This warm German potato salad has tender red potatoes in a sweet and tangy bacon vinaigrette flavored with red onions, mustard and parsley. Bring this flavor-packed side to your next backyard grill, BBQ, picnic, or Oktoberfest gathering.
Today we’re making some German potato salad, or what Americans have come to identify as the German potato salad. Unlike the usual chilled and creamy mayo-based potato salads, this potato salad is tossed generously in a hot bacon vinaigrette, a unique dressing made from bacon fat and a guaranteed flavor-packed treat.
Serve it hot or chilled – it tastes great either way. I had it both ways; hot off the pan and as chilled leftovers, which tasted just as great. For more great pasta salad ideas to bring to your next cookout, try the classic creamy potato salad, the boldly flavored bacon ranch pasta salad, or the vibrant Italian pasta salad. In the meantime, let’s make some bacon vinaigrette.
Ingredients in German Potato Salad
GERMAN POTATO SALAD RECIPE TIPS
- Boiling with salt – Boiling the potatoes in salted water will season the potatoes while they cook for more flavor. Add about 1 teaspoon of salt to the pot for about 2 lbs. of potatoes.
- Potatoes – I used red potatoes and kept the skin on for more texture. You can also use baby Yukon gold or any other waxy potatoes if you prefer. Cut the potatoes into chunks of similar size so they cook evenly. To check if the potatoes are done cooking, pierce them with a fork. A cooked potato will pierce easily.
- Since this potato salad is usually served hot or warm, we won’t rinse the potatoes after they are done cooking so the vinaigrette can absorb and cling to them.
- Bacon – I used 12 oz. of bacon, which is about 12 slices. Some brands package theirs at 16 oz. and those will work as well. You cannot substitute the bacon with prepackaged bacon bits because we need the rendered bacon fat to make the vinaigrette.
What is bacon vinaigrette?
Diced red onions are sauteed in the fat rendered from the cooked bacon bits then apple cider vinegar, olive oil, mustard and sugar are added to make a warm and delicious vinaigrette. It’s a combination of tangy flavors you’d expect from a classic vinaigrette coupled with a little bit of sweetness and the smokey taste of bacon.
- Apple cider vinegar – Apple cider vinegar gives the vinaigrette its tart flavor. You can substitute this with white wine vinegar.
- Mustard – This adds a little bite to the vinaigrette. Add more mustard, if needed.
- Sugar – The sugar balances out the smokiness of bacon and tartness of the vinaigrette with a subtle sweetness. If you want to keep it tart, leave this out. Otherwise, start with 1 tablespoon of sugar first and build from there.
- Parsley – I used flat leaf Italian parsley but you can substitute this with chopped green onions.
- Mixing – Be gentle when mixing the potato salad so you don’t end up with mashed potatoes. Toss the salad with the vinaigrette until you reach the ‘creaminess’ level you want; a little mixing will leave you with pristinely cut potatoes. Tossing it a little more with the vinaigrette will give you potatoes with slightly jagged edges and a thicker ‘creamier’ salad because some of the potatoes have broken down to mix with the vinaigrette.
- Leftovers – Can be stored in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
- Green onions – Substitute parsley with chopped green onions for a stronger flavor and some added bite.
And that’s about it. Enjoy this potato salad warm or chilled, the choice is yours. Let me know how you liked it, what substitutions you made and what you paired it with in the comments below!