The Loon (Wesley) has declared this his all-time favorite potato salad. And he LOVES potato salads.
We love this salad for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, it’s incredibly flavorful. It can be served warm or at room temperature. It’s a beautiful salad. And it’s perfect to serve all year. We especially love serving it at cookouts alongside grilled chicken, corn on the cob, and Caprese pasta salad.
How To Make German Potato Salad
Roasting the potatoes, as opposed to boiling them, allows the potatoes to stay firm, and not get mushy.
And, the salad can be made in advance. It’s really easy to put together!
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The Ingredients You Will Need
This salad is wonderful because you can adapt the ingredients to your own liking. We think this version is an amazing combination of flavors that is truly special. Using bacon grease is traditional in the dressing for this classic salad.
Here’s What You’ll Need to Have on Hand
Waxy Potatoes – We recommend a combination of baby red and baby gold. Yukon potatoes are a great choice, too.
Bacon – This is essential. Hold on to that bacon grease!
Red Onion – Finely chopped.
Broth – Chicken or vegetable is perfect.
Vinegar – We use white wine vinegar, but apple cider vinegar, sherry vinegar, or Champagne vinegar are all great choices.
Mustard – The combination of Dijon and spicy brown really pumps of the flavor profile. Grain, or Country-Style, is delicious, too.
Dill Pickles – These add texture and even more flavor. We love finely dicing cornichons, but any type of dill pickle will work.
Sweet and Savory – Salt, pepper, and sugar.
Chives – Save some for garnish
EXPERT TIP: Roasting the potatoes, rather than boiling them, keep them from getting mushy and taking on water. Once cool enough to handle, we like to cut the large potatoes in half and peel of skin of about 1/3 to 1/2 of the roasted spuds. Once they bake, the skin become loose and easy to peel.
Tips for Perfect German Potato Salad
Roast the Potatoes: Instead of boiling the potatoes, roasting the baby yellow and red potatoes to add extra flavor and texture to the salad. If you can’t find baby potatoes, go with the larger variety, but you will need to roast them longer. They are done when a sharp knife can easily slice through the potatoes.
Use Bacon Grease in the Dressing – Bacon grease adds a smoky and savory flavor to the dressing that complements the potatoes well. Starting with 4 strips of regular bacon will give you just the right amount of grease for the dressing. Don’t worry, it doesn’t taste greasy, at all.
Pump Up the Flavor with Herbs and Pickles – Fresh herbs, such as chives, and dill pickles add a pop of color and freshness to the salad. Toss them with the warm potatoes and dressing just before serving for the best flavor.
EXPERT TIP: When you pour the dressing over the potatoes, it may feel like there is too much dressing, as it will probably pool some at the bottom of the bowl. As you gently toss the potatoes in the dressing, they will absorb the dressing. In a short amount of time, there will no longer be excess dressing.
How To Serve
This salad is really delicious served while the potatoes and dressing are still warm.
However, the salad is still spectacular once it has become room temperature. This allows the flavor to meld even more.
Be sure to save plenty of crumbled bacon and chives to garnish the top of the salad.
Other Side Salad Recipes to Try
As mentioned, this German potato salad is a nice variation from the standard mayo-based salad. But, these classic recipes are still wonderful and always a hit when served to guests.
Classic Potato Salad
Creamy Horseradish Potato Salad
Pesto Pasta Salad with Potatoes and Green Beans
Beet and Potato Salad with Dill Dressing
Classic Pasta Salad
Caprese Pasta Salad
Cheddar, Bacon, and Ranch Pasta Salad
Cajun Pasta Salad
These are all amazing, without a doubt, but doesn’t a spoonful of this salad look tempting?
Ready to make the best potato salad this side of Berlin? Go for it!
And when you do, be sure to take a photo of it, post it on Instagram, and tag @HowToFeedaLoon and hashtag #HowToFeedaLoon!
Best German Potato Salad
- Roasting pan or baking sheet
- Large skillet for cooking bacon
- Medium saucepan for simmering dressing
- 1½ lb baby red potatoes
- 1½ lb baby gold potatoes
- 4 strips bacon
- ½ cup red onion chopped
- ½ cup chicken broth can substitute vegetable broth
- ¼ cup white wine vinegar
- 1 tsp Kosher salt
- ½ tsp black pepper ground
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp spicy brown mustard
- ¼ cup dill pickles finely chopped
- ¼ cup chives finely chopped
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Pierce the potatoes once with a sharp knife or fork (this will keep them from bursting in the oven). Place the potatoes on a baking sheet and roast them until tender, about 40 to 55 minutes. (check doneness by inserting a sharp knife).1½ lb baby red potatoes, 1½ lb baby gold potatoes
- Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut the larger ones in half and remove the skin from about half of them (the skin will be somewhat loose from being roasted). Place potatoes in a large bowl.
- Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a large skillet until crisp. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate. Keep the rendered bacon grease in the skillet.4 strips bacon
- Over medium heat, sauté the chopped red onions in the bacon grease until soft, about 4 minutes. Turn off the heat. Crumble the cooked bacon and set aside.½ cup red onion
- In a separate saucepan, add the chicken broth, vinegar, salt, pepper, and sugar and bring to a boil. Add the two mustards and the sautéed onions with the bacon grease. Reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes.½ cup chicken broth, ¼ cup white wine vinegar, 1 tsp Kosher salt, ½ tsp black pepper, 1 tsp sugar, 1 tbsp Dijon mustard, 1 tbsp spicy brown mustard
- Pour the warm dressing over the potatoes and add the chopped pickles, and most of the crumbled bacon and snipped chives (save some for garnish).¼ cup dill pickles, ¼ cup chives
- Use two large wooden spatulas or spoons to gently toss the potatoes in the dressing. Allow the salad to sit for a few minutes to absorb the dressing.
- Taste and add more salt, if desired. Top with remaining bacon and chives. Serve warm or at room temperature.
POST UPDATE: This recipe was originally published April 2018, but was updated with improved tweaks to the recipe with new tips and photography and a fabulous new video in July 2023!