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German Potato Salad

With warm, tender red potatoes and a sweet, tangy dressing loaded with bacon and garlic, this German Potato Salad is a perfect side dish for any occasion, from a grilled dinner to a summer holiday potluck.

German Potato Salad ~ a perfect side dish for a summertime dinner from the grill, picnic, or holiday potluck | FiveHeartHome.com

My kids still have two more weeks of school to go before summer vacation commences, but I understand that some schools across the country have already let out. Well, between that and Memorial Day weekend coming up, I would say that summer grilling season is upon us! And what goes better with dinner from the grill than potato salad?!

If you are on the hunt for a classic, mayonnaise-based potato salad, I shared a family-favorite recipe for that one last summer. Please just promise me that you won’t judge that post too harshly! I had only been blogging for less than a month, my photography was sub-par (though I recognize that, almost a year later, I still have a long way to go!), and an unfortunate incident involving my 3-year-old left me with only one photo to post. Go ahead…hop over and read what happened…I’ll wait here until you get back. πŸ™‚

German Potato Salad ~ a perfect side dish for a summertime dinner from the grill, picnic, or holiday potluck | FiveHeartHome.com

Back already? Well aren’t you a speedy reader! Anyway, let’s just say that I made sure that my now-4-year-old was in preschool before putting together and photographing this recipe. No treasured glass bowls were harmed in the making of today’s potato salad… πŸ˜‰

Ah, yes…today’s potato salad. It’s actually my take on German Potato Salad, and if you’ve never enjoyed this variation, please promise me that you will change that this summer! What’s funny is that my mom is from Germany, yet growing up, she only ever made us traditional, American potato salad. German Potato Salad, on the other hand, is not creamy nor loaded with mayonnaise. Rather, it features red potatoes and bacon. You could stop at the mere mention of bacon and that would be enough for me. But this recipe takes it even further!

German Potato Salad ~ a perfect side dish for a summertime dinner from the grill, picnic, or holiday potluck | FiveHeartHome.com

Once you fry your bacon, you actually add apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, and sugar to the leftover hot bacon grease. After allowing the mixture to simmer for a couple of minutes, you throw in some garlic and then toss your cooked potatoes in the sizzling mixture. The result is that the potatoes soak up all of that bacon-y, vinegar-y, sugary goodness, leaving you with potato salad that’s tangy, salty, and sweet all at the same time. Oh, and don’t forget to stir in your cooked, crumbled bacon and some fresh chopped parley as well. Yes, friends, this potato salad is (in one word…or three syllables): DE-LI-CIOUS!

I think that this salad is best served hot or warm, but it’s also tasty at room temperature if it starts to cool down before serving. It’s a side dish that can readily go from grillside to potluck to picnic without too much stress over keeping it iced down. Of course, this potato salad (as well as any food prone to spoiling) should not sit at room temperature for more than two hours before being refrigerated.

German Potato Salad ~ a perfect side dish for a summertime dinner from the grill, picnic, or holiday potluck | FiveHeartHome.com

So have I convinced you to try German Potato Salad this summer and/or add it to your Memorial Day or Independence Day menu? Whatever the occasion, I guarantee that it will disappear like that! The batch you see here vanished in a flash…and fortunately, this time, that was thanks to ravenous appetites and not toddler-induced spillage. πŸ˜‰

German Potato Salad

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

German Potato Salad

With warm, tender red potatoes and a sweet, tangy dressing loaded with bacon and garlic, this German Potato Salad is a perfect side dish for any occasion, from a grilled dinner to a summer holiday potluck.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds red potatoes
  • 1 teaspoon salt (for boiling potatoes)
  • 12 ounces bacon
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic (about 3 large cloves)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

Directions

  1. Scrub potatoes and cut any very large potatoes in half so that all potatoes are of approximately equal size. Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and stir in 1 teaspoon of salt. Reduce heat and simmer potatoes for 15 to 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender when stabbed with a fork. Drain water. Leaving potatoes in pot, return pot to still-hot (turned off) burner. Leave lid off of pot and allow potatoes to steam dry for a few minutes.
  2. Set a large pot over medium heat and use kitchen shears over pot to cut bacon strips into approximately 1-inch pieces. Cook bacon, stirring occasionally, until crispy. While bacon is cooking, cut potatoes into 1/2-inch thick slices. Cut any extremely large slices in half. Set aside. Once bacon is done, remove pot from stove and use a slotted spoon to remove bacon to a bowl while leaving bacon grease in the pot (I had about 1/4 cup).
  3. To the bacon grease, slowly and carefully add vinegar, sugar, Dijon, salt, and pepper. Place pot back on burner, bring mixture to a simmer, and stir for a couple of minutes. Stir the minced garlic into the mixture and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until garlic starts to turn a light golden. Remove pot from heat and toss in the sliced potatoes, gently mixing until potatoes have absorbed all of the liquid. Carefully fold in the cooked bacon pieces and chopped parsley. Transfer potato salad to a serving dish and serve hot or warm. Potato salad should not sit at room temperature for more than two hours before refrigerating any leftovers.

