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German Sauerkraut and Potatoes

After living in Europe and eating LOT of tangy German style potatoes, I fell in love with German style potato salads! Since recreating dishes is my superpower, I created my own version with a warm bacon dressing! You’ll fall in love with this salad like my family did!

German Potato Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing -- Perry's Plate

Throwing salty bits of bacon and sauerkraut makes this salad more flavorful and adds some fun texture, too. It goes great with a lot of different roasted and grilled meats. I’ll give you some ideas below.

You can serve this hot or warm or even room temperature, and because it doesn’t have a mayonnaise based dressing, it’s perfect for a potluck!

What is Sauerkraut?

It’s fermented cabbage. It’s usually treated like a combination of a condiment and a side dish — like pickled vegetables.

Shelf stable sauerkraut is usually made with vinegar, but traditional sauerkraut is just cabbage and salt. You can find traditionally fermented sauerkraut in the refrigerated section of most grocery stores.

Get the fermented kind. It’s fully of gut-healthy probiotics and it tastes WAY better than shelf stable!

Have you ever made Homemade Sauerkraut? It’s easier than you think. 

And if you ever have way more than you need — make some of this German-inspired potato salad. Potatoes and sauerkraut go beautifully together!

What kind of potatoes for German Potatoes

You can use any of the three most popular kinds of white potatoes — Russets, reds, or Yukon golds.

I typically use reds for potato salads because they have a firmer texture and hold up better to stirring. And they have the least amount of starch out of the three types.

BUT. As you can see I used Russets because that’s what I had on hand that day. 

(Fresh ones out of the ground! A bonus of being in Idaho.)

So use what you want. Any of them would be delicious.

Cooking potato cubes in an Instant Pot for German Potato Salad.

German Potato Salad Ingredients

  • Thin-skinned potatoes
  • Bacon
  • Shallot
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • Honey
  • Sauerkraut
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

How to Make Warm German Potato Salad

Ok, this recipe is split into three parts — the potatoes, the warm bacon dressing, and the sauerkraut.

1. Cook the Potatoes

I like to use my Instant Pot for this. Once I realized I’d never have to boil (and strain) a giant pot of water to cook potatoes, I never looked back. I always steam/pressure cook them!

If you don’t have an Instant Pot or another type of electric pressure cooker, I included stovetop instructions in the recipe.

You can totally boil the potatoes, but if you have an Instant Pot, it’s WAY easier to steam/pressure cook them.

I included instructions for Instant Pot in the recipe notes as well as boiling them on the stove.

Pouring warm bacon dressing over cooked potatoes to make German Potato Salad.

2. Make the Bacon Dressing

What makes this German style potatoes and sauerkraut unique is the dressing — a tangy vinaigrette instead of a mayonnaise-based dressing typical to most potato salads.

Take it a step further and add some bacon. *muah*

What is warm bacon dressing?

Warm bacon dressing is a type of vinaigrette that uses warm bacon drippings as the base oil. You can try it with different kinds of vinegar — this one has apple cider vinegar.

My head exploded when I realized warm bacon dressing was a thing.

(I really love bacon.)

If you haven’t made a warm bacon dressing, you’re missing out. (You should also make this BLT Chicken Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing.)

Adding some homemade sauerkraut to the German Potato Salad.

3. Add the Sauerkraut to Potatoes

Sauerkraut might seem like an odd addition, but traditional potato salad has pickles and pickles are another pickled/fermented cousin of sauerkraut.

Try it! You’ll love all of the salty bites, and it adds more texture to the potatoes. This recipe calls for 1 cup sauerkraut, but if you want to add more, it wouldn’t be a bad idea.

Hot German Potato Salad Recipe Variations

Replace the bacon with some bulk sausage. Italian sausage or breakfast sausage would be good here. I’d use pork so you have enough drippings to make the dressing. Sliced polish sausage would also be a good choice.

Roast your potatoes or pan fry them in a skillet or air fryer to give them a little color and crispness!

Make your sauerkraut and potatoes vegetarian by sauteeing the dressing ingredients in avocado oil instead of using bacon.

German Potato Salad with Bacon & Sauerkraut is a delicious (and sun-safe!) addition to a summer potluck!

