German Potato Salad with Kielbasa is a well-balanced dish that combines tender baby red potatoes with slices of kielbasa, crispy thick-cut bacon, and a zesty and flavorful dressing. Freshly chopped parsley adds a burst of vibrant color and a touch of freshness to this classic German-inspired dish. And, it can be served warm or at room temperature. I also have a Roasted Potato Salad that you will love!
What Is German Potato Salad?
German potato salad is typically made from boiled potatoes that are sliced or cubed and then dressed with a warm and slightly tangy, mustard-based vinaigrette-like dressing. It is different from American potato salads, which are generally made with a mayonnaise-based dressing. In this recipe, I added kielbasa to the German potato salad to enhance the flavor and add more protein to the dish.
Ingredients & Substitutions
Potatoes: Look for waxy potatoes like the baby red potatoes I used in the recipe. Yukon gold potatoes are also a popular choice for German potato salads.
Kielbasa: For added protein to the salad, I added kielbasa. Kielbasa (sometimes also called ring sausage) is a flavorful, lightly smoked sausage that is pre-cooked. (Since the sausage is pre-cooked, you could skip the step of browning the kielbasa if preferred.) You could also use Andouille sausage, Mexican Chorizo, or other sausages as substitutes.
Bacon: Bacon is a common ingredient in many variations of German potato salad. The bacon is cooked until crispy, then chopped or crumbled and added to the salad. Leave the bacon grease in the pan to cook the onion.
Onion: The diced yellow onion adds a sweet and pungent flavor to the dressing. When diced, it distributes its flavor evenly throughout the salad.
Apple Cider Vinegar: Apple cider vinegar contributes a tangy and slightly fruity acidity to the dressing. It helps balance the sweetness and adds a pleasant zing to the salad.
Sugar: Granulated sugar is used to add sweetness to the dressing, creating a harmonious contrast with the vinegar’s tanginess. The sugar also helps round out the flavors.
Mustard: Dijon mustard, with its sharp and pungent flavor, adds depth and complexity to the dressing. The coarse ground variety provides a bit of texture. You could use regular Dijon mustard as well.
Can I Make This Without Kielbasa?
Absolutely! If you prefer, simply leave out the kielbasa for a delicious salad. Then, it could be more of a side dish than a main meal.
Can I Make German Potato Salad Ahead Of Time?
Sure! You can get parts of the recipe prepared in advance to save time when putting it all together. You can brown the kielbasa and store it in an airtight container overnight. In addition, you can cook the bacon a few days in advance. If making the bacon ahead of time, be sure to reserve the bacon grease as well. Bacon grease is a key component when making the dressing. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use in the recipe.
How To Store German Potato Salad With Kielbasa
If you have any leftovers of German potato salad, first, let it come to room temperature. (The salad should not be left out at room temperature for more than 2 hours.) Then, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will last up to 2-3 days. When ready to serve, reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop.
German Potato Salad With Kielbasa
- 2 pounds baby red potatoes, rinsed, halved
- 1 ring (13.5 ounces) kielbasa, sliced into ¼-inch slices
- 8 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- ⅓ cup (80 g) apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon coarse ground mustard
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
- To a large pot of salted water, add potatoes. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cook the potatoes for 10-15 minutes, or until fork tender. While the potatoes are cooking, get started on the rest of the recipe.
- When the potatoes are done cooking, drain the water and place the potatoes in a large bowl. Cover to keep the potatoes warm while you finish with the recipe.
- In a medium non-stick pan over medium heat, add the kielbasa. Brown on each side, 3-4 minutes per side. Remove the kielbasa from the skillet and place on a plate. Set aside.
- To the same skillet over medium heat, add bacon. Cook for 9-11 minutes, or until crispy. Transfer the bacon to the same plate as the kielbasa leaving the bacon grease in the skillet.
- To the pan with the bacon grease, add the onion. Cook for 3-4 minutes, or until the onion is softened.
- Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- Remove the pan from the heat. Add the vinegar, sugar, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine. Pour the mixture over the potatoes, gently tossing to coat.
- To the bowl of potatoes, add the kielbasa, bacon, and parsley. Gently mix together. Serve warm or at room temperature.
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What the Test Kitchen had to say about this recipe:
YUM! These German Potatoes are absolutely delicious! I honestly can't believe I have never tried them before today. I've been missing out!
This might be my new favorite potato salad! Yum! I could not stop eating this one…Perfect for Oktoberfest!
You can never go wrong with some potatoes, savory kielbasa, and bacon! I really enjoy the dressing since it has that vinegary and tangy kick!
So delicious! The balance of the tangy vinaigrette with the dense, soft potatoes is so good! I would definitely recommend this!
I LOVE this. I am not a fan of traditional potato salad but the bacon vinaigrette on this one with kielbasa is absolutely amazing. I could eat the whole bowl!
Absolute perfection. Lovely balanced bacon vinaigrette. I loved the addition of the kielbasa! Would make a great, quick lunch as well!