This bacon-filled warm German potato salad just disappears when I make it for family gatherings. The soft and creamy potatoes paired with the crisp bacon and tangy dressing is so scrumptious.
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What is German Potato Salad?
Is there a difference between what us Westerners serve for potato salad? Well, yes. Even though I have a German heritage from both my parents, I had only enjoyed the creamy potato salad. It typically features some combination of peeled Russet potatoes, hard-boiled eggs, pickles, celery, and often a touch of mustard. If you have not had a chance to try this recipe yet, you can find that here.
Then I got married and my mother-in-law made Warm German potato salad. German Potato Salad, tends to be served warm and features unpeeled red potatoes. It’s loaded with bacon and dressed in a delicious combination of vinegar and bacon grease. I was immediately hooked.
Warm Potato Salad
The thing that makes this potato salad radically different from any that I had ever eaten before, is that it’s most often served warm. You’ll also see it served cold and at room temperature, whatever suits your fancy. But I highly recommend eating it warm.
Normally I would use red potatoes and leave the skins on them for added flavor. However, today, I only had Russet potatoes on hand and the skins were think and I did not think they would add to this recipe. Therefore, I removed the skin and proceeded with my German Potato Salad. Use what you have on hand as I often do. This was still extremely tasty.
How to Make the Potato Salad
Wash some red potatoes, toss them in a kettle of cold water, bring to a boil, add plenty of salt, and simmer until fork tender.
Crispy Cooked Bacon
Bacon is one of the ingredients that I love best about this potato salad. Here is a hint to preparing your bacon. If your bacon is fresh, pop it into the freezer for about 5-10 minutes. It will be easier to cut through the bacon pieces. If you are like me most of the time and the bacon is in the freezer, thaw about half way, then cut the bacon. When cooking the bacon, you can break the pieces apart easily.
Once the bacon is cooked, don’t discard that hot bacon grease! It will be used to make the tangy dressing.
The tangy dressing is made from just a few ingredients.
- Cider Vinegar
- Stone Ground Mustard
The vinaigrette dressing is pungent and tangy, and will soak into the chunks of warm potatoes.
Tips for Making German Potato Salad
- Scrub the potatoes well before boiling them. Quarter the potatoes into equal sizes for even cooking.
- Salt the water before adding the potatoes, as this will flavor them from the inside out.
- Start your potatoes off cold water before bringing them to a boil. If you put potatoes directly into boiling water, the outsides will cook immediately and the insides may take longer, resulting in potato salad that could have some hard and soft pieces.
- After the potatoes are cooked and drained, let them cool and dry for a bit. This will allow them to absorb the dressing better.
- Make sure that the skillet is off of the burner before adding the vinegar. This helps prevent the mixture from potentially bubbling up and making a mess or burning you. Once the vinegar has been added, you can return to the pan to the burner and add the rest of the vinaigrette ingredients.
Gently Toss the Potato Salad
Make Sure to Gently toss the dressing over the potatoes and bacon or you will end up with mushy potatoes.
Make This Side Dish Ahead of Time
The German Potato Salad keeps very well in the refrigerator for a few days. All it needs is a gentle warming before setting it on the table. Often, at our house, this is made the day before a family gathering and just warmed the day of. This is one of those side dishes that everyone looks forward to enjoying.
Another make-ahead option is to cook the potatoes a few days ahead of time. Then the day of, remove the potatoes from the refrigerator so they come to room temperature. While they are warming up a bit, make the bacon and vinaigrette dressing. This side dish will come together quickly.
Bacon-Filled Warm German Potato Salad
- 3 Lbs Potatoes Red are preferred, but other potatoes will work too.
- 1 Tsp. Salt
- 1/2-1 Lbs Bacon Diced to 1 inch pieces (I generally use the whole pound of bacon for this recipe…family loves it that way).
- 1 Medium Onion Diced
- 1/2 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
- 2 Tbl Granulated Sugar
- 2 Tbl Stone Ground Mustard Dijon Mustard
- 1/2 Tsp. Black Pepper
- 1/2-1 Tsp Salt adjust to your taste buds
- 1/4 Cup Parsley Fresh or dried
Cook the Potatoes
- Clean the potatoes and quarter. Place in a large kettle filled with cold water and the 1 tsp. of salt. Bring to a boil and cook until easily pierced by a fork, about 12-15 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool slightly. When they are still warm and cool enough to handle, slice into bite size pieces. Set aside.
Cooking the Bacon
- Slice the bacon into approximately 1 inch pieces. Fry until crisp. Remove and let drain on a paper towel. Save the bacon grease!
- In the same skillet that I fried that bacon in, I fry the diced onion in approximately 1/2 Cup of the bacon grease. Cook over medium heat until they turn translucent. For safety, turn off the heat and add the vinegar. Then turn the heat back on. add the sugar, mustard, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil.
Mixing the Warm Potato Salad
- Add the bacon to the potatoes and pour the dressing over the top, add the parley flakes and gently toss.
- Enjoy warm or cold. I like it best warm…enjoy the way you like.
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I hope that you liked this recipe. If you are looking for more ideas on what to make, here are a few other recipes that you may enjoy.