Simple Swabian Potato Salad (Schwäbischer Kartoffelsalat)

Not many side dishes are as versatile as this authentic Swabian Potato Salad. A humble potato salad recipe made with both, oil and vinegar that originates from Southern Germany.

This is the recipe that most people abroad associate with a German potato salad. The recipe differs from American and British potato salad, as the dressing does not use mayonnaise as a base.

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What is Swabian Potato Salad?

This potato salad originates from the southern German part of Swabia. It is a simple salad made of potatoes, onions, vinegar, oil and both.

Swabia encompasses part of the German states of Bavaria and Baden Wurttemberg. The region’s cuisine is characterised by its humble rustic recipes. As the population tended to be less affluent and pheasants and farmers.

Apart from potato salad, Swabia is famous for Spätzle (German Egg Dumplings) Maultaschen (German Ravioli) and Käsespätzle (Cheese dumplings) and German Onion Cake (Zwiebelkuchen).

The Swabian style potato salad differs from the North German version, as it is a lot lighter and not made with mayonnaise.

Because this potato salad is very light, it is popular during the fasting period. For example, it is a popular German Christmas Food, and it was common to eat Swabian potato salad with Frankfurters on Christmas eve. This day still counts as the fasting period before Christmas.

What is potato salad called in Germany?

Potato salad in Germany is called “Kartoffelsalat”. “Kartoffel” is the word for potato in German. “Salat” means salat.

There are thousands of different potato salad recipes across Germany but the Swabian Potato salad is one of the most famous ones.

How to make Swabian Potato Salad

Ingredients:

  • waxy potatoes (see below for some suggestions for varieties)
  • onions
  • vegetable oil for example rapeseed oil or sunflower oil
  • white vinegar for example herb vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • mustard you can use German mustard or Dijon mustard as a substitute
  • herbs such as chives, parsley or spring onions.

Which potatoes are best?

For German potato salad, I recommend using waxy potatoes. These are low in starch and hold their shape when being boiled.

In the USA popular potato variety are Yukon Gold, and Red Potatoes (Chieftain, Norland).

In the UK suitable potato varieties include Jersey Royals, Charlotte Potatoes, & Cornish Kings.

Recipe: Step by Step

  1. Wash the potatoes and boil them in salted water until soft.
  2. In the meantime, finely chop the onions.
  3. Prepare the vinegarette by making/warming up the broth, mixing in the vinegar, oil and mustard. Now place your chopped onions into the hot mixture, this will remove the bitterness from the onions.
  4. Season the vinegar with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Peel the cooked potatoes and cut them into bite-sized chunks.
  6. Add the vinegarette, bit by bit to the potatoes. In Swabia, you want to achieve a wet, squelching consistency. In Swabia they speak of “schlotzing”. The exact amount of vinegarette needed will depend on the types of potatoes used.
  7. Leave the salad to rest for about an hour, for the flavors to develop and the dressing to absorb.
  8. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper before serving.
  9. Just before serving sprinkle over some fresh chives or other herbs such as parsley or spring onions.
  10. The salad tastes best when it has sat overnight in the fridge.

Recipe Variations

  • add some pickles /pickled gherkins to the salad. You can also replace some of the vinegar with some pickle jar juice.
  • Cube half a cucumber and add it to the salad for a fresh texture.
  • add bacon cubes to the salad. Fry them until crispy and simply mix in with the finished salad.
  • Add some hard-boiled eggs to the salad.
Bowl of German Swabian Potato Salad

How to serve this classic potato salad?

Just before serving this salad, I would taste it and then if needed add more salt and pepper. If you find the potatoes are too dry because they soaked up all the broth already, you can add more dressing.

In Swabia, you say the texture should be “Schlotzig”. This means it should be shiny and moist. You want to hear a “Squelching” sound when you poke your fork into it.

Serve the salad best at room temperature or lukewarm. It should never be served ice cold and fresh out of the fridge.

What to serve with German Potato salad?

This salad is super versatile. It should not be missed at a bbq but is also a refreshing alternative to boiled potatoes or fries.

Swabian Potato Salad in an enamel bowl

Storage Instructions

A Swabian potato salad should keep up to three days in the fridge. Store it in an airtight container.

I would not recommend freezing this potato salad. Technically it is possible, and it would not make you ill. However, defrosted potato salad is often sweet and soggy. So for culinary reasons, I would refrain from freezing this salad.

Recipe

Schwäbischer Kartoffelsalat ( Swabian Style Potato Salad)

Simple Swabian Potato Salad (Schwäbischer Kartoffelsalat)

Marita

Authentic recipe for Swabian potato salad. A traditional potato salad made with oil, vinegar and broth. Perfect side dish at any BBQ.

Prep Time 10 mins

Cook Time 20 mins

Total Time 30 mins

Course Main Course, Side Dish

Cuisine German

Servings 6 people

Calories 333 kcal

Ingredients

  • 1.5 kg potatoes
  • 200 g onions
  • 6 . vegetable oil for example rapeseed oil or sunflower oil
  • 6 . white vinegar for example herb vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 1 test mustard you can use German mustard or Dijon mustard as a subsite
  • 30 g chives can be replaced with spring onions or parsley

Instructions

  • Wash the potatoes and boil them in salted water until soft.

  • In the meantime, finely chop the onions.

  • Prepare the vinegarette by making/warmiing up the broth, mixing in the vinegar, oil and mustard. Now place your chopped onions into the hot mixture, this will remove the bitterness from the onions.

  • Season the vinegar with salt and pepper to taste.

  • Peel the cooked potatoes and cut them into bite sized chunks.

  • Add the vinegarette, bit by bit to the potatoes. In Swabia you want to achieve a wet , squelching consistency. In Swabia they speak of “schlotzing”. The exact amout of vinegarette needed will depend on the types of potatoes used.

  • Leave the salad to rest for about an hour, for the flavors to develop and the dressing to obsorb.

  • Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper before serving.

  • Just before serving sprinkle over some fresh chives or other herbs such as parsley or spring onions.

  • The salad tastes best when it has sat overnight in the fridge.

Nutrition

Sodium: 26mgCalcium: 44mgVitamin C: 55mgVitamin A: 224IUSugar: 3gFiber: 6gPotassium: 1118mgCalories: 333kcalTrans Fat: 1gMonnounsaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 2gFat: 14gProtein: 6gCarbohydrates: 47gIron: 2mg

Keyword German potato salad with broth, German potato salad with oil and vinegar, Schwäbischer Kartoffelsalat, Swabian Potato Salad

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