Just Say NO to Bad German Side Dishes

It’s the truth that we eat out a lot and I am not the best cook in the world. But there are a few things my very-German mom has taught me to cook and two of them are: German Potato Salad and Cucumber Salad.

Both of which were requested by the boys at dinner last night, one easier than the other to make.

I’ll pretend I am a good cook for a few minutes and share the recipes…


This is seriously the best thing to being to potlucks because it’s not your typical side, it’s yummy and it’s EASY.

* 3 Cucumbers, peeled and thinly sliced
* 3 TBS Mayonnaise
* Salt, Pepper and Chives to taste

That’s it. Seriously.

Some recipes call for sour cream, dill and red onions instead – so that way is yummy too. But you actually have to have those things laying around which I usually do not.

And now on to the big mamma-jamma. Let’s hope I don’t get kicked out of the family for sharing this, but I feel really sorry for those people who buy German Potato Salad in the grocery store. People, that shit is NASTY.


* 5lb Potatoes
* 1 med-large Yellow Onion
* 1 pound Bacon
* 1 jar Claussens Pickle Slices (Yes, this brand, they are better, look in the refrigerated section).
* Vegetable Oil
* White Vinegar
* Salt & Pepper

1. Boil potatoes till done.
2. Let cool. Really let them cool. If you cut them when warm, you will end up with mush.
3. Use kitchen scissors and cut bacon into little pieces about 1/2 inch. Fry them in saucepan.
4. In the meantime, chop up onion into small pieces, put in a bowl.
5. And slice up pickles (I usually cut once or twice lengthwise and then chop them into small bits from there). Put in a separate bowl. Keep jar (for the juice).
6. When bacon is done, spoon out of fat with slotted spoon and put in a third bowl.
7. Then, get a very large bowl to hold the finished product.
8. Peel potatoes. I used my new Tater Mitts yesterday and not only where they a total HOOT, they actually worked!
9. Take two potatoes and slice lengthwise and then in 1/2 inch to 1 inch think chunks. Start layering in big bowl.
10. Then add a handful of bacon, then onion, then pickles.
11. Then add 2 TBS oil and then 2 TBS vinegar and then 2 TBS pickle juice (avoid the floaty stuff).
12. Then liberally salt & pepper the layer.
13. Then start next layer with 2 or so potatoes and repeat the layers of the ingredients.
14. Keep going until you use all the potatoes, pickles, onions and bacon.
15. Gently mix (I use my hands) and taste.
16. Then add more salt, pepper, vinegar, oil and or pickle juice to taste. Sometimes it will be a little “wet” at first, so wait a bit to serve to let the potatoes soak up all the sauces.
17. Serve at room temp.


So there you go. I feel like I have done my public service for the day. Go forth and potato-cize.


P.S. 30 Days of Thanks
I am thankful that my mom was patient enough to teach me how to cook all these German dishes, and tolerated the 50,000 phone calls it took for me to learn.

This article has 40 comments

  1. Evolutionary Revolutionary

    German potato salad beats the hell out of that other crap, hands down. Hooray for Germans! (Am I allowed to say that?)

  2. Sue at nobaddays

    Yay for the German Potato Salad recipe! I have a German friend who is the Queen of German Cuisine, I swear … makes spatzle and casseroles and pretzln to die for. I always feel too intimidated to ask for her recipes. Because we see them so often and I would feel weird breaking out one of her recipes 🙂 But since I don’t hang out with your mama, I think I’m safe trying her potato salad 😉

  3. Nat

    Oooooooooh…. that sounds yummy.


  4. gretchen from lifenut

    I haven’t been to a family gathering hosted by my dad’s side which didn’t feature German Potato Salad. When I got married, my grandmother gave the family recipe to me. I’ve never made it. I feel ashamed.

    Maybe I’ll dig it out.

  5. joansy

    I don’t cook, but I want Tater Mitts. This means the 5 year olds can peel the potatoes, right? Can you buy them in a store?

    As always, I will forward the recipes to my accommodating husband. I can’t wait.

  6. Two Shews

    It only takes EIGHT minutes of ACTUAL TIME! Tater Mitts! Who knew?

  7. Fairlie

    Oh, I’ve got to get myself some of those Tater Mitts!

    The potato salad sounds delicous.

  8. Amanda

    that potato salad sounds delicious! i may go make some right now. =)

  9. J at www.jellyjules.com

    Mmmm. Bacon. Sounds divine.

  10. Lauren

    I am going to try it too!

  11. nutmeg

    This Irish girl is getting herself a pair of those tater mits!

  12. Lisa

    Yummy! I grew up making sauerbraten, red cabbage (which I still make every Thanksgiving and Christmas), and rolladins (the food, not the blinds – LOL).

  13. Aimee Greeblemonkey

    Y’all the Tater Mitts are FREAKY!!!!! But awesome. I do wish they were a little smaller, even for my huge man hands.

