German Potato Salad

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Authentic German Potato Salad with thick,  warm potato slices, a sweet and tangy dressing, and lots of crispy bacon. 

Authentic German Potato Salad with thick,  warm potato slices, a sweet and tangy dressing, and lots of crispy bacon.

Today I am going to share my mom’s German Potato Salad recipe.  My family ate this potato salad a lot growing up.  If my mom didn’t make it, my grandma probably did.  When you’re having a hot supper, sometimes classic deli Potato Salad doesn’t cut it.  But this sweet and salty version is served hot with plenty of bacon and of course, loads of potatoes.  Bring your own bratwurst.

I find it easiest to boil the potatoes in advance of when I’m going to make German Potato Salad, maybe even the day before.  Peel them, boil them, cool them, and store them covered in the refrigerator.  That way, all you have to do is slice them while your sauce is thickening.

I came across a package of “Bacon Ends and Pieces” at Trader Joe’s recently which seems to be random bits of bacon that are not perfect enough to go in a regular package.  They were cheaper than regular bacon (nearly half the price) and worked perfectly in this recipe.  After all, you just chop it before you fry it anyway!  I love it when something useful appears.

German Potato Salad
Authentic German Potato Salad with thick, warm potato slices, a sweet and tangy dressing, and lots of crispy bacon.
Serves: 8
  • 3 lbs. potatoes, scrubbed and peeled
  • 12 oz. bacon, finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped or sliced
  • ¼ c. – ½ c. flour
  • ½ c. vinegar
  • ½ c. sugar
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Fresh parsley or chives, optional
  1. Combine 4 quarts water and the potatoes in a large saucepan. Simmer, partially covered, until potatoes are tender and can be easily pierced by a sharp knife, about 20 minutes. Drain well, reserving 1 c. of the potato cooking water.
  2. Meanwhile, fry bacon in a large nonstick skillet until crisp. Drain on paper towels, reserving rendered bacon fat.
  3. Pour off all but 6 T. of the reserved bacon fat. Over medium heat, add onions to the pan with the bacon fat and cook until softened and translucent, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove onions from the skillet.
  4. Add ¼ c. flour to the bacon fat and whisk slowly but constantly until flour is cooked through and the sauce begins to thicken.
  5. Stir in reserved potato cooking water, vinegar, and sugar. The sauce should thicken as it cooks. If the sauce seems too thin, add a few tablespoons of flour at a time until the desired consistency is reached.
  6. Return bacon and onions to the pan and toss to combine. Stir in potatoes and simmer 10 – 15 minutes longer, until the potatoes are heated through.
  7. Season to taste with salt and pepper and garnish with fresh parsley or chives if desired. Serve hot.

Related Recipes:

Easy Potato Salad

Easy Potato Salad | Culinary Hill


  1. Sounds delicious, will make some tonight!!!!

  2. I grew up on German potato salad – something my mother made well, and other people don’t seem to do it as well. I’m curious to know what kind of vinegar you use for it?

    • I always preferred my mom’s potato salad, German and otherwise, to everyone else’s too. This recipe has white vinegar in it, the only vinegar my mom keeps in her cupboard. I will be sure to update my recipes to say “white vinegar.” In my head this is always the default, if no vinegar is specified it must be white. :) But now I know better! Sorry about that, and thank you for stopping by.

  3. I make my salad without flour, just crisp your bacon, boil red potato, cool, red wine vinegar and canola oil, the bacon with drippings, small cucumber sliced thin, chicken builion granules, disolved in some water, 
    potatos sliced thin, some salt and pepper to taste mix it all well and taste. adjust taste if needed

    • Thank you Lisa, I’m going to try it that way next! I appreciate your info. A lot of people avoid flour so this is very helpful. Thanks again!

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