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Warm German Potato Salad with Bacon

Warm German Potato Salad boosts flavors from salty bacon, tangy apple cider vinegar, and flavorful mustards. Served hot or cold this is a great side dish to accompany any meal!

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Overhead of a white bowl full of warm German potato salad with whole grain mustard, bacon, and fresh parsley.

Warm German Potato Salad

I love a good potato salad! While a traditional American style potato salad is always good it sometimes is a great idea to switch it up with a nice bowl of Warm German Potato Salad instead.

This version of German Potato Salad has become popular in America, and while it is German this style of potato salad particularly points to a region in German, Bavaria which is in southern Germany. So if you are doing a vacation around Germany you might see this style of potato salads or many other different varieties.

German Potato Salad ditches the dressings and has no mayo, it relies on the flavors of bacon, apple cider vinegar, and mustards.

With only two components to the dish, the potatoes and the sauce this side dish is relatively easy to make.

You can serve it hot like many recipes will suggest (which also happens to be my favorite way to serve it) or it can be served cold. Either way it makes a great side dish that works great with almost any protein!

Side view of a large white bowl filled with German potato salad covered in a mustard sauce, with bacon bits and fresh parsley.

Ingredients

  • Baby potatoes – You can use any color baby potatoes in this recipe, yellow and red baby potatoes are both common place, you could even use a blend!
  • Bacon – My biggest advice when choosing your bacon is to not get a ‘flavored’ bacon, stay away from the ones that are flavored like maple or brown sugar, these will affect the taste of the whole dish (trust me I totally did this by accident, it wasn’t great). Stick to a plain or even smoked bacon. Either thick cut or regular will work fine for this recipe.
  • Garlic – Two cloves add just the right amount of garlic here, if you are using pre-minced garlic you will want about 1 teaspoon.
  • Yellow Onion – A nice mellow variety of onion that when softened will become sweeter, this is perfect here because we will also be adding green onions towards the end to make sure the recipe has some zip!
  • Dijon Mustard – The Dijon Mustard not only for the flavor but the creaminess it brings as well.
  • Whole Grain Mustard – The Whole Grain Mustard add both flavor and texture to the dish.
  • Sugar – Just a little bit to even out all the acidity in this dish between the vinegar, mustard, and onions it needs to be evened out just slightly.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar – The key to German Potato Salad, this is where the punch and flavor come from. I believe that apple cider vinegar tastes best here but if you don’t have any you can use just plain white vinegar.
  • Green Onions – The green onions at the end give a nice freshness, they are cooked just for a minute so they still have some zip to them but not too much.
  • Parsley – At the end a little fresh parsley really freshens up the dish!

For a complete detailed list of the ingredients continue towards the bottom of the page.

Ingredients from making homemade German potato salad laid out on a countertop.

Instructions for How to Make German Potato Salad

You will start by halving the potatoes and adding them to a large pot. Add cool water until all the potatoes are just covered, add a pinch of salt. Cover and heat over medium-high heat, bring to a boil. Let boil 10-15 minutes until the potatoes are tender. Drain.

While the potatoes are cooking prepare the sauce. In a bowl combine the dijon mustard, whole grain mustard, sugar, and apple cider vinegar. Whisk together to combine. 

In a skillet cook the bacon over medium heat until crispy, about 8 minutes. Set the cooked bacon aside on a paper towel lined plate to cool. 

Remove about half of the bacon grease from the skillet leaving about 2 tablespoons left to cook the yellow onion and garlic in. Add the diced onion and garlic, cook until tender about 4 to 5 minutes. 

Steps to make German potato salad showing cooking bacon on a skillet and then diced onions and garlic.
Steps to Mae German potato salad showing diced onions in bacon grease, adding mustards, vinegar & green onions, to make a sauce.

Add the vinegar mixure and the sliced green onions to the skillet. Cook about 1 minute then turn off the heat. 

