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Bacon-Filled Hot German Potato Salad (Kartoffelsalat mit Speck)

This hot German potato salad recipe is totally the BEST summer side dish. Guests will flip for the tangy apple cider vinegar & grainy mustard dressing, along with the crispy fried bacon bits. Serve it hot, warm, or even cold at your next cookout!

german potato salad with bacon in a wooden bowl with a blue rim
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Smithfield®. The opinions and text are all mine.

Hot German Potato Salad

School’s out, soccer tryouts are in the books (successfully, yay!), and we’ve got one more day to go in our community garage sale — and then I am D-O-N-E, DONE.

It’s been a hectic few weeks, but I’m looking forward to hauling everything that doesn’t sell to the donate drop-off, followed by a cookout with friends to celebrate the start of summer!

LOW KEY is the theme for this gathering, because frankly, I have zero bandwidth for anything else at this point. We’re talking grilled brats, my family favorite German potato salad recipe, and maybe I’ll ask my girls to make some of these simple individual veggie cups that are always a BIG hit.

Beyond that, I’ll pick up some beer and, perhaps, a pound cake and fresh berries for dessert and call it a day.

smithfield yuengling bratwurst sausages to pair with hot german potato salad

Grilled Smithfield Brats + Yuengling Lager

The key to keeping a simple menu fresh and exciting is always in the details. Along with the German potato salad ingredients, we opted to pick up several packages of Smithfield Yuengling Traditional Lager Bratwurst sausages and buns. And of course, we also grabbed several 6-packs of Yuengling Traditional Lager to pair with them…

I mean, they go hand-in-hand, right? Each Smithfield brat is made with premium cuts of pork and a special blend of sweet and savory spices, then infused with real Yuengling Traditional Lager. A cold bottle of Yuengling lager to wash them down is practically a requirement.

I especially love these brats because you can forget about boiling them in beer before grilling them. Toss these babies right on the grill, and they come out juicy and flavorful every time!

Wanna try them for yourself? Smithfield Yuengling bratwurst sausages are available at your local Kroger. I always find them in the freezer case, but be sure to check the meat case as well. And if all else fails, the butcher counter always knows where they’re at.

authentic recipe for german potato salad in a wooden bowl with wood servings utensils

Authentic German Potato Salad Recipe With Bacon

Now let’s switch gears to the recipe for German potato salad I mentioned. You’re definitely going to want to try this amazing side dish!

What is German potato salad? Oh, boy, if you’ve never had an authentic German potato salad, you are in for a TREAT… It’s very different kind of potato salad compared to the creamy potato salads you’re probably used to.

Known as Kartoffelsalat in German (or as my Hungarian great-grandmother would have called it, Krumplisaláta), it’s basically a fried potato salad. Hot red potatoes are tossed with a warm vinegar-based dressing that’s both sweet and tangy, thanks to a combination of apple cider vinegar, a little bit of sugar, and some coarse Dijon mustard.

Oh, and did I mention it’s filled with BACON?! Because it IS — lots and lots of crispy fried bacon pieces. PLUS the bacon fat is incorporated into the tangy dressing, as well. How can you go wrong with a bacon-filled warm potato salad recipe?

And if the smoky bacon wasn’t enough to get your attention, maybe learning just how easy my recipe for German potato salad is to make will…

german potato salad with bacon in a wooden serving bowl

How To Make German Potato Salad

Let’s start with the fact that you don’t even need to peel the potatoes! For best results, I like to use small red potatoes in this recipe. These thin-skinned waxy potatoes can be cooked whole or quartered in the case of larger ones.

Simply boil the potatoes until tender in just enough water to cover them (or steam them in your Instant Pot!). Then drain them in a colander. Allow the boiled potatoes sit until they’ve cooled just enough that you can handle slicing them into bite size chunks without burning your fingers off.

The luscious warm bacon dressing can be prepared in a large skillet while the potatoes are cooking. It’s simply a mixture of fried diced bacon, diced yellow onions cooked in the remaining bacon grease, some apple cider vinegar, sugar, coarse Dijon mustard, and salt and pepper.

Finally, the cooked still warm potatoes get tossed with the hot bacon dressing. This helps the tender red potatoes soak up all of the zingy flavor from the tangy vinegar dressing. Add in a healthy handful of chopped fresh parsley for subtle bright flavor and a pop of color, and it’s ready to serve!

warm german potato salad with crispy bacon bits in a wooden serving bowl

Hot Cold Or Warm German Potato Salad?

There’s a bit of debate over whether the best German potato salad should be served hot, warm, or cold… Traditionally, German potato salad recipes are served hot or warm. But I say go with whatever works for YOU!

Freshly prepared German hot potato salad is totally amazing. But it’s often not practical to keep it hot at a gathering. If you have access to an outlet, a crock pot set on warm does the trick well. Though if not, no worries!

