Grandma Frances' Wisconsin German Potato Salad


Grandma Frances' Wisconsin German Potato Salad

Once you make this German potato salad recipe, you'll never go back to regular old potato salad again!

Grandma Frances' Wisconsin German Potato Salad

For a truly amazing potato salad recipe, Grandma Frances' Wisconsin German Potato Salad is a front runner. This easy potato salad can be served warm or you can make it up in advance and serve it chilled at a party or potluck. However you serve it, this easy German potato salad is a winning dish. Crispy bacon goes great with potatoes and brings a saltiness and smoky quality that other potato salads lack. Make this super easy side dish for your next potluck or holiday party, and get ready to receive lots of compliments!

Cooking Time30 min


  • 3 pounds medium russet or red potatoes
  • 5 strips bacon, chopped
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped celery
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup apple cider or white vinegar
  • Optional garnish
  • bacon pieces
  • celery leaves


  1. Peel and cut potatoes into 1/4 inch slices. In a large pot, cover the potatoes with water and bring to a boil over high heat, lower heat to medium and cook about 20 minutes or until just fork-tender. Drain.

  2. While potatoes cook, place bacon into a large skillet and brown until crispy. Use a slotted spoon to remove bacon pieces and set aside. Pour out all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat. Over medium heat, cook onion and celery in the skillet for about 5 minutes or until they begin to turn translucent.

  3. Combine flour, sugar, salt and pepper in a small bowl and mix well. Pour over the onion/celery mixture and stir for 1 minute to cook the flour, then add the water and vinegar and continue stirring over medium low heat for about 2 minutes. It will thicken and become syrupy.

  4. Add the drained potatoes to the pan and toss gently to coat with the dressing, then add the bacon (reserving some for garnish) and toss again very gently to keep the potato slices intact.

  5. Serve while warm or at room temperature, garnished with reserved bacon pieces and some celery leaves.

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I absolutely love this recipe for Grandma Frances' Wisconsin German Potato Salad. Cooking the onions and celery adds such a different dimension to the usual potato salad. Bacon forms the base of the flavors which is always a plus, and the thickened flour and vinegar dressing is the perfect finishing touch. I often serve this as a side dish with dinner, since it can be served warm. Definitely a go to recipe for me.

I've never really known what made German potato salad German other than it coming from a traditional family era but I remember eons ago eating at a German deli and this looks pretty much identical to the what they offered...minus the bacon. Usually, I'll use some whipped avocado in my potato salad to avoid using mayo and I prefer my potatoes with the skins on but definitely not a fan of the sugar.

Yes, this sounds like a traditional recipe for German potato salad ... if there is such a thing. I used to think the one I learned from my German Mutti was the only real German recipe and it used mayonnaise. Now, though, since I've traveled through Germany, I realize that this one from Grandma Frances' is just like they make it in most of southern Germany whereas the northern Germans like theirs' with mayo. Since then, I've enjoyed this bacon non-mayo type as well. It's said that there are as many recipes for German potato salads as there are German Omas (grandmothers) and I've found that to be true. Grandma Frances' fits the bill, for sure!

I wanted to look at Grandma Frances' Wisconsin German Potato Salad to see how it differs from the American Potato Salad but when I tried to look at the ingredients, they're almost the same. When I was in the university I remember a dorm mate who brought potato salad for potluck and the salad was colored deep red. She said it was German potato salad. So I would like to assume that this recipe of grandma Frances uses russet or red potatoes to make it genuine German potato salad. We don't have red potatoes where we are so I guess my dorm mate had to use sugar beets instead to give a red color to the potato salad to make it a truly German potato salad. Oh well. Thanks for the recipe.

Nearly all the recipes I have from living in Germany contain beef broth along with the vinegar- not water and no sugar. Perhaps the deep color was not so much red as colored from beef broth or stock???

Potato salad is one of my favorite summer foods. This sounds so good!

I'm not a huge mayo fan, so I usually skip the macaroni and potato salads but this dish I would try. (especially because it has bacon in it!) I'll have to sub in GF flour though or thicken with cornstarch instead.

This makes me so nostalgic! My family makes stuff like this all the time. Think I'd skip the bacon, though.

I don't know if this will beat my grandmother's potato salad recipe, but I'm game to try it!

I usually prefer a mayo-based potato salad, but this one was surprisingly good! Plus, it was really easy to make. I'll keep this in mind for my next Octoberfest!

This would make a great side dish at a summer picnic.

I'm not much of a potato salad person, but I really enjoyed this vinegar-based salad! It was pleasantly tangy, and the bacon was the perfect addition. I would add even more bacon next time.

I enjoyed the large chunks of potato in this potato salad. The flavor was spot-on. A true classic!

I don't normally like potato salad, but this one was great! I really liked the flavor and the bacon was a nice touch.

I'm not generally a potato salad fan, but this one wasn't too overpowering, which was really nice. I could definitely see this being a great side dish for a backyard BBQ.

I really liked all of the spices used - it made the dish so much more flavorful and exciting. The bacon also added a nice chewiness. I ate it cold and would definitely serve it cold, too.

-the flavour of this recipe was delicious.- I changed the quantities of ingredients to: 1-1/2 times for the amount i needed, and i added 2 cups of brussel sprouts (cooked and quartered). I also will use less flour, or add more vinegar water to loosen it up, it was a little 'tight' for my taste. This was really good we enjoyed it very much. Thanks :)


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