Try this Bayrischer Kartoffelsalat (Bavarian Potato Salad) with cucumber for a quick, easy, and healthy meal. This authentic German potato salad is a wonderful side dish to serve for dinner, alongside your barbecues in summer, or accompany your meals during the holidays!
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about Bavarian Potato Salad
The Free State of Bavaria is located in the South-East of Germany. The German word for Bavaria is Bayern (im sure most you who watch football can relate to the name of the team Bayern München, which is located in Munich - the capital of the same region). Okay, back to food.
Germany is well known for it's delicious potato salads and as you can guess, there are hundreds of different German potato salad recipes, handed down from family to family.
Most American versions of German potato salad are quite different, as they use unpeeled potatoes, and tend to have way more sugar. Bavarian potato salad (also known as Bayerischer Kartoffelsalat in German), differentiates itself by the simplicity of its ingredients.
Let us now dive in on what these are, and how to make it:-
This is a summary of the ingredients you will need to make this recipe, as well as possible substitutions. You will find the detailed measurements, as well as the step-by-step instructions in the recipe card below.
- 1kg potatoes - here, you want to use firm-cooking, waxy potatoes. Charlotte, Maris Peer Jersey Royals, Bintje, Asterix, Viktoria, Maria, Annabelle, and Red Potatoes (Chieftain, Norland) are good varieties to use. For those of you that are here in Germany, you probably have a bigger variety to choose from; my personal favorites are the Pink Fir Apple (Rosa Tannenzapfen) and Sieglinde. Yukon Gold which is a semi-waxy and semi-starchy variety, is also perfectly fine to use.
- seasoning - some salt to boil the potatoes and a little more to make the dressing, as well as black pepper, to taste.
- one medium-sized onion - dice the onion finely, if possible. You can read about the different types of knife cuts, here. Those of you who prefer a milder flavor can use shallots, in place of the onion.
- condiments - cooking oil, white wine vinegar, yellow mustard and sugar.
- cucumber - you will need an English, or any similar cucumber.
- broth - here, you can choose to use a vegetable-based broth (Gemüsebrühe), or a meat-based broth (Fleischbrühe).
- some apple juice.
- garnish (optional) - if you prefer, add some chopped chives, parsley or even radish, for the optics as well a little depth in flavor.
Related recipes: Looking to try more German recipes? Then how about making our Wirsing (German Savoy Cabbage), Kalterhund (German no-bake chocolate cake), and Selleriesalat (German Celery Root Salad), next!
how to make Bavarian potato salad
- Dice onion, slice cucumber and boil the potatoes in salted water. Arrange cucumber on a plate, sprinkle salt and allow it to release water.
- Drain potatoes and let them slightly cool. Peel while still warm, slice them, and add them to a bowl. Drain excess water from the cucumber, and add the cucumbers to the potatoes.
- Make the dressing (vinaigrette) by combining fried onions, broth, vinegar, apple juice, mustard, sugar, salt, and pepper.
- Pour the dressing on the potatoes while still warm, then mix in the cooking oil.
- Garnish the potato salad with chives and serve warm or allow to chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving (best for flavour)!!
💡Useful Tip: the potatoes will soak in the broth so you want to make sure you have enough broth. Seeing that it is sometimes difficult to guess how much broth you will require, start with 250ml of broth per 1kg of potatoes.
Remember I mentioned that this salad is the perfect side dish? Well, it is because it goes well with so many things! To start with, it is the perfect side for grilled meats!
To be honest, I cannot honestly think of any barbecue we have had or that I have attended here in Germany, that did not have potato salad as a side! Here are some other ways to enjoy this salad:-
- Enjoy it with all types of Schnitzel, from veal, pork, lamb and so much more!
- Serve it with smoked whole chicken, pork butt, smoked tri tip, or any type of smoked meat, poultry, or fish!
- Sausage - Bratwurst, Wienerwurst, or Kielbasa, just to mention a few.
- Meatloaf, including vegan and vegetarian meatloaf.