This potato salad is still super tasty warm, room temperature, or even cold. And since German-style potato salad is a vinegar-based potato salad without mayo in it, you don’t need to worry about spoilage in the summer heat! You know, like you do with a traditional American potato salad.

recipe german potato salad in a wooden bowl served with smithfield yuengling bratwurst sausages and lager

What To Serve With Bratwurst Sausages

If you’ve never been sure what to serve with bratwurst sausages at your cookouts, I can wholeheartedly recommend this easy German potato salad recipe. And I highly suggest doubling it, because it definitely WILL NOT LAST.

The combination of warm German potato salad and Smithfield Yuengling bratwursts, paired with the subtle sweet caramel flavor of an icy cold Yuengling lager, will knock your next cookout out of the park. Prost!

P.S. Don’t for one second think that this recipe for German potato salad is only good as a summer side. It’s a perfect side dish to make year round! We serve it with this pork and sauerkraut recipe every year on New Year’s Day and AND pretty much all year long…

german potato salad recipe with bacon in a wooden serving bowl garnished with fresh parsley

Bacon-Filled Hot German Potato Salad

Yield: 10 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

This hot German potato salad recipe is totally the BEST summer side dish. Guests will flip for the tangy apple cider vinegar & coarse Dijon mustard dressing, along with the crispy fried bacon bits. Serve it hot, warm, or even cold at your next cookout!


  • 2.5-lbs. medium red potatoes, quartered
  • 1 tablespoon salt, divided
  • 1/2-lb. bacon, diced
  • 1 heaping cup diced onion
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon coarse Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley


  1. Place the quartered potatoes in a large pot and fill with enough cold water to just cover them.* Add 2 teaspoons of salt, and bring to a boil. Cook until easily pierced by a fork, about 12-15 minutes. Drain the hot potatoes and set aside to cool slightly. When they are still warm but can be easily handled, cut into small pieces.
  2. While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the bacon vinaigrette. Place the diced bacon in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Cook bacon until browned and crisp. With a slotted spoon, remove the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels and set aside. Leave the bacon drippings in the frying pan.
  3. Add the diced onions to the pan, and cook over medium heat until they turn translucent and start to brown. Add the vinegar, sugar, Dijon mustard, remaining 1 teaspoon of salt, and pepper to the sautéed onions. Bring to a boil.
  4. Add the bite size potato chunks and bacon to the pan, and toss to coat. Turn off the heat and and fold in the chopped parsley.
  5. Transfer to a serving dish and serve hot (but warm and cold are fine, too).


*Instant Pot German Potato Salad

This recipe for German potato salad can also be made in your Instant Pot. Place the trivet in the bottom of the Instant Pot insert and dump in the quartered red potatoes. Pour in 1.5 cups of water, and pressure cook on high for 10 minutes. Do a 5-minute NPR, and then vent any remaining steam.

After the potatoes are done cooking, you can make the warm dressing on the stovetop. Or set the Instant Pot to sauté and pick up with Step 2 to prepare the warm bacon dressing in the insert.

Storage: leftover German potato salad can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 231Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 22mgSodium: 1073mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 3gSugar: 5gProtein: 11g

Have you tried this recipe?

Leave a comment below and share a photo on Instagram. Tag it @unsophisticook and hashtag it #unsophisticook!

smithfield yuengling bratwurst sausages from kroger to serve with German potato salad

Find Smithfield Yuengling Bratwurst Sausages

You can purchase Smithfield Yuengling Bratwurst at your local Kroger. Be sure to follow @SmithfieldBrand and @YuenglingBeer for more ideas to #grilloutchillout this summer!

If you like this traditional German potato salad, you might also enjoy these other cookout side dish recipes:

Did you make this recipe?
Tag @unsophisticook on Instagram and hashtag it #unsophisticook.


Saturday 7th of October 2023

I made this today and it is almost exactly like my mom's recipe that we ate more than 60 years ago. When I saw your recipe, my mouth started watering and it is so delicious! Thank you for reminding me, Tara.

Tara Kuczykowski

Monday 9th of October 2023

Aww, I love hearing this!!


Tuesday 4th of October 2022

Fabulous! Tangy and flavorful. Perfect new take on potatoes for me. Loved it!!!!

Tara Kuczykowski

Wednesday 5th of October 2022

So happy you loved it, Amber!


Sunday 13th of February 2022

I made this German Potato Salad it's one of the best I've ever tasted looks great and taste even better

Tara Kuczykowski

Sunday 13th of February 2022

Thank you, Thomas -- very happy that you loved it so much!


Sunday 26th of September 2021

Diced onions green or white

Tara Kuczykowski

Sunday 26th of September 2021

Regular yellow or white onion!


Sunday 20th of June 2021

Made this for Father’s Day. I usually make traditional egg/Mayo potato salad. However, this is so easy and delicious. I did use white wine vinegar in place of apple cider vinegar though. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

Tara Kuczykowski

Sunday 20th of June 2021

So happy you loved it, Ronda!

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