German Potato Salad

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German potato salad is a wonderful, and warm, take on this classic picnic side dish. It’s fast and easy to make and will become a fast favorite at your dinner table. 

picture of german potato salad with red onions, herbs, and bacon on top in a blue bowl on a table

Warm German Potato Salad

My easy German potato salad is a classic take on the German origins of potato salad. German potato salad is traditionally served warm or room temperature, often with bacon, and is dressed with a vinaigrette, rather than mayonnaise as is traditionally done in America. 

Dressing the potatoes while they’re warm with bacon drippings and vinegar creates a delicious and creamy dressing for the potatoes. The traditional German method is for the salad to be moist, but not wet or overwhelmed by dressing. 

The warm potatoes absorb the dressing and create a rich and tangy salad that completes any summer picnic or hearty winter feast. 

picture of german potato salad with red onions, herbs, and bacon on top in a blue bowl on a table

How to make Easy German Potato Salad

To make this recipe, you’ll need:

  • Potatoes – You can’t have potato salad without potatoes, can you? I used Yukon Gold potatoes in this recipe.
  • Bacon – Bacon brings a meaty and smoky flavor to the potatoes and the necessary fats to make this easy German Potato Salad delicious. 
  • Onion – I used red onions, which provide beautiful color contrast in this dish. Red onions are also slightly spicier than white onions, which brings an additional flavor element to this salad. 
  • White Wine Vinegar – Vinegar serves a couple of purposes. It creates the tangy, traditional dressing for this German-style potato salad. Additionally, boiling the potatoes with a couple of tablespoons of vinegar changes the PH of the water which creates a thin outer layer on the potatoes that keeps the pieces together in the salad when they’re fully cooked. 
  • Sugar -The sugar helps balance out the acidity of the red onions and the vinegar.
  • Salt and Pepper – Every dish needs salt and pepper. The salt and pepper help develop the flavors of the potatoes and the dressing and bring out the natural sweetness of this potato salad.
  • Parsley – Parsley provides a stunning green visual element to compliment the salad, as well as bringing a bright and fresh flavor to the dish. 

Once you’ve gathered your ingredients, we will use the following method: 

  • Prepare your potatoes.  Peel and dice the potatoes into 1” square cubes. Cook in boiling salted water, with two tablespoons of white wine vinegar. When the potatoes are soft, drain them and set them aside. 
  • Prep the other ingredients. In a large skillet, cook the bacon until crispy and set aside. In the same pan, with some of the bacon fat remaining. Cook the diced red onion. Cook the onion for approximately 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, as it turns translucent. 
  • Build your pan sauce. In the pan with the cooking onions, slowly add the other ingredients. Slowly bring these ingredients to a boil in the pan, and then reduce the heat. The pan sauce should be reduced and thick on the back of the spoon. Add the potatoes to the sauce and toss to coat. 
  • Garnish and enjoy. Add the chopped parsley and most of the bacon and stir together with the dressing and potatoes. Garnish with the remaining bacon bits and parsley and serve warm.
picture of german potato salad with red onions, herbs, and bacon on top in a blue bowl on a table

Tips and Tricks to Perfect German Potato Salad:

This easy, warm German potato salad is fast and simple but these few tips will make it even better. 

Don’t forget the vinegar.  Boiling the potatoes with 2 tablespoons of vinegar changes the PH of the water, and helps hold the potato chunks together once they are cooked.

Use Red russet potatoes for a more colorful potato salad.  To add more color to your warm German potato salad, you can use red Russett potatoes with the skins on. Their red skin and white flesh creates a visually stunning salad.

Cook the potatoes until they’re done, not mushy.  Be sure to only cook your potatoes until they are soft. Don’t cook them so long, that they become mushy, because they will fall apart in the salad. 


Can I serve this easy German potato salad cold?

Certainly. Many Americans are accustomed to eating their potato salad cold, and this German potato salad is delicious cold. I would recommend garnishing it with fresh, warm crumbled bacon if you serve it cold. 

Is this easy German potato salad gluten-free?

Yes, this recipe is gluten-free, though not vegan because of the inclusion of the bacon. 

How long can I store this recipe?

You can keep this dish in the fridge for 3-4 days after you’ve made it. It’s so delicious, you may have trouble keeping it that long. 

picture of german potato salad with red onions, herbs, and bacon on top in a blue bowl on a table

What to Serve With Easy Warm German Potato Salad

This delicious easy warm potato salad is a perfect accompaniment to picnic table classics like Easy Smash burgers or bacon-wrapped hotdogs.

For a more traditional German meal, I like to serve this Easy warm German potato salad with sauerkraut or cabbage and chicken schnitzel

Because this recipe is quick to prepare it’s also a great side dish from a weeknight sheet pan meal like my easy sheet pan sausage bake or my fried cabbage and sausage skillet.

For more of our delicious main dish recipes to pair next to this side salad, see our recent favorites:

picture of german potato salad with red onions, herbs, and bacon on top in a blue bowl on a table

German Potato Salad Recipe

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picture of german potato salad with red onions, herbs, and bacon on top in a blue bowl on a table

German Potato Salad

Delicious warm potato salad with bacon, red onion, and parsley for a hearty, salty, delicious side dish!
Course Side dishes
Cuisine German
Keyword bacon, german, onions, parsley, potato salad, potatoes, side dish
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 132kcal
Author Courtney O’Dell


  • 3 cups diced peeled potatoes
  • 4 slices bacon
  • 1 small onion diced
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1?½ tablespoons white sugar or more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ? teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley


  • Peel potatoes and cut into 1" chunks. Bring a large pot of water to boil with vinegar, boil potatoes until they are soft when pierced with a fork – about 10 minutes. Drain well when soft.
  • While potatoes are boiling, fry bacon in a large pan. Fry until golden brown on each side, flipping occasionally to prevent burning. When bacon is crispy, remove and set aside on a paper towel on a plate to cool for crumbling. Do not drain bacon grease from pan. When bacon is cool to the touch, crumble it.
  • Add onion to pan and cook until lightly browned, about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Slowly add vinegar, sugar, water, salt, and pepper to the pan and bring to a boil.
  • Add softened potatoes, and gently toss.
  • Turn heat off and stir in half of the bacon and herbs, tossing well to mix.
  • Add to bowl and top with the rest of the crumbled bacon and parsley.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 132kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 491mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g

About Courtney

Courtney loves to share great wine, good food, and loves to explore far flung places- all while masting an everyday elegant and easy style at lifestyle blog Sweet C’s Designs. Sweet C's devoted to finding the best food and drinks you'll want to make or find, around the world!

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4.67 from 3 votes (3 ratings without comment)

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  1. Ivory says:

    This looks amazing and I can hardly wait to make it/eat it. Thanks for sharing