Easy German Potato Salad (With Bacon)

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Easy German Potato Salad is a must have barbecue side dish that comes together quickly and can be eaten hot or cold. Make this bacon-loaded red potato salad without mayo, using a scrumptious vinegar oil dressing instead!

titled: German Potato Salad


Easy German Potato Salad

Every great summer barbecue needs some awesome grilled or smoked meats, but side dishes like old fashioned German potato salad are also a necessity!

So many people aren’t a fan of classic potato salad with eggs and mayonnaise — or they might have food allergies.

Keep your guests happy with this tasty and unique no mayo potato salad. I promise, they’ll be begging you for the recipe!

Swap out the usual dogs with smoked brats and sauerkraut for a true German-style feast.

ingredients to make german potato salad

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

  • Red Potatoes – These provide a buttery flavor and aren’t quite as starchy as other varieties.

    They also hold their shape while still absorbing the dressing. In a pinch, Yukon Gold would be the best substitute.
  • Onion – Red onion has a more delicate flavor than yellow, though you can certainly use either. Or, swap in shallots!
  • Apple Cider Vinegar – A tangy and slightly sweet addition that cuts through the richness of the bacon grease. Feel free to use white wine vinegar instead.
  • Dijon Mustard – To make this easy German potato salad recipe extra authentic, use German mustard!
making dressing for warm potato salad

No Mayo Potato Salad Recipe Tips

  • Cook the bacon over medium heat. You want to render the fat, so you need to cook it slowly.

    Once the bacon is nice and crisp, spoon it out with a slotted spoon onto a paper towel-lined plate. Leave all the grease in the pan for cooking the onions.
  • Dice your potatoes before cooking. Not only will they cook faster, but you won’t burn your fingers trying to chop scorching hot cooked potatoes!
  • Add dressing right away. Warm potatoes are able to absorb the no mayo potato salad dressing so that they take on all the flavors.

    If the potatoes have a chance to cool, the dressing will just sort of linger on the surface of this easy German potato salad, making it greasy. Yuck!
  • Don’t forget to garnish! For a more beautiful presentation, reserve a few tablespoons of cooked bacon, plus a tablespoon of onion and parsley each.

    Sprinkle on top of your old fashioned German potato salad after mixing everything together.
  • Make-ahead tip: If transporting potato salad with bacon to a party, I suggest mixing the bacon in right before serving. That way, it doesn’t lose all its crispiness!
bowl of potatoes with vinegar onion dressing with bacon

Kitchen Tools You’ll Need

  • 12-inch Non-Stick Skillet – I use this pan every single day. It’s great for cooking eggs, sandwiches, sauces, pancakes, bacon… everything!
  • Glass Mixing Bowls with Lids Great for food preparation and also for storing and transporting food. They are also microwave and dishwasher-safe!
  • 4-Quart Sauce Pan – This is the perfect size pot for boiling potatoes, pasta, sauces, and more.
overhead: german potato salad ingredient in bowl

Potato Salad with Bacon FAQ

What is old fashioned German potato salad?

Easy German potato salad is a side dish consisting of diced red potatoes, bacon, and onions.Rather than being tossed with eggs and mayonnaise (like the classic American version), the potatoes are tossed in a warm sauce made up of bacon grease, red onion, and vinegar.Potato salad without mayo can be served cold, but unlike classic potato salad, it’s also very good warm — and is often served that way!

Does potato salad without mayo need to be refrigerated?

Yes and no. While it’s safe to serve warm, standard food safety rules still apply! After 2 hours, be sure to get any leftover potato salad with bacon in the refrigerator. Cover tightly or transfer to an airtight container, then store for up to 4 days.

close up: german potato salad with bacon

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close up: warm potato salad topped with parsley

Easy German Potato Salad (With Bacon)

Donna Elick
Easy German Potato Salad is a must have barbecue side dish. No mayo potato salad with bacon comes together fast and can be eaten hot or cold.
5 stars from 1 review
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Method Stovetop
Servings 8


  • 2 pounds red potatoes diced
  • 1/2 pound bacon diced
  • 1 red onion , chopped
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • 6 green onions sliced
  • 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley chopped


  • Place potatoes in a medium size pot and cover with cold water and bring to a boil. Cook for about 10 minutes until tender. Drain and place in a large bowl.
  • Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a fry pan until crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon onto a paper towel lined plate. Add the onions to the bacon grease and cook for 3 minutes. Add the vinegar and mustard and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove from heat, mix in the oil, and pour over the warm potatoes.
  • Season with salt and pepper. Add the green onions, parsley, and cooked bacon. Toss it all together and serve. This dish can be serve hot, room temperature, or cold.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 242cal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 19mg | Sodium: 233mg | Sugar: 2g | Fiber: 3g | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 1mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
titled image (and shown): german potato salad

Originally published June 2016, updated and republished June 2023

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One Comment

  1. 5 stars
    This really did make a great side with some steaks. It is a lighter taste than potato salads with mayo and it is great!

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