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German Potato Salad Recipe

Updated on March 2, 2008

As a young adult, I was blessed with the opportunity to live with my aunt’s family for a few years. While living with them, we spent a year in Switzerland and over a month in Germany before moving to Seattle. My uncle is from Germany, so he introduced me to the language, the food, and the beer.

His German potato salad is one of his specialties, and I was lucky enough to snag the recipe. You will find that this potato salad is very different than the mayonnaise-based, American dish, but it is very tasty. This salad is a hit at parties and potlucks, but I suggest you label the dish to get cautious, conservative eaters to try it.

This is one of those dishes that gets better with time, so definitely make it the day before you plan on serving it. You can make a big batch because the leftovers taste great.

Thinly slice your cooked potatoes.
Thinly slice your cooked potatoes.

Uncle Cornelius’ Weird German Potato Salad


  • 10-12 Yellow Finnish Potatoes
  • 1 large onion
  • ½ - ¾ cup broth (chicken or vegetable)
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • 2 tbs. water
  • ¼ cup, plus 1 tbs. oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


  1. Boil the whole potatoes until they are done, but still firm.
  2. Drain the water, cover, and place in a cool place for 1-2 hours.
  3. While the potatoes are cooling, chop the onion. Heat 1 tbs. of oil in a pan. Add the onion, and cook until it is brown and crispy.
  4. Peel the skin off of the potatoes.
  5. Slice the potatoes very thinly into a bowl. The large slicer on a cheese grater works well for this.
  6. Add the browned, crispy onion, and toss gently together.
  7. In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine the oil, vinegar, and broth.
  8. Stir vinegar mixture into the potatoes.
  9. If needed, add a bit of water to the potato salad. The consistency should be mushy, but not runny.
  10. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
  11. Add more vinegar, if needed (you’ll have to go by taste).
  12. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours (or overnight).
  13. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Optional: Crisp some bacon, and stir it into the salad before refrigerating. The traditional recipe calls for chicken broth, but I provided the option of using vegetable broth because that is how I make it. If you use vegetable broth and omit the bacon, this is a great vegetarian salad.

Serving Suggestions

This salad is often served with some sort of Wurst (German sausage, like Bratwurst or Bockwurst) and Brotchen (German rolls). If you are serving a vegetarian meal, which I tend to do, you can purchase some lovely faux sausages made with tofu, sundried tomatoes, chives (really, the possibilities are endless).

There is nothing like an outdoor barbecue with some good German food and beer with friends and family.

German Recipes on Amazon


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    • profile image

      Naresh 4 years ago

      totally agree!! I work and go to school, so we are a very busy hosheuold. I would not have time to add cloth diaper washing to my daily activities (unless I want to spend no time with my daughter NOPE not going to happen at this time). Plus, my mom watches her for us when we're at work and I'm at school as well, and I know that she can't do the work of cloth diapers. My plan is to continue with my beloved Pampers as long as possible and if it comes down to it, I'll check out some of the natural brands of disposables. I'm glad that there are people who have the time and patience to use cloth diapers, I wish I could be one of them! But at this time in life and diapering, we rely heavily on disposables. Let's try not to judge each other, though for the choices like these that some of us are forced to make for the sake of our sanity and busy schedules! We moms are our own worst enemies when it comes to judging each other for our choices like these. Breastfeeding vs. Bottle, Cloth vs. Disposables: let's not judge someone because they chose a different path than we did or COULD. We're all moms and we all want to do everything we CAN to do right by our kids and if that includes having to use disposables instead of cloth, just say okay and not judge lest ye be judged!!!

    • profile image

      Lila 4 years ago

      Shadowfever by Karen Marie Moning. It has it all, the fey (good and bad), love, deception, vacegenne, and mystery (wow will you ever have so many questions from a book!). Thanks for the chance to win!

    • profile image

      Senou 4 years ago

      Creamed spinach? I mean yes, you suhlod always have veggies for meals. But we can definately do without the butter, cream, cheese, and all the other unhealthy deliciousness hahaha. That whole side prob worth as much cals as the main dish!

    • profile image

      vera 8 years ago

      is vegetable broth basically vegetable stock?

