Kartoffelsalat (German Potato Salad)

German Potato Salad

August 19: National Potato Day

Wilkommen (Welcome) to HI Cookery’s guest chef, Lisa L., our German-American friend who currently lives in Northern Germany (two hours’ drive west of Berlin). Islander traveled to Deutschland a few years ago to be Lisa’s matron of honor and make an American-style wedding cake. What an adventure it was trying to convert measurements and read German cooking directions on packages. But Islander thoroughly enjoyed the experience of sharing the kitchen space with other non-English speaking frauen (women) from the village who were helping with the preparations for the wedding!

When Lisa recently came back to visit her American homeland, she cooked a whole German meal for her friends and family. Her menu included jägerschnitzel (fried breaded pork cutlets) with mushroom gravy, bratwurst (sausages), spätzle (egg noodles), rhubarber-schneemousse torte (rhubarb meringue cake) and kartoffelsalat (potato salad). Planning ahead for a blog recipe post on National Potato Day, Islander chronicled Lisa’s preparation of a traditional German potato salad from a generational recipe shared by a fellow frau in her village. Viel spaß damit und guten appetit (have fun and enjoy your meal)!


(Adapted from Kerstin P.)


  • 8 large potatoes (3-4 pounds or 1.5-2 kilograms)
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ – 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 package of cooked real bacon pieces (we have used Hormel and Oscar Mayer brands)
  • 1 cup sunflower or vegetable oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • chopped fresh parsley or chives to garnish (optional)


Wash and scrub the potatoes. Fill a large pot of water enough to cover all of the potatoes. Cover the pot and boil until the potatoes are cooked through (about 15-20 minutes). Drain, cool and peel the potatoes. Cut them into small chunks and place in a large mixing bowl.  Set aside. Combine onions, sugar, vinegar and water in a skillet and heat for about five minutes. Pour this liquid mixture into the bowl of potatoes.

German Potato Salad

Toss in the bacon pieces. Add the oil and mix well. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover the bowl and refrigerate to allow the liquid to be absorbed and the flavors to blend with the potatoes. Garnish with parsley or chives before serving.

German Potato Salad


  • National Potato Day is also celebrated on October 27. Search our blog for more posts on potato recipes.
  • Unlike American potato salad, the German version does not contain mayonnaise as an ingredient.
  • See our blog recipe post for wienerschnitzel cooked by our friendly guest chef, Lisa L., for National Wienerschnitzel Day on September 9.