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German Potato Salad

Courtesy of Chef Oonagh Williams of Gluten Free Cooking with Oonagh

Makes 6-8 servings. 

Serve this hearty German potato salad to Dad for Father’s Day (and add even more bacon if you want to make him happy). I like this version, but your taste for sugar and vinegar could be different to mine, so experiment. I like the crunch of raw celery, or you can also try adding raw apple just before serving for a similar crunch. I use a grain mustard and fresh herbs for visual appearance. Growing up, I always had homemade potato salad (didn’t we all). It had cooked, warm potatoes with fresh oil and vinaigrette poured over them so that the warm potatoes soaked up the dressing quicker. No mayo. One of my retired students insisted that it had to be served hot the way his mother did, but I make it both ways.


  • 2 lbs. (about 4 large) red potatoes, nasty bits cut off, peel left on for color and fiber, quartered lengthwise and cut into ½” slices (Smaller pieces cook more quickly and absorb more vinaigrette.)
  • 6 slices center cut gf bacon (I use Jones or Oscar Meyer, but cut into small slices.  Remember to only buy bacon labeled gluten-free, as bacon comes under USDA and doesn’t have to follow FDA labeling guidelines.)
  • 1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. (30 ml.) oil, if needed
  • 2 stalks/ribs of celery, washed, quartered lengthwise and cut into thin slices
  • 3 Tbsp. (45 ml.) sugar
  • ¼ cup (60 ml.) water
  • ⅓ cup (80 ml.) real apple cider vinegar (Some vinegars are distilled from ethanol, but they are definitely not apple cider or wine vinegar. You can also tell what is real by the difference in price.)
  • 2 Tbsp. (30 ml.) gluten-free grainy Dijon
  • ½ tsp. (3 ml.) salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • Leaves from celery, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Green of 4 green/spring onions, finely scissored


  1. Cook potatoes in chicken stock until tender. This is far quicker with small slices, rather than chunks, so watch the pot. You don’t want them disintegrating into mashed potatoes.
  2. While potatoes are cooking, start cooking bacon over gentle heat in 4 cup (1 liter) pan, so it gives up its fat. Add onions (and some olive oil if necessary) and cook over gentle heat until onions are tender and starting to brown without bacon or onions burning.
  3. Add vinegar, water, sugar, salt, pepper and mustard. Stir well, bring to a boil and then simmer for 2-3 minutes. Fumes from vinegar do take your breath away.
  4. Drain potatoes and put into an 8 cup (2 liter) bowl. Pour over dressing while both are still hot.
  5. Gently stir in celery and fresh herbs.
  6. If serving now, cover and let sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes, so flavors blend. If serving tomorrow, refrigerate overnight, then allow to come to room temp (or zap in microwave) to warm.
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