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!
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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!
- Baby New Potatoes
- Red Onion
- Champagne Vinegar
- Dijon Mustard
- Olive Oil
- Salt & Pepper
- Green Onions
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!
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.
German Potato Salad
- 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
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 8 green onions thinly sliced
- 1 bunch chives thinly sliced
- ¼ 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.
- 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.
Photo by Matt Armendariz / Food Styling by Adam Pearson / Recipe from What’s Gaby Cooking
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!
recipe is correct as printed in the post! and I use the entire green onion
Love this dish! Can you make this the day before?
that sounds so tasty, i have not made the German Potato Salad yet, but i sure will. thank you for sharing
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.
def a typo!! fixed
These are very very good! I made these for a German-themed potluck and the German hostess gave them two thumbs up!
Honestly the best German potato salad recipe I’ve tried! My Swiss/German husband, loved it, too!
We made this as part of our Father’s Day dinner and LOVED it! Made it exactly as written. Thanks!
This along with some grilled steak sounds like the perfect outdoor summer dinner to me!
Delicious with a vinaigrette! So much better than creamy salads!
most of us do not put bacon in our potato salads here in germany.
That's fair!! My omi does so I'm just going with her recipe which I love
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!
more herbs!! or soy-rizo
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!
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!
Made for dinner last night with grilled pork tenderloin. My husband said, “Please don’t lose this recipe”!