German Style Potato Salad – Rheinischer Kartoffelsalat

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German Potato Salad: A Savory, Creamy Twist on a Classic Comfort Food

Rheinischer Kartoffelsalat, or  Potato Salad, is a traditional German dish that holds a special place in my heart. Growing up in Germany, I was lucky enough to experience the rich culinary culture of the Rhineland region, where this delicious potato salad is a staple at many family gatherings and social events.

The ingredients for Rheinischer Kartoffelsalat are simple but the dish is packed with flavor. It starts with boiled potatoes, sliced and mixed with chopped onions and hard boiled eggs, vinegar, and mayonnaise. To give it a little extra kick, diced pickles, a sprinkle of sugar and sometimes diced bologna sausage are added to the mix. The final touch is a generous handful of chopped fresh herbs, usually parsley or chives, which gives the salad a burst of freshness.

One of the things I love most about Rheinischer Kartoffelsalat is its versatility. It can be served as a side dish with grilled meats, as a light lunch on its own, or even as a snack throughout the day. The combination of the tangy pickles, eggs, and the creamy potatoes makes for a dish that is both hearty and refreshing.

This potato salad has also become a special dish for me personally, as it reminds me of family gatherings and happy times spent with loved ones. Whether it was a summer barbecue or a winter holiday celebration, Rheinischer Kartoffelsalat was always there, bringing people together around the table and creating memories that I will always cherish.

As I moved away from Germany and started my own family, I have continued to make Rheinischer Kartoffelsalat a regular part of our meals. It’s a dish that has a special place in my heart, and one that I hope to pass down to future generations in my family.

Regional Variations of Potato Salad

This classic German Potato Salad is the one I grew up on. It’s the recipe my Grandma originally made. It’s my families favorite salad when we are having friends over and doing a BBQ in the summer.

You will find different types of Potato Salads in Germany depending on regional differences. For example, this potato salad is creamy but the Swabian potato salad is more vinegary. Some German potato salads are served warm while others are served chilled.

In conclusion, Rheinischer Kartoffelsalat is more than just a potato salad to me. It represents a rich culinary heritage and a connection to my past, as well as a way to bring people together and create new memories. If you haven’t tried it yet, I highly recommend giving it a chance – you just might find a new favorite dish.

Ingredients for German Potato Salad

  • The best potatoes to use for potato salad are Red Potatoes or Yukon Gold
  • Mayonnaise is the base for my potato salad dressings. Some people use Miracle Whip in their dressing, but I like it classic with mayonnaise. If you want a lighter dressing substitute half of the mayonnaise with the equal amount of sour cream or Greek Yoghurt
  • I season my potato salad dressing with dill pickle juice. If you need more acidity, you can add white wine vinegar. And if necessary season the dressing with salt and pepper. You can add some yellow mustard to the dressing for little bit of extra tang.
  • Some German recipes add 1/2 cup of 1/4 inch diced Bologna Sausage (Fleischwurst) to their  Potato Salad. I know it sounds a little bit weird to Americans, but we Germans love it.
  • Chopped fresh dill weed or parsley adds extra flavor.


For the best results, make this potato salad in advance and let it chill in the fridge. A few hours is sufficient, but overnight is best. The flavor will continue to develop. The Potato Salad can be stored in the fridge for 3-5 days in an airtight container.

My German Potato Salad recipe goes very well with Wiener Sausages, bratwurst or my German Meat patties recipe or with the Best German Schnitzel.

German Potato Salad
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German Potato Salad - Rheinischer Kartoffelsalat

German Potato Salad with Mayo
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Chill Time30 minutes
Total Time35 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: German
Keyword: Potato Salad
Servings: 6
Calories: 446kcal


  • 2 lb. Red Potatoes cooked and peeled, or another waxy potato
  • 1 cup Mayonnaise
  • ½ cup Dill Pickle Juice
  • cup Dill Pickles finely chopped
  • 1 Yellow Onion finely chopped
  • 4 Egg hard boiled
  • Salt & Pepper
  • White Wine Vinegar optional


  • Add the potatoes to a large pot of cold water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a lightly rolling boil over medium heat and add 1 teaspoon of kosher salt. Cook for 20-25 minutes or until the potatoes are easily pierced with a fork or paring knife. Drain and set aside until cool enough to handle.
    2 lb. Red Potatoes
  • Peel the skins from the potatoes and cut into 1/2" to 3/4" square pieces. Transfer the warm potatoes to a large mixing bowl. Set the potatoes aside to cool, about 30 minutes.
  • Mix mayonnaise and enough pickle juice to get a nice creamy potato salad dressing.
    1 cup Mayonnaise, ½ cup Dill Pickle Juice
  • Finely chop the dill pickles and onion and add to the potato dressing. Roughly chop the hard boiled eggs and add to the potato salad dressing. Taste the dressing and season with salt and pepper if needed. If the dressing needs some more acidity, add a little bit of white wine vinegar.
    ⅓ cup Dill Pickles, 1 Yellow Onion, Salt & Pepper, 4 Egg
  • Add the dressing to the potatoes and carefully mix together. Season to taste.


  • Some German recipes add 1/2 cup of 1/4 inch diced Bologna Sausage (Fleischwurst) to their  Potato Salad.
  • Adding extra fresh dill weed or parsley adds extra flavor.
  • Depending on the 'dryness' of the potatoes, you may need more dressing. Just mix extra as you need it.
  • In Germany Potato Salad is served with Wiener Sausages, especially if you are skipping the Bologna Sausage
  • If you want a healthier dressing substitute half of the mayonnaise with the equal amount of sour cream.


Calories: 446kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 17g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 125mg | Sodium: 694mg | Potassium: 802mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 29255IU | Vitamin C: 31mg | Calcium: 85mg | Iron: 2mg

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