German Potato Salad with Bacon

$3.86 recipe / $0.64 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.84 from 6 votes
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I love using just a small amount of bacon to add BIG flavor to a recipe. The tangy mustard vinaigrette in this German Potato Salad is the perfect example. The bacon fat adds body and the perfect salty balance to the sweet and tangy dressing. This warm mayo-free German Potato Salad is light, but still every bit as comforting as creamy potato salads.

German Potato Salad in a cast iron skillet with a wooden spoon in the middle.

What Type of Potatoes are Best for Potato Salad?

Not all potatoes are equal. Russet potatoes, for instance, break down easily and are well suited for things like mashed potatoes. I used red potatoes here, which hold up slightly better than russets, but a waxy potato like Yukon Gold will hold their shape even better. Personally, I love the color contrast of the red skins, so I sacrificed some firmness for color.

How Long Does German Potato Salad Last in the Refrigerator

You can keep this salad refrigerated for about four days. The dressing will absorb into the potatoes as it refrigerates, so it may become slightly more dry as the days go on. You can either save some extra dressing to add just before serving, or make an extra batch. 

Can German Potato Salad be Served Cold?

Absolutely! If you’re not a fan of warm potato salads, simply chill the potatoes cool after cooking, then slice, and add the bacon and mustard vinaigrette.

What to Serve with German Potato Salad

German Potato Salad is a great side dish for any sort of meat. This week I served mine with my Glazed Pork Chops. It also goes great with sausage, like Bratwurst or Kielbasa! Just like creamy American potato salads, German potato salad also makes a great side dish for lunch items, like sandwiches.

Overhead view of a bowl full of German Potato Salad on a striped napkin

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German Potato Salad with Bacon

4.84 from 6 votes
German Potato Salad is tossed in a deliciously sweet and tangy mayo-free dressing with bacon, mustard, and vinegar. Perfect for potlucks!  
Servings 6 (about 3/4c each)
Prep 10 mins
Cook 15 mins
Total 25 mins


  • 2 lbs. small red potatoes ($2.00)
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar ($0.18)
  • 1 Tbsp stone ground or whole grain mustard* ($0.12)
  • 1 Tbsp white sugar ($0.05)
  • Freshly cracked pepper ($0.05)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (plus more for the potato water) ($0.10)
  • 3 oz. bacon ($0.88)
  • 1 small yellow onion ($0.38)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley ($0.10)


  • Scrub the potatoes well, then add them to a large pot with enough cool water to cover the potatoes by one inch. Add approximately 1/2 Tbsp salt to the cooking water. Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat on to high, and bring the pot to a boil. Continue to boil the potatoes until they can easily be pierced with a fork (about 15 minutes).
  • Meanwhile, prepare the dressing. In a small bowl stir together the apple cider vinegar, stone ground mustard (or Dijon if preferred), sugar, some freshly cracked pepper, and about 1/2 tsp salt.
  • Cut the bacon into one inch pieces and add them to a large skillet. Sauté the bacon over medium heat until brown and crispy. Remove the bacon from the skillet and place it on a paper towel lined plate to drain. Leave the remaining bacon grease in the skillet.
  • While the bacon is cooking, dice the onion. After removing the bacon, add the onion to the skillet and sauté it in the leftover bacon grease until the onions are soft and transparent. Turn the heat off. Add the prepared dressing and whisk until the dressing is well blended with the bacon fat and it has thickened just slightly.
  • Once the potatoes are tender, drain them in a colander. Let them cool for a few minutes, or just until they are cool enough to handle. Slice the potatoes into 1/4-inch thick medallions or half moons. Add the sliced potatoes, cooked bacon, and chopped parsley to the skillet with the dressing. Stir to combine. Serve immediately while the potatoes are still warm.

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*This is a prepared mustard, not powdered or mustard seed.


Serving: 1ServingCalories: 177.88kcalCarbohydrates: 27.52gProtein: 5.02gFat: 5.5gSodium: 414.48mgFiber: 2.87g
Read our full nutrition disclaimer here.
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Scroll down for the step by step photos!

