This Air Fryer German Style Potato Salad brings you perfectly textured little spuds and a sweet + tangy warm bacon vinaigrette that is exactly what we expect from this fall favorite!
German Style Potato Salad with Air Fryer Potatoes
My Dad’s birthday is coming up and it just so happens to land at the beginning of Oktoberfest season. He’s a man who knows what he wants when it comes to celebrating his birthday and has declared that this year he wants a mini Oktoberfest!
There’s a German gourmet grocer near us where we can source authentic wurst, beer and other delicacies, but I’ve got the potato salad handled!
Food writer, Susan Russo, says the earliest written recipes for potato salad in America go back to the mid-19th century. The ingredients, like oil, vinegar, sugar, mustard, onion and bacon, are closely associated with German immigrants believed to have introduced this method of preparing cooked potatoes. I hope you enjoy my interpretation!
Ingredients and Substitutions for German Style Potato Salad
In addition to pantry staples like oil, salt + vinegar, you’ll need…
- Baby potatoes — yellow, red, or a blend of both. I use baby potatoes for this recipe because they cook quickly and evenly in the air fryer.
- Thick cut bacon — I prefer an uncured, unsmoked bacon for straight up bacon flavor. Feel free to use your favorite pork bacon. Turkey bacon, while great for breakfast, won’t render the fat needed to help make the vinaigrette. If you prefer to go sans bacon, simply replace the fat with olive or vegetable oil.
- Yellow onion — you could substitute red onion or shallot, if you prefer.
- White wine vinegar — vinegars vary in their vinegariness (what, not a word?), so if you prefer a less tart vinaigrette, you could try apple cider vinegar or pull back on the amount.
- Sugar — plain, granulated sugar balances the vinegar, but won’t make the salad ‘sweet’.
- Dijon mustard — feel free to sub in yellow mustard, coarse grain or an authentic German mustard.
- Herbs — I use a combo of fresh flat-leaf parsley and chives to brighten things up. Play around with your combo to suit your tastebuds.
- Eggs — Totally optional, but I love eggs in my potato salad, so here they are as a garnish and to add another pop of color. I like my yolks less cooked, but you can prepare them to any level of doneness you prefer.
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How to Make Air Fryer German Style Potato Salad
Cook the Potatoes
If you don’t have an air fryer, steam or boil your potatoes until they are just soft enough to split easily with a knife. Otherwise…
Preheat your air fryer at 400°F. Toss whole potatoes with oil and salt. Transfer them to the basket and cook for 10 minutes. Give them a stir and cook an additional 5 minutes. When they’re ready, carefully transfer them to a sheet pan to speed up the cooling process. Once cool enough, simply cut them in half.
Quick tip: I use the Instant Pot Air Fryer Lid with my 6-qt pressure cooker. This contraption retains heat very well and I find I have to reduce cooking times or temperature when following traditional air fryer recipes. If you are using a different air fryer, you may need to slightly adjust temperature or cooking times as well.
Cook the Eggs
While the potatoes are cooking, place eggs in a saucepan and cover with water until the level is 1 inch over the eggs. Bring the water to a boil. As soon as there is a rolling boil, take the pan off the burner and cover it. Set a timer: 4 minutes for jammy eggs or up to 12 minutes for hard cooked yolks.
Prepare an ice bath while the eggs cook by filling a bowl with ice and water. As soon as the timer goes off, transfer the eggs to the bowl to stop the cooking process. Once they are cool enough to handle, peel the shells and set aside.
Make the Bacon Vinaigrette
Add bacon to a cold skillet and cook it over medium heat until crispy. Drain the cooked bacon on a paper towel, but leave the rendered fat in the skillet. Add the onions and cook those until they are translucent and soft. Whisk in the vinegar, sugar, mustard, salt and pepper.
Assemble the Salad
Add the cut potatoes and parsley to the skillet and toss it all together. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed. Transfer the salad to a serving dish and garnish with the bacon, chopped chives and halved eggs.
Frequently Asked Questions
In my opinion, this salad is best when it’s warm! Serve it right away, or within 2 hours at room temperature. If you don’t plan to enjoy within that time, cover and refrigerate.
Yes you can! Prepare all the components. Toss the potatoes and parsley with the vinaigrette. Reserve the crispy bacon, chives and eggs. Refrigerate everything separately. When you’re ready to serve, warm the potato salad and bacon in the microwave or low oven, then garnish with chives and halved eggs.
If you have leftovers, store in an air tight container in the fridge and enjoy again (warmed) within 3 to 4 days.
Looking for More Side Dishes?
- Hasselback Sweet Potatoes with Pumpkin Seed Pesto Butter
- Olive Oil Whipped Potatoes on Russet Coins
- Creamy Roasted Cauliflower Pasta Bake
- Ultimate Lobster Mac + Cheese
- Grilled Asparagus with Anchovy Breadcrumbs
- Roasted Garlic + Mascarpone Mashed Potatoes
- Boozy Mushroom Gorgonzola Sauce (super yummy over creamy polenta or mashed potatoes!)
Air Fryer German Style Potato Salad with Jammy Eggs
- 2 lbs baby potatoes 1 to 1½" diameter
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil or avocado oil
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 3 large eggs
- 3 slices thick cut bacon chopped
- 1 small yellow onion diced
- ¼ cup white wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- kosher salt + fresh ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp flat leaf parsley chopped
- 1 tbsp chives minced
- Preheat your air fryer at 400°. Toss whole potatoes with vegetable oil and salt. When the air fryer is ready, transfer potatoes to the basket and cook for 10 minutes. Give them a stir, then cook for an additional 5 minutes. Once done, transfer the potatoes to a sheet pan to speed up the cooling process. Once cool enough to handle, slice the potatoes in half.
- While the potatoes are cooking, place eggs in saucepan. Add water until the level is 1-inch above the eggs. Bring the water to a boil. As soon as there is a rolling boil, take the pan off the burner and cover it. Set a timer: 4 minutes for jammy eggs or up to 12 minutes for hard cooked yolks.
- Prepare an ice bath. When the egg timer goes off, immediately transfer the eggs to the ice bath to stop the cooking. Once cool enough to handle, peel and set aside.
- To make the dressing, begin by adding chopped bacon to a cold skillet; set it over medium heat. Cook the bacon until crisp, then remove it to a paper towel to drain leaving the fat in the skillet.
- Add the diced onion to the bacon fat and cook until it's translucent and beginning to turn golden, about 3 to 4 minutes. Whisk in the vinegar, sugar, Dijon, salt and pepper.
- Add the cut potatoes into the pan along with chopped parsley and toss it in the dressing. Taste and salt and pepper as needed.
- Transfer to a serving dish. Cut the eggs in half and nestle them into the salad. Top with crisped bacon and minced chives.
Nutritional values are estimated and provided as a general guideline only. I earn a commission from Instacart from qualifying ingredient purchases.