A la Kartoffelsalat (German potato salad)

What makes a potato salad German? According to some, it is the use of a vinaigrette instead of mayonnaise for the dressing. It appears, however, that this is not an absolute rule.

There is some sort of “war” going on whether traditional German potato salad should be made with mayonaise, or with vinaigrette. People of northern Germany prefer the mayo version, while in the south vinaigrette is used. Of course, there is no “right” or “wrong” answer [Germany-Insider-Facts.Com].

The potato salad in the photo was made with both vinaigrette and mayonnaise. I’ve never used so much acid in my potato salad but, surprisingly, vinegar does seem to add depth of flavor to potatoes that salt alone can’t seem to accomplish. To make the salad more hearty (it was all we had for lunch), I added slices of schublig and bratwurst that had been pan-fried in bacon fat. Unlike American-style potato salad, this German-inspired potato salad is best when served warm.



  • 4 waxy potatoes, about 600 to 700 g.
  • salt
  • 75 to 100 g. of bacon (I used pancetta), cut into matchsticks
  • 1 schublig, sliced into rings
  • 1 bratwurst, sliced into rings
  • 1 tbsp. of chopped celery
  • 1/4 c. of chopped onion
  • 2 tbsps. of chopped parsley
  • 3 to 4 heaping tbsps. (or more, if you like) of mayonnaise
  • vinaigrette

For the vinaigrette:

  • 2 tbsp. of vinegar (or lime or lemon juice)
  • 2 tbsps. of salad oil (I used olive oil)
  • 1 tsp. of grainy mustard
  • a pinch of grated garlic
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Make the vinaigrette by stirring together all the ingredients.
  2. Peel the potatoes and cut into one-inch cubes. Cook in salted boiling water just until done (DO NOT OVERCOOK). Drain. Dump into a mixing bowl. Toss with the vinaigrette and keep warm.
  3. Cook the bacon in an oil-free pan until the fat is rendered and the bacon is browned and crisp. Scoop out the bacon and transfer to a bowl.
  4. In the rendered bacon fat, fry the schublig and bratwurst until lightly browned on both sides.
  5. Add the fried sausages to the potatoes. Add the parsley, onion and celery as well. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  6. Stir in the mayonnaise, adding as much as needed to acquire the consistency that you prefer.
  7. Taste, add more salt and pepper, if needed. Let sit while you toast some bread to allow the flavors to blend together.
  8. To serve, spoon some of the salad into bowls. Sprinkle with the browned bacon. Accompany with buttered toast.

Preparation time: 15 minute(s)

Cooking time: 20 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4