If you're looking for an authentic German potato salad recipe, then you've found it! This German potato salad is typical for the Swabian region in Germany. It uses a marinade made from vinegar, oil, and broth that makes this salad taste super refreshing and delicious!
Potato salads are one of my favorite foods during spring and summer as they are very easy to prepare and can taste absolutely amazing.
With summer coming closer, I thought I’d share another potato salad that is always part of my cooking rotation during the warmer months. It’s this German potato salad that I have loved since the first time I tried it.
It is super flavorful, has a creamy marinade that doesn’t use any mayo, tastes just as great after a few days in the refrigerator, and can be combined with many main dishes.
It’s simply amazing and one of my favorites to enjoy with grilled meat and delicious Bratwürstchen.
What is German potato salad?
Although many of you might think that there is one recipe and one way of making German potato salad, that’s actually not true. Depending on the region in Germany, potato salad is prepared and served in different ways.
The two broad categories are potato salads that are made with vinegar and potato salads that are made with mayo. Other ingredients, like pickles, radishes, or peas are then added to the salad to create a unique dish.
This potato salad is made from vinegar, broth, and oil. It’s how potato salad is traditionally made in Southern Germany and other countries like Austria (though there are minor differences between this and Austrian potato salad).
The potato salad in this recipe is commonly known as „Schwäbischer Kartoffelsalat“ and is enjoyed and loved by many people in Germany. It’s also one of my favorites and the one I love to make during summer.
So I hope that you’ll give it a try and love it as much as I do.
To make this German potato salad, you’ll need the following ingredients.
- Potatoes: I recommend using white or yellow potatoes to make this potato salad. It’s important to use potatoes that hold up well after they have been cooked. Otherwise, the potato slices will fall apart very easily.
- Onion: I recommend using yellow onions to make this dish. They are more flavorful and great in this recipe as they are cooked in the broth which makes them taste very flavorful yet mild.
- Beef broth: If you aren’t vegan or vegetarian, I’d recommend sticking to beef broth. It is traditionally used to make this German potato salad. But if you want to keep this dish vegan, you can definitely use vegetable broth!
- White wine vinegar: There are actually different types of white vinegar that can be used for this potato salad. I used classic white wine vinegar as it is often used to make this potato salad. But other vinegar types like white balsamic vinegar or apple cider vinegar can be used, too!
- Vegetable oil: I like to use sunflower oil to make this dish but any other neutral vegetable oil is perfect for making this potato salad! Just be sure to not use olive oil as it has a very strong and unique flavor. I love and recommend using it when you make salads, just not for this one.
- Chives (optional): Using chives is totally optional but I like to add them for more texture, color, and flavor. So feel free to either use or skip them!
How to make German potato salad
Making German potato salad is super easy! Just follow these steps:
- Boil the potatoes: Start off by placing the potatoes in a pot. Fill the pot with water, cover it, bring the water to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and let the potatoes cook for 20-25 minutes until they are tender.
- Peel and slice the potatoes: While the potatoes are still warm, peel and cut them into slices. Place the slices in a bowl.
- Prepare the marinade: While you are peeling and slicing the potatoes, I recommend preparing the marinade. Add the onions and broth to a pot. Then bring the broth to a boil, lower the heat, and let everything simmer for about 2-3 minutes. Add the vinegar, salt, and pepper. Then simmer for 1 minute.
- Combine: The potato slices should be ready when the broth has finished cooking. Pour the broth and onions over the potatoes. Toss and let everything sit for 10-15 minutes. While the potatoes soak up the liquid, give them an occasional toss.
- Finish: Now add the vegetable oil and toss everything. Check if you want to add more vinegar, salt, or pepper.
- Serve: Serve the potato salad either warm or cold. Garnish with fresh herbs (optional, I used chives) and enjoy!
Tips & Notes
Making this potato salad is super easy! But here are a few things to watch out for when you make it for the first time.
- Don’t cool the potatoes. The potatoes need to be warm when you add the broth. Otherwise, they won’t soak up the liquid well. So make sure to use them while they are still warm!
- Don’t worry if the broth is very salty or acidic. You actually want it to be quite salty and pungent. Once the potatoes have soaked up the liquid, your potato salad is going to taste great and definitely not salty.
- Don’t add the oil to the broth. I know that it might be tempting to just throw everything into the pot and skip certain steps. But it is important to let the potatoes sit with the broth and add the vegetable oil at the end. So please stick to the recipe.
