Y’all, I’m not kidding with the title up there. If you love German potato salad as much as I do, the first bite of this will bring tears of joy to your eyes. With crispy bacon and potatoes tossed in a scrumptious bacon and onion gravy (or dressing), this really is the BEST German potato salad!
So, I first found this recipe in one of my Grandmama’s old cookbooks that I inherited and tweaked it a little bit to come up with this heavenly warm German potato salad. The secret is all in the dressing. You see, it’s absolutely infused with flavor because the base is bacon. Did you know that bacon drippings are the most flavorful grease there is? Seriously. Well, you take those bacon drippings and then you sauté some onions in it, then you add a little bit of this and that, flour to thicken it, some vinegar to splash it up a bit, and you basically end up with bacon gravy, but we’re calling it dressing in this post.
Before we dive in, I want to share another tip so you make the best German potato salad recipe EVER. Pay attention to the timing of when to pour the bacon gravy over the potatoes. See, when your potatoes are warm, they are absorbent. If you wait until they cool to pour your dressing over, they have formed a starchy film over them and they won’t soak it up, so it will just coat the outside. If you pour it while they are still warm, though, they’ll actually absorb part of the dressing and become infused with the flavor.
With crispy crumbled bacon and tender potatoes tossed in a delectably tangy bacon onion gravy, I just know y’all are going to love this potato salad as much as me. It’s a great side dish to bring to your next barbecue or potluck, but I’ve also included lots of serving suggestions below. Now, have a hanky handy, cos it’s time to make the best German potato salad you’ve ever tasted 😉.
- Red potatoes
- Bacon (we use turkey bacon now and it’s still just as delicious).
- Apple cider vinegar
How to Make The Best German Potato Salad
Boil yer taters with their coats still on :).
Just wash your potatoes and then put them all in a pot, covered with water, and bring them to a boil over medium-high heat. You’re going to want to boil these until they are fork tender. I boil mine for about 20 minutes or so.
Fry you up some bacon.
That is one of my favorite instructions to read or write in a recipe. Most folks have a specific brand or type of bacon that they prefer. We really enjoy uncured turkey bacon.
Here’s a Tip!
After you get this bacon cooked, remove it to a paper towel-lined plate but don’t do anything with all of that lovely in your skillet. If you don’t have a lot of grease due to using turkey bacon, add a tablespoon or so of vegetable oil.
After you remove your bacon, add your chopped onion to that skillet and cook it over medium heat, stirring often, until your little onion bits are all translucent and golden like this.
Take this off the stove eye (or burner for y’all up north) and set it aside for a minute.
Drain your potatoes and then pour them into a large bowl to let them cool for just a few minutes so they can be handled without feeling like you’re holding hot coals.
Don’t blink because I’m about to explain how to get from that last picture to this one:
Making the Bacon Onion Dressing
Once your onions are lightly brown, remove the skillet from the heat.
Stir in the water, vinegar, sugar, flour, and salt and pepper to taste (I start with 1 tsp of salt and 1 tsp of pepper).
Return to heat and bring just to a boil (over medium heat) while stirring constantly.
Once it comes to a boil, boil for one minute, while still stirring.
“Gee, Christy, you just ain’t letting up on this stirring thing.” I know. Now hush and do it, I’m hungry.
And BOOM! You have what is pictured above.
Now I want you to act fast!
Remove the dressing from the stove eye or burner. Carefully slice your potatoes and place them in a bowl.
They will break up a little bit and that is okay. Just do the best you can to carefully slice them and make an attempt at keeping them intact and their skin on.
Crumble all your bacon and place it on top of the cooked potatoes.
Now, pour all of that warm thick dressing over them.
And listen, the dressing is thick because it was thickened with flour, not because it was made with bacon drippings. It is delicious because it was made with bacon drippings.
Stir carefully and well to coat all of your slices. This is the key and doing it while the potatoes are warm makes a world of difference in the flavor of your potato salad.
Last step: serve warm.
And… eat the potato salad. Eat all the potato salad.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. To reheat, either bring to room temperature or gently warm in the microwave. Otherwise, you can totally serve it cold as well.
- Substitute almond flour and gluten-free bacon to make this a gluten-free recipe.
- Garnish your potato salad with chopped green onion and fresh dill, chives, or fresh parsley. It’s also not traditional, but you can garnish with some parmesan cheese too.
- While I prefer red potatoes, you can also use new potatoes or Yukon Gold potatoes. Just try to avoid russet potatoes!
- For additional flavor, add 2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard and 1 tablespoon of minced garlic to the vinegarette.
- Substitute the white onion for red onion if you like.
- For a vegetarian potato salad, simply omit the bacon.
What do you serve with German potato salad?
Serve this warm potato salad as a side dish alongside roast or barbecue meats. Think grilled chicken tenders, roast chicken, chicken schnitzel (try my chicken fried steak recipe or crispy breaded pork chops), or even beef brisket.
What is the difference between American potato salad and German potato salad?
The biggest difference between these two potato salads is the dressing. American potato salad includes a mayonnaise-based dressing and is served cold. Meanwhile, German potato salad is best served warm and includes a bacon and vinegar-based dressing. But spoiler, both salads originated in America. German potato salad was inspired by early German immigrants.
You may enjoy these other delicious potato recipes:
- 6-8 medium red potatoes
- 5-6 turkey bacon slices
- 1 chopped onion
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 3-5 tablespoons flour
- salt and pepper to taste
- Boil the potatoes whole, without peeling, until fork tender. Drain and allow to cool until you can handle them. Slice as thin as you can into a large bowl. Set aside.6-8 medium red potatoes
- In a large skillet, fry bacon until crisp. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate and reserve the bacon grease in the skillet. Crumble bacon on top of the potatoes in the bowl.5-6 turkey bacon slices
- Saute onions in bacon grease over medium heat until tender. Remove skillet from heat and stir in the water, vinegar, sugar, and flour (add flour a little at a time to your liking, you can always add a little more later). Also, add salt and pepper to taste (I start with 1 tsp of salt and 1 tsp of pepper).1 chopped onion, 3 tablespoons sugar, 1 cup water, 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar, 3-5 tablespoons flour, salt and pepper to taste
- Return to heat and bring just to a boil while stirring constantly. Boil for one minute, while still stirring. Remove from heat and pour over the bacon and potatoes. Carefully stir until well coated and serve warm.
“A coincidence is God choosing to remain anonymous.”
~Unknown. Submitted by Linda A. Click here to submit your favorite quotes!