German-Style Potato Salad

German potato salad is a mayo-free, warm potato salad that relies on bacon as it’s primary flavoring. Our version uses baby or new potatoes because they have tender skins that can be left on, saving that extra step of peeling. Serve as a side dish for grilled pork or chicken.

German-Style Potato Salad

German-Style Potato Salad

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This mayonnaise-free, warm potato salad flavored with bacon, red onion, apple cider vinegar and fresh chives is a nice change from chilled, mayo-based varieties.


  • 2 lbs waxy potatoes, preferably new or baby potatoes
  • 1/2 lb bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon grainy mustard
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped


  • Scrub the potatoes and place them in a large saucepan with 1 tablespoon of salt. Cover with cold water and bring to a boil.
  • Cook until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  • While the potatoes cook, fry the bacon until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer it to a paper towel-lined plate and reserve 4 tablespoons of the rendered bacon fat.
  • Wipe out the pan, add the reserved bacon fat and vegetable oil and warm over medium heat.
  • Add the onion and cook until slightly softened but not browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Lower the heat and stir in the mustard and cider vinegar until well blended. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  • Cut the potatoes into small cubes (3/4-inch) and place them in a large bowl. Using your fingers, crumble the bacon into tiny pieces and add to the potatoes.
  • Add the bacon fat mixture and toss to combine thoroughly.
  • Add the chives, season to taste with salt and pepper and combine again.
  • You may want to add a small amount of extra vegetable oil and/or vinegar if the potatoes seem a little dry. They should have a slight sheen, but the dressing should never pool at the bottom of the bowl.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature.

Tips for Making This Recipe

Recipe Notes:

Many traditional recipes for German potato salad call for the potatoes to be sliced and the onion to be raw. We leave the tender skins on our potatoes and cut them into small cubes, because if they were sliced, the skins would be more likely to slip off.
Regarding the onion, red onion can be a tremendously overpowering ingredient and we opt to cook it for a short time in the bacon fat to mellow and sweeten the flavor.
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