Once the potatoes are cooked and drained add them to the sauce. Crumble the bacon and add it to the potatoes along with the fresh parsley. Toss everything carefully to mix. Serve hot/warm or let cool down and transfer to the fridge to serve as a cold potato salad. 

Steps to make German potato salad showing cooked potatoes being added to the sauce in a skillet, then gently tossed, and bacon bits and fresh parsley added.
Close up view of German Potato Salad show potatoes in a mustard sauce with bacon and parsley.

Tips, Tricks, and Questions

  • When adding the vinegar mixture to the skillet be careful to not stand over top or too close to the skillet. The vinegar will let off a lot of steam that is very strong, so make sure to back off a bit when doing this step or it will make your eyes watery! Once the vinegar cooks down a bit it will be much more managable. 
  • Yes this recipe uses two types of mustard, you maybe substitute out the whole grain mustard for more dijon mustard if that works best for you!

Can I serve German Potato Salad cold?

Absolutely! If you are planning on serving it cold what I recommend is to cool and store the potatoes and sauce separately until just before time to serve. If you mix the sauce and potatoes together while warm and then cool them down the potatoes will absorb some of the sauce leaving the potato salad less saucy.

Can German Potato Salad be reheated?

Yes, just be aware that the sauce might be absorbed into the potatoes so if you are reheating it I suggest just a splash of liquid like water or broth to keep the dish saucy.

How long can German Potato Salad sit out?

2 hours, just because this one doesn’t have mayo or other dairy dressings doesn’t mean it can sit out too long. 2 hours is the recommend amount of time to follow food safety guidelines.

What can you serve with German Potato Salad?

Almost anything! This is a great side dish for most proteins, so it is perfect for a barbecue. But some of my favorite recipes to serve it with is:

close up of a bowl of German potato salad covered with bacon bits and fresh parsley.

Like this Warm German Potato Salad Recipe? You might also like:

A white bowl of German potato salad with a spoon showing off saucy halved potatoes with bacon and fresh parsley.

German Potato Salad

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Warm and delicious this German Potato Salad packs flavor from bacon, vinegar, and mustard! The perfect no mayo potato salad to serve as any side dish from Octoberfest to a office potluck!

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ pounds baby potatoes
  • 4 strips bacon
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped

Instructions

  1. Half the potatoes and add to a large pot. Add cool water until all the potatoes are just covered, add a pinch of salt. Cover and heat over medium-high heat, bring to a boil. Let boil 10-15 minutes until the potatoes are tender. Drain.
  2. While the potatoes are cooking prepare the sauce. In a bowl combine the dijon mustard, whole grain mustard, sugar, and apple cider vinegar. Whisk together to combine.
  3. In a skillet cook the bacon over medium heat until crispy, about 8 minutes. Set the cooked bacon aside on a paper towel lined plate to cool.
  4. Remove about half of the bacon grease from the skillet leaving about 2 tablespoons left to cook the yellow onion and garlic in. Add the diced onion and garlic, cook until tender about 4 to 5 minutes.
  5. Add the vinegar mixure and the sliced green onions to the skillet*. Cook about 1 minute then turn off the heat.
  6. Once the potatoes are cooked and drained add them to the sauce. Crumble the bacon and add it to the potatoes along with the fresh parsley. Toss everything carefully to mix. Serve warm or let cool down and transfer to the fridge to serve as a cold potato salad.

Notes

*When adding the vinegar mixture to the skillet be careful to not stand over top or too close to the skillet. The vinegar will let off a lot of steam that is very strong, so make sure to back off a bit when doing this step or it will make your eyes watery! Once the vinegar cooks down a bit it will be much more managable.

For the baby potatoes you can really use any color, I prefer the baby reds but if yellow is what you have available that works just fine.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1/2 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 160Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 239mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 3gSugar: 3gProtein: 6g

Nutritional data is automated, final nutritional information will depend on ingredients used and any changes made.

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Peace & Love

Lauren, The Schmidty Wife

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