Tips, Tricks, & Variations

Make sure that the pot is off of the burner and the bacon grease has slightly cooled before slowly and carefully adding the vinegar (in order to prevent the mixture from potentially bubbling up).

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More summer sides & desserts

(Click title below photo to be taken to recipe)

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Tortellini Pasta Salad with Tomatoes, Basil, & Fresh Corn

Tomato Cucumber Salad with Olives and Feta | {Five Heart Home}

Tomato Cucumber Salad with Olives & Feta

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Frozen Orange Creamsicle Pie with a Pretzel Crust | FiveHeartHome.com

Frozen Orange Creamsicle Pie with a Pretzel Crust

…and see all of our summer recipes << HERE!

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I always love hearing from you! ~ samantha {at} five heart home {dot} com


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Comments

  1. Debbie Caraballo says:

    I’ve never been a fan of German potato salad, but I don’t think I’ve actually eaten any that was homemade! Your version looks delicious. Love the red potatoes in it. They’re one of my favorite potatoes. Might need to make this for one of the upcoming holidays…thanks, Sam!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      I bet a homemade version would taste better than what you’ve tried before, Debbie! If you like bacon, this will be right up your alley. If you don’t like bacon, you might want to pass… πŸ˜‰ Have a great rest of the week and a wonderful long weekend, Deb!

  2. Definitely my kind of potato salad! LOVE this Samantha!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks so much, Gina! It’s my kind of potato salad, too. Bacon always speaks to me… πŸ˜‰

  3. I love this recipe…so delicious! I’m a fan of German potato salad, and your recipe looks great. Thanks for sharing!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thank you, Jodee! I hope you have a chance to try this one…and that you really enjoy it if you do! πŸ™‚

  4. Hi Samantha! I love your German potato salad recipe. It’s just the thing for me as I am not a fan of mayo. Your photos are beautiful too, definitely going to be a summer staple for me.

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      I appreciate that, Ai Lin! My husband doesn’t really care for mayonnaise either so it’s nice to have this alternative in the recipe file. I hope you love it if you have a chance to try it! Thanks for the thoughtful comment…have a great day!

  5. Believe it or not, I don’t have a recipe for German potato salad. I just never got around to it. I think I made this kind of salad years ago. I really love it, when I find it at a pot luck. So maybe I will be the one bringing it for the next barbeque or pot luck.

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      I hope you have a chance to make this one, Carol! It’s easy to put together and fun to eat…you’re sure to impress your friends at the next BBQ or potluck! πŸ˜‰

  6. I was planning on making potato salad with bacon in it for a party this weekend. Love these ingredients! Thanks for sharing!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      You’re so welcome, Nicole! I think potato salad (or anything else!) with bacon will go over well regardless of the occasion! πŸ˜‰ Hope you’re having a great weekend!

  7. Mmmm! You can share this recipe at my party too!

  8. O my god that looks so awesome! Thanks for sharing the recipe! πŸ˜‰

  9. I have always wanted to try a German Potato Salad since I saw it on an episode of Paula’s party a long time ago. It’s about time I try it and yours looks delicious.

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks, Jenn…I think you’ll enjoy it if you have a chance to try it! πŸ™‚

  10. Looks like a yummy recipe. I would like to warn you and your readers that your statement about it not needing to be kept cold because of no mayo is completely false…potatoes are the culprit of food poisoning in potato salad, NOT the mayo. Store bought mayo can actualy be left on the counter….and while it may separate and look unappealing, it is safe to eat.

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks for that info, Toni. I didn’t mean that it’s safe to leave out this potato salad all day…just that it doesn’t necessarily have to sit in a bowl of ice as is common with traditional potato salad. This potato salad is best eaten right after making it, but if not, it should be kept refrigerated until serving (and reheated, if desired). Upon serving, it can sit at room temperature for up to two hours, after which point any leftovers should be refrigerated. I appreciate you pointing out that I wasn’t clear about this, and I’ll go back and update the recipe accordingly. πŸ™‚

  11. Shirley says:

    I haven’t had this for years. I need to try this again.

