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German potato salad without mayonnaise recipe

German potato salad without mayonnaise recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Salad
  • Vegetable salad
  • Potato salad

This is a light version of a classic German potato salad without mayonnaise. The salad gets better the longer it marinades.

London, England, UK

4 people made this

IngredientsServes: 6

  • 6 medium waxy potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 stock cube
  • 200ml boiling water
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons prepared mustard
  • 1 teaspoon runny honey
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 12 cornichons, chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped

MethodPrep:15min ›Cook:15min ›Extra time:1hr10min chilling › Ready in:1hr40min

  1. In a saucepan with boiling salted water add the potatoes and cook for 10 minutes until firm to the bite. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside and let cool for about 10 minutes.
  2. Dissolve stock cube in the 200ml boiling water and pour into a big salad bowl. Add red onion and blanch for a few minutes. Stir in mustard, honey and white wine vinegar. Add potatoes and gherkins and carefully mix until well combined. Add salt and pepper to taste and cover with cling film. Chill in the fridge for about 1 hour.
  3. Take out of the fridge and taste. Season with salt, pepper or vinegar as needed. Stir in parsley and serve.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(1)

German Potato Salad

My German Potato Salad is made with vinegar, bacon, and onion and can be served warm or cold. A perfect hearty side dish for any occasion, from holiday dinners to BBQs!

I’m German and I love potato salad! I took my Grandmother’s recipe and tweaked it a little bit to make it easier for you to make an authentic German potato salad that tastes like the one you get in a Bavarian restaurant or at the Oktoberfest. It’s tangy and loaded with bacon and onions.

A Bavarian potato salad should be moist but not wet, the dressing will have an almost creamy consistency that coats the potatoes. It should definitely not be dry !

The hot potatoes soak up the flavor of the delicious dressing and the added bacon makes this simple recipe so finger-licking-good. Sprinkle the salad with chopped chives or parsley and voila: German potato salad perfection!

Vegan German Potato Salad

I clearly remember the first time I ever made potato salad. I was in grad school far away from home, in a land called “Illinois,” where I was invited to a potluck picnic and asked to make potato salad. I loved potato salad but had never made it before, so I did what any self-respecting college student would do and called my mother for her recipe.

I don’t remember anything about the picnic except arriving with my covered dish and telling everyone it was potato salad. “Is it German potato salad?” a hopeful voice asked. German? I didn’t even know what that was. “No, it’s Southern potato salad,” I stammered. No one seemed particularly impressed.

Of course, after the picnic I had to find out what German potato salad was. I asked my date, who said it had bacon and vinegar in it, no mayo, and I found a recipe in my ancient copy of The Joy of Cooking that I modified and enjoyed until I became vegetarian a few years later and started making it with vegetarian bacon and olive oil.

After I became vegan, I made it off and on for special occasions, with less and less oil, until I got to the point that my family liked it just as much without oil and “bacon” as long as I included a drop of Liquid Smoke or smoked salt for the smokey flavor.

Now, I often whip up my oil-free version to accompany “crab” cakes that I make myself or buy from the deli of the local natural foods store and my Basic Low-Fat Coleslaw. I always make it to taste, adding vinegar, mustard, pepper, and smoked salt until I get it right, and I’ve never bothered to write it down because it seemed so simple. But just in case there’s someone else out there who doesn’t know how to make German potato salad–in this case oil-free vegan German potato salad–here’s how I do it.

I like this salad very vinegary, so I always start off with about 1/4 cup of vinegar and add more to taste. Normally I use red onions but I was out and had to substitute green ones when I took these photos, and they were less sweet and pungent but more summery, which was nice for a change.

The magic ingredient is, of course, the hickory smoked salt, which I buy at The Spice House (with whom I have no affiliation, darn it. I’d be happy to be paid in spices.) It has a very concentrated smoke flavor, so it just takes a little and doesn’t increase the saltiness or sodium content much. If you can’t find it and don’t mind using Liquid Smoke, just add a few drops to the dressing before you pour it over the potatoes. Too much and it’s like licking a fireplace, but with just a touch, a simple potato salad is tranformed from ordinary to sublime.


