This traditional Bavarian Potato Salad is a delicious side with warm potatoes, crisp bacon, and a rich, bright bacon dressing with sautéed onions, fresh herbs, and vinegar. Serve it with traditional German mains for dinner or at your next gathering!
- Why You'll Love Warm German Potato Salad
- What You'll Need
- Recommended Equipment
- How to Make This German Potato Salad Recipe
- Variations and Substitutions
- Storage and Reheating
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- How to Serve Authentic German Potato Salad
- Expert Tips
- Other Potato Recipes to Try
- 📖 Recipe
- 💬 Comments
Why You'll Love Warm German Potato Salad
First, you'll see me refer to this recipe as both Bavarian Potato Salad and German Potato Salad. While Bavaria is a distinct state in southeast Germany, the state and the country as a whole share many of the same flavors.
This Bavarian potato salad recipe is the best German potato salad I've had outside of, well, Germany. I have a soft spot in my heart for German food.
My stepdad is German and we visited his mother, our grandmother, several times at her home in Hamburg when I was younger. The food was always excellent, the people were kind, and the country was beautiful (but the Autobahn was too fast).
I've always hoped to make a potato salad like the ones served in Germany, with crispy bacon and fresh herbs, tossed with a tangy dressing made with rich, salty bacon drippings, savory onions, and bright vinegar.
After a lot of testing, I feel confident that this recipe captures the taste I was looking for and I can't wait for you to give it a try!
What You'll Need
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- Yukon Gold Potatoes These are sometimes just labeled as baby or mini gold potatoes. They're usually about 2 to 3 inches tall. You're welcome to use smaller potatoes - just be aware that the cook time will be shorter.
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Dijon Mustard
- Onion I tested this recipe with both a red onion and a sweet onion. Both turned out great. Yellow onions would work as well.
- Green Onions also called scallions.
- Fresh Dill
- Salt My preference is to use kosher salt.
- Pepper Freshly ground black peppercorns are excellent here.
How to Make This German Potato Salad Recipe
Step One Place potatoes in a large pot.
Step Two Cover with cold water, a generous pinch of salt, and bring to a boil.
Step Three Boil the potatoes until fork tender. This will take about 15 to 20 minutes depending on the size of the potatoes. Strain the potatoes and set aside to cool.
Step Four Meanwhile, chop the onion.
Step Five Chop the scallions and divide into white and light green parts, and dark green parts.
Step Six Chop and cook the bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crispy. Remove the cooked bacon from the pan and set aside. Do not drain the bacon grease.
Step Seven Add the chopped onion to the bacon fat in the pan and cook until translucent.
Step Eight Add the white and light green portions of the scallions and cook for another minute.
Step Nine Make the dressing: Remove the pan from the heat, then add vinegar and mustard to the pan and stir well.
Step Ten Once the potatoes have cooled slightly, slice them in half (or in quarters for particularly large potatoes).
Step Eleven Add the potatoes to a bowl and pour the hot dressing over the potatoes.
Step Twelve Stir to combine and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve!
Variations and Substitutions
- In place of apple cider vinegar, you can use different vinegar, like white wine vinegar or champagne vinegar.
- Top with additional fresh herbs, like parsley or chives.
- If you'd like to go the extra mile and aren't fond of the texture of potato skins, you can peel the potatoes after they are cooked. Just be sure you don't burn your fingers!
- In place of the bacon grease, you can add broth. Add a half cup of warm beef broth to the potato salad mixture once it is assembled and let it absorb before serving.
Storage and Reheating
Fridge Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge. They will last for 3 to 4 days.
Freezer I do not recommend freezing this recipe.
Reheating I reheat this potato salad in a bowl in the microwave for a few minutes, making sure to cover the potato salad so it doesn't make a mess.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
American potato salad is usually served cold and is tossed in a mayonnaise-based dressing. German potato salad is made with a vinegar-based dressing and is most often served warm.
While it's possible to freeze potato salad, I do not recommend it, as the texture will be altered when your defrost the dish.
Traditionally, German potato salad is served warm. I believe that the dressing tastes better this way, as the bacon dressing, when cold, can have a somewhat unpleasant texture.
How to Serve Authentic German Potato Salad
This warm potato salad is best served warm or at room temperature.
Try it with traditional German mains, like bratwurst or schnitzel, or with any other protein of your choice, like this simply seasoned cast iron chicken or this Christmas roast chicken with orange butter. It would also be fantastic with this grilled sausage and peppers recipe!
Need a dessert? Try this wonderful kaiserschmarrn recipe!
- Cutting the potatoes after they're cooked will help them to keep their shape. When you boil potatoes that are already cut, they start to disintegrate a bit in the water.
- Be sure to add the dressing to the potatoes while both are still warm. It will be more difficult to combine the two when they have cooled.
- Starting the potatoes in cold water allows them to come up to temperature gently. This allows the potato to cook evenly throughout and it is less likely to break apart.
Other Potato Recipes to Try
Authentic Bavarian Potato Salad with Bacon
- Dice the onion.
- Chop the scallions, dividing the white and light green parts in one pile and the dark green parts in another.
- Chop the bacon.
- Place potatoes in a large stock pot. Cover with cold water by about 2 inches. Add some salt to the pot and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium.
- Boil the potatoes until fork tender. This will take about 15 to 20 minutes depending on the size of the potatoes. Strain the potatoes and set aside.
- Cook the bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crispy. Remove the cooked bacon from the pan and set aside. Do not drain the bacon drippings.
- Add the chopped onion to the bacon fat in the pan and cook until translucent. Add the white and light green portions of the scallions and cook for another minute.
- Remove the pan from the heat, then add the vinegar and mustard and stir well.
- Once the potatoes have cooled slightly, slice them in half (or in quarters for particularly large potatoes).
- Add the potatoes to a bowl and pour the hot dressing over the potatoes. Add the dark green parts of the scallions, the fresh dill, and stir to combine.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.
- This potato salad is best served warm but is good at room temperature, too.
- Cutting the potatoes after they're cooked will help them maintain their shape.
- Fridge Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge. They will last for 3 to 4 days.
- Freezer I do not recommend freezing this recipe.
- Reheating I reheat this potato salad in a bowl in the microwave for a few minutes, making sure to cover the potato salad so it doesn't make a mess.