This recipe for German potato salad is how it is traditionally prepared and enjoyed. But there are some ingredients that people like to add for some extra flavor. So if one of the following ingredients sounds good to you, feel free to add it!
- Dijon mustard: If you love mustard and dressings made with mustard, you may want to add some mustard to the potato salad. You can add it straight to the broth or add it in the end. I use ½ to 1 teaspoon for 4 servings of this potato salad.
- Ground nutmeg: Ground nutmeg is another delicious addition to this salad. You only need a small amount for more flavor and extra spice.
- Sugar: Some people like to add sugar, I usually skip it. It’s great for balancing the vinegar’s acidity. But I actually love the pungent taste of vinegar, so I rarely use sugar. So feel free to add some sugar to the broth to balance out the acidity in this dish if you want to.
- Pickles: I love to use chopped pickles when I make this salad. They add some extra crunch and flavor that goes really well with this potato salad.
- Cucumber: If you prefer fresh cucumbers, you can definitely add them! They are crunchy and taste really refreshing.
- Fresh herbs: Some people also love adding fresh herbs. You can use parsley, dill, or chives for this German potato salad.
What to serve with German potato salad?
There are many different ways to serve German potato salad. Here are some of my favorites.
- Salad: As this potato salad doesn’t have a lot of vegetables, I like to make a small side salad when I serve this potato salad. I’ll usually use lettuce, tomatoes, and this cucumber dill salad on top. It goes really well with the potato salad!
- Maultaschen: A classic Swabian dish that is often combined with German potato salad is Maultaschen. They are similar to ravioli as they are pasta stuffed with meat and vegetables. I’ve seen some recipes online, so you might want to check them out and make your own at home.
- Frikadellen: Another classic combination is Frikadellen and potato salad. They are German meatballs that taste super delicious! I’m probably going to share a recipe for them soon, so keep your eyes on it.
- Bratwurst: If you want something quick and easy, you can prepare some Bratwürste to enjoy alongside your German potato salad. It’s a super delicious combination!
- Chicken breast: Baked chicken breasts aren’t necessarily how you’d serve this potato salad in restaurants, but it’s a healthy and delicious option. So if you’re making this for dinner, you might want to use chicken breasts as they are quick and easy to prepare.
- Salmon: Salmon is another option for serving this potato salad! It tastes really great and is perfect for a quick and healthy dinner.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, it is! It’s how potato salad is prepared in Southern Germany and how many people in Germany enjoy eating it.
This potato salad is often served warm. But to be honest, I actually prefer it when it’s cold. So serve it the way you like it most, both are valid options!
The great thing about this potato salad is that it tastes just as great (and maybe even better) the next day! Just store it in an airtight container in your refrigerator for 3-4 days and enjoy it for lunch or dinner.
More quick and delicious salad recipes
If you are looking for more salads that you can add to your cooking rotation or prepare for your next potluck, check out the following recipes. They all taste great and are very easy to make.
- Turkish Dill Potato Salad
- Kisir (Turkish Bulgur Salad)
- Balsamic Lentil Salad
- Turkish White Bean Salad (Piyaz)
- Italian Pasta Salad
German Potato Salad
- 2 pounds potatoes
- ½ yellow onion diced
- 1 cup beef broth or vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoon white wine vinegar more to taste
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- chives (optional) for serving
- Place the potatoes in a pot. Then fill the pot with water and bring it to a boil. Cover the pot, reduce to a simmer, and let the potatoes cook for 20-25 minutes until they are tender. Once the potatoes are done, drain the water.
- While the potatoes are still warm, peel and cut them into slices. Then place them in a bowl.
- While you are peeling and slicing the potatoes, you should start to prepare the marinade. Add the diced onion and beef broth to a small pot. Then bring it to a boil and let it simmer for about 2-3 minutes. Add the white wine vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Then simmer for 1 more minute.
- Now pour the hot broth over the potatoes. Toss everything. Then let the potatoes soak up the liquid for about 10 minutes. While the potato salad sits, give it an occasional toss.
- Now add the vegetable oil and toss until combined. Check if you want to add more vinegar, salt, or pepper.
- Garnish (optional) and serve the German potato salad immediately (warm) or store it in your refrigerator to enjoy it later (cold).
- It's really important to use the potatoes while they are still warm. So don't cool them down before cutting them into slices.
- Don't be scared of adding salt to the broth. You want it to be too salty and acidic as the potatoes soak up the liquid and the flavor. Otherwise, the potato salad is going to taste kind of bland.