Bavarian Potato Salad


Food & Wine editor Melanie Hansche's mother taught her how to make this Bavarian potato salad when she was a tween. The dressing is made with a base of hot chicken stock and vinegar, and it's punched up with tangy cornichons, onion, grainy mustard, dill, and crispy bacon bits. It's important to peel the potatoes and slice them while still hot, then pour the hot dressing over the warm potatoes. This enables the waxy fingerlings to really soak up the liquid while also holding their shape. The salad is best served at room temperature. You can make this up to 2 days ahead of time and take it out of the fridge a few hours before serving. It's good any time of year, but Hansche likes to serve it with Pretzel Dumplings, Braised Red Cabbage with Apples and Bacon, and Roasted Goose Legs with Sour Cherry Glaze and Gravy for a traditional Bavarian Christmas feast.

Bavarian Potato Salad
Photo: Photo by Greg Dupree / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Prop Styling by Prissy Lee
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs 50 mins


  • 2 pounds yellow or gold fingerling potatoes

  • ½ - ¾ cup chicken stock, as needed, divided

  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

  • 2 teaspoons whole-grain mustard

  • ½ cup finely chopped red onion

  • ¼ cup finely chopped cornichons (about 8 cornichons)

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more to taste

  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper, plusmore to taste


  1. Place potatoes in a large saucepan; add cold water to cover by at least 1 1/2 inches. Bring to a boil over medium-high. Reduce heat to medium; simmer, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender, about 14 minutes. Drain and let stand until just cool enough to handle, 5 to 10 minutes. Peel potatoes using a small, sharp knife. Slice into 1/2-inch-thick rounds, and place in a shallow bowl.

  2. Place 1/2 cup chicken stock in a small microwavable bowl. Microwave on high until hot, about 30 seconds. Add vinegar and mustard; stir to combine. Pour over potatoes in bowl; toss gently to combine. Set aside to let soak at room temperature, stirring occasionally, 1 hour.

  3. If potatoes have absorbed most of the stock mixture after 1 hour, stir in remaining 1/4 cup chicken stock. Add onion, cornichons, dill, oil, salt, and pepper; toss gently to combine. Let stand at room temperature, stirring occasionally, at least 2 hours or up to 4 hours. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.

Make ahead

Potato salad can be stored in an airtight container in refrigerator upto 2 days; let come to room temperature before serving.

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