Austrian Potato Salad

September 13, 2014

Traditional Austrian Potato Salad Recipe

This is an old family recipe, passed down through generations. In fact, there is no BBQ in my family without this treat, so let me pass this on to you to spread a little Austrian vibe to your picnic or BBQ ;-)

Potato Salad without Mayo

Austrian potato salad is lighter than American potato salad since it’s made without mayo. It has a vinegar base and is flavored with onions, broth, and mustard. This potato salad is a traditional side dish for Schnitzel.

Austrian Potato Salad without Mayo Recipe

The only ingredient I altered in this recipe, compared to my ancestors, is the vinegar. The original recipe calls for apple cider vinegar. My family always uses homemade apple cider vinegar (first you make cider, which becomes vinegar after a certain amount of time), which sometimes may taste quite sharp. So, I substituted white wine vinegar for apple cider vinegar. But if you can find a decent mellow apple cider vinegar, please go ahead and use it. Both taste great in this salad and add the  the right amount of sourness.

 Classic Austrian Potato Salad without Mayo Recipe

Which potatoes for Austrian Potato Salad?

As for the potatoes, I use waxy potatoes in this salad. I avoid using large ones as they will often break into pices when scliced. This will happen anyway with some of the potatoes, but when using small to medium ones, you will still have some nice looking slices, which you can put on top of the bowl, as I did ;-)


Austrian Potato Salad

Yield: 6 servings (side dish)

Austrian Potato Salad

Austrian potato salad is lighter than American potato salad since it’s made without mayo. It has a vinegar base and is flavored with onions, broth, and mustard. This potato salad is a traditional side dish for Schnitzel.


  • 2 lbs waxy potatoes (1 kg), all about the same size, rather small to medium ones
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced finely (1 cup / 3 ½ oz / 100 g)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (28 g)
  • 1/3 cup white wine vinegar or mellow apple vinegar (80 ml)
  • ¾ cup + 1 tablespoon vegetable broth (200 ml)
  • ¾ tablespoon tarragon mustard (substitute with savory-hot mustard like spicy brown if you can not find)
  • 5 ½ tablespoons sunflower oil (substitute neutral-tasting oil) (80 ml / 72 g)
  • 1 teaspoon table salt (8 g)
  • chopped, flat parsley for garnish


  1. Simmer the potatoes for 25-30 minutes, or until tender and can be easily pierced with a fork. Drain the potatoes and set aside to cool slightly.
  2. When potatoes are cool enough to handle but still warm, peel and cut them into thin slices (not thicker than 1/8 inch). Set aside in a big bowl.
  3. Heat butter in a pan over medium heat, add diced onion and cook until translucent, 3-4 minutes.
  4. Deglaze onion with vinegar, add soup and salt.
  5. Bring the liquid to a boil and let it cook over low medium heat for 2 minutes.
  6. Toss the potatoes with vinegar-broth, add mustard, give it a stir, then add oil and mix carefully.
  7. Cover bowl with a lid and let rest for at least 30 minutes so the potatoes are able to absorb some of the dressing.
  8. Potato salad is consumed either warm (after the 30 minute resting time) or chilled (for longer resting times).
  9. Before serving, give the salad a stir, taste it, add little salt if necessary and sprinkle with chopped parsley.


This salad can be easily prepared in advance. The dressing is perfect for a ½ hour to 3 hours resting time. If you let the salad rest longer – over night for example – prepare slightly more dressing, because the potatoes will absorb it. Otherwise, the salad might turn out too dry.

Did you follow this recipe? You could share your result here. All you need to do is take a picture with your smartphone and send it to [email protected]
Austrian Potato Salad was last modified: May 25th, 2018 by Ursula

18 thoughts on “Austrian Potato Salad

  1. Linda E

    Hi, my husband was born in Austria and is so pleased with the recipes I have attempted. Very happy to have found your site, please keep the information coming, particularly the recipes. I am from Australia and have not had any difficulty obtaining ingredients so far. I do love that you include weights in most ingredient lists, I am so over having to convert USA cups and sticks to AUS weights and measures, you cannot go wrong with weights!

