My Recipe Box

German Potato Salad


Serves eight as a side dish.

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 106

Sure, the Classic Potato Salad recipe is a winner, but for your next cookout, turn up the tangy dial and impress your guests with another classic: German Potato Salad, or create your own potato salad recipe with our new Potato Salad Recipe Maker.

For the dressing
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbs. grainy mustard
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1-1/2 tsp. caraway seeds, lightly toasted and ground
For the salad
  • 1/4 cup plain rice vinegar
  • Kosher salt
  • 3-1/2 lb. medium waxy potatoes, such as Yukon Gold or red, scrubbed clean
  • 3/4 lb. bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 cup small-diced sweet onion
  • 3/4 cup small-diced dill pickles
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Make the dressing

Whisk the vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in the oil until combined. Whisk in the caraway seeds.

Make the salad

Combine the rice vinegar and 2 tsp. salt in a large bowl. Let sit to dissolve the salt. Put the potatoes and 2 Tbs. salt in a 6-quart pot and add enough cold water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil over high heat and reduce the heat to maintain a simmer. Cook the potatoes until barely tender when poked with a fork or skewer, 20 to 25 minutes. If the potatoes aren't all the same size, remove them as they are cooked.

Gently drain the potatoes in a colander and set aside until just cool enough to handle. Using a paring knife, peel the potatoes by scraping off the skin. Cut the potatoes into 3/4-inch chunks. Add the potatoes to the bowl with the rice vinegar and gently stir with a spatula to coat. With your fingers, pull apart any pieces that are stuck together.

Gently fold the bacon, onions, pickles and parsley into the potatoes. Whisk the vinaigrette back together and fold enough of it into the potatoes to generously coat them (you may not need all of the dressing). Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve while still slightly warm, or at room temperature.

Photo: Scott Phillips

Made for Oktoberfest party. It was a hit! flavorful, easy to make and assemble and transport. will definitely add to our dinner staples. it also kept well and made excellent leftover side.


I first made this recipe last year for an Octoberfest that we were attending, got rave reviews. My husband, whom is of German ancestry, absolutely loved it. I'll be making it in a couple of weeks for our Labor Day weekend celebration!

i love German potato salad, but i don't peel and i steam the potatoes. i do scrub them in soapy water (dawn). i like the peel and steaming makes for less water in your potato. you also can peel a potatoes with a towel or a paper towel wraps and rubbing on it. don't care about how messy or time. i just want the tangy salad.

This is very good. I'm not familiar with authentic German potato salad, but a friend happened by while I was making it. He's half German, and his Mom makes it all the time. He called her for pointers, and the only thing she told me to do differently was to saute the onions in the bacon grease, which I did. She doesn't use dill, so I left the pickles out since I was making it for middle schoolers. He tasted it when I was done and said it was very good. I thought so too, and I will make this again!

This is a great recipe. The reason that you peel the potatoes after you boil them is that the skin holds in the flavor of the potatoes while they cook, and also the skin contains lots of nutrients, which you lose when you peel the potatoes first. Certainly, it's faster to peel first, but the extra effort is worth it if you peel later, once a bit cool. Also, you can steam instead of boiling the unpeeled potatoes. Just wash them with the skin on, throw into a steamer, and you're done! Couldn't be faster. The skins then slip off easily.

I suppose if someone could enlighten me as to why it was necessary to wait to peel the potatoes until AFTER they were boiled, I could change my rating to 4 stars. The salad itself was just fine, but it took a disproportionate amount of time to peel the potatoes once cooked, and so was a royal pain in the tail. Next time I'd peel them first and be done with the whole thing in half an hour.

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