German Potato Salad + Bonus Leftover Tip

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My fav German Potato Salad with a bright herby pancetta vinaigrette.
German Potato Salad from (@whatsgabycookin)

German Potato Salad is in my blood (literally my Grandparents are German!) It runs through my veins – and it’s EVERYTHING you need for summer cook-outs this year!

What is German Potato Salad?

German Potato Salad at its core, is a side dish made with boiled potatoes and other various delicious ingredients.  Think bacon, herbs, garlic, onions, etc.  According to my Omi (that’s grandma in German) Potato Salad originated in Germany, and she has been kind enough to share the family recipe with us.

Now that we know what the Potato Salad basics are, and where it came from I would like to make a confession.  I’m partial to a vinaigrette based potato salad, vs the traditional mayo based American Potato Salads. I think it partially has something to do with my German roots and the tangy/acidic combo of the vinegar and potatoes.  It’s also much healthier than boiled potatoes covered in mayo and lasts longer sitting out at a BBQ.

What makes a great German Potato Salad?

The simple answer is a timeless traditional recipe that has been passed down through my family over the past 100 years! My Omi and my Omi’s Omi have been making the most incredible potato salad loaded with herbs, bacon and a simple vinaigrette since I can remember. It’s literal perfection and it’s hard not to eat it before throwing it on the table for a dinner party.

I love this zesty potato salad so much that I’ve been known to make a double batch because my snacking is that INTENSE!

Bonus Tip:

If you’re lucky enough to have any of the bacon and herb mixture with the vinaigrette leftover after polishing off the potatoes… drizzle it on just about anything for an extra punch of flavor. Or slather it on some grilled bread. Use it as a sauce base of pizza. It should never be wasted!

So there you have it, the ultimate German Potato Salad Recipe. Use it as a side dish alongside some grilled steak or chicken and it’s a winner! Serve it warm, serve it at room temp or serve it as leftovers chilled. You truly can’t go wrong any way.

German Potato Salad

5 from 8 votes
My mom's famous German Potato Salad!! No mayo here - just bright flavors to compliment any main course!
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 6 people


  • 3 pounds baby new potatoes halved or quartered
  • 8 ounces pancetta small diced (or bacon)
  • 1 large red onion diced
  • 1/4 cup champagne vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 8 green onions thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch chives thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves


  • Place potatoes in a large pot of water and bring to a boil. Cook until fork tender and remove from heat, drain and set aside in a bowl.
  • While the potatoes are cooking, place the pancetta in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Fry until browned and crisp, turning as needed. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  • Add the diced onion to the pancetta grease, and cook over medium heat until browned.
  • Carefully add the vinegar and mustard to the onions and cook for 2 minutes and turn off the heat. Whisk in the oil and season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Add the hot dressing to the potatoes and toss gently to coat. Fold in the pancetta, green onions, chives, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Photo by Matt Armendariz / Food Styling by Adam Pearson / Recipe from What’s Gaby Cooking


  1. Hi there, looks nice. I live in Germany, and there are thousands of ‘home’ recipes. Every family has their own version, and this is yours. The one thing I have been told over and over again is that you have to dress the potatoes while they’re still warm, cos it helps the flavour of the dressing to penetrate. Who knows. Haven’t made it for years, but this sounds nice (minus the bacon – I’m vegetarian). I like your blog. Thanks

  2. Love this recipe! I’ve made several versions of german potato salad including my grandmother’s but this looks like a winner!

  3. Looks wonderful. What would be good in lieu of the champagne vinegar? Apple cider vinegar? I don’t want to purchase the other since I don’t have another use for it.

    1. Champagne vinegar is such a worthwhile purchase…you will get hooked on it for vinaigrette. You will never buy bottled dressing again…except perhaps GIRARDS CHAMPAGNE DRESSING!

    2. 5 stars
      Delicious! I liked the pancetta instead of traditional bacon – more subtle and nice, uniform bits. I couldn’t find champagne vinegar so used white wine vinegar. I might add a little more vinegar next time for some extra tang. Will definitely make again!

  4. Made for dinner last night with grilled pork tenderloin. My husband said, “Please don’t lose this recipe”!

  5. German Potato Salad (lovingly referred to as GPS by my family) was the only one on the table at a Weber family function. Growing up in AL, none of my friends understood. I love the addition of parsley to your recipe. My grandmother’s vinaigrette (which always used bacon because… AL), added celery seed. Try it sometime. You will not be disappointed!

  6. My family devoured this at our Fourth of July gathering. Accidentally forgot to add the olive oil to the dressing so just drizzled a bit over the top and it was delicious. Just as yummy hot as it is cold the next day!

  7. This looks amazing! I’m going to be making this at my sister’s and she’s vegan . What can I add instead of bacon to give it a kick? Thank you!

  8. Can’t wait to try this! I prefer vinaigrette based potato salads too!

    Just want to double check…the recipe call for 3/4 cup of champagne vinegar, and only a 1/4 cup olive oil? Is that correct, or should they be reversed? Usually there’s more oil than vinegar in a vinaigrette.

    Thank you!!!

  9. Hi Gaby — one guest mentioned the amount of vinegar and olive oil. Should the olive oil be 3/4 cup or 1/3 cup? Also do you use the entire green onion or only the white part? I LOVE every recipe I have tried and can’t wait to keep cooking/baking with you!

  10. Looks wonderful! Definitely will give it a try. My grandmothers name is Omi as well! She’s Dutch.
    🙂 Marycke

  11. 5 stars
    Made this for a party where I asked what the host was making. Found out he was making brisket, thought this is perfect! Come to find out that there were 2 other potato salads there….

    Let’s just say my bowl came home empty and the others pretty much were untouched . And the other host didn’t even let me take the little bit home cause she wanted to munch on them later.

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