Kartoffelsalat – German Potato Salad Swabian Style

December 2, 2019 (Last Updated: August 13, 2020) - As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Kartoffelsalat is a hearty, flavorful, and traditional potato salad that is a perfect side dish for any meal, holiday, or potluck. Dijon flavors come together with a shot of vinegar, onion, and bacon to make a special dish that can be served either hot or cold. Give this Kartoffelsalat, or German Potato Salad, a try!

Kartoffelsalat in a bowl with a fork in one piece of a potato.

Kartoffelsalat – German Potato Salad Summary

This really is a simple dish that consists of only a few simple steps. While there is a lot of tradition and history in a recipe like this, it doesn’t need to be hard or difficult to make. First, you simmer some potatoes until they are tender. Then, you mix together all the other ingredients in preparation to combine the potatoes. Once the potatoes are done, you let them cook for a bit, cut them into bite-size pieces, and then mix them with the sauce. While this can be served hot, I like it better as a cooled dish, so I put it in the fridge for at least an hour, but preferably overnight. Then, when ready to serve, top with chopped chives and bacon bits.

What Makes this a Swabian Dish vs Other German Potato Salad

First, Swabia is a region in southern Germany that has a unique culture and food way. It is the origin of dishes like Spatzle and Knoephla. Potato salad from southern Germany is often different from Northern Germany, as mayonnaise is not used. Instead, a traditional Swabian potato salad often consists of dijon mustard, vinegar, salt, pepper, onions, and bacon. This Kartoffelsalat dish is exactly that.

Dijon Mustard

There are many different brands of Dijon mustard and if you don’t have a brand that you are partial to, I would suggest just going to the condiment aisle of your local grocery store and pick something that looks good! This is one of the more prominent flavors of this potato salad, so your selection will guide the final flavor of this traditional side dish.

Do I Need To Use Yukon Gold Potatoes?

No. Yukon Gold Potatoes were created by man in the 1960s (in Canada), so there is nothing that really explicitly ties this to the traditional origins of this potato salad. I do think, however, it is a great potato and works great for this Kartoffelsalat recipe. They are but more expensive than a Russet potato, but it might be worth it since the potato is really a star of this dish.

Cooking Your Own Bacon Bits

I feel that bacon adds a savory element to this dish that really completes it. Making your own bacon bits is no big deal! Cook up your bacon in your favorite way, but make sure they are crispy, and allow them to cool on a paper towel-lined plate. When it is time to serve, just chop them up. My preferred method is to preheat my oven to 400 and cook on the middle rack for about 17 minutes. Then, I put the bacon on a plate already covered with paper towels and allow to cool for a bit. Then, chop and use however you need.

Let This Potato Salad Cool in the Fridge

This dish can be served warm, but I prefer served as a cold potato salad. Skip this step if you want to serve it hot. I feel the flavors really get to mingle if they are allowed to hang out for a while in the refrigerator… an hour or two at a minimum, but the salad really starts to come together if you let it sit overnight. Don’t add the chives or bacon until you are ready to serve.

Kartoffelsalat Process Pictures

 German Potato Salad Process Shots 1-3.

  1. Mixing all of the wet ingredients with the sugar while the potatoes are simmering.
  2. Cutting all of the cooked potatoes. I choose to use skin-on potatoes, but I say do what seems right to you
  3. Gently tossing the cooked and chopped potatoes with the sauce to make the final Krartoffelsalat.

Kartoffelsalat Tips Summary

  • I recommend Yukon Gold Potatoes, but any potato should work.
  • Dijon Mustard is a flavor driving ingredient, so choose one that you really like.
  • Allow the potatoes to cool a bit before you cut and mix.
  • This dish can be served hot or cold, but I prefer cold the best. Do what you like.

Two bowls of our German Potato Salad on a white background.

Products I Used in this Recipe

Did You Make This German Potato Salad?

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Kartoffelsalat – German Potato Salad Swabian Style

Kartoffelsalat in a white bowl with a fork in one piece of the potato salad

An easy to make traditional German Potato Salad. This Kartoffelsalat is a dijon and vinegar side dish that is perfect for a potluck, the holidays, or some nummy at-home comfort food.

  • Author: Ben Myhre
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Simmer
  • Cuisine: German


  • 2 Pounds Yukon potatoes, medium rinsed off
  • 1 Tablespoon White Sugar
  • 1/4 beef cup broth
  • 2 Tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 Tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup diced white or yellow onion
  • 4 slices of bacon cut into bacon bits
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped chives


  1. [OPTIONAL] Peel potatoes
  2. Simmer potatoes in salted water for 25 minutes or until tender enough to easily put fork through
  3. Add all wet ingredients and sugar  to large bowl and whisk
  4. Add diced onions
  5. Drain potatoes
  6. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes
  7. Cut into 1 inch sections
  8. Mix into wet ingredients
  9. Gently Toss potatoes so well mixed into liquid
  10. Place in fridge, covered, and allow to cool for at least one hour, but preferably over night
  11. When ready to serve, top with bacon and chives


  • Serving Size: 1/4 dish
  • Calories: 298
  • Sugar: 5 g
  • Sodium: 598 mg
  • Fat: 11 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2 g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 7 g
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 44 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Protein: 7 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Keywords: Kartoffelsalat

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  • Reply
    Jaida ~ Sweet Beginnings
    December 7, 2019 at 3:46 pm

    I’ve never been a big fan of mayo-based potato salad, but a mustard and vinegar base I can definitely get behind! This sounds perfect!

    • Reply
      December 7, 2019 at 7:55 pm

      It is tasty and tangy!

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