While doing research and collecting an overwhelming number of recipes for this post about German Style Potato Salad Recipes… I came to an indisputable conclusion. There are as many recipes and variations of German Potato Salad Recipes as there are German Omas. Seriously… the only common denominator that ALL of these recipes have? You have to boil the potatoes first. That’s it.
Potato Salad Recipes in Germany can be cold or hot… made with vinegar or mayonnaise…can have pickles, bacon, egg, other veggies, or even fruit. They can be made with big chunks of potato, or smaller bits that almost look like mashed potato. Germans don’t even all use the same type of Potato! And it turns out, the best way to get into a fight on a German Recipe website… claim that YOUR Oma’s German Potato salad is the only RIGHT way to make Potato Salad.
German Potato Salad is clearly regional. Northern Germans tend to use Mayonnaise, while Southern Germans stand by Vinegar. Hot or Warm in the South… Cold in the North.
But it goes beyond that! Potato Salad recipes change and evolve over time… and as the maker travels. My mother’s recipe is a perfect example of how a Potato Salad recipe changes. Since she grew up in Northern Germany, my mother makes Potato Salad with Mayo, but not as much as you would think, since she also adds cream, to add smoothness without making it too cloying. Also since her family is Silesian, and they like to cook with sweet flavors, she adds chopped up apple pieces (not too many, because then we have protest from Dad). In the 1960s, mom and her Potato Salad moved to California, where she discovered the fresh crunch of celery stalks, so now she adds some chopped celery. So, the Potato Salad my mother makes today, is different from one her Oma made.
Quick Look at the Contents
German Style Potato Salad Recipes
When I put out a request for German Style Potato Salad Recipes, I was happily overwhelmed. There were so many delicious twists on the the concept. And to make it even more complex, very few cooks use absolute measurements when making potato salad… mostly, they eyeball it. Rather than try to post them all, I thought it best to break it down to a few BASIC recipes, then list variations below each one. I’ve done my best to put measurements, but everyone who cooks regularly knows that the only way to absolutely get the flavors right is to taste it as you go.
How do you know which one you will like best? Same way you decide what chocolate chip cookie or which beer is best… try them. I’m sure you will find that perfect combination for you and your family.
Whatever you do… make it yourself… just say no to the Can…..
If you have a great recipe or variation that isn’t listed here… send me an email, and I’ll add it in… GermanGirlinAmerica@gmail.com
How ever you make it, German Potato Salad is the PERFECT side dish for any occasion.
Hot German Potato Salad Recipes
Although it seems backwards to non-Germans… Salad can be served hot, or warm. Especially if it’s German Potato Salad. This style is found more in Southern Germany.
Schwäbisher Kartoffelsalat (German Potato Salad, Schwabisch Style)
Schwäbisher Potato Salad comes from south western Germany (Stuttgart). The basic recipe is fairly simple, which means it’s wide open for interpretations and re-imagining. What sets Schwabisch Style Potato Salad apart? The potatoes are soaked in Beef Broth AFTER they are cooked.
(For 3-4 people… can be doubled)
500 gr. (just over 1 pound) Yellow Potatoes
2 medium yellow onions- diced
1 Tbl. yellow mustard
125 ml (approx. 1/2 cup) very flavorful Beef Broth (hot)
Salt and Pepper to Taste
White Wine Vinegar -approx 1 tsp…more to taste
Vegetable Oil- approx 1 tsp…. more to taste
Scrub potatoes clean, place WHOLE into a medium saucepan of salted water, bring to a boil… then reduce heat and cook until potatoes are soft enough to pierce with a knife (10- 15 min).
While potatoes are cooking, combine hot Beef Broth, diced onions, mustard, nutmeg, salt and pepper, vinegar and oil in a mixing bowl…. stir to combine.
Drain cooked potatoes and peel. WARNING! They are hot! If you don’t have asbestos fingers, either let them cool a bit, or use a fork to hold the potato while you slip the skin off with a paring knife.
Slice the potatoes into the mixing bowl with broth, then carefully mix.
Add diced cucumber
Sprinkle with chopped parsley
Sprinkle with chopped chives
Use chopped shallots instead of onion
Use vegetable broth instead of Beef Broth
Badischer Kartoffelsalat (Baden Potato Salad)
Badischer Kartoffelsalat comes from Baden, in the South Western corner of Germany between the French and Swiss border (part of the state Baden-Württemberg). The ingredients are similar to the Schwäbisher Potato Salad, just a few differences…. but it’s the way the Potatoes are added to the dressing that makes all the difference.
