This warm German potato salad recipe is easy to make and has the perfect balance of flavours. No mayo or bacon needed!

Though the recipe is completely plant-based, it’s still bursting with flavour! Using tempeh bacon as an alternative to traditional bacon creates a smoky and savory element that perfectly complements the tangy dressing, fresh herbs and tender potatoes.

Bowl of warm German potato salad with chives, parsley and bacon bits.

This recipe is always a hit at the table and sure to impress at your next gathering or family dinner.

For more potato salads, this Tangy Dill Potato Salad is also made without mayo and this Vegan Cauliflower “Potato” Salad uses mayo but does not contain any potato at all.

For more picnic-friendly salads, this Freekeh Salad, Summer Quinoa Salad and Ramen Noodle Salad are always a big hit.

Recipe Highlights

  • Vegan (no eggs, dairy or meat).
  • Easily gluten-free.
  • No bacon.
  • No mayo.
  • Easy to make.
  • Make with or without tempeh bacon.
  • Great for entertaining.
  • Delicious side dish.

Ingredient Notes

For the Tempeh Bacon

  • Tempeh: Use an approximately 227 g package of plain tempeh.
  • Soy Sauce: Use any soy sauce or substitute gluten-free tamari or coconut aminos for gluten-free.
  • Maple Syrup: Use any maple syrup or substitute agave syrup.
  • Oil: You can use any cooking oil such as olive oil or avocado oil.
  • Liquid Smoke: Optional but helps impart a smoky flavour to mimic bacon. Liquid smoke is available in well-stocked grocery stores or online.

For the Potato Salad

  • Red Potatoes: Any size of red potato is suitable. The cooking time will vary depending on size. You can also use new baby potatoes or Yukon gold potatoes.
  • Vinegar: The recipe calls for apple cider vinegar but you can substitute white vinegar if needed.
  • Oil: Extra-virgin olive oil is suggested.
  • Mustard: Use any grainy dijon or whole-grain mustard or substitute regular dijon if that’s what you have available.
  • Sugar: Use white granulated sugar.

This list is not complete. Please see the recipe card at the end of the post for the complete ingredient list with measurements and detailed instructions.

Variations

  • Herbs: Add more fresh herbs like dill for an extra layer of flavour.
  • Pickles: Chop up 1/2 cup tangy dill pickles to add a more zing to the salad.
  • Chopped Red Bell Pepper: Add color and crunch by adding 1 diced red bell pepper.
  • Fresh Lemon Zest: Add a small amount of lemon zest to the dressing for more tanginess.
  • Capers: Add 1/4 cup capers.
  • Vegan Sausage: Dice and sauté vegan sausage to use instead of tempeh bacon.
  • Vinegars: You can use apple cider vinegar, white wine vinegar, white vinegar or red wine vinegar to vary the flavour.
  • Onion: Incorporate diced red onion, shallot or white onion for added color, crunch and flavour.
  • Other Veggies: Chopped radish or celery work well in this recipe.
  • Creamy Dressing: If you’d prefer a creamy dressing, you can add 2-3 tbsp vegan mayo or sour cream to the dressing.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Slices of tempeh marinating in a sauce in a Tupperwear container.

Step 1: Marinate the tempeh.

In a shallow dish or Tupperware, combine marinade ingredients.

Thinly slice tempeh and l strips in marinade, turning pieces to coat. Marinate for 20-30 min, flipping occasionally. 

Slices of marinated tempeh spread on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Step 2: Bake the tempeh.

Preheat the oven to 425 F. Arrange the tempeh slices on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Bake on the middle rack for 25-30 min, flipping halfway through, until dark brown and crisped. 

Sliced red potatoes on a cutting board.

Step 3: Cook the potatoes.

Add the potatoes to a large pot and cover with water. Season with salt. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer for 12-15 minutes until you can pierce them.

Drain, then once you can handle, slice into chunks.

Vinegar-based herb dressing in a large mixing bowl.

Step 4: Make the dressing.

To a large bowl add the vinegar, oil, mustard, sugar, garlic, parsley and chives.

Season with salt and pepper, then stir to combine.

Large mixing bowl of German potato salad with herbs and bacon bits.

Step 5: Mix the salad.

Add the warm potatoes to the bowl with the dressing and crumble some tempeh bacon over top. It’s key that the potatoes are still warm, as they will absorb the dressing.  

Gently toss to coat then taste and season with salt and pepper, if needed. Serve right away, warm, with more tempeh bacon crumbles and fresh chives sprinkled over top.

Bowl of hot potato salad made with red potatoes, chives, parsley and tempeh bacon.

