German Potato Salad




About: I work at instructables by day, and turn into a stitch witch by night. follow me on instagram @jessyratfink to see what i'm working on! ^_^

German potato salad is the best potato salad in the world. It's sour and sweet and wonderful. And best of all - NO MAYO! :D

(Mayo is the worst. Remember that.)

German potato salad is great hot or cold, and it's really easy to throw together. I'm using the recipe from Joy of Cooking, but slightly altered so it's more like my grandmother's. Her German potato salad had whole mustard seeds and no celery, so that's the way I make it too.

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Step 1: What You'll Need:

  • 2 pounds new or yellow potatoes (I prefer red skinned new potatoes because they're so sweet)
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water or chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seed OR 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • pinch of paprika
  • 4 slices of bacon
  • 1/2 onion
  • green onions
  • parsley

Step 2: Cook the Potatoes and Bacon

You want to cook them with the skins on - I chose to steam mine in a pressure cooker. (12 minutes at high pressure) You can also boil them on the stove or cook them in the microwave. When they're easily pierced with a knife, they're ready to go!

Don't use a fork for testing, you'll break them up too much. :)

Once they're cooked, set them aside so they can cool down a bit.

Cook the bacon until it's a crisp as you like - I like mine a little more fatty for this salad. Set it aside on paper towels when done.

Step 3: Make the Vinegar Dressing + Prep Toppings

If you're using whole mustard seeds, put them in the saucepan first over medium heat and shake the pan around for a couple minutes until they get a little astringent!

If you're using mustard powder, just add it along with everything else.

Combine the vinegar, water, mustard, paprika, salt and sugar together in a saucepan and bring to a boil then turn off the heat.

While that's coming to a boil, chop up your bacon, a couple of green onions and a few sprigs of parsley.

Step 4: Cook the Onions + Peel and Cut the Potatoes

You'll be cooking the onions in the bacon fat - I pour most of it out and keep it for later in the fridge. You really only need 1-2 teaspoons of fat in the pan.

I like to cook my onions over medium high heat so the edges will brown just a little bit. It adds extra sweetness to the salad and balances the vinegar out a little bit. :D Just keep an eye on them and don't let them burn!

While the onions are cooking, peel and cut your potatoes. It's traditional to peel them, but I tend to leave some of the skins on because they're yummy. Cut the potatoes into eighths - that should give you nice bite size pieces. Eat any bits that fall apart.

Step 5: Combine Everything!

In the pan you just cooked the onions in, add the potatoes, bacon, parsley and green onions. Mix to combine, and then pour in the dressing and mix again.

It will look like too much liquid at first - but don't worry! Just keep it over medium heat and mix it gently and the potatoes will soak up the liquid. :D

Once it's all combined, taste test and then serve! It's fantastic hot, but also great out of the fridge. I think it tastes even better the next day.

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    19 Discussions

    Sam the Wizer

    4 years ago

    Looks great. I never eat potato salad because most recipes have mayo and/or celery, one disgusts me and the other would kill me. Your other salad with the new potatoes looks good too, reminds me of what my dad used to make, although he roasted the potatoes when he cooked prime rib and basted the potatoes in the pan drippings. I might try adding some roasted garlic and a splash of fish sauce when I try that recipe.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Just made this for Christmas dinner. Added a touch of dill and a good amount of ground pepper. My 14 year old son who hates potato salad doesn't want to wait until dinner so he can eat it. Just caught him in the bowl stealing a bite. A recipe I will keep forever.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    I make a very similar recipe to this. I wing it just a bit every time but the basics are always the same. Sometimes I swap out the bacon for ham, or green onion for cilantro. It really depends on what I have in the fridge.

    "Mayo is the worst." ~cosigned


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Hi there!

    I'm from Germany, and a very similar potato salad is my absolute favourite!
    My recipe is almost the same, but uses tarragon and chervil as spices.
    I absolutely love it, but I will try yours, too.
    In fact, I have never ever tasted a homemade potato salad that I didn't like.
    Only the store-bought stuff I tried was always disgusting.

    Thank you very much!


    6 years ago

    My mouth is watering.

    I cooked this about a month ago. THANK YOU! The only thing I did differently was cook it for about 2 hours or more. My house smelled like a dream. The dish itself is out of this world!


    6 years ago on Introduction

    I like this type of german potato salad especially for warm weather/picnic/outdoor gatherings but a mayo and bacon or bleu cheese and bacon dressed potato salad also vie for first place in my heart. I prefer (because thats how Gma made it) to slice the potatoes before boiling and I use a basic pickling spice blend in the red wine vinegar

    M.C. Langer

    6 years ago on Introduction

    Looks absolutely delicious! But my mayo in the fridge feels a little bit discriminated... :-)


    6 years ago on Introduction

    No Mayo??? ...I beg to differ...! I´m from Northern Germany and here people use Mayo for their potato salad. It´s kinda like a religion, Mayo in the north and warm potato salad in the south.... ;-)

    2 replies

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    I don't know exactly where my grandma was from in Germany..but she made it with no mayo! :) Sounds great either way ...


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    She was probably from the South. I am originally from the North and there we use a lot of Mayo, now I live in the South and here we use a lot of vinegar.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    My grandma would be proud! She used to make this all the time - she was from Germany and my dad loves making it too. Very similar to your recipe. They didn't use bacon though...most of my relatives don't like the taste - I guess it's acquired...but I like it! Looks good!!!


    6 years ago on Introduction

    No mayo and it still looks good enough to swim in!

    Prototyp 81

    6 years ago on Introduction

    looks tasty, getting hungry! i´m not from the north and not from the south of germany. live directly in the middle and we eat it cold and combine your recipe with small pieces of pickled gherkins and chopped eggs... without mayo!