(Serves 4… can be doubled)
500 gram HOT boiled small Yellow Potatoes (boil in their skins, then peel)
80 ml (1/3 cup) Vegetable Oil
70 ml (under 1/3 cup) white Wine Vinegar
1 medium Red Onion- diced small
2 Tbl. chopped Chives
80 ml (1/3 cup) Beef Broth
Salt and Pepper … to taste
Begin by cleaning then boiling the UNPEELED potatoes in a medium saucepan of salted water. It will take 10 to 15 minutes, and they are done when a paring knife slides easily into the potato. Peel by holding the potato with a fork, and slide the peel off with a paring knife. Keep them hot.
Make the vinaigrette by combining the oil, vinegar, and beef broth in a mixing bowl. Whisk until completely combined.
Add onion, chives, salt and pepper, whisk again.
Add the potatoes one at a time… crushing them in your hand before dropping them into the vinaigrette. Then mix the whole thing together, yes, you can use your hands.
Add a Tbl. Seeded Mustard
Add 250 gr. diced Black Forest Ham
Add 250 gr. slices Fleischwurst (German Bologna)
Add 200 gr. sliced Gouda cheese
Add a few diced Pickles
Bayerischer Kartoffelsalat (Bavarian Potato Salad)
Bavarian Potato Salad is probably the one most people are familiar with when they think of “German” Potato Salad. It’s served warm, with bacon, and tastes a bit sweeter from the vinegar and a touch of added sugar.
1 kg (approx 2 pounds) yellow Potatoes
1 medium yellow Onion- diced
1/2 cup Beef Broth
6 Tbl White Wine Vinegar
5 Tbl Vegetable Oil
1 Tbl. Salt
1 Tbl. Pepper
1/2 tsp. Sugar
1 Tbl. Yellow Mustard
150 gr. (about 1/3 lb) Bacon
1-2 tsp. Chopped parsley or Chives
Preparation method 1- using the Bacon Fat
Put scrubbed potatoes into a medium pot with water and salt. Boil until potatoes are easily pierced with a paring knife. Drain and peel while still hot.
While the Potatoes are cooking….
Dice and saute bacon in a large pan. When the bacon pieces are crisp, remove them from the pan and set aside on a paper towel. Add diced onion to the bacon drippings, and saute until softened (around 3 minutes). Then add sugar, salt, pepper, beef broth, oil, vinegar and mustard to the onions and drippings.
Slice the hot, peeled potatoes into a bowl, add the bacon bits, and pour the warm dressing over them. Stir carefully to combine.
Top with chopped parsley or chives.
For extra zip, top with another teaspoon of vinegar.
Preparation method 2- NO Bacon Fat
Cook potatoes and peel as in preparation method 1.
Dice and saute the bacon until the fat is rendered. Set aside the bacon bits on a paper towel. Discard the bacon drippings.
In a saucepan, combine the Beef Broth, diced onion, oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, mustard, and sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring.
Slice the Potatoes into a bowl, then pour the hot broth mixture over the potatoes, stir to combine. Sprinkle with bacon bits and parsley or chives then stir again.
Add 1 chopped Apple to the potatoes
Add 1 Cucumber… thinly sliced… added to the potatoes
Add 2 diced Gewurzgurken German Pickles
Top with chopped chives, parsley or even celery greens
Cold German Potato Salad Recipe
During my extensive Potato Salad research, I’ve found that cold Potato Salad is sometimes called Berliner Potato Salad. Now, I always presumed that it would be made with mayo, but I’ve come across recipes made with vinegar as well… Here are both ways.
Berliner Potato Salad with Mayonnaise
Potato Salad with Mayonnaise is typically found in the Northern part of Germany. Unlike the warm potato salads, you won’t find bacon or broth in the recipe… instead, the flavor and creaminess come from Mayonnaise, often mixed with cream or sour cream to smooth it out. The you will often find Hard Boiled Egg pieces mixed in with the potato… and different cooks have other variations and additions to make it their own. This is the recipe I grew up with… and what I associate with Potato Salad
(Fair warning… keep this salad cool if you are taking it to a picnic!)
Recipe for 4 people
700 gr Potatoes (just over 1 1/2 pounds) Russets will work for this recipe
3-4 Hard Cooked Eggs
5-7 Tbl Mayonnaise (start with 5, add more if needed)
2-3 Tbl Cream, Milk or Sour Cream
2-3 Pickles (the German sweet/sour variety is traditional, but I prefer Dill)
1 Tbl Mustard
1 medium yellow Onion finely diced
2-4 Tbl chopped Fresh Parsley
Salt and Pepper
Begin by scrubbing and boiling the potatoes whole in their skins in salted water until they are soft enough to pierce with a paring knife (10-20 min depending on their size)
Drain and set aside until they are cool enough to handle, then peel and cut into cubes/chunks.
