This authentic warm German Potato Salad recipe showcases perfectly tender sliced potatoes drizzled with a smoky, sweet, and tangy bacon dressing and lots of crispy bacon.
Traditional German Potato Salad Recipes
Let's talk about German potato salads. First, there is no such thing as one German potato salad. Are you shocked?
I published my first Potato Salad recipe (a family favorite) a few years ago. The same recipe I grew up with in Germany.
RELATED RECIPE: Cold Creamy Potato Salad
This high-protein potato salad recipe is made with mayonnaise, pickles, and hard-boiled eggs. This recipe was a staple in my childhood and was typically served with beef franks.
Some readers pointed out that this was not a typical German Potato Salad but resembled traditional American potato salads. A typical German potato salad should be warm.
At first, this was quite confusing to me. 🙂
Of course, I've had warm potato salads before. But that was typically in a restaurant serving southern cuisine! And that's the key.
Most regions in Germany have their unique potato salads. And how these different types of potato salad are prepared can differ quite a bit.
There are so many potato salad recipes and variations. Some regions are known for their hot German Potato Salad, and others are for cold, creamy ones. Some recipes even include matjes herring (think Northern Germany)!
So technically speaking, today's recipe is a Swabian Potato Salad (Schwäbischer Kartoffelsalat).
I hope I didn't confuse you too much. The good news is this recipe is easy to prepare and, in my experience, a real crowd pleaser.
Why This Recipe Works
FLAVOR - The flavors in this hot potato salad are unreal. All of the flavors compliment each other and work together. The smokiness of the bacon and the sweet and tangy dressing are to die for.
GERMAN - If you are looking to expand your German Recipe collection. This recipe is a must-try.
EASE - Making this recipe is simple. While the potatoes are boiling, you'll prepare the dressing. And you'll probably be done in about 30 minutes.
For a detailed, printable ingredient list, please use the recipe card below.
POTATOES - I typically use Yukon Gold potatoes or similar yellow potatoes. It's a middle-of-the-road, all-purpose potato. This makes them easy to slice without getting too mushy and starchy. They are also starchy enough to absorb the warm dressing flavors.
OIL - If possible, use extra virgin olive oil.
BACON - If possible, use thick-cut bacon for this recipe. The bacon drippings and the olive oil are the foundation for our dressing. The crispy bacon is what adds a unique texture to this salad.
ONION - Use a yellow onion or a sweet onion. I sauté the onions in my recipe, but other recipes add raw onions. I prefer the taste of sauteed onions for this recipe.
VINEGAR - Use plain white vinegar to deglaze the warm dressing. I have seen people in America also like to use apple cider vinegar.
This is similar to what I've said about using red potatoes. It's not wrong. Use it if that's what you prefer. But it's also not typical if you are looking for a traditional warm German potato salad recipe.
BEEF BROTH - Any beef broth you have will work. You can also use vegetable broth.
CONDIMENTS - To create a perfectly balanced dressing, you'll need mustard (dijon mustard or yellow mustard) and sugar.
FRESH HERBS - Use equal amounts of fresh parsley and chives. Using fresh herbs is common in German cooking, and I recommend using them for this German potato salad recipe, too.
POTATOES - You might have come across other recipes that recommend red potatoes. They are really tasty and a good choice for most classic potato salads.
But if you're looking for an authentic German Potato Salad Recipe, go with waxy potatoes or all-purpose potatoes. Why? Because red potatoes are not common in Germany.
You'll find them in specialty stores, but your average German supermarket doesn't carry them. Some German ex-pats like using red potatoes because they enjoy the taste.
VINEGAR - You can experiment using a different type of vinegar, such as apple cider vinegar. For best results, I recommend plain white wine vinegar.
BROTH - While I recommend beef broth, you can use vegetable broth instead. I don't recommend using chicken broth.
HERBS - You can still make the salad if you don't have fresh herbs. I like parsley's hint of peppery sweetness and the extra onion flavor from the chives. They perfect the recipe but are not essential.
If you can't find chives, you can also use green onion.
I don't add dried herbs or spices such as celery seed or onion powder. Just a hint of salt and pepper.
ONION - Using yellow or sweet onions is traditional, but if you prefer a less traditional version, try red onion instead.
GARLIC - Some recipes in Germany add garlic to the potatoes. I love garlic, just not with this recipe. If you choose to add garlic, mince 2-3 cloves and add them about a minute after adding the onions.
How To Make A Classic Warm German Potato Salad With Bacon Dressing
- POTATOES - Add unpeeled potatoes to a large pot, fill with cold water and bring to a boil. Add salt to the water and cook the potatoes until tender.
Depending on the size of your potatoes, about 20-25 minutes. Drain potatoes, peel, and slice the warm potatoes. Place the sliced potatoes into a serving dish.
- DRESSING - Fry the bacon in olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add the diced onion and saute in the bacon grease and olive oil mixture until translucent. Stir in mustard and sugar and deglaze with white vinegar and beef broth. Simmer for a couple of minutes.
- ASSEMBLY - Pour the warm dressing over the potatoes. Carefully turn the potatoes so that the dressing infuses all of the potatoes, and the cooked bacon pieces are evenly distributed. Serve hot.
Frequently Asked Questions
SERVING IDEAS - You can serve this recipe at any picnic, potluck, or barbecue. You can also serve it as a side dish with meat, fish, or chicken.
STORE - You can store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the fridge.
REHEAT - The easiest method to reheat this salad is to place it in the microwave. Another option is to remove the potato salad from the fridge and allow it to rise to room temperature. Heat about half a cup of beef broth on the stove and pour the beef broth over the potatoes.
FREEZE - Can you freeze a German potato salad? The short answer is no! Once defrosted, the potatoes will lose their taste and be too mushy to eat. Freezing potato salad is a bad idea.
More Recipes You Should Try
ROULADEN - Classic German beef dish. Tenderized meat is stuffed with bacon, onion, pickles, and mustard and simmered in a mouthwatering gravy.
JÄGERSCHNITZEL - Breaded pork schnitzel topped with a creamy mushroom sauce.
SPÄTZLE - Easy, traditional egg noodle side dish.
HAM & NOODLE CASSEROLE - "Nudelauflauf" is a classic German comfort dish. This is a great midweek meal.
KRAUTFLECKERL - The German version of the Hungarian Haluski.
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Warm German Potato Salad
- Place unpeeled potatoes in a large pot and add enough cold water to cover the potatoes. Bring to a boil, add a dash of salt, and cook for 20-25 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender.
- Drain, peel, and slice the warm potatoes and place the potatoes in a serving dish.
Warm Potato Salad Dressing (do this while the potatoes are cooking)
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet and fry the bacon. Add diced onions and continue to saute until the onions are translucent and the bacon turns crispy.
- Stir in mustard and sugar. Deglaze with white wine vinegar and beef broth. Simmer for a couple of minutes. Add fresh chives and parsley.
Potato Salad Assembly
- Pour the warm bacon dressing over the sliced warm potatoes. Serve and enjoy.