German Potato Salad

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Tender potatoes tossed with bacon in a tangy dressing taste delicious alongside just about any main course. Learn how to make German Potato Salad in the Instant Pot as a side dish for your next family meal!

If you love potatoes, be sure to try our Instant Pot Potatoes recipe. Creates the perfect baked potato with a creamy center. Or give these Baked Mashed Potatoes a whirl.

German potato salad served in a white bowl.
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What is German Potato Salad?

When I mention potato salad, you probably imagine a big bowl of cooked cold potatoes tossed in mayonnaise served up on paper plates on barbecues and picnics.

German Potato Salad on the other hand contains not a singe drop of mayo. Instead, it involves plenty of bacon, the tang of dijon mustard, and a sprinkling of parsley for freshness.

You can serve German Potato Salad hot, cold or room temperature and I love it alongside all of my favorite meat dishes. It pairs wonderfully with Pork Chops, chicken, steak and turkey!

If you’re looking for a mayo free potato salad recipe or a new kind of potato side dish to serve at your next big dinner, this German Potato Salad is just the ticket!

Make it in the Instant Pot or on the stove the old-fashioned way–it’s delicious both ways.

Don’t forget Dessert! Make a batch of our German gingerbread, Lebkuchen, to complete your meal!

Ingredient Notes

German potato salad ingredients including red potatoes, vinegar, and dijon mustard.
  • Potatoes – Red potatoes or yukon gold potatoes work best due to the softer skin. No peeling required.
  • Chicken broth – Vegetable broth could be substituted.
  • Bacon – Uncooked, cut into bite sized pieces
  • Apple Cider Vinegar – Lemon juice would work as a substitute.

Step by Step Instructions

How to Make German Potato Salad with the Instant Pot:

Step by step photos showing how to make Instant Pot German Potato Salad.

STEP 1. Prep

Wash the potatoes and cut them into the bite sized pieces. Add them to the instant pot along with the chicken broth.

STEP 2. Pressure cook

Secure the lid of the Instant Pot and cook on High Pressure for 6 minutes. Quick release the pressure and drain the broth from the potatoes.

STEP 3. Cook bacon

Change the Instant Pot setting to “saute” and cook the bacon and onion until the bacon is browned. Turn off the pot, add the potatoes back in and toss.

STEP 4. Dressing

Combine vinegar, sugar and mustard in a bowl with olive oil to make a dressing. Pour the dressing over the potatoes in the instant pot and toss to coat.

Season with salt, pepper and parsley to taste.

German potato salad on a serving spoon.

How to make German Potato Salad without an Instant Pot:

After washing and cutting the potatoes, boil in water until fork-tender. Cook bacon in a skillet and drain, leaving 2 tablespoons of grease to sautee the onion.

Add the cooked potatoes to the skillet and cook with the onion until browned. Pour the dressing into the skillet and cook on low until all the ingredients are heated through. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle parsley over the salad before serving.

Tips & Tricks

  • Dice potatoes evenly. Try to make sure the potatoes are cut into even pieces as much as possible to ensure they cook at the same rate.
  • Refrigerate leftovers. Don’t leave German Potato Salad out at room temperature for more than 2 hours. This salad will keep in the fridge, covered, for up to 5 days.
  • Serve hot or cold. I prefer the taste of German Potato Salad when it’s warm, however the cold leftovers are delicious too.
German potato salad with instant pot in background.

Recipe FAQs

What kind of potatoes are best for German Potato Salad?

Red potatoes and Yukon golds are best for German Potato Salad. I like to use a combination for color variety. Avoid Russets with their thicker, tougher skin.

Can German Potato Salad be made vegetarian?

The bacon adds a ton of savory salty flavor that is hard to duplicate! But, yes, if needed you could make this suitable for vegetarians by leaving out the bacon and swapping the chicken broth for vegetable broth. Cook the onion in butter or olive oil before adding the potatoes back to the pot.

What’s the best way to reheat German Potato Salad?

Reheat German Potato salad in the microwave or by tossing it in a pot on the stove for a couple of minutes until heated through. You can also enjoy it cold or at room temperature if preferred.

