German Potato Salad

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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!

potato salad with chives and pancetta in a blue bowl on a picnic table with gingham plates and pink linen napkins

This 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.

Just like my Easy Greek Pasta Salad, I'm partial to a vinaigrette based potato salad, vs the traditional mayo based American Potato Salads. I think it 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.

Variations & Substitutions

Pancetta - bacon is a great substitute!

Red Onion - sliced shallots would also work well in this recipe.

Champagne Vinegar - if you don't have it on hand use white wine vinegar as a substitute.

Dijon Mustard - pick your favorite here, I like using a smooth dijon mustard for the vinaigrette in this recipe but whole grain dijon mustard would also be delicious.

Herbs - fresh herbs are key in this recipe!

Ingredients

  • Baby New Potatoes
  • Pancetta
  • Red Onion
  • Champagne Vinegar
  • Dijon Mustard
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Green Onions
  • Chives
  • Parsley

How to Make German Potato Salad

Start by boiling the potatoes until fork tender. Then drain and set aside in a bowl.

While the potatoes are cooking make the vinaigrette. Fry the pancetta in a large skillet until browned and crisp. Then remove it from the pan and set aside.

To the pancetta grease, and the diced onion and cook until caramelized. Carefully add the vinegar and mustard to the onions and cook for 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and whisk in the oil.

Pour the warm dressing over the potatoes and gently toss to coat. Fold in the pancetta, green onions, chives, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve it warm, serve it at room temp or serve it as leftovers chilled. Use it as a side dish alongside some grilled steak or chicken and it's a winner! You truly can't go wrong any way.

Tips & Tricks

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!

FAQ's

What is German salad made of?

German Potato Salad at its core, is a side dish made with boiled potatoes and other various delicious ingredients. Think pancetta or bacon, herbs, garlic, onions, etc.

How long can German potato salad be left out?

German potato salad shouldn't be left out unrefrigerated for more than two hours. However, it's great served warm, at room temp, or as leftovers chilled.

What culture is potato salad from?

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.

How do you reheat German potato salad?

German potato salad can be reheated in an oven or a microwave. To reheat it in the oven, place the potato salad in a baking dish covered with foil and bake for about 10-15 minutes at 350º or until warm. To reheat it in the microwave, place it in a microwave safe bowl and heat it for 1-minute at a time, stirring in between each increment, until warm.

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.

Similar Recipes

potato salad with chives and pancetta in a blue bowl on a picnic table with gingham plates and pink linen napkins

German Potato Salad

Author: Gaby Dalkin
4.9 from 14 votes
My mom's famous German Potato Salad!! No mayo here - just bright flavors to compliment any main course!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 6 people

Ingredients
  

  • 3 pounds baby new potatoes halved or quartered
  • 8 ounces pancetta small diced (or bacon)
  • 1 large red onion diced
  • ¼ cup champagne vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • cup olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 8 green onions thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch chives thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley leaves

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Notes

  • I love this hot or room temp, and even eat the leftovers cold. That makes this SO easy to serve at any meal!
  • Bacon is a great substitute for pancetta.
  • Sliced shallots are a great swap for red onion in this recipe.
  • If you don't have champagne vinegar on hand use white wine vinegar as a substitute.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 455kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 0.05g | Cholesterol: 25mg | Sodium: 297mg | Potassium: 1124mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 420IU | Vitamin C: 53mg | Calcium: 51mg | Iron: 3mg
Tried this Recipe? Tag me Today!Mention @WhatsGabyCookin or tag #whatsgabycooking!

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

44 Comments

  1. 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.

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

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