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German Potato Salad With Bacon (Whole30-Friendly)

German Potato Salad – A recipe from Michael’s side of the family. Tender potatoes tossed with a tangy bacon vinaigrette. It’s delicious, savory & perfect all year round! (Gluten-Free, Whole30-Friendly)

Overhead view of a glass bowl of German Potato Salad with Bacon Dressing

Know what I love in the summer? A good salad. Sure, I love a grilled something just as much as the next person, but at picnics, barbecues, potlucks, and summer cook-outs, I get MOST excited about the salads and sides. I just love all those fresh flavors!

I especially love trying twists on old favorites. This German potato salad is totally one of those. A quick Google search will tell you that there are lots of different versions of German potato salad, but most of them center around a few key ingredients: potatoes (obviously), bacon (yay), and a vinaigrette dressing in place of the mayo (woot!).

Our recipe is based on Michael’s family recipe. They’ve shared all kinds of great German recipes and Swiss recipes with me over the years, and their recipe totally sold me on German Potato Salad! It’s one of those beautifully simple recipes that doesn’t require a lot of fuss but REALLY delivers on flavor. You’ll get major salt and vinegar vibes!

The end result is tangy, smokey, salty, savory, and absolutely delicious. (Signed, sealed, delivered, I’m yours!)

Here’s what you’ll need to get started on this yummy potato salad recipe..

Overhead view of a glass bowl of German Potato Salad with Bacon Dressing
Front view of a glass bowl of German Potato Salad with Bacon Dressing

HERE’S WHAT GOES INTO OUR GERMAN POTATO SALAD RECIPE:

  • Red Potatoes. Waxy potatoes, like red potatoes, work best for German potato salad. They’re sturdy enough not to fall apart and they’ll still help soak up all that lovely bacon dressing. Dice them into evenly-sized pieces and try not to overcook them!
  • Bacon. A signature element of a good German Potato Salad, some salty smoky bacon adds a little crispiness, and also flavors the vinaigrette, which uses the bacon grease as the fat. (Trust me, it’s WORTH IT.)
  • A Little Red Onion. Not all German Potato Salad recipes have onion, but I love the subtle flavor it adds to the salad. I think it strikes the perfect balance of flavors, and the flavor is softened through cooking, so if you’re not a raw onion fan, this one’s for you!
  • A Tangy Vinaigrette. Our bacon vinaigrette uses bacon grease, apple cider vinegar, a little sugar or apple juice, and plenty of salt and pepper. It’s really easy to put together and gives a tangy flavor to the potatoes. (Total salt-and-vinegar vibes!)
  • Fresh Herbs & Green Onion. To balance some of the heartiness and savory flavors of this German Potato Salad, you’ll finish it off with fresh parsley and sliced green onion. The pretty pop of green and the bright flavors are lovely with the potatoes and bacon.

QUICK TIP

Cut Your Potatoes Evenly. One big tip for helping your potatoes cook evenly is to make sure you cut them into evenly-sized pieces. I usually cut mine into 1/2″ or 3/4″ cubes.

Overhead view of a white bowl of German Potato Salad with Bacon Dressing
Overhead view of a white bowl of German Potato Salad with Bacon Dressing

FAQ + TIPS & TRICKS FOR THE BEST GERMAN POTATO SALAD:

Do You Serve German Potato Salad Hot Or Cold? German Potato Salad is most often served warm or at room temperature. If you’ve been chilling the salad in the refrigerator, pull it out 20-30 minutes before serving to help it come back up to room temperature.

Cut Your Potatoes Evenly. One big tip for helping your potatoes cook evenly is to make sure you cut them into evenly-sized pieces. I usually cut mine into 1/2″ or 3/4″ cubes.

Try Adding Dijon! Many German Potato Salad recipes include a little Dijon in the vinaigrette. Michael’s family recipe doesn’t, so I don’t usually add it, but 1-2 tsp. can be lovely if you like mustard. (I do!)

Whole30 notes. This German potato salad with bacon is totally Whole30-Friendly! All you need to do is use compliant bacon and use the apple juice option instead of the sugar. Easy-peasy! Now you’ve got Whole30 German Potato Salad!

