German Potato Salad Recipe
Warm and Wonderful!

Our German Potato Salad Recipe has that tangy flavor and bacon to make all the difference!

From the Pennsylvania Dutch country recipe, this salad can be served warm or cold – but it’s best served warm. It combines flavors often found in potato salad, and then adding bacon, onion, pickle and a tangy sweet/sour taste in the dressing.

Serve it hot or cold? We will show you the method for serving it warm, which is what we do. But use your own judgment and do what works for you.

Not our easiest, for sure. There’s some serious prep here – but you can do a lot of the work ahead of time.

In fact, it can be completely made the day before and reheated, however if you do it this way you’ll need to reheat it in a chafing dish (not in the oven.)


This recipe will feed 50 people, if you are you are serving entrees and/or appetizers. Remember that your guests are going to eat a little over a pound of food per person for dinner.

Read about Party Food Quantities and how to plan for the right amounts.

Shopping List for 50 People:

___12 pounds medium-sized potatoes (about 35 potatoes total)

___3 pounds bacon

___2 large onion

___1 bunch scallion onion (green)

___1 small head of celery, “hearts” is fine.

___Small amount of vegetable oil spray

___1/2 cup of flour

___1 cup of mayonnaise

___1 20-ounce jar of dill pickle

___8 ounces of vinegar

___1 cup of sugar

___Small amount salt, paprika and dry mustard

___2 disposable aluminum pans 12 ¾” x 10” x 2 ½”


___2 bunches of fresh curly parsley

Procedure for German Potato Salad Recipe:

Two Days Before the Party:

Your can completely prepare this salad up to two days before your party, storing it in the fridge. If you want to serve it hot, remove from the fridge 2 hours before party time and place in a chafing dish to warm through. Don’t use an oven because the dry heat won’t work – wet heat will work, hence the chafing dish or, just serve it cold. But truth is: it’s better warm. Really better ;-)

On the Day of the Party:

Peel the potatoes, cut them into smaller pieces and keep the peeled potatoes under cold water. Add a tablespoon of vinegar to the water – this way the potatoes will keep their color.

Store them in the fridge until you’re ready.

Peel and cut the onions into ½“ size pieces.

Chop the celery into small pieces as well. Set aside.

Lay out the slices of bacon into your frying pan. Cook until crispy.

You’ll probably need to do several batches.

Save the bacon fat.

NOTE: You’ll be frying the onion and celery in the same pan with the same bacon fat, and you’ll use it for the dressing - so keep the pan on the stove with the hot fat.

As each batch of bacon is cooked, remove it from the fat and allow to cool. When the bacon is all cooked and cooling, fry the onions and celery in the hot bacon fat until they are golden brown.

When cooked, set the onions and celery aside. Again, save the bacon fat.

Drain the juice from the pickles. Chop the pickles into very small pieces. Set aside.

Cut most of the cooked bacon into small pieces and set aside. Save a couple of pieces for a garnish.

Drain the water from the potatoes that they were stored in. Add new water to the pan and cook over medium heat until soft and tender, about 30 minutes after the water starts to boil.

While the potatoes are cooking, make the Dressing:

German Potato Salad Dressing:

When the onions and celery are done frying, remove them from the pan so that only the hot bacon fat remains. Carefully add the flour, sugar and vinegar to the hot bacon fat, doing lots of stirring at the same time. Add about two cups of boiling hot water, one cup at a time. When the dressing comes to a boil, check for consistency.

Tip: Stir Stir Stir. Don’t stop – it won’t take long.

The consistency should be like regular salad dressing, ie: French or Russian as you pour it from a room-temperature bottle. If your dressing is to thin, continue stirring it and cooking it until it reduces and thickens. If it is two thick, and more boiling water. Remember too that it will get thicker as it cools.

Consistency right? Cover the dressing and remove it from heat. Set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the 1 cup of mayonnaise, 1tbsp. of pepper, 1tbsp. of salt 1tbsp. of paprika and 1tbsp. of dry mustard. Mix it all together very well. Stir this mixture into the cooked salad dressing. (This mayo trick is our secret way to keep the salad moist and nice throughout your party.)

When the potatoes are cooked, carefully drain off the hot water from the pan, keeping the warm potatoes in the pan and covered. Add the cooked celery and onion, the chopped pickle and the chopped pieces of bacon. Combine these ingredients with the potatoes, careful not to break up the potatoes too much. We want chunks, not mashed.

Now pour the salad dressing on top of the hot, cooked potatoes. Stir through the hot potatoes and vegetables, again careful not to break things up.

Taste test. Don’t add too much salt – the bacon will marinate through soon enough. If it’s too tangy, add sugar to a little boiling water, dissolve it and carefully stir it through the salad.

Equally distribute the warm potato salad between both disposable aluminum pans. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and place one or both into a chafing dish.

Presentation: Your Eyes Eat First

Ready to serve? Uncover the pans of warm salad and give them a quick, careful stir. Not warm enough? Keep covered as much as you can.


Garnish with curly parsley and a couple pieces of cooked bacon – spreading it over the salad in the aluminum pans.


As a leftover, this salad has a very limited life. It doesn’t freeze well. Refrigerate it and enjoy it for the next couple of days.

How about some more Salads?

Ready for some Dinner Party recipes?

Find an Appetizer that will go with German Potato Salad

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