Delicious potato salad! I too skipped the caraway seeds and added stone ground Dijon mustard. I sliced the potatoes, since I've always had German potato salads sliced. I didn't bother sauteing the onions as I think the crunch of the raw onions adds some texture.

Delicious!! Am I am German. Wish I would of doubled the recipe.

Super easy and very delicious. But 6 servings? Not in my house. I doubled it and that was enough for 6 people. The caraway is very strong so go easy.

I really like this style of potato salad much better than soppy mayo based ones. Per others' comments, I added a tablespoon Dijon and skipped the caraway. Also softened the onion a tad in the potato water. I can see using this as a base for future renditions. Maybe add smoked paprika next time??

I grew up in a German family and we ate countless potato salads like this. I prefer this recipe to some others because I feel it to be more fresh with the bright green onions and dill. If I have bacon I always add some, and no one is ever disappointed. Delicious!

I sauteed the onions in 2 slices of chopped bacon. Otherwise no changes! Will make again!

Hello there ! First, I am original German. So. of course it peacked my interest! The potato slices look too bulky ! We always cut them in thin slices after they are cooked. It absorbs the liquids better. Then the spices, vinegar with the oil last. Also some sugar. Cucumbers go well with it.

Since I am German original, I couldnt help, to have something to add. My mother always did slice the potatoes, so do I. In thin slices. Then , while they are still warm the spices and the vinegar. Last thing , the oil. Some sugar too. Cucumbers are really good going with the salad. Otherwise, its a good recipe.

First of all it looks gorgeous. Secondly, it's easy and third it was a huge hit with my partygoers. Also because there's no mayo in the recipe you don't have to worry about it sitting out for any length of time.

This is an excellent recipe and so so easy to make. I just finished it making the following changes that other reviewers suggested. Added bacon and softened the onions in the bacon greased with a little olive oil added. Add a small tablespoon of Dijon mustard (to taste) and did not add the caraway. I don't care for it and have never seen a german potato salad with caraway. This salad is keeper.

Made this for a party (without the caraway seeds and used dried dill instead of fresh) and it was an absolute hit. So easy to make and very delicious. Will be keeping this one in my back pocket

Even my German husband gave it 2 thumbs up! Super easy and not a single complaint! I did reduce the oil a bit and gave it a little more vinegar without problem.

Will definitely make this again. Great oil-based potato salad for those who don't like or want a change from mayo-based potato salads. I doubled chopped onion and definitely used more than a quarter cup of cider vinegar - probably doubled that as well.

The is the first German potato salad I have ever made. I took it to a party and everyone really liked it. I shall make it again as it is very easy (and I am not much of a cook).

Because I'm vegetarian, I make my version just about the way it is written here. however, to give potaato salads an extra punch, I always omit salt and boil my potatoes in veggie broth--either homemade or toss in a bit of store-bought veggie bouillion. Makes all the difference!

I love how flavorful this is, it has so much zest. It is so much lighter than traditional, American, potato salad with mayo but packs a bigger punch. It was a big hit at the BBQ we had so I will definitely be making this again.

Where's the bacon? No respected German would make this without the bacon. Love German potato salad! Local restaurant here in Florida serves smoked fish with the German potato salad as a side. Have a cold glass of beer for your beverage and Honey what a meal . What an awesome combo.

This was good, loved the no mayo recipe, but next time I would add more apple cider liquid, because I found it to be slightly dry. Additional salt, pepper, and a splash of lemon juice made it better. Next time, I would add some kind of dijon or stone ground mustard.

Very good! Made mine with organic Raw/unfiltered ACV! Easy way to sneak in extra nutritious goodness!

absolutely delicious. i added the bacon as a user suggested below, came out great. my family devoured it.

Not truly German potato salad without bacon. The onions fried in bacon grease and vinegar make a pungent delicious sauce served warm.,with crumbled bacon worked through it. Call it dill potato salad but not German.

Super easy to make and absolutely delicious. Not a huge mayo fan, so always great to find a potato salad recipe without it. Only alteration to the recipe was substituting finely chopped celery for the scallions (Iɽ forgotten to buy them but wanted some crunch.) I'll continue to make it this way. Might try tossing in some dry mustard next time as well. And don't be stingy with the salt and pepper -- really wakes everything up.

