German Potato Salad

In this German potato salad, the typical American mayo dressing is replaced with pickled onions and a tangy vinaigrette. It is ridiculously good!

Servings: 8
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 30 Minutes
Total Time: 40 Minutes, plus 4 hours chilling time


  • 3½ pounds baby gold or red bliss potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons salt, divided
  • ⅔ cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, plus more for serving
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium red onion, halved and very thinly sliced
  • ½ cup chopped parsley, plus more for serving


  1. Place the potatoes in a large saucepan and fill the pan with enough cold water so that it covers the potatoes by about 1 inch. Add one tablespoon of salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Continue cooking until the potatoes are just tender when pierced with a knife, 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the oil, rice vinegar, sugar, remaining tablespoon salt (I know that sounds like a lot; feel free to add less and season to taste at the end but keep in mind that potatoes require a lot of salt), pepper, smoked paprika, red onion and parsley. Stir to combine. Set aside, stirring occasionally and allowing the onions to marinate and pickle in the dressing while the potatoes cook.
  3. Drain the potatoes in a colander. While they are still hot (as hot as you can handle), cut them bite-size into halves, thirds, or quarters, depending on the size, and place in the bowl with the dressing. Using a large rubber spatula, toss the potatoes with the dressing, being careful not to break up the potatoes too much. Cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally until the potatoes soak up all the vinaigrette. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight. When ready to serve, bring the potato salad to a cool room temperature. Stir well, then taste and adjust seasoning with more salt, pepper, or sugar, if necessary. Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle with smoked paprika and parsley.
  4. Potato salad should be left out for no more than two hours (or one hour if the temperature is above 90 degrees). Leftovers should be promptly refrigerated.
  5. Make Ahead: This potato salad can be made and stored in a covered container in the refrigerator up to 3 days ahead of time.

Nutrition Information

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  • Serving size: 1 cup
  • Calories: 355
  • Fat: 21 g
  • Saturated fat: 1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 38 g
  • Sugar: 4 g
  • Fiber: 5 g
  • Protein: 4 g
  • Sodium: 591 mg
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Gluten-Free Adaptable Note

To the best of my knowledge, all of the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free or widely available in gluten-free versions. There is hidden gluten in many foods; if you're following a gluten-free diet or cooking for someone with gluten allergies, always read the labels of your ingredients to verify that they are gluten-free.