Tasty German Potato Salad – Authentic Recipe Guide

German Potato Salad is a delightful twist on traditional potato salads, known for its tangy and hearty flavor profile. Unlike its creamy American counterpart, German Potato Salad is typically made with a vinegar-based dressing and is served warm or at room temperature, making it perfect for any season. This version incorporates pickled cucumbers and fresh herbs, adding a refreshing crunch and vibrant flavors that can elevate any meal.


  • 6 potatoes, cooked until tender and cooled
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • Boiling water (to cover onions)
  • 9-10 pickled cucumbers, sliced
  • A handful of dill, chopped
  • A handful of parsley, chopped
  • 50 ml milk
  • 100 ml vegetable oil
  • 1/3 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/3 teaspoon dried garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vinegar
  • Mayonnaise (optional, to taste)


  1. Prepare the Onions: In a large bowl, combine the sliced onion, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and vinegar. Add enough boiling water to cover the onions. Let them rest for 10-15 minutes, then drain.
  2. Mix Salad Ingredients: Chop the cooled, cooked potatoes and pickled cucumbers into bite-sized pieces. Add them to the bowl with the drained onions.
  3. Make the Dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together milk, vegetable oil, 1/3 teaspoon of salt, black pepper, dried garlic, mustard, and additional vinegar until well combined.
  4. Combine and Season: Pour the dressing over the potato mixture, add chopped dill and parsley, and toss gently to coat everything evenly. If desired, add mayonnaise for a creamier texture.
  5. Adjust Seasonings: Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Tips for Making Tasty German Potato Salad

1. Potato Selection:

  • Choose waxy potatoes like Yukon Gold or red potatoes for the best texture. These varieties hold their shape well after cooking and won’t turn mushy in the salad.

2. Enhancing Flavor:

  • For a deeper flavor, consider sautéing the onions before adding them to the salad instead of just soaking them in vinegar and water.
  • Add a splash of the pickle brine to the dressing for extra tanginess and a subtle pickle flavor.

3. Dressing Tips:

  • Make the dressing in advance to allow the flavors to meld together. This can be done a day ahead and stored in the refrigerator.
  • If you prefer a creamier texture, consider using a blend of yogurt and mayonnaise instead of plain mayonnaise to reduce calories without sacrificing creaminess.

4. Serving Suggestions:

  • Serve the salad warm or at room temperature to enhance the flavors. Chilling in the refrigerator is also an option, but let it sit out for a few minutes before serving.
  • Garnish with extra fresh herbs or diced red peppers for a pop of color and freshness just before serving.

5. Storage:

  • German potato salad can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. Stir well before serving as the dressing may settle at the bottom.

These tips will help you elevate a simple German potato salad into a memorable and versatile side dish suitable for various occasions.

Serving Suggestions:

  • Perfect Pairings: This salad pairs beautifully with traditional German dishes like bratwurst or schnitzel, providing a tangy contrast to the rich flavors.
  • Picnic Ready: Its vinegar-based dressing makes it ideal for outdoor events since it can be served safely at room temperature.
  • Customizable: Feel free to add crispy bacon bits or more fresh herbs for extra flavor and texture.

Nutrition Information:

  • Low in Cholesterol: Using olive oil and vinegar instead of mayonnaise cuts down on cholesterol and saturated fats, making it heart-healthier.
  • Rich in Vitamins: Potatoes and fresh vegetables like onions and cucumbers provide vitamin C, potassium, and fiber, essential for overall health.
  • Diet-friendly: This salad is relatively low in calories, making it suitable for those watching their calorie intake as part of a balanced diet.

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