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Authentic German Potato Salad

This authentic German potato salad recipe came from Speck’s Restaurant, which was a famous eating establishment in St. Louis from the 1920s through the ‘50s. I ate lunch there almost every day and always ordered the potato salad. When the owner learned I was getting married, he gave me the recipe as a wedding gift! —Violette Klevorn, Washington, Missouri
  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 min. + cooling Cook: 20 min.
  • Makes
    8 servings


  • 3 pounds medium red potatoes
  • 5 bacon strips, diced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1-1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley


  • Place potatoes in a Dutch oven; cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes or until tender. Drain and cool.
  • In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp; using a slotted spoon, remove to paper towels. Drain, reserving 4 tablespoons drippings. In the drippings, saute onion until tender.
  • Stir in the flour, salt, celery seed and pepper until blended. Gradually add the sugar, vinegar and water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.
  • Cut potatoes into 1/4-in. slices. Add potatoes and bacon to the skillet; cook and stir gently over low heat until heated through. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve warm.

Test Kitchen Tips
  • I buy several pounds of bacon when it’s on sale. I put the strips in a single layer on jelly roll pans and pop them in the oven to bake at 350° until crisp. I then place the strips on paper towels to drain before storing them in single layers in a freezer container. It’s easy to remove only the number of strips I need for a quick breakfast, sandwich or salad. A short time in the microwave reheats the bacon. —Dale H. Holland, MI
  • Celery seed is a classic addition to seafood dishes, slaws and pickles. The seeds are herbaceous, crunchy and slightly bitter. They come from a type of flavorful Asian celery.
  • Check out our 10 best potato salad recipes.
  • Nutrition Facts
    3/4 cup: 349 calories, 8g fat (3g saturated fat), 9mg cholesterol, 706mg sodium, 65g carbohydrate (35g sugars, 3g fiber), 5g protein.


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    Average Rating:
    • catoo
      Jul 4, 2020

      This is the original recipe We loved it.

    • nannaboo
      Jul 3, 2020

      Agree, needs less sugar 1/3 to 1/2 at the most. Easy to make. Husbands favorite.

    • Nancy
      Jun 18, 2020

      I was looking for a recipe without sugar since Jason and I do not regularly eat sugar but like German potato salad.

    • Karen
      May 15, 2020

      Hey, you DO all realize that there is more than one kind of German Potato Salad, right? every region's is different...some with bacon, some made with sour cream, some with just broth, some with cucumbers, some with pickles....there is not just one! I have two different versions, I make, my mom's friend's version from München, and my Oma's version from The Sudetenland. they are as different from each other as potato salads can get! But both are VERY good, it rather depends on what your main entree is! Guten Appetit~!

    • Susan
      May 15, 2020

      I think the amount of sugar is being misread. It is not 1 and 1/4 cups. It think it was meaning to say quantity (1) amount ( 1/4 ) therefore written 1-1/4.

    • Kardendia
      Jan 8, 2020

      Don't waste resources making this. It is horrible. My husband

    • Don
      Nov 13, 2019

      I come from a very German background and that recipe is close, but the sauce is way too thin!

    • Patty
      Oct 7, 2019

      I'm making it right now, but already my hubby is loving the smell. I think it is really wonderful sharing the recipe, and what an awesome restaurant owner to give you a great gift like that!!! God Bless him. The best gift ever!

    • Carl_in_OH
      Aug 11, 2019

      I used a similar recipe designed for Crock Pot. Wow. Mine used 1/4 cup of sugar and 1/4 cup of cider vinegar. Next time I'll use white vinegar and my red potatoes were full of eyes :-)

    • Barbara A
      Jul 10, 2019

      I have used this same recipe since 1967. the only difference is 1/4 cup sugar and chopped celery instead of celery seed.