When the potatoes are cool, finish the salad (mixing Mayo into warm potatoes is a bad idea)
Cook the eggs to hard boiled, then chop into a dice (I love using an egg slicer find one HERE!)
Chop the pickles and onions into small dice.
Put the potato cubes, onion, pickle and egg pieces into a bowl.
In a small bowl mix together the Mayonnaise, Cream (sour cream/milk), mustard, salt and pepper… pour over the potatoes. Carefully mix it all together.
Sprinkle with chopped parsley
Taste and adjust seasonings.
If it’s too dry, add more mayo or cream.
You may want to taste again before serving to adjust salt and pepper.
Keep in the refrigerator.
Add a peeled chopped apple for crunch and sweetness
Add chopped celery for crunch and freshness
Add sliced Radishes for crunch
Berliner Kartoffelsalat OHNE Mayonnaise / Berlin Potato Salad without Mayo
This is a version of Berliner Kartoffelsalat that looks like a hybrid of Northern and Southern Potato Salad recipes. I imagine this vinegar version is safer to take along on picnics than the mayo versions. The caraway seeds in the potato cooking water is an interesting addition… but you don’t have to add it. If you leave it out, add the dill seed or mustard seed to the marinade for flavor … experiment to see which you like best.
Makes 4 portions
1 kg yellow Potatos (just over 2 lbs)
1 tsp Caraway Seeds (optional)
100 ml Pickle Liquid (out of the pickle jar) approx 1/3 cup
50 ml White Wine Vinegar (approx 3 Tbl.)
100 ml Sunflower Oil (approx 1/3 cup)
2 Tbl. Mustard
3 Tbl. Sugar
1 medium Onion, diced
Salt and pepper
optional- 1 bunch Chopped Chives or parsley
Optional – fine diced red bell pepper
1 tsp. Mustard or Dill seeds (if not using caraway)
In a large saucepan bring cook the potatoes in salted water. You can add a spoonful of caraway seeds to the cooking water for extra flavor. When the potatoes are soft enough to be pierced with a paring knife, drain and let cool a bit. Peel the potatoes, and cut them into slices.
While the potatoes are cooking, make a vinaigrette by combining the finely diced onion, pickle juice, oil, vinegar, mustard, salt, pepper and sugar. Add mustard or dill seeds if you like. Whisk until completely blended.
Dice the apple and pickle… carefully mix them to the warm potatoes.
Put some of the potato mix into a serving bowl, ladle on some of the vinaigrette, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top with more potatoes, vinaigrette and salt and pepper. Repeat until all ingredients are used up.
It will seem like there is too much marinade, but the rest will be absorbed as the salad sits.
Let the Potato salad sit at least 4 hours.
Mix well, then taste and correct for seasonings.
Sprinkle with chopped chives before serving.
Reader Potato Salad Recipes
In addition to the above, I received a number of great German Potato Salad Recipes from different contributors. I was also given tips and secret ingredients… (I plan to try them all over time, but at the moment my people don’t want to see another bowl of Potato Salad…) See if any of these look familiar, give them a try!
Ramona’s German Potato Salad
(I like the addition of Maggi… I bet it adds nice flavor)
(She writes- This is a recipe that calls for 2 lbs. of potatoes. But, I make at least 5-6 lbs. For a party 10lbs. So, when I make it, it’s tweeked. And, I always use more bacon than called for. I do not use the radishes.)
2lb. small white potatoes
1/2 cup diced bacon
1 1/2 teasp. flour
1/2 cup minced onion
4 teasp. sugar
1/4 teasp. pepper
1/4-1/2 cup vinegar
1 teasp. celery seed
1/2 sliced radishes
Celery leaves for garnish
Boil potatoes in salted water. Peel. Cut into 1/4 inch slices.
Fry bacon until crisp. Remove bacon from pan and set aside. Add 1/2 cup minced onion to drippings and saute until just tender.
Meanwhile, in a bowl, mix flour, sugar, 1 tablespoon salt, and pepper. Stir in vinegar (amount depends on tartness desired) and water until smooth. Do not remove bacon grease, ( you can remove some, if too much for you) Add mixture to pan, then simmer to desired thickness.
