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Old Fashioned German Potato Salad is dressed with a dijon vinegar dressing and can be served either hot or cold. 

German Potato Salad in a white bowl with a wooden spoon in it.

German Potato Salad is a traditional potato side dish originating in Southern Germany. In Northern Germany, the dish is different and more similar to an American style potato salad with mayonnaise. Generally, German Potato Salad refers to this Southern style dish.

What is the difference between German Potato Salad and American Potato Salad?

In a Southern German Potato Salad, the dressing is made from bacon drippings and vinegar. In an American Potato Salad, the dressing is largely mayonnaise based.

What is German Potato Salad called in German?

Kartoffelsalat is the name of German Potato Salad in the German language.

Is German Potato Salad served warm or cold?

Either! German Potato Salad can be served either warm or cold. It’s a matter of personal preference, and it is delicious either way.

German Potato dished up onto a white plate.

Storage of Leftovers: When chilling, you can simply cover the bowl in plastic wrap and place it in the fridge. For longer term storage, this salad should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Since it can be enjoyed cold, no reheating is required.

Other German Recipes:

Watch the video below where Rachel will walk you through every step of this recipe. Sometimes it helps to have a visual, and we’ve always got you covered with our cooking show. You can find the complete collection of recipes on YouTube, Facebook Watch, or our Facebook Page, or right here on our website with their corresponding recipes.

German Potato Salad in a white bowl with a wooden spoon in it.
Old Fashioned German Potato Salad is dressed with a dijon vinegar dressing and can be served either hot or cold.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
  • 2 pounds red potatoes diced
  • 1 pound bacon diced
  • 1 red onion diced
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add in diced potatoes and boil until tender, about 10 to 12 minutes. Drain potatoes and place in a large mixing bowl.
  • Meanwhile, add bacon to a cold large skillet. Heat over medium heat and cook bacon until crisp, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove bacon from grease and set aside, leaving grease in pan.
  • Add red onion to grease and cook 5 minutes until onions are soft. Whisk in vinegar, olive oil, sugar, mustard, salt, and pepper until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Pour sauce over cooked potatoes. Toss with bacon and parsley. Serve hot, or chill to serve cold.


Calories: 528kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 39g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 49mg | Sodium: 946mg | Potassium: 878mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 250IU | Vitamin C: 17.7mg | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 1.7mg
Course: Side
Cuisine: German
Keyword: German Potato Salad
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Bailey Luder
June 12, 2019 4:38 pm

I made this for a work potluck, and even with a double batch, there was but a scoop left to take home. It’s SO GOOD!
thank you!

Michelle Ortmann
July 31, 2020 5:11 pm

Oh so delicious and it is not greasy. it has an interesting combination of ingredients that create a dance on the tastebuds. It is nourishing and wholesome and has become a requested family favorite. Thank you for sharing your talent and creativeness. Thank you for the recipe

June 8, 2020 12:30 pm

5 stars
Really easy recipe to follow with everyday ingredients. It’s a hit with my family

May 8, 2018 8:58 am

Made this recipe at our firehall to serve with smoked brisket, ribs, and chicken, along with slaw. I had to 5x the recipe to feed so many, but the guys absolutely tore it up. It was delicious. I was a little concerned of greasiness due to using so much bacon along with the olive oil, but it turned out fine. I could see adding some of the other items mentioned by other reviewers like celery and/or eggs, but i would cook the original recipe first to give yourself a baseline. You van always tweak the recipe when you make it… Read more »

September 21, 2020 4:37 pm

5 stars
Recipe perfect as is!

Gladys Guerra
September 13, 2020 8:36 am

5 stars
Awesome German potato salad my sister used to make it she passed away this year unfortunately we miss her dearly hers was awesome also but I don’t have a recipe this is pretty much as good as it’s going to get with a German potato salad thank you for your recipe the only thing was I could not go to the store and I did not have Dijon mustard so I put regular mustard it did make a difference I know but I did follow the recipe exactly as printed and it was delicious again thank you it’s a keeper

Joyce Westner
July 13, 2019 8:50 am

5 stars
Fabulous! Made it for our part-German family who all love it, thank you.

Kathryn Cole
September 16, 2019 4:59 pm
Reply to  Joyce Westner

My fathers grandparents came from Germany. My father got his German potato salad recipe from them. He made it with apple cidar vinegar. I wished that i would have gotten the recipe from him.

Kathy K
July 12, 2019 8:25 am

5 stars
Great recipe. Tasty and authentic.

A. McLaughlin
July 5, 2019 8:25 pm

5 stars
Made this yesterday for a 4th of July BBQ and it was a hit! I doubled the recipe and there was nothing left …… it’s THAT good! Everyone absolutely loved it.

Holly Kidson
July 3, 2019 5:08 pm

So everything about this recipe made sense to my brain and my tastebuds… except the sugar! That sauce is so sweet! Maybe it’s just me, but I would have done maybe two tsp, not two tbsp of sugar. I tried to balance by adjusting with additional mustard, some Worcestershire sauce, and lemon juice, but it’s still not my cup of tea. I’ll make it again, but I think the proportions need some tweaking for a more savory end product.

June 9, 2019 9:22 pm

4 stars
This is almost exactly the way my mother and grandmother made it and I have made it most of my life except we didn’t put the olive oil and mustard in it and we always ate it hot I love German potato salad. I don’t understand the olive oil why would you need to add oil to it but La mustard might be good, I will try it next time.

Paul Brickler
June 9, 2019 4:37 pm

5 stars
Spot on, just like grandma used to make. Thanks!

Don Keagy
June 8, 2019 6:11 pm

I made this for a party, and overheard three people say the potato salad is sooooo good.

Paul Haines
May 27, 2019 3:14 pm

5 stars
I made it twice already and I love it

May 26, 2019 11:12 pm

5 stars
Wow!! This was excellent. I added a little less oil and a little more salt. Delicious!

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