Prefer to Bake Your Bacon Instead? No problem! I use this method for baking my bacon. I line a baking sheet with foil and fold up the edges slightly to help catch the bacon grease (since you’ll need it for the dressing).

Overhead view of a white bowl of German Potato Salad with Bacon Dressing
Close up front view of a white bowl of German Potato Salad with Bacon Dressing

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Overhead view of a white bowl of German Potato Salad with Bacon Dressing

German Potato Salad (Whole30-Friendly)


  • Author: One Lovely Life
  • Total Time: About 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6 Cups Potato Salad 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

German Potato Salad – Tender potatoes tossed with a tangy bacon vinaigrette. It’s delicious, savory & perfect all year round! (Gluten-Free, Whole30-Friendly)


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 lbs. red potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1/2“-3/4” pieces
  • 68 slices bacon, cut into small pieces
  • 3 Tbsp. bacon grease (reserved when you cook the bacon)
  • 1/2 small red onion, minced (about 1/2 cup
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar or apple juice
  • 1 tsp. salt (+1/2 tsp. to salt the cooking water)
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 1 green onion, sliced

Instructions

FIRST, START YOUR POTATOES:

  1. Place diced potatoes into a pot. Pour water over the potatoes, until the water is 1″ above the potatoes.
  2. Add 1/2 tsp. salt to the water and cover with a lid.
  3. Bring the water to a boil and boil potatoes 12-15 minutes, or until potatoes are still slightly firm but tender. You don’t want them crunchy by any means but also don’t want them soft enough to fall apart or mash. A fork should easily pierce the potatoes (I recommend pulling a potato out of the water to test it for best results.)
  4. Drain the potatoes, letting them cool slightly. 

MEANWHILE, WORK ON YOUR DRESSING:

  1. While the potatoes are cooking, prep your dressing. Start by crisping the bacon in a large skillet over medium high heat 8-10 minutes, or until you reach your desired crispness. (I recommend brown and crisp for this recipe.)
  2. Remove the bacon and set aside on a clean plate. Reserve at least 3 Tbsp. of the bacon grease to make your dressing. (You can safely discard any additional grease or save for another use)
  3. Add minced onion to the bacon grease and cook onion 3-5 minutes, or until softened and fragrant.
  4. Add vinegar, sugar or apple juice, salt, and pepper to the skillet and stir until combined. Turn off the heat and let the dressing sit. 

WHEN THE POTATOES ARE DONE, ASSEMBLE THE SALAD:

  1. When the potatoes are cooked and drained, add them to a large bowl. 
  2. Pour the dressing over the potatoes and gently stir with a spatula (which is less likely to break up the potatoes) to coat. Let the potatoes sit for at least 5-10 minutes to absorb the dressing.
  3. Stir once more, then add parsley, green onion, and your crisped bacon. Gently stir to combine.
  4. Serve the salad warm or at room temperature. (If you’ve been chilling the salad in the refrigerator, pull it out 20-30 minutes before serving to help it come back up to room temperature.)

Notes

*For Whole30: Use compliant bacon and use the apple juice option in place of the sugar. 

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: German

Keywords: german potato salad, potato salad with bacon, whole30 potato salad, whole30 german potato salad, potato salad with bacon dressing, potato salad with bacon vinaigrette

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7 Comments

  1. I’ve had this type of salad before and really enjoyed it! I’m delighted to have a recipe for it and will put this on my ‘to make’ list.

    Thanks!

  2. Try cooking out some beef bones to make a thin broth. Let it cool, and then soak the cooked and sliced potatoes over night. Then drain. This will add a little more flavor. Do this between steps 1and 2 above.

  3. Hello!
    The recipe isn’t gluten free as flour is listed as an ingredient.
    I am going to swap the flour and use cornstarch to remedy issue.

    1. Marian – I’m assuming you use gluten free 1:1 flour (Like Bob’s Red Mill, Cup4Cup or King Arthur). I’ll update that so it’s more clear 🙂

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