I chop the bacon into bits (not too small)
Pour the hot dressing over the potatoes, then add, bacon, celery seed, and parsley. I do this in layers. I then top it off with the chopped celery leaves for garnish. And, I serve it warmed. ENJOY if you make this, let me know how it turns out for you! Good Luck
Dale’s German Potato Salad
(Makes enough for a party )
10 lbs. potatoes (red)
1.5 lbs. bacon (save grease)
1/2 cup chopped onion
6-7 cups water (add to bacon grease)
1.5 cups vinegar
1.5 cups sugar
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 Tablespoon salt
corn starch to thicken
Boil potatoes, let cool, peel and slice into a large bowl.
Dice bacon and fry in a LARGE kettle
Remove bacon and leave drippings in the kettle
Add water, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper to bacon drippings
Cook and thicken with corn starch
Test flavor of juice and add if it seems to be missing something.
Put bacon and chopped onion into the bowl on top of potatoes
Mix juice with potatoes and enjoy.
Sabine’s German Potato Salad
She says, “My cousin and I experimented one time and that’s how I’ve been making it ever since. Amounts are flexible, whatever someone’s taste is.”
– Yukon gold potatoes, boiled in skin until just barely cooked, run under cold water, peel, slice or cut into chunks
– 2 thick slices of bacon, chopped, browned, remove from fat and add to potatoes
– 1 onion, chopped, add to bacon fat and very slightly brown, add with the fat to potatoes
– 1 cup warm broth, I use Delicatess Brühe, add 1-2 Tbl German mustard, pour over potatoes
– 1 hard boiled egg, chopped
– 1 or 2 pickles, chopped and use the pickle juice to taste
– ground pepper
-salt if necessary
– Fondor if you have it
– mix in a handful of chopped parsley and/or chives
Let sit for at least an hour at room temperature, taste again and serve.
Donna’s German Potato Salad
She says,” Gramma never used a recipe. Her recipe was in our local newspaper!”
Boil the potatoes with the skins on. Peel while still warm and slice into bowl. Put a couple pats of butter on top of potatoes. Add salt and pepper and chopped onions. Mix vinegar and corn oil to a little hot water (this helps to mix it up good) and add to potatoes. Mix it all up and add more vinegar or salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm. I usually use 2 medium potatoes per person.
Ursula’s Mom’s German Potato Salad
(she says this is the best)
Just potatoes, diced onion, some parsley flakes, then vinegar, oil, S&P. To dress it up, she sometimes topped it with sliced eggs and paprika.
Renate’s German Potato Salad
(My favorite recipe is Aunt Ruth’s a German lady in the German Baptist church I grew up in SW Michigan).
This recipe is it uses both sour cream and mayonnaise, plus a little bit of dill pickle juice and dill. No mustard. So potatoes, eggs, little onion, celery, and the dressing. Needs to sit at least 6 hours. Mmmmm good!
Jenny’s German Potato Salad
My oma used to make it with pickles, chicken broth, bacon and once that cooled off she added mayo, salt, pepper and a splash of vinegar.. my mom made it the same way just that she eventually switched to cucumbers instead of pickles.
Verena’s German Potato Salad
My mother in law has several recipes….
I like oil and vinegar and bacon (Bavarian style), my mum uses miracle whip (fat reduced mayo) and I use half yoghurt, half miracle whip, mustard, onion and pickles to have a lighter potato salad. And chives.
Margarete’s German Potato Salad
My mothers potato salad very simple. Potatoes, Onions, Eggs, Salt, Vinegar and Oil. I Follow her recipe, except add a little Ranch Dressing. I love my potato salad moist.
Soraya’s German Potato Salad
Yukon gold potatoes, bacon fried and set aside, thinly sliced onions cooked in the bacon fat till soft, add vinegar to the onions in hot pan, add sugar to make it a little sweet, pour it over the cooked sliced potatoes, add salt, pepper, parsley or chives, hard boiled egg and sprinkled with the fried chopped bacon. My family likes it warm or cold.
Connie’s German Potato Salad
(Garlic Salt sounds like an interesting addition)
I put onions, parsley, salt and pepper and some garlic salt along with vinegar and oil any picnic I go to I have to bring that or they tell me to stay home.
Valerie’s German Potato Salad
(I think we all like to live large!)
No mayo, no egg… 😜
hot boiled potatoes, oil, chopped onion,vinegar, s/p….and bacon crumbles if livin’ large !!
Petra’s German Potato Salad
Luke warm potatoes
I also put some pickle juice in it and bacon fat
Linda’s German Potato Salad
(I like the use of Red Potatoes)
Boiled red potatoes, sauteed onions & bacon, vinegar & potato broth; served warm.
Andrea’s German Potato Salad
My favorite potato salad of all time is the cold German version. Just cucumbers, potatoes, salt, oil, and vinegar. Yum!
Still Looking for MORE German Style Potato Salad Recipes?
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