Southern German Potato Salad (Schwäbische Kartoffelsalat)

German potato salad

The Spruce / Elaine Lemm

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 50 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Yields: 4 bowls
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
191 Calories
0g Fat
42g Carbs
6g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 191
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 245mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate 42g 15%
Dietary Fiber 5g 18%
Protein 6g
Calcium 37mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This southern German recipe for potato salad—which uses broth, vinegar, onions, and mustard for flavoring—is a pleasant change to the one more often made using mayonnaise. The warm cooked potatoes are marinated in the beef broth is what adds a distinctive and rich flavor.

The salad can be served lukewarm enlivening the taste, but it tastes even better the next day, having had time to develop. If not eating immediately, don't forget to refrigerate!


  • 4 medium unpeeled potatoes (about 2 pounds)
  • 1 cup beef broth (or vegetable or chicken)
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar (or white vinegar)
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon prepared mustard
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 1/4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • Garnish: chives

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Scrub the potatoes as these will be cooked whole in their skins.

    Gather the ingredients German Salad
     Elaine Lemm
  2. Place whole potatoes in a large pan, add cold water to almost cover, bring to a boil, and cook until just tender checking frequently to avoid overcooking, about 20 to 30 minutes.

    German potato salad
    Elaine Lemm
  3. Drain the potatoes and rinse with cold water. Using a sharp knife peel while they are still warm, the skin will comes away very easily and sometimes can simply gently rub off. Use a knife (or a mandolin with care) to slice 1/8-inch thick.

  4. Place the potatoes in a bowl. Pour the broth over the warm potatoes and mix gently. Let sit for 5 minutes.

    German Potato sald add the broth
     Elaine Lemm
  5. In a second bowl, whisk together the vinegar, oil, sugar, mustard, finely chopped onion, and pepper to make a vinaigrette.

    German potato salad vinaigrette
     Elaine Lemm
  6. Drain any broth not soaked up by the potatoes from the then pour the vinaigrette over and mix gently. The potatoes will start to crumble a bit, but that is expected. Allow the potatoes to marinate for 20 minutes before serving. Serve lukewarm or at room temperature. Refrigerate leftovers for the next day when they taste even better.

    German potato salad
     Elaine Lemm


  • Waxy potatoes hold their shape better, but starchy potatoes soak up more broth and flavor. We make the salad using Yukon Gold potatoes, which is in between waxy and starchy.
  • The potatoes will fall apart a little when you stir and this is okay. The starch will help thicken the vinaigrette. To keep the potatoes more intact, stir only briefly and watch the cooking time. Remove the potatoes the moment they are done (you can pierce them easily to the core, but there is slight resistance). If they are splitting or crumbling already when you drain them, you may want to use them for mashed potatoes instead.
  • Chives are traditional for this salad, but they can be hard to come by in the winter. Feel free to leave them out.