    • sheristeele profile image

      sheristeele 8 years ago from Siler City, NC

      I love German potato salad and I do not have a decent recipe for it, so I will try this one! THANKS

    • profile image

      TonyP 8 years ago

      I tried this last night and it was terrific. I made some modifications based on another recipe I was reading at the time and it seemed to work. 1) I added a good teaspoon of sugar with the vinegar & oil. 2) I added some sugar snap peas cut off the ends and sliced into 1/4 inch peices (about 1/2 cup), in a small pot with some water I blanched them for 20 seconds so they were tender but still crisp. 3) I added 1/2 tsp of dried dill

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 10 years ago from Georgia

      Very cool. Can't wait to see what you're looks like.

    • Stacie Naczelnik profile image

      Stacie Naczelnik 10 years ago from Seattle

      The second picture isn't super accurate. When I make it, I'll update that.

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 10 years ago from Georgia

      Ah. Ok. the cheese grater is what confused us. Ours doesn't have the slice option. Ha.

      Should it look like the second picture you have? Ours definitely looked different. Mostly because my mom made chunks, not slices.

    • Stacie Naczelnik profile image

      Stacie Naczelnik 10 years ago from Seattle

      Do you mean the picture of the potato slices? -Yes.

      Step 5: you want to slice the potato, not chop or grate it. Many cheese graters have a "slice" option, it is usually one wide blade. Again, I'll update this with a photo of what I mean (now that I have time to cook again).

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 10 years ago from Georgia

      Stacie, for future reference though. Can you explain step 5. And is it supposed to look like the picture you have?

    • Stacie Naczelnik profile image

      Stacie Naczelnik 10 years ago from Seattle

      Let me know if it tastes better as leftovers. It is one of those dishes that gets better with time, so by the second or third day, it is much tastier.

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 10 years ago from Georgia

      I would. We still have some leftovers that we'll finish up tonight. I will admit I didn't like the oilly taste; even though there wasn't much oil in the recipe, I could taste it. But, I would eat it again.

      I do have a question though. Is it supposed to be more chunky or a little mashed, like the picture. We really didn't understand step 5, so we just did chunky.

    • Stacie Naczelnik profile image

      Stacie Naczelnik 10 years ago from Seattle

      Whitney, there is one that uses sugar...I don't know. I thought about you making it last night because my uncle made it for my grandparents yesterday. Would you eat it again? That's how I gauge recipes, whether I would make it again or not.

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 10 years ago from Georgia

      We tried it. It was ok. Better than regular potato salad, in my opinin. My grandmother kept going on about how there's 2 different types of german potato salad- a spicey one and a regular one. Ha.

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 10 years ago from Georgia

      Stacie, I wanted to let you know, we're trying this recipe this weekend. I'll let you know how it goes. But, we'll be eating it with turkey burgers (for me) and hamburgers (for my parents)

    • Mary Tinkler profile image

      Mary Tinkler 10 years ago from Gresham

      I was raised in Wisconsin and recall the old German ladies laying out incredible feasts for wedding and Christenings etc in the church dining hall. I've been looking for a decent recipe for German potato salad. I think I might try to substitute turkey or veggie bacon. I do remember the bacon in this dish...not a lot.

      Hey, thanks for the recipe!

    • profile image

      Amery 10 years ago

      Mmmmm. This recipe reminds me of my mother's German Potato Salad. I will have to give yours a try and see whether it is the same in more than appearance. ;) Thanks, Stacie

    • Angela Harris profile image

      Angela Harris 10 years ago from Around the USA

      I sooo want to try this. I have made so-called German potato salad before, but it wasn't similar to this. Can't wait to make it. Thanks- I love authentic ethnic recipes!

    • JerseyGirl profile image

      JerseyGirl 10 years ago from Jersey Shore

      Stacie - a big YUM! This is great. I do something similar and use celery seeds as a garnish. Yours is better that mine! Thanks,

    • Stacie Naczelnik profile image

      Stacie Naczelnik 10 years ago from Seattle

      Let me know what you think, monitor.

    • monitor profile image

      monitor 10 years ago from The world.

      Healthy and yummy. I can't stand Mayo but I will give this potatoe salad a try. Thanks.

    • Stacie Naczelnik profile image

      Stacie Naczelnik 10 years ago from Seattle

      Thanks Steph. I never really liked the mayo based potato salad, but this one is great!

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 10 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Oh my gosh - this sounds terrific. Much better than the mayo-based, eggy salad that I was used to. I will definitely try this. Time to bookmark this page...


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