Authentic German Potato Salad

Total Time

Prep: 30 min. + cooling Cook: 20 min.


8 servings

Updated: Jun. 30, 2023
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


  • 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


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
German Potato Salad Tips

What is the difference between American and German potato salad?

The differences between American and German potato salad lie in their ingredients and how they're served. Traditional American potato salads use mayo as a base, whereas German potato salads use vinegar and bacon drippings. Because American potato salads use mayo, they are usually served cold. German potato salads, like this one, are served warm.

What does German potato salad go with?

This German potato salad recipe goes with many grilled dishes. Pair it with a fabulous grilled chicken recipe or grilled pork recipe. Or try it alongside one of our favorite Oktoberfest recipes. Prost!

How long does German potato salad last in the refrigerator?

If you (somehow) have leftovers of this tasty German potato salad recipe, don't worry! German potato salad typically lasts for about 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator. We recommend storing it in an airtight container to keep it as fresh as the first day.

Can you make this German potato salad recipe ahead of time?

If you can make this German potato salad recipe a day ahead of time, you'll find that its flavors will blend nicely and the salad will taste that much better. To reheat, place into a large skillet and stir gently over low heat until heated through. Add a little water if you’d like the salad to be looser.

Christina Herbst, Taste of Home Assistant Digital Editor and Maggie Knoebel, Taste of Home Culinary Assistant

Nutrition Facts

3/4 cup: 349 calories, 8g fat (3g saturated fat), 9mg cholesterol, 706mg sodium, 65g carbohydrate (35g sugars, 3g fiber), 5g protein.