Swabian Potato Salad
Potatoes, Salads, Sides, Swabian, Vegetables, Vegetarian

German Potato Salad Swabian style (‘Schwäbischer Kartoffelsalat’)

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Last Updated on 4 years by Tim

I’ve seen tons of different recipes for German potato salad across the web. However, most of the stuff that is being published has very little to do with the real deal.

German potato salad is an extremely simple and minimalistic dish whereas a lot of recipes on the web tend to include stuff like bacon or celery. For all my life, I’ve never eaten any potato salad that had bacon in it.

I got to admit that even in Germany there’s not the one and only way to make authentic potato salad. Instead, there are two basic variations: The North German potato salad which is dressed with a mayonnaise-based vinaigrette and the South German potato salad which is marinated with a beef broth vinaigrette.

Today’s recipe will teach you how to make my preferred version: The South German (Swabian) potato salad.

Chose the right potatoes for German potato salad

Stick with waxy potatoes for this dish. You want them to remain firm in their cooked state because nobody likes mushy potato salad. Cook them skin-on. This will ensure that your potatoes stay dry in the center so that they can soak up more of the vinaigrette when dressed.

New Potatoes

It’s important to peel your potatoes while still hot. That way the skin will be much easier to peel off. And most important: Warm potatoes soak up more vinaigrette. Always dress this salad warm and let it cool before serving.

For the vinaigrette, sweat the shallot in neutral vegetable oil before adding the beef broth, sugar, vinegar, mustard, pepper, and salt. It’s best to use homemade beef broth for this dish. Stick with a neutral vegetable oil such as canola or safflower oil as you don’t want to overpower the flavor of the broth with olive oil.

Give your salad time to marinate

Once you’ve poured the hot broth over the warm potato slices your salad is almost ready to eat. It can be eaten warm, however, I prefer to let the salad marinate for a few hours in the fridge before serving.

Before serving, you should always add in a little more oil to give the salad some gloss. The final sprinkling of chives is totally optional. It makes for a prettier presentation and their oniony flavor goes exceptionally well with the marinated potatoes.


  1. A Swabian friend told me that you always eat the potato salad warm – unlike other German regions where you usually eat cold potato salat.
    Otherwise a good recipe.

    • Thanks a lot for your comment! Yes, Swabian potato salad can be eaten warm. However, it is commonly eaten cold too. I think the main difference to the Northern-style potato salad is the acidic vinaigrette. There should never be mayonnaise in a Swabian potato salad. Tim

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  4. My Swabian grandmother was famous for her warm potato salad. It always had bacon. Applause from grateful family occurred when she’d bring out the bowl. The church I grew up in was full of Swäbische Einwanderer. Church suppers always included large bowls of warm potato salad. With bacon.

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