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      You should definitely try it soon, Shirley! I love rediscovering favorite old recipes. πŸ™‚ Thanks so much for stopping by…hope you’re having a great week!

  12. I don’t cook very often, I hate it with a passion, but one thing you failed to mention in your directions on the bottom is letting the bacon grease cool down before adding vinegar, sugar, dijion. πŸ™‚ because through trial and error and not using my best judgement i did exactly what the recipe called for and I had bacon grease all over my kitchen. Bacon grease and vinegar= blow out.

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Oh no, Misti…I am so sorry to hear that! I have never had that happen when making this potato salad, and to be honest, it never even occurred to me that it could happen. I add the vinegar to the bacon grease while still hot as well (thought not still bubbling/sizzling). Out of curiosity, I Googled a bunch of other German potato salad recipes and didn’t find any specific reference to this happening, though a few did say “carefully add the vinegar.” So maybe that’s why? At any rate, I apologize that you ended up with a mess…I’m sure that did nothing to help the fact that you already hate cooking! πŸ™ I’ll go back and make a note in the recipe to warn people to be careful when adding the vinegar. I really appreciate you letting me know and wish you better luck with your next recipe!

  13. Thank you for the recipe I tried it and we loved the German potato salad

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      You’re so welcome, Lynn, and I’m very happy to hear that y’all enjoyed this! πŸ™‚ Happy New Year!

  14. Never made this before but made it for Easter and it was gobbled up quickly, I will definitely make again thank you so much for sharing! **I couldn’t get it to NOT bubble when adding the vinegar mixture but I was stressed about it coming out right…I will let it cool more next time. Still turned out wonderful though!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      So happy to hear that you enjoyed it, Heather! I think it’s normal for the vinegar to bubble a bit…you just don’t want it to bubble too much and end up exploding on you! πŸ˜‰ And any rate, I’m happy this was a hit on Easter! Thanks for the comment and happy Friday!

  15. Cheryl says:

    Your German Pot. Salad recipe looks awesome & was exactly what I wanted instead of the boring old regular potato salad type!! Will be making it for Mother’s Day cook-out this weekend – sure it will taste just as good as your pictures look!! btw..Happy Mother’s Day!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Hope you had a wonderful Mother’s Day, Cheryl, and that the potato salad was a hit! πŸ™‚

  16. Made this for a cookout and it was fabulous! I don’t eat pork so I used Applegate turkey ‘bacon’ which doesn’t produce as much grease or fat so after cooking and removing the bacon from the pan I added enough olive oil to make up the difference and then deglazed the pan and added the vinegar mixture. It was so good it must have worked. Definitely tastes great warm! Yum – thank you for the recipe!!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      I’m happy to hear that this was a hit, Marci! And thanks for sharing your tip about using turkey bacon…it sounds like it worked great! Hope you enjoy this potato salad all summer long… πŸ™‚

  17. Claudia Smigel says:

    I am german and this is the only potato salad i make. I use any kind of potatoes.after boiling the potato and cooling them i slice them into a bowl I dice onion cut bacon into small pieces. Next i put the bacon into the frying pan and fry it until half way crisp, to this is I add my chopped onions and add them to the bacon and fry them together a little longer until onions are transparent. I take both ingredients including the bacon grease and pour it over the potatoes adding vinegar salt and pepper. Next i boil some water dissolving a few coupes of beef broth and pour this over the potatoes and mix it all together with a large spoon.I let it sit until the potatoes have absorbed all liquid.Taste if more salt or pepper is needed. I also add 2 hard boiled eggs. This is how we make German Potato salads. Whenever i make this its a hit and i never have left overs

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Sounds delicious, Claudia…I can see why you never have leftovers! πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing your tips… hope you’re having a great summer!

  18. Hi Samantha,

    I just wanted to let you know that I made your potato salad to have with some pork jaeger schnitzels last night and it was delicious, thank you! I love the salty and vinegary flavour of this potato salad and I’ll definitely be making it again.

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Sounds like a delicious combo, Sandra…you can’t beat jaegershnitzel and potato salad! πŸ˜‰ Thanks for taking the time to let me know that this was a hit, and I hope you have a great weekend!

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