Recipe FAQs

Is it safe to heat up cold potato salad?

Yes, it is safe to heat up cold German potato salad after it’s been stored safely in the fridge.

How long does German potato salad last in the refrigerator?

You can store leftover salad in the fridge for up to 4 days. The potatoes will continue to absorb the dressing as it sits, so the salad will be drier after storing.

Can I freeze homemade German potato salad?

While freezing German potato salad is an option, the texture won’t be as good as freshly made potato salad. Potatoes tend to become somewhat mushy after freezing and thawing.

If you’re looking to enjoy the best texture and flavor, it’s recommended to consume potato salad within a few days of making it.

If you’re planning on freezing this recipe, slightly undercook the potatoes, cool the salad completely in the fridge before covering and freezing, use an airtight container or freezer bag and remove as much air as possible from the container.

Thaw frozen salad overnight in the fridge.

What can I use instead of tempeh bacon?

You can leave the tempeh bacon out and just make the German potato salad portion of the recipe or try coconut bacon, mushroom bacon, tofu bacon, seitan or a store-bought meat alternative.

You can also purchase tempeh bacon and skip making it yourself but it’s very easy and tasty to make your own.

Is this salad served warm or cold?

This salad is meant to be served warm but it’s also delicious at room temperature or chilled.

The recipe is ok at room temperature for 1-2 hours but I’d suggest storing it in the fridge if it’s not needed within an hour or so.

Expert Tips

  • Start the potatoes in cold water and then bring to a boil. This helps the potatoes cook through evenly.
  • Mix the final salad gently to avoid mashing the potatoes up.
  • You can make the dressing in the cooking pot then mix the salad in the pot to avoid using an extra bowl. This will also help keep it warm.
  • You can make the tempeh bacon a few hours ahead of time so it has time to get nice and crispy as it cools on the pan.

How to Store

  • This salad is best enjoyed warm right after preparing it.
  • Leftover potato salad can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  • The salad will be drier after storing as the potatoes continue to absorb the dressing as it chills.
  • Enjoy cold or reheat lightly in the microwave.

Did you try this recipe? I’d love to hear about it! Scroll down to the comment section to leave a star rating and review.
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Bowl of warm potato salad with chives, parsley and tempeh bacon bits.
Print Recipe
4.60 from 5 votes

Warm Potato Salad Recipe

This warm German potato salad features tender red potatoes, crispy tempeh bacon and tangy vinegar dressing for the most satisfying combination of flavour and texture.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Course: Salad
Cuisine: German
Diet: Vegan
Servings: 6
Calories: 234kcal
Author: Deryn Macey

Ingredients

For the Tempeh Bacon

  • 227 g package tempeh
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce or gluten-free tamari
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke optional
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder

For the Potato Salad

  • 2 lbs red potatoes 978 g
  • cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp grainy dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic grated
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh chives
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  • Marinate Tempeh: In a shallow dish or Tupperware, combine soy sauce, maple syrup, oil, liquid smoke, smoked paprika and garlic powder. Stir to combine. Thinly slice tempeh into ¼-inch strips. Lay strips in marinade, turning pieces to coat. Marinate for 20-30 min, tossing occasionally. 
  • Bake Tempeh Bacon: When nearing 20-30 minutes, preheat the oven to 425 F. Arrange tempeh slices on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake on the middle rack for 25-30 min, flipping halfway through, until dark brown and crisped.
  • Cook Potatoes: Place potatoes in a large pot and cover by 1 inch with cold water. Season water with salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.  Simmer for 12-15 min, until just cooked through, but still slightly firm in the centre, you just don’t want them to be mushy. When you can pierce through with a sharp knife but there is still a bit of resistance in the middle, they should be done. Cooking time will vary based on size the potatoes. Drain potatoes and set aside, until cool enough to handle.
  • Make Dressing: To a large bowl add the vinegar, oil, mustard, sugar, garlic, parsley and chives.  Season with salt and pepper, then stir to combine.
  • Cut Potatoes: When cool enough to handle, cut potatoes into quarters or eighths. The cut size depends on the size of potatoes being used.
  • Assemble Salad: To the bowl with dressing, add warm potatoes. It’s key that the potatoes are still warm, as they will absorb the dressing. Crumble some of the tempeh bacon over top. Gently toss to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper. It may seem like there is excess dressing but the potatoes will continue to absorb it as you mix.
  • Serve: Serve the potato salad warm with more tempeh bacon crumbles and fresh chives over top. 

Video

Notes

You may not use all the tempeh bacon so save for another use.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 234kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 10g | Sodium: 688mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g