Try this zesty, mayonnaise free German potato salad made with white and purple potatoes, bacon, pickles and dressed with chive vinaigrette! A huge crowd pleaser at summer picnics and BBQs.
This salad goes well with our ultimate Homemade Burger!
The potato salad I grew up eating was loaded with mayonnaise and lots of other stuff. I loved it then and I still do! However, when summer comes around I crave variety. And this German cousin is just as good or even better if you are not a fan of mayo.
Dressed with a zesty chive vinaigrette, it packs a little punch, especially when paired with pickles. It’s satisfying yet not too heavy. Absolutely perfect for summer meals.
It pairs well with grilled meat, sausages, bratwurst, you name it! I had a very similar salad in a restaurant in Berlin, served on a side of a veal schnitzel. Can you see the versatility of it?!
Bavarian Potato Salad
There are 3 main types of potato salad in Germany. The one I am sharing today is from Bavaria. I stayed true to the basic recipe of waxy potatoes, bacon, pickles and chives but omitted beef broth in the dressing.
Instead I made a classic vinaigrette with an addition of chives. Another change I introduced is purple potatoes. I thought their sweetness would play nicely with the tart flavours of pickles and vinegar and I was right. The balance was perfect!
Purple potatoes are only now becoming mainstream in the West but they have been used in the Asia for ages. I first learned about their existence during my year in the Philippines more than 2 decades ago, where they are known as “ube”, and are used extensively but mostly in sweet treats!
If you are a fan of orange sweet potatoes, you will fall in love with the purple ones as well. Gorgeous colour, sweet taste, and firmer than sweet potatoes texture make them very suitable for a potato salad.
Recipe Tips and Notes
- First of all, this potato salad need some time to sit in the fridge for the dressing to do its magic. Let the flavour meld for at least 2-3 hours before serving.
- Secondly, used the right type of spud! You will need waxy potatoes for a salad. They hold their shape so much better and have a pleasing sweet taste as opposed to starchy/floury potatoes.
- I used new potatoes, which are always waxy as starch doesn’t have time to develop yet but mature red potatoes are also great in salads.
- I prefer cooking the potatoes for salads in my Instant Pot. I find it faster and the potatoes always come out perfect. It takes only 5 minutes at high pressure for baby potatoes and thin purple potatoes, which I used.
- Potatoes are traditionally peeled, then sliced in thick rounds in German potato salads.
- I used dill mini pickles also called cornichons. You can use regular pickles but I would steer clear of the sweet bread and butter ones for this recipe.
- Finally, use German mustard in the dressing if you can source it. Otherwise, you can use wholegrain mustard or Dijon mustard like I did.
Favourite Potato Salad Recipes:
- Dill Potato Salad
- Fingerling Potato Salad with Green Goddess Dressing
- Spinach Pesto Potato Salad with Bacon
- Russian Potato Salad Oliver
German Potato Salad with Bacon and Chive Vinaigrette
- 1 lbs baby potatoes waxy
- 3 purple potatoes optional
- 5-6 strips bacon streaky
- 7-8 baby pickles(gherkins)
- 10g/1/4 cup fresh chopped chives
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1 tsp whole grain mustard
- ½ tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp sugar
- 4-5 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- Cook white and purple potatoes unpeeled, then cool them and peel. I prefer cooking my potatoes in Instant Pot for 5 minutes at High Pressure but you can simply boil them, which will take 10 minutes.
- Fry the bacon and put on two sheets of paper towel to absorb extra grease, then transfer to a cutting board and chop.
- Slice both white and purple potatoes in thick rounds, slice the pickles and combine in a large bowl. Add the chopped bacon.
- Make the dressing by mixing together the white wine vinegar, both mustards, sugar and the olive oil. Stir in chopped chives and pour the dressing over the salad, mix and salt to taste.Refrigerate for the flavours to meld for at least 1 hour. Serve cold.