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German Potato Salad

4.81 from 31 votes
By: Aimee
Tender potatoes tossed with bacon in a tangy dressing taste delicious alongside just about any main course. Learn how to make German Potato Salad in the Instant Pot as a side dish for your next family meal!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes
Servings: 6 servings


  • 1 ½ lbs Red or gold potatoes
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 6 slices of bacon cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 medium yellow onion chopped
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • Parsley for garnish
  • Salt and pepper for taste
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  • Wash potatoes and cut them into 1-inch pieces. My potatoes were small to medium, and I cut each potato half into 4-6 pieces.  
  • Add the potatoes to the Instant Pot (no trivet needed.) Pour the chicken broth over the potatoes.
  • Put the lid on the Instant Pot and set the valve to SEALING. Select the HIGH PRESSURE or MANUAL setting and set the timer for 6 minutes.  
  • Once the cook time has ended, carefully do a quick release of pressure by turning the valve to venting.
  • Open the Instant Pot and drain the liquid from potatoes by pouring them into a colander. The potatoes should be fork tender. Set the potatoes aside.
  • Select the SAUTE function and add the bacon to the Instant Pot. Stir the bacon occasionally and saute until it has browned, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the chopped onion to the bacon and saute for 1 minute, stirring constantly. The bottom of the Instant Pot will be brown from cooking the bacon and onion. This is normal.
  • Turn the Instant Pot off. Add the potatoes back into the Instant Pot and gently stir to coat them with the bacon and onion mixture. Some of the potatoes may slightly break apart.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, sugar, olive oil, water, and dijon mustard. Pour this mixture into the Instant Pot over the potatoes and gently stir to coat.  
  • Garnish with parsley and add salt and pepper to taste.


  • STORAGE: Store in the refrigerator in a covered container for up to 5 days.
  • SERVE: Can be served hot or cold (although hot is better).
  • German Potato Salad should not sit out unrefrigerated for more than 2 hours.
  • Appeals to many people because there is no mayo.
  • Compliments basically any meat dish – great with pork chops, turkey, beef or chicken.
  • Recipe tested in 6qt Instant Pot.
  • STOVE TOP INSTRUCTIONS: Dice potatoes and add to pot of water, making sure to cover potatoes. Boil (about 15 minutes) until fork tender. In a skillet, over medium heat, cook bacon. Drain all but 2 Tbsp of bacon grease. Add onion, cook 2-3 minutes. Add cooked potatoes to skillet, tossing to coat. Cook over medium heat until potatoes brown. In a small bowl, whisk the vinegar, sugar, olive oil, water, and dijon together and pour over potatoes in skillet. Reduce heat to low and cook until heated through. Garnish with parsley, salt and pepper.


Calories: 207kcal, Carbohydrates: 21g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 11g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g, Cholesterol: 12mg, Sodium: 352mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 5g
Course: Side Dishes
Cuisine: German
Did you make this recipe?Mention @shugarysweets or tag #shugarysweets!

Skip the mayo and try this delicious German Potato Salad instead! Served warm or cold, it’s an easy kid-approved side dish for any occasion.

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About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

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Posted on December 28, 2020

Comments & Reviews

  1. 4 stars
    I just made this. It was very easy and it is tasty but I find it too sweet. Next time, I’ll cut the sugar down. Thank you for the recipe!

  2. Great recipe! Reminds me of the German Potato Salad my Mom would make for us as kids. Definitely a keeper recipe – saved it with my favorites.

  3. Any tips on making it in an 8qt pot? Instant Pot suggests 1.5-2 cups of liquid… would I need to add more potatoes?

  4. If I made this on a Sunday morning and just left it in the instant pot on warm until a Sunday afternoon dinner would it be over cooked? Would it be better to just reheat in the microwave?

  5. I lived in Germany for about 10 years. My friend from Berlin made a version of this without mustard but extra sour with vinegar. She used little dill pickle and some of the dill pickle juice and let it sit in the vinegar dressing overnight. She added mayonnaise just before serving her individually. She made this in New Year’s eve. It’s perfect the next day for soaking up the alcohol still in your bloodstream and settling a queasy stomach. I put hard-boiled eggs in mine because I found the extra protein also be be helpful.

    I had other friends who fixed a similar dish serving it straight from the skillet still warm. Usually with fried red cabbage and wurst. My take away on German potato salad is that it is much more flavorful than American and adaptable to both hot and cold. I eat it both with and without MiracleWhip (not real mayonnaise).

4.81 from 31 votes (29 ratings without comment)

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