    And Lisa, my other specialty us ROULADEN! I kick adds at it… After many years if trying. But here is the key question. Do you use a pickle in your Rouladen or not? We are most definitely a non-pickle family. My mother feels *very* strongly about it. 🙂

  14. Anonymous

    Yum!!! That cucumber salad sounds delicious. Thanks for sharing the recipe. I love cucumbers!

  15. Flower Child

    I grew up on German and Hungarian food and now only really appreciate it as an adult. We grew up with sour cream in the cucumber salad -sooooo good. And the ONLY potato salad I make is German. No mayo or eggs for me.

  16. cynematic

    whoa…are the Bad German Side Dishes posted twice?

    might want to burp your blog. either that or my firefox is seeing double.

    beautiful blog! looking forward to reading more.

  17. chloebear

    My request is in:))

  18. Phat Phannie

    Oh man, both of those recipes sound good. I bet I can get my kiddo to eat the cucumber, and the potato salad sounds just right for a pot luck!

  19. Aimee Greeblemonkey

    Chloe, I knew you would appreciate this post!

    And PhatPhanie… Declan LOOOOVVEEESSS the cucumber salad. LOVVVESSSS.

  20. soccer mom in denial

    Yup. Another thing that bonds us – I don’t like to cook and am lousey in the kitchen.

  21. kara

    wow that’s so serious bacon in that potato salad. I might have to try it!

  22. Mrs. Chicken

    I am a sucker for German potato salad. And I am SO TOTALLY BUYING SOME TATER MITTS.

    I think it will just be fun to say, “honey, get my tater mitts.” Sounds totally dirty.

  23. Deeleea

    One of my favourite thing about having great German girlfriends is the German food they’ve introduced me to. Kartoffelsalat is one of my FAVs… thanks for the recipe, can’t wait to try it out!!!

  24. Builder Mama

    Anything with a pound of bacon in it goes on my must-try list. Yum.

  25. Angry Theresa

    Those just sound really tasty! Thanks for posting them.

  26. Lara

    Yummy recipes! Thanks! I love cucumbers and super simple is always helpful 😉

  27. Lisa

    Aimee, I can take or leave the pickle – had, and made, them both ways. My ex lived in Germany for 8 years and really makes some yummy food. Better for the waistline that he’s gone! LOL

  28. Tree

    I make the cucumber salad all the time – I love cucs.

    I have never attempted any sort of potato salad, but I have enjoyed my mom’s for some time. This looks yummy!

  29. Anonymous

    Two new things for potlucks – AND TATER MITTS!

  30. carrie

    Oh, for the love of carbohydrates.

    Isn’t that what November is for? Potatoes?

  31. Shelly

    My dad’s side of the family is German, so my mom started making German Potato Salad after we visited them in Wisconsin. She makes it warm, and you fry the potatoes a little in some bacon grease-yum!

    I’ve actually used the recipe from the regular-ol Betty Crocker Cookbook and it is really good. But we are not strict Germans ;).

  32. monstergirlee

    wow, I cannot wait to try both recipes. I love cucumbers but run out of things to do with them pretty quickly. And that german potato salad sounds pretty good too.
    Thank you!

  33. monstergirlee

    Aimee – do you ever do Roclet? Isn’t that a german thing? I’m not sure if I spelled it correctly, or even spelled it like it sounds? Rock – let is it. My german from germany made it for Danny and I one night.

    ps – I really am not thankful for the spaminator verifyer thingy.

  34. Wenderina

    Okay – the way to my heart is through my stomach. I’ve added you to my favs list on these recipes alone. Glad you found me (and I found you) on NaBloPoMo!

  35. Melissa

    Tater Mitts are out of control!

  36. Sarcastic Mom (aka Lotus)

    Hey, sorry I missed this when you posted it.

    I love making both those salads!

    We do variations on the cucumber. Sometimes we make it lighter (no mayo) and just make the vinegary sauce spicy… other times you can throw stuff like ranch dressing in instead of the mayo. It really is great! Onions added to it also makes a nice variation.

    My potato salad is a bit different, but I learned it from my mother, and she is SWISS-German, so maybe that’s the difference. 😉

    No bacon or pickles. Just the potatoes and a VERY mustardy and vinegary sauce, with salt, pepper, parsley, and onions. YUM.

  37. Aimee Greeblemonkey

    Kinsey.. I have family all over… But mom grew up in the northeast tip of Bavaria. Very very small town. 🙂

  38. Linsey

    my mom is German, too and i LOVE the German potato salad. We are a “pickle-in” Rouladen family. I pick out the carrot. What part of Germany is your mom from?

  39. Linsey

    My mom grew up in Bavaria, too…in Augsburg. I still have some family there.

  40. Anonymous

    Tater Mitts, where have been all my life???

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