This is really easy to make and it is delicious. Next time I make it, I will add twice as much dill (I love dill). My Yukon Gold potatoes were on the larger side, so I cut them into 1 1/2 inch cubes, which worked well.

Made this for dinner tonight to go with some lamb burgers. Absolutely delicious. Would not change a thing.

German potato salad without mayonnaise recipe - Recipes

Memorial Day Weekend heralds the start of summertime across the Berkshires. For many folks it’s their first venture out since the pandemic began - what a sense of freedom! We’ve already been taking advantage of some of the warmer evenings, eating outside whenever possible with a fire in our outdoor fireplace staving of the last vestiges of chill.

I like to have a stack of recipes ready for impromptu picnics or invitations to potluck dinners with friends. A classic is, of course, potato salad. I’m a big fan of creamy mayonnaise-based potato salads but, if you want to take it a step higher, consider making a German potato salad. What sets it apart is that it’s dressed with oil and vinegar rather than mayo. Served either warm or at room temperature, it’s like the love-child between classic potato salad and a warm spinach salad. Tossed with diced bacon and sautéed onions, it can be a full meal in itself! I dress mine up even further by adding some blanched green beans and a little whole grain mustard.

3/4 pound green beans, trimmed and halved
2 pounds baby Yukon Gold potatoes, halved
1/2 pound bacon, diced
1/2 sweet Vidalia onion
Extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons whole grain mustard
Salt & pepper

In a medium pot filled halfway with water, heat to simmering and blanch the green beans for 2 minutes, until crisp but tender. Immediately remove with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl of ice water to prevent overcooking and to retain their bright green color.

In the same pot, boil the potatoes (adding water if necessary to cover them) for about 12-15 minutes until they are tender when pierced with a knife. Drain and set aside to cool slightly in a large bowl.

In a frying pan, cook the diced bacon until crisp. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and reserve the bacon grease in the pan. You can place the bacon in the same bowl as the green beans.

Add the sliced onions to the bacon grease and sauté until soft and lightly browned. If your bacon is very lean, add a little olive oil to the pan. With a slotted spoon, remove the onions and place in the bowl with the green beans and bacon.

When the pan with the bacon grease has cooled down slightly, add the apple cider vinegar, sugar, water and whole grain mustard. Stir to dissolve the sugar, cooking slowly over low heat if necessary.

Add the green bean/bacon onion mixture to the large bowl with the potatoes, pour on the vinegar mixture and toss gently to combine without breaking up the potatoes.

Note: although waxy baby Yukon Golds seem to hold their shape the best in this recipe, you can use baby red potatoes or full-size potatoes cut into cubes.

Possible recipe VARIATIONS

  • Swap vinegar: swap the apple cider vinegar for white vinegar but start with HALF the amount and add more to taste.
  • Swap chicken broth: use beef broth instead of chicken broth for a more pronounced beefy flavor.
  • Swap onion: use red onion instead of yellow onion for a sweeter flavor. You can also use an equal amount of shallots.
  • Add dill: when adding the fresh herbs, use all dill to make the salad more dill forward.
  • Use different seasonings: you can season the German potato salad with virtually any spice blend- it just won’t taste like classic German potato salad 😉. Add Italian seasonings, Cajun seasoning, chili powder, ground cumin, red chili flakes, etc.
  • Add cheese: stir in freshly grated Parmesan and omit the salt. Season with salt to taste.
  • Add veggies: again, not traditional, but you can add sautéed vegetables such as bell peppers, celery, broccoli, mushrooms, etc.

What is German Potato Salad

German Potato Salad is a warm potato salad made with a vinegar based dressing, bacon, onion and celery. It is sweet and sour and has smoky bacon flavor and crunchy texture from the celery and onion. German Potato Salad is made from hot potatoes and a dressing made with vinegar, sugar and oil or bacon fat.

As I said, I grew up eating this style of potato salad. (Way more so than more traditional red potato salad with mayo or creamy potato salad. ) I asked my mom how she came upon making a mayo free version. She had grown up eating her mother&rsquos oil and vinegar potato salad. She said she latched onto the idea probably from a recipe she had found in Gourmet Magazine at some point. I remember that she made the dressing in the skillet after the bacon came out of the skillet. She used the drippings from the pan, added in the vinegar and sugar and cooked it. Then she&rsquod pour the dressing over the warm sliced potatoes, add in chopped red onion and celery and chopped parsley as well.

