Mom’s German Potato Salad

With the weather heating up, we’re spending more time outside as a family, and we are ALL absolutely loving it!  It has me thinking about grilling and making all the summer foods I’ve missed this winter.   My husband and daughter have also gotten the itch to go camping. With all this talk of camping and summer, I’ve been thinking about my mom’s German potato salad. This is a recipe that has been passed down to us through several generations.

I know what you’re probably thinking. Up until this point, I’ve blogged mostly of Italian meals. So where is this German thing coming from? Well, my mom’s family is German and my dad’s is Italian, so that makes me half German, half Italian. I grew up closely with the Italian side of my family, so that is most of what I know. There are, however, times that I’m craving one of my mom’s family recipes. This is one of them.

I can remember times when my mom would make this side dish for one of our summer gatherings of my dad’s family, and my papa would be so excited. It was a special treat for him to have something different, and he loved my mom’s cooking. This salad is great for many reasons. Like my pasta salad, it can be made ahead of time, it’ll feed a large group of people, it’s easy to make, and it’s versatile – it can be served with any summer meal. I also love to take this salad camping when we go. I make it at home ahead of time, pack it in the trailer, and go! When we’re out, we’ll scoop out what we need for the meal, reheat, and eat. Yum!

German Potato Salad

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5 large russet potatoes (about 2.5 to 3 lbs), peeled and cut into one-inch cubes

1 lb of bacon

1 chopped onion

½ cup distilled or apple cider vinegar

1 tsp salt

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½ tsp black pepper

2 TBSP sugar

3 TBSP water


Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water about 15 minutes or until fork-tender. Meanwhile, cook up the bacon in a pan on the stovetop until it’s good and crispy. Once the bacon is done, reserve about ½ cup of the grease and toss the rest of the grease. Now cook up the onions (until translucent) in the pan that the bacon was cooked in. Drain the potatoes when they’re done cooking. Crumble the bacon into the potatoes. Add the cooked onion. Stir together the vinegar, reserved bacon grease, salt, pepper, sugar, and water. Dump this dressing mixture over the potato mixture. You may want to start by only adding ½ to ¾ of the dressing. Sometimes it can be a little too much. Add more to taste, if desired. This salad can be served hot or cold, but I prefer it hot.

With the weather warming up, what are your plans for the summer? I see camping and German Potato salad in our family’s near future!


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