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

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The Author

Hello, my name is Connie Veneracion. I cook, I shoot, I write. But I don't do the laundry. I don't like housekeeping very much either... (more about me)

6 Responses

  1. jas says:

    It’s one of my favorite dishes while living in Germany… try boil the whole potato. then peel and cut into slices… they tend to use the spring scallions (Schnittlauch) more often than parsley.
    BTW I always enjoy your writing… thanks.

  2. Speisekarte says:

    Looks good. What kind of vinegar and bratwurst did you use?

  3. natzsm says:

    Ms. Connie,

    How I wish I could freeze or find a way to store potatoes (for salad use) now that they are relatively cheap (only 30 pesos per kilo). The price sky rockets come December making for a very expensive potato salad!

    I remember last year, pumatol pa rin ako even if it was 100+ per kilo because my Dad always requests we have it on our Christmas menu.

  4. Sailaja says:

    Potatoes are available all through the year at very reasonable prices in our part of the world in India. Nice salad recipe. I will have to substitute schublig and bratwurst (as its not available in the regular store I go to) with chicken sausages. Like you mentioned, this salad will taste best while still warm.