This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, please visit the disclosures and privacy policy page.
Sep 18, 2022

German Potato Salad

This comforting German potato salad, with pork, potatoes, and a vinegary dressing, is delicious, and it goes with anything that you might serve with any potato dish. 

German Potato Salad in white bowls.

This German potato salad is super tangy and packed with bacon flavor. It is definitely a contrast to the traditional American mayonnaise-based potato salad. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

Is this authentic German potato salad? 

Just like in the U.S., food in Germany is regional. This potato salad is most similar to Bavarian potato salad because it's served warm, it includes bacon (or if you can find it, speck), onions (leeks in this recipe), and vinegar. Still, this is an American interpretation of the flavors of German potato salad. 

Can I serve this cold? 

Don't fret if you have leftovers. This German potato salad is traditionally served warm, but it is equally delicious cold after all of the flavors meld over time. 

What are the best potatoes to use for this salad? 

Yukon Gold potatoes are the closest to the potatoes used in Germany. You could also use red potatoes, which have a low starch content. While I cut these potatoes before cooking them, you can cook them or steam them whole in their skins to really prevent them from breaking apart. 

German Potato Salad in a casserole dish.

Tips for Making:

First, cook the potatoes and the bacon in separate pans. You need about 2 pounds of potatoes and about a half of a pound of bacon cut up into 1 inch pieces. You will want to reserve some of the water from the potatoes as well as some of the bacon fat as a basis for the dressing. 

Next, sauté the leeks in the bacon fat until they are soft and slightly browned and then add in the reserved potato water, a bit of sugar, and apple cider vinegar and then cook everything until the liquid has reduced to about a cup. At this point, add some grainy mustard and and freshly ground black pepper. 

Finally, add the potatoes, some parsley, and the cooked bacon and toss everything together. 

German Potato Salad in white bowls.

Additional Ingredient Notes and Substitutions:

Although onions might be more traditional, I used leeks for this potato salad. They are part of the onion family and I love their mild flavor. You can easily substitute yellow, brown, or red onions. 

For the mustard, I recommend using a whole grain mustard. 

For the vinegar, I used apple cider vinegar because I prefer the flavor. It would probably be more traditional to use distilled white vinegar or white wine vinegar, so feel free to substitute. 

More Potato Salads You May Like: 

Austrian Potato Salad

Country Style Potato Salad with Creole Mustard

Japanese Potato Salad

Salmon and Potato Salad

Causa Limeña de Cangrejo

German Potato Salad in white bowls.

This week, Sunday Funday is all about Octoberfest! 

Octoberfest Recipes:

German Potato Salad in a casserole dish.

German Potato Salad

German Potato Salad
Yield: 6 servings
Author: Karen's Kitchen Stories
Prep time: 20 MinCook time: 20 MinTotal time: 40 Min
This comforting German potato salad, with pork, potatoes, and a vinegary dressing, is delicious, and it goes with anything that you might serve with any potato dish.


  • 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 pound sliced bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 large or 2 small leeks, white and light green parts, chopped, washed, and dried.
  • 1/2 teapoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley


  1. Place the cut potatoes into a 4 quart pot and cover with water by one inch. Add the salt and bring to a simmer. Cook for about 10 minutes, until tender. Reserve 1/2 cup of the water and set it aside. Drain the potatoes. Place them back into the pan and cover with the lid to keep warm.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a large skillet until crispy. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked bacon to a paper towel lined plate. Reserve 1/4 cup of the rendered bacon fat and pour off the rest.
  3. Return the reserved bacon fat to the skillet and add the leeks. Cook until the leeks are tender and browned at the edges, about 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the sugar, vinegar, and reserved potato water. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook to reduce, about 3 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the mustard and about 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper.
  4. Add the potatoes, parsley, and bacon to the skillet and toss everything to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste if needed. Transfer to a serving vessel and serve warm.

Nutrition Facts



Fat (grams)


Sat. Fat (grams)


Carbs (grams)


Fiber (grams)


Net carbs


Sugar (grams)


Protein (grams)


Sodium (milligrams)


Cholesterol (grams)

potatoes, bacon
Did you make this recipe?
Tag on instagram and hashtag it # karenskitchenstories

Would you like to comment?

  1. German Potato Salad is bittersweet for me. It was my friend, Kirsten's, specialty. Your recipe sounds very similar.

    1. Aw Wendy =( I know she was such a good friend.

  2. German Potato Salad is perfect as a party salad. I usually leave the bacon on the side. This way vegetarians and non vegetarians are taken care of.

  3. So tasty! One of my great-grandma's was famous for her German potato salad until everyone found out she was just picking it up from a local deli.


I would love to hear from you! If you comment anonymously, be sure to leave your name in your comment.