German Potato Salad

A tangy potato salad with DIY pickled red onions–perfect with brats or as part of a plant-based feast!

If you’ve been following this blog for awhile (all three of you), you may recall that your family spent the summer of 2017 in¬†Germany, mostly in Cologne. That summer was one of the most memorable times in my entire life. To this day, my husband and I talk and think about it all. the. time. and in many ways it feels like it was just yesterday.

One of our favorite parts of the whole experience–especially for my husband–was the frequency with which we visited Biergartens. (Who wouldn’t like eating brats and drinking great beer in an open-air green space? There’s truly nothing like it in the U.S.)

We both remember one particular meal with special fondness. My husband’s friend and his wife, who live in Munich, treated us to a *s p e c t a c u l a r* home-cooked, authentically German meal, which they brought in a series of large picnic baskets to the English Garden. We ate that meal over the course of probably 90 minutes, there was SO much food. Jessie, our hostess, created a flight of salads, veggies, meats, and breads I’ll never forget. Among them was, of course, a German potato salad.

Fast-forward to summer 2021. My husband’s and my 17th wedding anniversary was in July, and I’ll confess, I always struggle to land on the right gift for him. I mean, technically, the official gift for a 17th anniversary is furniture, but our house is pretty well-equipped and I wasn’t about to surprise him with a new end table or cabinet (unless maybe it’s this cow-shaped cabinet, because, come on, that’s just badass).

Somehow, though, I landed on the idea of recreating the Munich meal Jessie had made for us four years ago. I hauled out the photo album to look back at the pictures we took of that meal and, to the best of my ability, made the same brats, German beer (thanks, Total Wine!), and salads, including a zesty tomato-onion mixture and…this¬†German potato salad!

I’m so glad this inspiration struck! This potato salad turned out tangy, savory, and the perfect accompaniment to bratwurst. (On the other hand, it’s totally vegan, so you could also make it as a part of a plant-based feast.) My husband was thrilled to have an edible reminder of the good times we enjoyed in the English Garden years ago–so I’d call it an anniversary win.

If you’re looking for a German potato salad that’s simple to make and doesn’t come with a dairy-based sauce, this is it. Despite being free of animal products, I thought this side had a smoky, almost meaty flavor. It lasted in our fridge for days on end, and we enjoyed it not only alongside bratwurst, but several other meals, both plant- and animal-based.

What will you make it with?

Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

German Potato Salad

A tangy dressing and pickled red onions give this potato salad bite!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Servings: 12

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs. baby gold potatoes
  • 4 tsp. salt, divided
  • 2/3 c. vegetable oil
  • 6 Tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 large red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 c. chopped fresh parsley

Instructions

  • Place the potatoes in a large pot and cover with water by about 1 inch. Add 2 tsp. salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the vegetable oil, rice vinegar, sugar, paprika, black pepper, and remaining 2 tsp. salt. Stir in the sliced red onions and parsley and let sit at least 10 minutes.
  • Slice the potatoes in half or into quarters, depending on their size. (You want bite-sized pieces.) Add the sliced potatoes to the bowl with your dressing and onions and stir gently to coat.
  • Refrigerate for several hours or overnight for best flavor.

Notes

Adapted from Once Upon a Chef.

4 thoughts on “German Potato Salad

  1. 5 stars
    I do love me a good German potato salad! Definitely gonna make this for my German friend, Heidi.

    And that cow-shaped cabinet is hilarious! And sooo affordable at a mere $5,500 plus shipping.

  2. OMG! I made this awesome German Potato Salad. I use 4 large potatoes, 1/2 the salt (kosher) and 1/2 the sugar, olive oil instead and cut-up Spinach and Arugula instead of the parsley. So quick! So simple! And an awesome delicious taste! Thank you! I have shared your receipt!

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