This German Potato Salad is loaded with red potatoes, hard boiled eggs, and bacon in a sweet and tangy vinegar dressing. It’s perfect for cookouts or as a side dish for burgers or bratwursts. You can serve it warm, cold, or at room temperature!
This potato salad recipe is unique for one big reason: it doesn’t have any mayonnaise! Instead, the potatoes are coated in a sweet and tangy mixture of white wine vinegar, sugar, dry mustard, and…bacon grease. For real! That is what makes it so delicious.
And, the nice thing about this salad is that it’s great for picnics or other outdoor events. It can be served hot, at room temperature, or cold, and you don’t have to worry about any mayonnaise sitting out in the warm summer weather.
Authentic German Potato Salad
This recipe is from my grandmother, whose ancestors emigrated from Germany. She adored learning about family history, and I have no doubt that this recipe was passed down to her.
Here’s a look at her black recipe binder, which she kept with all of her recipes typed out on a typewriter.
Ingredients for German Potato Salad
- You’ll need red potatoes. They are traditionally used in this salad, and they hold their shape when cooked. The good news is, you don’t have to peel them!
- You’ll use both the bacon itself and the bacon grease that is leftover when you cook it. The bacon grease forms the base of the dressing and oh my goodness is it good.
- White wine vinegar makes the dressing tangy. You could use white vinegar instead.
- Hard boiled eggs are such a fun addition to this. I reserve a few slices for the top for garnish.
- Chives are optional but they add some nice color to the top. They weren’t part of grandma’s original recipe but I think she would approve. 🙂
Place the cubed potatoes and 2 teaspoons of salt in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 12–15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. You can test if they are tender by piercing them with a fork. If the fork slides in easily, they are ready.
Place the eggs in a small saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring the water to a boil, then take the pan off the heat, cover it, and let the eggs sit for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, drain the water, add a few handfuls of ice to the pan, and cover with water. This will stop the cooking. Let the eggs sit for 5 minutes, then gently tap them against the counter to crack the shells. The shells should slide off relatively easily. Run the eggs under cold water to make sure all of the shell is off. Then, chop the eggs.
While the potatoes and eggs are cooking, place the bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook until crispy, flipping as necessary.
Remove the bacon, crumble it, and set it aside. Keep the bacon grease in the pan. Add the onion and celery to the bacon grease and cook until soft.
Then add the flour, stir, and cook for one minute.
Add the white wine vinegar, water, sugar, dry mustard, and the remaining salt. Cook for 2–3 minutes until the mixture thickens slightly.
Use a spatula to gently fold in the cooked potatoes, bacon, and eggs.
Grandma topped off her German Potato Salad with a few slices of hard boiled eggs, and I made the addition of chopped chives for color.
Do I need to peel the potatoes?
Nope! There’s no need to peel the potatoes. In fact, the skin adds a beautiful color to the salad.
What do I serve with German potato salad?
Burgers, bratwursts, grilled chicken, grilled pork chops…this salad is a versatile side dish. It’s particularly tasty with cookout foods.
How long does potato salad last in the refrigerator?
This will keep in the refrigerator for 3–4 days.
How do I reheat the potato salad?
Place the potato salad in a large skillet and reheat it until warm.
Can I serve it cold?
Yes! It’s delicious cold, warm, or at room temperature.
German Potato Salad with Eggs
- 6 large red potatoes, chopped into ¾ inch cubes
- 2 eggs
- 4 slices bacon
- 1 yellow onion, finely diced
- 2 stalks celery, finely diced
- 1 tablespoon flour
- ½ cup white wine vinegar
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon dry mustard
- 3½ teaspoons kosher salt
- For garnish: chopped fresh chives
- Place the cubed potatoes in a large saucepan. Add cold water to the pan, covering the potatoes by one inch. Place the pan over high heat and add 2 teaspoons kosher salt to the water. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and let cook for 12–14 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender. Drain.
- Meanwhile, place the 2 eggs in a small saucepan. Add cold water to the pan, covering the eggs by one inch. Place the pan over high heat and bring to a boil. Once the water boils, cover the pan and turn off the heat. Let the eggs sit for 10 minutes. Drain the eggs and place in a bowl of ice water. Allow to cool. Peel the eggs by gently tapping the egg on the countertop until the shell is cracked all over. Slide your thumb under the cracked shell and gently remove all pieces of shell from the egg. Chop one egg and slice the other one thinly.
- While the potatoes and eggs are cooking, place the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the bacon, flipping occasionally, until crisp. Remove the bacon and place on a paper towel lined plate. Set aside. Do not drain the bacon grease.
- Add the onion and celery to the bacon grease and cook until soft, about 4–5 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon flour and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 minute. Add the white wine vinegar, water, sugar, dry mustard, and remaining 1½ teaspoons salt. Cook for 2–3 minutes until the mixture thickens slightly. Turn off the heat.
- Add the potatoes to the onion and vinegar mixture, and stir to combine.
- Crumble the bacon and stir half of the bacon into the potato mixture.
- Transfer the potato salad to a serving dish and top with the remaining bacon, sliced hard boiled egg, and chopped chives. Serve hot, at room temperature, or cold.