes, crisp bacon, sautéed onions, and tons of flavor. Serve cold, warm, or hot - it makes an excellent side dish alongside sausages.
Different than traditional Potato Salad with a mayonnaise based dressing, this version tastes completely different!
Why this recipe is so great:
- Amazing flavor: Everyone knows salt and vinegar make an outstanding combination. The vinegar based dressing paired with the salty crispy bacon is a flavor match made in heaven. Combined with creamy tender potatoes, your taste buds will be thanking you.
- Serve hot, warm, or cold: I prefer to eat this potato salad warm, but it tastes great at any temperature.
- Tasty side dish: German Potato Salad is a fantastic side to sausages or pork tenderloin. It is also a great option to make for a potluck.
Exact quantities are listed in the recipe card below.
- Potatoes - I prefer Yukon gold but red potatoes work as well
- Bacon - this is a great recipe to use bacon ends and pieces, otherwise slice bacon works
- Onion - gets sautéed in the bacon grease
- Dressing - made from white vinegar, water, sugar, spicy brown mustard, celery seed, salt & pepper
How to make German Potato Salad:
Detailed instructions are located in the recipe card below, but here is a summary.
- Cook potatoes: Place potatoes into a pot and fill with enough water to cover them. Bring your pot to a boil and cook for about ten minutes. You will know the potatoes are ready when you can pierce them with a fork easily. Then drain the water and set the potatoes aside to cool.
- Cook bacon: While the potatoes are cooking, cook the chopped bacon. Start with a relatively high temperature and slowly reduce the temperature as the grease bubbles to avoid burning. When the bacon is crisp, remove it from the pan. The reserved bacon grease will be used in the dressing.
- Cook onions: Add the chopped onion to the bacon grease and cook until tender.
- Make dressing: Add the vinegar, water, sugar, mustard, salt, celery seed, and pepper to the pan. Bring this mixture to a boil and then set it aside.
- Mix potato salad: Cut the cooled potatoes into small pieces with the skin on and add them to a large serving bowl. Pour the vinegar mixture over the potatoes and toss to coat. Top the German Potato Salad with crumbled bacon as well as parsley and chives. Serve warm and enjoy!
Storage and reheating:
Leftovers can be stored in an air tight container in the refrigerator. Best consumed within 3-5 days.
To reheat, place in microwave safe dish and heat at 50% power in one-minute increments, stirring after each minute. Stop heating when desired temperature reached. Can be eaten cold right out of the refrigerator too.
Traditional potato salad vs. German potato salad:
- Main ingredient is boiled potatoes
- Served as a side dish
- Temperature: American potato salad served cold whereas German potato salad is traditionally served warm but can also be enjoyed hot or cold.
- Ingredients: The traditional version often includes mayonnaise, hard boiled eggs, and raw onions and celery; the German version is typically made with cooked onions and a vinegar based dressing.
Love potato recipes?
You'll definitely want to try these:
- Loaded Baked Potato Soup
- Loaded Potato Skins
- Pressure Cooker (Instant Pot) Baked Potatoes
- Grandma's Potato Salad
- Bite Sized Smashed Potatoes
If you’ve made this or any other recipe on my site, let me know in the comment section how it turned out. I love hearing from my readers!
German Potato Salad
- 3 pounds Yukon gold potatoes (scrubbed clean, whole or halved)
- 8 ounces bacon (ends and pieces work great, otherwise chop bacon into small pieces)
- 1 small yellow onion (diced)
- ½ cup white vinegar
- 4 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
- 1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon celery seed
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- handful of chopped fresh chives and parsley
- Cook potatoes: Place the potatoes into a pot, and fill with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, and cook for about 10 minutes, or until easily pierced with a fork. Drain, and set aside to cool.
- Cook bacon: Place the bacon in a heavy bottom pan over medium-high heat, reducing the heat as the bacon cooks to avoid burning. Remove the cooked bacon from the pan and set it aside. Discard all but about ¼ cup of the bacon grease.
- Cook onion: Add onion to the remaining ¼ cup of bacon grease, and cook over medium heat until browned.
- Finish warm dressing: Add the vinegar, water, sugar, mustard, salt, celery seed, and pepper to the pan. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat and set aside.
- Finish potato salad: Cut cooled potatoes into small pieces with the skin on and add to a large serving bowl. Pour vinegar mixture over the potatoes, then toss to coat. Top with crumbled bacon as well as parsley and chives. Serve hot, warm (preferred), or cold.
This recipe was originally published in April 2019 and has been updated with helpful information, ingredient and process photos, as well as recipe tips. Don't worry - the recipe hasn't changed!