Side view of German Potato Salad in a cast iron skillet with a wooden spoon lifting a scoopful.

How to Make German Potato Salad – Step by Step Photos

Potatoes in a pot full of water

Wash 2 lbs. of small red potatoes well. Place them in a large pot and add enough water to cover them by one inch. Add about 1/2 Tbsp salt to the water to make sure the potatoes are well seasoned. Place a lid on the pot and turn the heat on to high. Bring the pot to a boil, then continue to boil the potatoes until they are tender enough to be easily pierced with a fork (about 15 minutes).

Mustard vinaigrette in a small white bowl

Meanwhile, prepare the mustard vinaigrette. In a small bowl stir together 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar, 1 Tbsp stone ground mustard (or Dijon, if you prefer that), 1 Tbsp white sugar, some freshly ground pepper (maybe 15-20 cranks of a pepper mill), and 1/2 tsp salt. 

Bacon being cooked in a cast iron skillet

Slice 3oz. of bacon into one-inch strips. Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until it is brown and crispy. Remove the bacon to a paper towel lined plate, leaving the grease in the skillet.

Onions being cooked in bacon fat in the cast iron skillet

While the bacon is browning, dice one small yellow onion. After removing the bacon from the skillet, add the diced onion and sauté it in the bacon fat until the onion is soft and transparent. Turn off the heat.

Vinaigrette added to the skillet with onions and bacon fat

Pour in the prepared dressing and whisk it into the bacon fat. It will create a slight emulsion and get just a LITTLE bit thicker.

Cooked potatoes, bacon, and parsley added to dressing in the cast iron skillet

Once the potatoes are tender, drain them in a colander and let them cool for just a few minutes or until they are cool enough to handle. Slice the potatoes into 1/4-inch rounds or half moons. Add the sliced potatoes to the skillet with the dressing, along with the crisp bacon and about 1/4 cup of chopped parsley.

Finished German Potato Salad in the skillet

Finally, just stir everything together until it’s coated in dressing! Ta-da!

Close up of German Potato Salad in a bowl with a fork, on a striped napkin

Make sure to serve the potato salad while it’s still a bit warm… Oooh, it’s the best! (disclaimer: I’ve eaten the leftovers cold and it’s still awesome.)

Close up of a forkful of German Potato Salad with the bowl in the background

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German Potato Salad is coated in a tangy bacon vinaigrette and is the perfect side for all your summer grilling.
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  1. I love this potato salad! It’s a great side for any season. It really gives you that potato fix without being heavy, thanks to the tanginess of the mustard/vinegar and the parsley gives it that nice Earthiness. And, I mean, BACON!!!

  2. I didn’t have any bacon, so I made it vegan by using olive oil to cook the onions, and then added a teaspoon of smoked paprika before adding the vinaigrette. Delicious!

  3. This is a great salad for the Pandemic! Everyone at my house loves it and it goes with summer food: ribs, sausages, burgers, and all things grilled. Even my picky husband loves it!

  4. I’m making it ahead but only adding dressing before we eat at the function good rule of thumb for any salad really 

  5. Microwave a bit and the dressing will help surface from the potatoes. Won’t be as dry. 

  6. I can’t believe how incredible this turned out. I made it for a BBQ earlier this summer and have been specifically requested to make it again twice since then. Total hit and it’s one of my go-to recipes now if I’m going over somewhere. Thanks so much for sharing this!

  7. Any suggestions or advice when making this ahead for a crowd?

    Also wanted to add that I discovered your website about a year ago and recommend it to friends young and old alike. So many great ideas and your recipes always turn out. We entertain a lot and your recipes work for small dinner parties, for when I feed ex-offenders and their families for READ (family literacy night for 70), and for family dinners when I’m looking for inspiration with produce from the farmers mkt. Appreciate your creativity and talent for great flavor combinations.

    1. Hmmmm, honestly I’m not sure how this would work out when made ahead for a crowd. The dressing may get absorbed by the potatoes as its stored, so it might get a bit more dry.