Learn how to make this German Potato Salad (Rhineland Style). Easy to make and perfect all year round, this recipe features potatoes, hard-boiled eggs, pickles, and mayo.
There is no one German Potato Salad.
German Potato Salad Style is common outside Germany, and every country from Eastern Europe to the US has a version of it.
If you look through my blog, you will find a few potato salad recipes that you might like to try. They are perfect not only for the summer but in the winter as well. Some of them are light, and some of them are hearty, but all of them are super delicious.
Germany has many recipes for potato salad, but there are three specific recipes from three regions of the country that are worth mentioning in this article.
- Potato salad from Rhineland- This recipe features mayonnaise, among other ingredients, and it is closer to the American version. I will share it with you today.
- Potato salad from the Schwabian region, which is in the southwestern part of Germany, or more precisely, Baden-Württemberg. This recipe features a dressing made with beef stock and vinegar, garlic, and onion. There is no mayonnaise involved, and the potatoes have to sit in the beef stock and vinegar for about two hours to absorb the liquid.
- Potato Salad from Bavaria. This recipe doesn't use mayo either but uses a dressing made with vinegar, oil, broth, and mustard. Bacon is also part of the salad.
As you can see, German potato salad is versatile and loved by everyone.
However, today, I will share with you a recipe from my stepmother, who lives in southwest Germany. She is originally from the Rhineland region and proudly wanted to share her grandmother's Rheinischer Kartoffelsalat recipe with me. If you think that this recipe is new, think again, please. My stepmom is 96 years old! :- )
Let's learn how to make this recipe that is close to my heart and so loved in the family. While my stepmom cannot cook anymore, she used to be a legend among her friends, who would specifically ask for her recipe at every gathering.
What kind of potatoes are good for this salad?
I see many potato salad recipes, and everybody has an opinion about what kind of potato is best to use. In my opinion, you should use whatever you have available, but do not listen to me.
I grew up poor, and potato salad was made with any potatoes we had available. We did not have the luxury of choosing.
However, if you want to follow a professional opinion from some of the best chefs out there, aka Julia Child or Jacques Pepin, they say this:
“The best potatoes for salad are the firm-textured, low-starch “waxy” varieties, which hold their shape well, such as boiling potatoes, small new potatoes, or delicate fingerlings. All-purpose potatoes with waxy flesh, such as the versatile Yukon Gold, are particularly delicious.
Whatever kind you use, dress the potatoes while they are still warm so that they best absorb the flavors, and gently fold in all the dressing and seasoning ingredients in one or two additions only, so the potato pieces don’t get mashed from overhandling.”Source: Julia And Jacques- Cooking at home
Julia knew how Germans like to make their potato salad, as most recipes are dressed while the potatoes are still warm.
Note: This is just a visual shopping list for you. For the entire list of ingredients and amounts, please scroll to the bottom of the article for a printable recipe card.
How to make this delicious potato salad
Note: For more detailed information, please refer to the recipe card at the bottom of this article. The following instructions are to help you visualize how the recipe is made.
Step 1. Potatoes.
Boil the potatoes until a fork goes through them but they are still firm. Peel them while still warm and slice them.
Step 2. Beef stock.
Pour beef stock or chicken stock over the potatoes. Allow them to cool for at least two hours or overnight.
My stepmom, the specialist in this salad, told me she always did this step a day before she put the salad together.
I assume the potatoes take their sweet time to absorb the flavors from the beef stock and become more delicious. This might be the secret to why this salad was a winner at any party.
Step 3. Chop and dice the rest of the ingredients.
Boil the eggs, peel, and chop them. Dice pickles, onions, and parsley if you use fresh.
Note: If you do not have fresh parsley, use dried parsley and add it to the dressing.
Step 4. Make the dressing.
Use a smaller bowl to mix mayo, mustard, salt, pepper, paprika, and optionally the dried parsley if you don't use fresh.
Step 5. Pour the dressing over the rest of the ingredients.
Mix to combine and serve chilled.
How to store this salad
This salad is good for up to 4 days if you store it in an airtight container in the fridge. I would not freeze it, as mayo and eggs are famous for changing their texture when thawed. Who likes a gummy salad, anyway?
If the salad sits for multiple hours at room temperature or outside in the sun, please throw it away, do not refrigerate it. Nobody loves food poisoning, and mayo is a very perishable ingredient.
More potato salad recipes
German Potato Salad (Rhineland Style)
- 2 pounds potatoes
- ½ cup chicken/beef broth
- 6 large eggs boiled
- 4 pickles
- 1-2 large green onions or a small white onion)
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon mustard
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley or a bunch of chopped fresh parsley
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon sweet paprika
- Wash the potatoes and place them in a large pot. Cover them with water and bring them to a boil. Boil the potatoes until a fork goes through them, but they are still firm. Remove from the water and peel them while still warm.
- Cut the potatoes into slices about ⅛ inch thick. Pour hot chicken/beef stock(or vegetable stock) over the potatoes. Allow them to cool for at least two hours or overnight.
- Boil the eggs, peel, and chop them. Also, dice the pickles, onion, and parsley if you use a fresh one.
- In a large salad bowl, place the potatoes, add the onions, eggs, and fresh parsley if you use it.
- In a small bowl, stir together mayo, mustard, salt, pepper, paprika, and optionally dried parsley if you did not use a fresh one.
- Pour this dressing over the rest of the ingredients and mix gently until all are combined.
- Serve chilled.
- What kind of potatoes to use: waxy potatoes (see more in the article)
- Fresh parsley or dried parsley? Use what you have available. The original recipe calls for fresh parsley, but dried parsley is also accepted.
- Beef stock- choose a flavorful one. You can also use chicken or vegetable stock.
- What kind of mustard is good? Grainy mustard is preferred. Otherwise, regular mustard is good too.
- Pickles - Gherkins are the preferred ones.