German Potato Salad Recipe

Looking for a fantastic side dish that pairs perfectly with fried chicken or another hearty main dish? Look no further than this German potato salad recipe from developer and Rylie Cakes founder Tara Rylie, a dietitian and chef.

"This warm potato salad is best served as a side dish in my opinion. It'll knock your friends' socks off at a barbecue, but it's even better served warm at home paired with applesauce and pork chops," Rylie said.

As a recipe that has been passed down through the generations, Rylie loves spending just 40 minutes to whip up this dish that tastes amazing and is easy to prepare, too.

"My Oma inspired this potato salad. Growing up, she always brought it to family gatherings, while my other grandma always brought her classic American potato salad. One is sweet, salty, tangy and pulled together by heavenly bacon grease, while the other is a cold, mayo-based mush. Can you tell I chose sides? I have always adored my Oma's traditional German potato salad and hope that this recipe has done it justice," Rylie said.

German potato salad recipe roots

It's true that there is a significant difference between German potato salad and the type of potato salad traditionally served in the United States. German potato salad originated in — you guessed it — Germany. It's typically served warm with different ingredients than what you find in the American version, noted the Self-Proclaimed Foodie. The U.S. version uses boiled cubed potatoes and mayonnaise, although some people use yogurt or sour cream and add in mustard, herbs, hard boiled eggs, and chopped onion or pickle relish. Some people swear by the deliciousness and superior taste of German potato salad like what Rylie's recipe makes.

According to Just a Pinch, it's believed that German potato salad recipes such as the one from Rylie's family followed German and European settlers who came to the United States in the 1800s.

Gather up the potatoes for this German potato salad recipe

Start this German potato salad recipe by placing two pounds of baby red and gold potatoes, medium sliced, in a large stockpot then cover with cold water. Sprinkle liberally with sea salt. Place the pot over medium-high heat and cook the potatoes for ten to 15 minutes. It's normal for the water to begin to boil. Keep it on medium-high heat until the potatoes are done when a fork is easily inserted into each. Drain with hot water and leave the potatoes in a pan to cool. Rylie selected red and gold potatoes for this recipe for a reason.

"Baby red and gold potatoes are waxier and thus tend to hold their shape better when cooked and then thrown into a salad. This also means they stay a bit more firm and provide a light crunch to the salad rather than getting mushy," she said. "Putting potatoes directly into boiling water will cause the outsides to cook much faster than the insides, oftentimes creating a potato salad with some mushy and some firmer potatoes."

It's bacon time for this German potato salad recipe

While the potatoes for this German potato salad recipe are cooking, take a 12-ounce package of bacon and cook it in a large sauté pan over medium-low heat until crispy, which will take approximately ten minutes. Turn off the heat and remove the bacon from the pan with a slotted spoon. Set the bacon aside to cool.

"Any kind of traditional American bacon can be used here. I would avoid Canadian bacon, as it doesn't have the fat content needed to create the sauce," Rylie said. "Cooking bacon low and slow in its own grease makes sure all your bacon bits get nice and crispy. If you cook bacon bits too fast, some will be over-cooked and others under-cooked."

Be sure to reserve the bacon grease for the next tasty step.

Adding extra flavor to your German potato salad recipe

If you're a bacon lover, you will appreciate this German potato salad recipe. Turn the heat under the sauté pan back on to medium-low and add half of a large onion, diced into small pieces, into the bacon grease. Add one tablespoon of sugar to the bacon grease, too. Cook these ingredients for three to four minutes until translucent and slightly golden.

"This salad is all about the bacon grease. Seriously, It's what makes this salad so rich and delicious. There is no real substitute to make this salad meat-free. It's an all-or-nothing ordeal," Rylie said.

This German potato salad recipe packs a punch

Without turning off the heat, add in one-fourth of a cup of apple cider vinegar, a heaping tablespoon of Dijon mustard, one and a half teaspoons of horseradish, three-fourth of a teaspoon salt, half a teaspoon of pepper, and three to four cloves of minced fresh garlic. Rylie advised stirring vigorously to combine these ingredients together. Once these ingredients are thoroughly combined, turn off the heat and let the sauce cool slightly.

"For more heat, use fresh horseradish," Rylie advised.

Be sure to save the grease the next time you cook bacon because it can be used in several other ways, such as sautéing veggies for extra flavor and popping popcorn. Yes, substitute bacon grease for the cooking oil, and your popcorn will have a fantastic bacon flavor.

Bring this German potato salad recipe all together

Add the boiled potatoes to the warm bacon grease mixture and stir until fully coated. Chop up the bacon into medium-sized chunks and add it in. Chop up half a cup of fresh parsley and add it to the batch. Be sure to stir well and coat the potatoes thoroughly for this German potato salad recipe.

This dish is traditionally served warm, so once it's ready, scoop it up and serve it alongside your main dish. This recipe is bursting with flavor and is sure to please even the pickiest eaters. It's amazing! The firmer potatoes and crispy chunks of bacon give it texture while the horseradish packs some heat.

German Potato Salad Recipe
4.7 from 15 ratings
This warm potato salad is best served as a side dish. It'll knock your friends' socks off at a barbecue, but it's even better served warm at home.
Prep Time
Cook Time
German potato salad recipe finished
Total time: 40 minutes
  • 2 pounds of baby red and gold potatoes, medium sliced
  • 1 package of bacon (12 ounces), medium diced
  • ½ large onion, small diced
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 heaping tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 ½ teaspoon horseradish
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 3 to 4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  1. Place potatoes in a large stockpot and cover with cold water. Sprinkle liberally with sea salt. Place pot over medium-high heat and cook potatoes for 10 to 15 minutes. It's okay if water begins to boil. Potatoes are done when a fork is easily inserted into each. Drain hot water and leave potatoes in pan to cool.
  2. While potatoes are cooking, cook bacon in a large sauté pan over medium-low heat until crispy (approximately 10 minutes). Turn off heat and remove bacon from pan with a slotted spoon. Leave bacon aside to cool.
  3. Turn heat back on to medium-low and add diced onions and sugar to bacon grease. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes until translucent and slightly golden.
  4. Add apple cider vinegar, Dijon, horseradish, salt, pepper, and minced garlic. Stir rather vigorously to combine. Once thoroughly combined, turn off heat and let sauce cool slightly.
  5. Add potatoes to warm onion mixture and stir until fully coated.
  6. Add bacon and parsley and stir to combine.
  7. Serve salad warm. Top with more parsley if desired.
Calories per Serving 267
Total Fat 17.7 g
Saturated Fat 5.9 g
Trans Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 29.2 mg
Total Carbohydrates 19.1 g
Dietary Fiber 2.3 g
Total Sugars 2.8 g
Sodium 358.8 mg
Protein 7.7 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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