What to Serve with Sauerkraut and Potatoes

This delicious sauerkraut and potatoes side dish would be great with any of these main dishes:

Roasted Chicken

Smoked Whole Chicken or Smoked Chicken Breasts

BBQ Grilled Chicken

Instant Pot Pot Roast with Rosemary Gravy

Double Mushroom Burgers

The Best Instant Pot Pork Ribs

How to Store Potatoes and Sauerkraut Salad

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

More Easy Potato Salad Recipes

If you like this recipe, try another one of my potato salad recipes!

Instant Pot Potato Salad with Ranch

Roasted Potato Salad with Dill Scallion Vinaigrette

If you make one of my recipes, be sure to post it on social media and tag me at @perrysplate or #perrysplate so I can send you some love!

Warm German Potato Salad & Sauerkraut FAQs

What is traditionally eaten with sauerkraut?

Cold or heated sauerkraut is traditionally enjoyed with a wide range of meals. Anything from meat, to soups.

How long is leftover sauerkraut good for?

Sauerkraut can last in the refrigerator for several months.

Should sauerkraut be crunchy or soft?

Newly fermented sauerkraut will be slightly crunchy, but as it ages, sauerkraut tends to become softer.

Hot German Potatoes and Sauerkraut with Bacon Dressing

Hot German Potatoes and Sauerkraut with Bacon Dressing

Yield: Serves 4-6 as a side dish

This hot German inspired potatoes and sauerkraut salad is tossed in a bacon-y vinaigrette is the perfect comfy side dish! You'll love the smattering of briny sauerkraut throughout.


  • 2 pounds thin-skinned potatoes, scrubbed, halved, and cut into 1/4 inch slices or 1 1/2 in chunks
  • 4 ounces bacon, diced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 5 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar, plus more to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 cup sauerkraut, drained and rinsed if you find it too salty
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste


  1. Place the potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, the reduce heat and simmer for about 5-10 minutes, depending on how thick the pieces are. Cook until fork tender, reserve 1/4 cup of cooking liquid, then drain.
  2. Transfer potatoes to a large mixing bowl and cover to keep warm.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a skillet over medium heat until brown and crisp. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and transfer to the bowl with the potatoes.
  4. Discard all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease. Add the shallot to the skillet and cook over medium heat until slightly softened, about 3 minutes.
  5. Add the vinegar, oil, and honey. Bring to a boil, then pour over the potatoes and toss to coat. Add the sauerkraut.
  6. Taste and season with more vinegar, salt, and pepper, if needed. Add some of the potato cooking water if the mixture seems dry. Serve immediately.


  • FOR INSTANT POT: Put a cup of water in the bottom of your Instant Pot insert. Place a steamer basket in the bottom and add the cut potatoes. (Only use this method with 1-2 inch potato cubes.) Cook on high pressure for 8 minutes, then release the steam. Transfer the potatoes to a large bowl and resume recipe.

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Nutrition Information
Yield 6 Serving Size About 1 cup
Amount Per Serving Calories 286Total Fat 11gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 8gCholesterol 19mgSodium 592mgCarbohydrates 36gFiber 4gSugar 4gProtein 11g

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

This recipe was adapted from Recipes from the Root Cellar by Andrea Chesman.

This post may contain affiliate links. Any purchases made by using these links won’t cost you any extra and helps keep my content free. These links may be Amazon links as I am part of the Amazon Associate Program.

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Thursday 30th of December 2021

Oh, yea!!! bacon grease & vinegar, those potatoes won't have a chance. only thig, I'd sautee some onions with the bacon.

Natalie Perry

Friday 21st of January 2022

Great suggestion!

Morgana Kuhnes

Sunday 7th of June 2020

Yummy followed recipe pretty close. Sautéed carrots, celery, onion and added it to and also hard boiled eggs. Delicious

Natalie Perry

Thursday 11th of June 2020

Yum! Love that idea!


Sunday 19th of May 2019

Has anyone tried this with out honey and sweet potatoes??


Friday 16th of March 2012

I think it is funny that I am German yet I have never combined a potato salad with sauerkraut. You know what? I think I am going to try that. We Germans love our potatoes- and it looks like people from Idaho do that too :-)

Nicole, RD

Friday 16th of March 2012

I loooove that this combines potato salad and sauerkraut...yum!

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