Swabian Potato Salad (Schwäbischer Kartoffelsalat)

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Swabian Potato Salad (Schwäbischer Kartoffelsalat) - Andrea MeyersFollow Me on Pinterest

We had traditional Swabian potato salad (Schwäbischer kartoffelsalat), a salad which has yellow potatoes and a very simple oil and vinegar dressing, a few times while in Stuttgart. It is often used as a base for salad greens such as arugula or lettuces, and in fact it was served beneath the green salad at every restaurant we visited, a warm golden surprise waiting at the bottom of the plate.

It didn’t taste anything like the German potato salads we’ve had in the U.S. and we initially thought the difference was in the type of vinegar used, and it turns out we were right. As I researched I found the German recipes specified white wine vinegar, not plain white or apple cider vinegar which is often used in the U.S. I also learned that traditional German recipes call for some kind of broth to be mixed in at the end, either chicken or vegetable, as well as a little sunflower oil, a neutral flavored oil that doesn’t overpower the other flavors in the salad.

Steaming the potatoes rather than boiling keeps them from getting waterlogged and also helps retain their nutrients rather than tossing them out with the water. Make sure all the potatoes are approximately the same size for even cooking, and allow the the steamed potatoes to cool a bit before peeling so your fingers don’t get burned. The potatoes should be very tender when cooked.

This potato salad is great for summer cookouts because there is no dairy in the dressing and because it makes a great palette for green salads, adapting well to a variety of additions, including chives, asparagus, chopped egg, bacon, or ham.

Swabian Potato Salad (Schwäbischer Kartoffelsalat)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Adapted from www.ChefKoch.de.
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 6 to 8 servings
  • 2.2 pounds (1 kg) small Yukon gold potatoes, all about the same size
  • 1 small Vidalia onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup (240 ml) light vegetable broth (or chicken broth), hot
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, or more to taste
  • 1 pinch white pepper
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons neutral flavored oil, such as canola or sunflower
  1. Place the steamer basket in the bottom of the pot and add water until it touches the steamer. Bring to a boil. Add the potatoes, arranging them evenly on the steamer surface. Cover and cook until the potatoes are fork tender, about 20 to 30 minutes. Drain. Allow to cool until you can hold the warm potatoes without getting burned. Peel and slice the warm potatoes.
  2. While the potatoes cook, stir together the onions and the hot broth and set aside. When finished slicing the steamed potatoes, warm the broth mixture until hot.
  3. Put the sliced potatoes in the large bowl. Pour on the broth mixture and sprinkle on the sea salt and pepper, then add the vinegar and oil. Carefully turn the potatoes to distribute the seasonings, but try to avoid breaking the slices. Typically served warm, but you can also serve chilled.
More Information

6 quart pot with lid
steamer basket
large mixing bowl

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  1. says

    yes this is one of my favorite types of potato salads. i prefer it with the hearty broth rather than the heavy mayo! there are other variations where one can add bacon and gherkin bits, which i find adds a nice flavor to it. lovely!

  2. Kim da Cook says

    This is a great new salad to try out at our next braai (barbecue) instead of the traditional one that we all tend to make. Thanks for a great new idea.

  3. says

    This is a totally new recipe to me and I love it. Like Christina, I can’t stand mayo, so I’m always looking out for easy and creative potato salad recipes like this one. Thank you for sharing, Andrea!

    Casual Kitchen

  4. cedarglen says

    I’ve tried to REPLY to this twice, but I do not think it is working.
    In any case, your Swabian Potato Salad is the one that has been in my dreams for 30+ years. Thank you!!!

    I’ve made it twice in two weeks, with little tweaks in the vineger component each time. This is POTATO SALAD, not Amerikan Kitchen Sink Salad and I am happy to have your basic formunla and method. Many thanks.

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