- Steamed, baked, pan-fried or Air-fried fish.
- Stuffed omelette, Beef Mince, Baked Curry Chicken Drumsticks, or some Oven Rotisserie Chicken.
These are just a few suggestions so feel free to pair it up with your favourite dishes!
refregerating and freezing
A common perception is that German potato salad should be eaten within the same day. While this is mostly true for versions that use raw onion because of the speed at which germs build up in potato salads using raw onion, this particular version uses cooked onion and will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Most importantly, you want to make sure that you are storing your potato salad in an airtight container to prevent it from developing unwanted smells and going off fast.
- Add a teaspoon of cumin seeds to the water, when boiling the potatoes.
- One of the most popular variations of this salad is the one with bacon. For this, you simply want to fry up some cubed bacon, and mix it into the salad.
- Add some chopped apple for sweetness or sliced, fresh dill for aroma.
- Bavarian potato salad should be moist, never dry. Add a splash or two of broth if your potato salad feels too dry.
- Stick a knife vertically into a boiling potato and lift pull it up again. If it stays stuck in the potato completely, the potato is too hard and needs to boil longer. If you can lift the potato briefly with the knife and then it falls back into the water the potato is done and perfect for making this salad.
- Add oil in the end, once the potatoes have had time to soak in the marinade. If you add the oil too early, it creates a film which prevents the marinade from properly penetrating the potatoes. Adding oil in the end also gives the potatoes a wonderful glow.
more world cuisine recipes
Don't just stop here! Try these other delicious recipes from around the world!
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Bavarian Potato Salad
- 1 kg potatoes (see notes).
- 2 tablespoon salt (to boil the potatoes)
- 1 medium-sized onion
- 4 tablespoon cooking oil (reserve 3 tablespoons to add to the salad)
- ½ cucumber
- 250 ml broth (use a vegetable or a meat-based broth)
- 2 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1½ tablespoon yellow mustard
- 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
- 1 tablespoon apple juice
- 1 teaspoon salt (to season the dressing)
- black pepper (to taste)
- garnish - chopped chives, parsley or garnish as preferred. (optional)
- First, peel and finely dice the onion. Clean the cucumber, scrape out the seeds, and cut it into thin slices.
- Clean the potatoes under running water then transfer them to a saucepan. Add salt and enough water to cover the potatoes, then boil them for 20-25 minutes (see notes).
- While the potatoes are cooking, arrange the sliced cucumber on a plate, sprinkle some salt on top, cover it, and allow it to release some of its water.
- Allow the potatoes to cook until done, drain the water and allow them to sit for 5-10 minutes. Next, peel the potatoes while still warm and then cut them into slices, each about ½ - 1 cm thick (approximately 0.2 - 0.4 inches). Transfer the potatoes to a bowl.
- Prepare the vinaigrette: heat a tablespoon of oil in a saucepan under low to medium heat. Add the onion, fry until translucent, add half of the broth, combine, and allow to cook for about 5 minutes, remove from the pan, then set aside. To the saucepan, add the vinegar, apple juice, mustard, sugar, salt, and pepper, then combine. (see notes).
- Drain excess water from the cucumber, then add this to the bowl with the potatoes. Pour the dressing on top of the potatoes while they are still warm, top with the cooking oil, then combine all the ingredients.
- Add the remaining broth, a little at a time, then mix.
- Garnish the salad with chopped chives or as preferred, serve it warm, or allow it to chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, before serving.
- Adding salt to the water when boiling flavors the potatoes and prevents them from falling apart during cooking.
- Stick a knife vertically into a boiling potato and pull it up again. If it stays stuck in the potato completely, the potato is too hard and needs to boil longer. If you can lift the potato briefly with the knife and then it falls back into the water the potato is done and perfect for making this salad.
- You always want to add the oil at the end, once the potatoes have had time to soak in the marinade. If you add the oil too early, it creates a film that prevents the marinade from properly penetrating the potatoes. Adding oil in the end also gives the potatoes a wonderful glow.