German Potato Salad

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German potato salad is a hearty and flavorful side dish that combines tender potatoes with a tangy, slightly sweet dressing, and crispy bacon. 

A bowl of German Potato Salad.

I love potatoes.    We eat them several times a week in a variety of ways because they are one of our favorite side dishes.  

Potato salad is often on our menu because I’ll make it for dinner then we use it as a side dish for lunch throughout the week.  My favorite one is The Best Potato Salad which is a simple potato salad with mayonnaise and mustard dressing and hard boiled eggs.  When I want something with more flavor I go for Loaded Barbecue Potato Salad which has a creamy BBQ dressing, cheese, and bacon in it. 

One salad that I really enjoy but have never made is German Potato Salad.   Since it’s usually served hot or warm it’s just not something I’ve tried to make.   

What is German Potato Salad?

German potato salad is a traditional dish  from Germany.   Unlike the American version,  which typically has a creamy mayonnaise-based dressing, German potato salad is tossed with a warm vinaigrette made from vinegar, mustard, and bacon drippings.

Do I have to use the bacon and bacon drippings?   

You do not need to use the bacon or the bacon drippings.  If you don’t use them them I would add a bit more vinegar to the dressing and a little more salt.   You can skip the bacon altogether.  

I decided to make German Potato salad since I had everything I needed and I had bacon that needed to be used up.  It was actually very easy to make and I like that we could eat it as soon as it was finished and not have to wait until it chilled like Classic Potato salad

Ingredients to make German Potato Salad.


  • baby red potatoes (or larger red potatoes cut into 1 inch cubes)
  • bacon
  • scallions
  • red wine vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
  • spicy brown mustard (or whole grain mustard)
  • granulated sugar
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • garlic powder

To make the potato salad place the potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with 2 inches of water.   Bring to a boil over medium high heat and continue boiling for 12-15 minutes.

Remove from heat and drain.   Place in a large bowl.

Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat.  Cook for 3-4 minutes per side or until brown and crispy.  Remove from pan and drain on a paper towel lined plate.

Add the scallions, vinegar, mustard, sugar, salt, pepper, garlic powder, bacon, and 2 tablespoons of bacon drippings to the bowl with the potatoes.   Toss to combine.

A bowl of warm mustard vinaigrette.

Serve the potato salad warm or at room temperature.

This potato salad was really good!  I like that it’s in more of a mustard vinaigrette than a creamy based dressing.  It has a tangy flavor to it which pairs nicely with the starchy potatoes.  The flavor of the bacon really comes through too.

Since we usually eat potato salad in the summer since it’s cold it’s nice to have a warm version that we can enjoy throughout the year.   

Pin Image:  A bowl of German Potato Salad, text title.

How do I store German Potato Salad?

Store the potato salad in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to four days.   When ready to serve let it come to room temperature or heat in the microwave for 45-60 seconds to warm it up.   You can also serve it chilled but it’s better warmed. 

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Pin Image: A bowl of German Potato Salad, text title.

German Potato Salad

Warm potato salad tossed with a tart vinaigrette and crispy bacon.
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Hezzi-D


  • 1 1/2 lb. baby red potatoes cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 4 slices bacon chopped
  • 1/2 c. scallions sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons spicy brown mustard
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder


  • Place the potatoes in a large saucepan. Cover with 2 inches of water.
  • Bring the water to a boil and continue boiling for 12-15 minutes.
  • Drain potatoes and pour into a large bowl.
  • Meanwhile, heat a skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook for 3-4 minutes per side, or until the bacon is brown and crispy. Remove from pan and drain on a paper towel lined plate. Crumble.
  • Add the scallions, vinegar, mustard, sugar, salt, pepper, garlic powder, bacon, and 2 tablespoons of bacon dressings to the bowl with the potatoes. Toss to combine.
  • Serve warm.


Recipe adapted from Food & Wine, March 2024.
A plate of pork schnitzel, German potato salad, and Brussels Sprouts.

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