Closeup of German Potato Salad in a flat-sided skillet
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5 from 2 votes

German Potato Salad

This warm German potato salad recipe is packed with flavor and texture. Bacon adds salty richness, while the vinegar and a bit of sugar help to balance and brighten the flavor.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: German
Keyword: German Potato Salad
Servings: 6 servings (approximately)
Calories: 276kcal
Author: Jennifer Farley


  • 2 pounds medium red potatoes, unpeeled and halved or quartered (see notes)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 8 ounces thick-cut bacon, 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons whole-grain Dijon or German mustard, or more to taste (see notes)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1-2 tablespoons minced chives


  • Place potatoes, 1 tablespoon salt, and water to cover in a Dutch oven or large saucepan, bring to boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium and simmer until potatoes are tender but not mushy, about 10 minutes. Drain potatoes; return potatoes to pot and cover to keep warm.
  • While the potatoes are simmering, cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, around 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to paper towel-lined plate or cutting board; discard all but 1/4 cup bacon grease (it's ok if you have a little less; the fattiness varies by brand). 
  • Add onion to the skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until soft and lightly caramelized, about 4 minutes. Whisk in the sugar, vinegar, mustard, black pepper, and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring, until sugar is dissolved and the liquid is reduced by around 75%, 3-5 minutes (you want the potatoes coated, not sitting in liquid). Add the reserved potatoes and bacon.
  • Remove from heat, add the parsley, and stir until the ingredients are evenly combined and coated. Stir gently (almost more like folding) to avoid damaging the appearance of the potatoes. Taste; adjust seasoning if desired. 
  • Garnish with chives (garnish either individual servings or the full recipe in a serving dish), and serve warm. Leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. 


Red potatoes can vary in size quite a bit. When you’re cutting them, aim for bite sized pieces, around 1 to 1 1/2 inches.
You can substitute regular Dijon or German mustard if you don't want to purchase the whole grain version. However, whole grain mustard adds to the beautiful presentation and also offers a subtle crunch. I think it's worth it, and it's fantastic on sandwiches, so it won't go to waste!
Some recipes include diced celery, which would certainly work here. It will add some additional texture and a touch of bitterness. I personally don't think the recipe needs it. However, if you want to add some, I'd dice 2 ribs finely and stir them in along with the parsley. 

Serving Suggestions

German potato pairs well with meat. Try serving this pasta salad alongside buttermilk roast chicken, crispy baked chicken thighs, or grilled steak!


Calories: 276kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 1284mg | Potassium: 799mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 25IU | Vitamin C: 14.4mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 1.4mg