German potato salad is served warm with tender potatoes, crunchy bacon and a mustard vinegar dressing that is everything a potato salad should be!
Don’t get me wrong, we love our traditional potato salad! And it always has a place as a favorite side dish at the picnic table, but if you want to change things up and ditch the eggs and mayo, then this is the potato salad for you!
I start by boiling some golden and red potatoes, then I cook the bacon on the stove in a dutch oven. Once the potatoes are fork tender, I combine them with the bacon and some garlic with a little of the bacon fat (hello flavor town!!) and then top it all with a tangy mustard (2 kinds!) and apple cider vinegar dressing.
The ingredients are so few and so simple that it seems impossible it could be so good, but it is heaven! It’s all topped with a little fresh parsley on top because, while it seems useless, it actually freshens the whole dish up. Trust me, you need to make this.
Ingredients for German Potato Salad
- Potatoes: We love the combo of some Yukon gold potatoes and red potatoes, but you could do all of one or the other. Just avoid the russets!
- Salt: adds flavor to the potatoes as they boil
- Bacon: adds flavor and a crunchy texture to the dish. Don’t forget to reserve some of the bacon grease left behind.
- Butter: use unsalted so that you can control the saltiness of the dish
- Olive Oil: extra virgin is preferred
- Apple Cider Vinegar: adds acid to the dish
- Garlic: adds flavor, be sure to use fresh garlic
- Sugar: mellows out the vinegar
- Mustards: we use a combo of stone ground mustard and Dijon for maximum flavor
- Salt and Pepper: just enough until it tastes perfect to you
- Parsley: some is going to get mixed in while everything is cooking and some is going to be added fresh on top at the end so make sure you follow the instructions
The measurements for each ingredient can be found in the recipe card at the end of the post.
What Kind Of Potatoes Do You Use For Potato Salad?
For potato salad, you’ll want to stay away from starchy, thick-skinned potatoes like russets, which will fall apart during the cooking process.
Red potatoes or golden potatoes maintain the perfect texture for salad.
Variations for German Potato Salad
There are a few options for changing this recipe up. You can always try different combinations of potatoes, though we really love the combination of reds and Yukon golds.
If you want to lighten things up a little, try using turkey bacon. You’ll be losing a lot of flavor if you go with this option because you won’t have the bacon grease to add to the dressing. Turkey bacon is quite lean and doesn’t leave much, if any, grease behind.
Feel free to play with the mustards that you use. If you want to add a little heat, try using a little spicy brown mustard.
And lastly, if you aren’t a fan of parsley, try it with dill! So yummy!
Why You Will Love this Recipe
- Easy: The ingredients are simple and largely found in the pantry. The instructions are straightforward and easy enough my 12yo makes most of this recipe. I just help her with the bacon.
- Flavor: Pretty much anything that involves bacon is going to be exploding with favor, but add a little bacon grease, vinegar and mustard and the flavor is through the roof!
- Texture: The potatoes are soft, and the bacon is crunchy creating a contrast in textures that everyone loves in a potato dish.
- Allergy Friendly: All the ingredients are naturally gluten free, dairy free, and egg free. Just double check that your mustard is gf and you should be good to go!
What to Eat with German Potato Salad
This is a side dish that can go with any type of protein as the main dish. Here a few of our favorites:
Storing and Reheating
Left over potato salad will keep for 3-4 days in the refrigerator. Store it in an airtight container. This potato salad doesn’t freeze well unfortunately. The textures just don’t hold up when it is thawed.
The reheat this dish, I prefer to use a dutch oven on the stove top. Just warm it up over medium heat until the potatoes have warmed through.
Someone asked me the other day if I had to choose between German potato salad and traditional American potato salad, which would I choose. That decision is impossible for me to make! They are so different and sometimes I just crave the nostalgia of a classic potato salad.
But if you want a warm and flavorful potato side dish, then a German potato salad is a fantastic option!
More Potato Side Dishes:
- Cheesy Potato Casserole
- Mashed Potatoes
- Gruyere Potato Stacks
- Crispy Baked Potatoes
- Garlic Dill Fingerling Potatoes
German Potato Salad
- 1 Pound Yukon Gold Potatoes
- 1 Pound Baby Red Potatoes
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 12 ounces Bacon
- 1/4 Cup Reserved Bacon Fat
- 2 Tablespoons Butter
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1/4 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar, plus 1 tablespoon
- 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
- 3 Tablespoons Sugar, plus 1 teaspoon
- 1 teaspoon Stone Ground Mustard
- 2 teaspoons Dijon Mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt, or to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon Pepper
- 3 Tablespoons Parsley, chopped, divided
- Heat a large pot of water over high heat until rapidly boiling. Meanwhile, cut the potatoes in half. Add the potatoes to the rolling water and season with 1 teaspoon salt.1 Pound Yukon Gold Potatoes, 1 Pound Baby Red Potatoes, 1 teaspoon Salt
- Allow the potatoes to cook until fork tender, about 10 minutes.
- Place a large dutch oven over medium heat. Cut the bacon strips into approximately 1-inch pieces and add to the pot. Cook the bacon, stirring occasionally, until crispy. Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon pieces to a plate lined with a paper towel. Measure 1/4 cup bacon grease and place back in the pot. If there isn't enough, add a little olive oil and butter to get to 1/4 cup.12 ounces Bacon, 1/4 Cup Reserved Bacon Fat
- Add the butter and olive oil, and once melted, stir in the garlic and 1 tablespoon of parsley until the garlic is fragrant and beginning to be browned.2 Tablespoons Butter, 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil, 2 Cloves Garlic, 3 Tablespoons Parsley
- Quickly whisk in the vinegar, garlic, mustards, and sugar.1/4 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar, 3 Tablespoons Sugar, 2 teaspoons Dijon Mustard, 1 teaspoon Stone Ground Mustard
- Bring to a simmer until it thickens slightly, about 1 minute.
- Add the potatoes , gently stirring to coat, then stir in the bacon and reserved parsley.3 Tablespoons Parsley
- Serve immediately with additional salt and pepper if needed.1/2 teaspoon Salt, 1/4 teaspoon Pepper