I looked up German Potato salad in the Joy Of Cooking and it sounds pretty similar to the kind she made (minus the dill pickle.)

In our recent trip to Germany, we had warm potato salads that were more like this Swabian potato salad that were made with broth and onion. Some had no bacon at all. In the above photograph, you can see a bit of the potato salad tucked in next to the veal sausage on the left on one of the sausage sampler plates we tried.

We ate a lot of potato salad while in Germany. Hah, not always intentionally but it seemed to come with everything we ordered! While they all have similarities, the potato salads in Germany vary by region. The German Potato Salad I grew up eating in the 80s and 90s was more of an Americanized version of what we call German Potato Salad.

Either way, the recipe I am sharing today is neither traditional German or truly traditional American German! Instead I have taken the flavors of the Americanized version I grew up eating and then made it healthy (by drastically reducing the bacon fat and refined sugar) and actually easier (there&rsquos no cooking of the dressing, and no need to peel the potatoes.) Why? Because that&rsquos the way I roll here on Healthy Seasonal Recipes! I&rsquom always trying to make delicious approcable food healthier and easier!

Storage Tips

As we mentioned above, this is a good salad for summer barbecues. This is because vinegar-based potato salads don’t turn bad (as fast) when out in the sun for a few hours.

This is also a warm German potato salad without bacon and the absence of meat means it’s a little more resilient to warm temperatures.

Of course, leftovers should still be refrigerated immediately after use. It’ll keep for up to three days but the potatoes may get more and more soggy as time passes so keep that in mind.

How to Make German Potato Salad

  • Cut red potatoes into large chunks add to pot with cold water and cook.
  • Cook bacon and reserve some bacon fat.
  • Cook onion in bacon fat and add in dressing ingredients.
  • Add onion mixture to steaming hot potatoes.
  • Toss potatoes, dressing, bacon and parsley together before serving.

Additional Mix-in Options:

This recipe is a traditional recipe so I recommend making it as written below the first time you try it, but you can add in some more fun flavors the next time you make it.

  • Eggs: Sliced hard boiled eggs added on top of the salad because mixing them in would crush the yolks and they look beautiful garnished on top for a German Potato Salad with Eggs.
  • Sour Cream: Whisk in 1/2 cup of sour cream to the dressing just before adding to the potatoes to make a Creamy German Potato Salad (you can cut back on the vinegar by 1 tablespoon since the sour cream is tangy).
  • No Bacon: You can make German Potato Salad without bacon and in place of the bacon fat cook sliced celery in butter on medium-high heat until caramelized to add a bit of crunch and flavor. Cook your onions in butter too. You can also use olive oil in place of butter if preferred.
  • Mayonnaise: If you’d like to use mayonnaise in place of the bacon grease in this dish you can. Cut back on the amount of fat to cook the onions, skip the water and mix 1/2 cup mayonnaise with the sugar, salt, celery seed and pepper and toss the potatoes, bacon and onions once the potatoes have cooled completely. Do not mix while warm.
  • Dill: Dill is a classic German herb so it makes sense to make a dill potato salad as an option, if you want you can swap the fresh parsley to make this German Potato Salad with Dill or even swap the celery seed for dill. Remember fresh dill always tastes significantly better than dried, so I recommend this option only if using fresh.
  • Dijon Mustard: A quick, easy addition. Using a tablespoon of dijon mustard added into the potatoes with the onion mixture (do not add the mustard into the pan), and toss it together while warm. Using a whole grain dijon mustard would also be a delicious option.

Use red onion, shallots, or even green onion in this salad. And instead of chopping the onion fine, I like to show off those purple edges and slice the onion thinly in wedges. If red onion is too sharp a taste for you, soak the sliced onions in water for 20 minutes to take the edge off.

This potato salad gets even better the second or third day after it’s been made. To freshen it up as the days go by, add more fresh herbs if you desire.

I prefer using small red potatoes for this healthy potato salad recipe, but you’re welcome to use another kind of potato if that’s all you have on hand.