The Coolest Potato Salad Is Hot

Yes, the coolest potato salad at a Labor Day picnic this weekend is hot. Hot? Yes. Perhaps you've heard of Hot German Potato Salad? Right. Me too, but I haven't had one that I liked. Either too sweet or too tangy, this type of hot potato salad has left me cold.

Recently my husband pleaded for a German Potato Salad. Well, I am a sucker for delivering whatever this sweet man asks for, so I did my research. Without too much time on the internet, I discovered that potato salad is a German invention and that there is a cold version (like what we're used to in the U.S.) and a hot version. Today, I'd like to share with you my version of the hot version!

Because I like a balance of flavors in my forkful of food, and because I love contrasting textures, I developed my riff on a theme of the traditional German Hot Potato Salad. I call it German-Style Hot Potato Salad, to be sure that no one thinks of my version as an authentic recipe. My recipe has a few vegetables thrown in at the end for crunch and freshness. I hope you like it as much and Dewey and I do.

I present to you, Despina's German-Style Hot Potato Salad. If you are so inclined, this weekend you may want to try it out at your Labor Day picnic, cookout or pool party. Let me know how it goes.

For a printable version of this recipe, click here.

German-Style Hot Potato Salad
4 lbs potatoes (Yukon Gold, Red Bliss or new potatoes)* cut into ¼” thick slices
1 T salt
12 oz bacon cut into small pieces
1 cup chopped parsley
1 cup shaved (or thinly sliced) red onion
1 cup shaved (or thinly sliced) celery
Dressing Ingredients:
½ cup (about) of the bacon fat rendered in pre-cooking the bacon
2/3 cup apple cider vinegar
6 T sugar
2 T Dijon mustard
5 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped

Wash and scrub the potatoes, then slice into ¼” thick slices. Yes, you will leave the skin on.
In a boiling pot of water, stir in the salt and follow with the sliced potatoes. Bring to a boil and cook until they are soft but still firm enough to hold their shape. Drain.
While the potatoes are cooking, fry the bacon pieces to a crispy golden brown and remove to paper towels to drain excess fat.
Slice the onion and celery, chop the garlic and parsley.
Into the hot bacon fat, whisk in the sugar and mustard and allow to cook for about 30 seconds. Whisk in the vinegar and cook until the sugar has dissolved. Stir in the garlic. Continue to cook until dressing has thickened (about 2-3 minutes).
Put the potatoes in a large bowl, and toss gently with bacon pieces, parsley, onion and celery. Adjust with additional salt and pepper if needed. Pour the hot dressing over everything and toss lightly to distribute the dressing evenly.

*You may use any potatoes, but the ones I prefer are waxier and less starchy, making them better to use in a potato salad. The starchy ones break down more easily and release too much starch, making the salad a bit “gloppy.”


  1. Now I'm wondering if thinly sliced radishes would make a nice addition to this mix. Hmmmm...


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