German Potato Salad



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This old fashioned hot German potato salad recipe is the perfect balance of potatoes and bacon with a tangy vinegar-based dressing!

German Potato Salad is one of those recipes that instantly sparks memories of family BBQs and dinner at my Grandma’s house. Without question, my grandma made the BEST German Potato Salad. Asking her for her recipe was impossible because she didn’t measure ingredients. There’s something about the combination of warm tender potatoes with bacon in a tangy dressing that I can’t get enough of. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do! ~Ashley

old fashioned warm German potato salad

German Potato Salad Ingredients:

Every good German Potato Salad has a few key ingredients that are essential for creating that old-fashioned, traditional taste. Specific ingredient amounts can be found in the recipe card below. 

  • Potatoes: a waxy yellow potato like Yukon Golds works best –  you can also use red potatoes, or even a standard russet potato and don’t forget to salt the water that you cook the potatoes in.
  • Bacon: while you can make German Potato Salad without bacon, bacon is a classic ingredient and the bacon drippings add incredible flavor to the dressing. 
  • Onions: I use green onions, you can also use thinly sliced red onion 
  • Vinegar: this potato salad is dressed with a tangy vinegar based dressing. I like to use white vinegar but ou can also use apple cider vinegar
  • Stone ground mustard + sugar – the last two ingredients that round out the tangy dressing are dijon or stone-ground mustard along with a little bit of sugar.
  • Salt and Pepper – season to taste with salt and pepper.


  • Boil the potatoes – make sure to salt the water with about 1 tablespoon of salt. This seasons the potatoes.
  • Cook the bacon – I like to use kitchen scissors to cut the bacon into small bite-sized pieces
  • Make the tangy dressing – the dressing is made in the same pan that you cook the bacon in with the drippings Sautè the green onions in the bacon drippings, then add stone ground / dijon mustard, vinegar and sugar. 
  • Adjust seasonings – add salt and pepper to taste
german potato salad 2


German Potato Salad goes way back to the 18th century. Since that time there have been variations with ingredients and how it is served – some serve it cold, others serve it warm. Sometimes the ingredients vary upon region in Germany.

Serving German Potato Salad

I love serving this recipe as a side dish for BBQs along with Macaroni Salad (either this Easy Macaroni Salad or this Hawaiian Macaroni Salad) and cole slaw. While I love classic potato salad, this warm German Potato Salad is always a favorite!

More traditionally, you can serve it with schnitzel or sausages. 

Can I make German Potato Salad without Bacon?

Yes, German Potato Salad can be made without bacon. To do this, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet to sauté the green onions and make the tangy dressing.


This old-fashioned recipe is a classic and the flavor combination with potatoes, onions, bacon, and a vinegar based dressing is hard to beat. However, here are a few variations that you can try.

  • Without Bacon: while I wholeheartedly think that German Potato Salad is just not the same without bacon, this can be made without bacon. To do this, sauté the green onions in 2 tablespoons of olive oil or canola oil in place of the bacon drippings, then continue following the instructions as written.
  • Onion – this recipe as written uses green onion. You can also make this with thinly sliced red onion.
  • Vinegar – try using red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar in place of white vinegar 


Looking for more potato salad recipes to try? I’ve got you covered. Here are some of my personal favorites!

I hope you enjoy this recipe for German Potato Salad. If you try this recipe, please leave a comment or tag me on social media. I love to hear from you. Enjoy!

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German Potato Salad

This old fashioned hot German potato salad recipe can be made with or without bacon. 
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 2 pounds potatoes (Yukon gold or Russets) peeled, cleaned and cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 6-8 strips bacon diced
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 tablespoons stone ground mustard or dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup green onions chopped
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • salt and black pepper to taste


  • Add cubed potatoes to a large pot and cover with cold water. Add 1 tablespoon salt to the pot, then boil potatoes until they are fork tender. Drain potatoes and set aside.
  • In a pan cook bacon until golden brown. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon reserving the fat in the pan.
  • Add onions to the bacon fat and saute for 2-3 minutes until just cooked.
  • In the same pan, add mustard, vinegar and sugar. Bring this to a quick boil and simmer for a few minutes until the sauce reduces to half.
  • Switch off the flame, and add bacon, potatoes and green onions to the pan and toss well. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
  • Transfer the salad to a bowl and serve warm. If you prefer, you can refrigerate for 2-3 hours and serve cold.


See post above for instructions for how to make German Potato Salad without bacon.
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Hi, I’m Ashley & I’m so happy you’re here!

Ashley is the founder of CenterCutCook and a former teacher that now spends her days in the kitchen so that she can share her favorite recipes with you!