    1. Ursula Post author

      Hi Linda! Great to hear that you’ve already tried some of the recipes ;-) Yeah, I hear you – I always try to include weights. I think it is especially important for baking (flour…).
      And even though I sometimes do post recipes that are not for Austrian dishes, but my family recipes will always be the backbone of this blog.

  2. Amelia

    I was in Austria last week visiting family from all over the country and I had the chance to taste a lot of potatoe salads when I was there. After making this recipe I was impressed by how similar they tastes. I’m actually goi g to make it again today for a big family picnic day tomorrow. Thank you so much Ursula for the great recipe!

    1. Ursula Post author

      Hi Amelia,
      I am happy to hear that. This recipe is how my familiy makes it – and I guess a lot of other families and restaurants in Austria too. Great to hear that you find the taste pleasing ;-) Even better that you are brining it to a family picnic!

  3. Caroline

    I just found your recipe for potato salad and will make it later this week.

    My husband’s Austrian favorite is Salzstangerl. I have tried a few recipes and keep playing around to get the right crispy outside and fluffy inside. Do you have a recipe or technique to share?

    Danke vielmals

    1. Ursula Post author

      Hi Caroline,
      Happy to hear that you will try the salad. I make it pretty often, its’s so comfy.
      I love Salzstangerl too but have never tried to make them myself since they so good and cheap in the bakeries in Austria. I’d guess they are made by rolling a piece of dough in the shape of an oval and baked with a lot of steam during the first minutes of baking. A covered casserole dish or dutch oven might work too. This video could be helful for you: or here if you (or your husband) speak German:

      Hope that this is helpful! Ursula

  4. Carl L Fekete

    My mother was from Vienna, she died recently just shy of her 91st birthday.
    Every Sunday almost without exception we would wake to the sights smells and sounds of schnitzels cooking, ( in the early days it was her bashing the veal that woke me up.
    I often helped crumb the schnitzels, her incredible potato salad was made and usually two cakes… My favorites being a mohnstrudel and konigskuchen. Even after moving out my father was sent with a basket if I couldn’t make it home. And there was her leberknodelsuppe…

    1. Ursula Post author

      So sorry to hear about your mother. all the food she cooked sounds delicious. I love everything with poppy seeds so I am planning on posting a recipe soon, hopefully. I hope she passed on some of her recipes and tricks to you so that you are able to recreate some of her recipes.

  5. Patrick O’Rourke

    Hallo Ursula,

    I stumbled upon your website many months ago and finally got around to making this potato dish. Delicious!! Grew up having lots of parsley and it works so well.
    Made the Kaiserschmarrn the other day too. Schmeckt indeed!
    I’m Australian but half Austrian from my mother’s side. Her parents (my grandparents) migrated to Australia after WWII but were from Vienna prior.
    Only now (since having a child myself and turning 30) am I really connecting with my heritage, using food and language.
    It’s a bit patchy and difficult at times.
    Your recipes are a great resource, danke! A lot easier to follow than learning German haha. But I’ve made a start.

    P.s can’t wait to try all the yummy cakes. They seem more appealing for me than spongey-icing rich ones. The cheesecake also looks great, my wife will love that one when I get around to making it.

    1. Ursula Post author

      Hi Patrick,

      So happy that you found my blog :) And I’m glad to hear that the Austrian-style potato salad and Kaiserschmarrn were a success! Definitely easier than learning German lol. I prefer ‘light’ cakes with just a dusting of powdered sugar too. I hope you’ll try the cheesecake some time. Thanks so much for leaving a comment and I hope this helps to connect with your Austrian heritage. – Ursula

  6. Anna Thompson

    Yes, this recipe and your comments bring back sweet memories! Thank you for sharing it!
    I am sharing it gladly with my family,


    1. Ursula Post author

      Hi rows,
      Thanks so much for your comment. Great that the recipe works for you when using less liquid. It’s one of my regulars, which I have made very often, especially in summer, and given that the potatoes soak up a little of the marinade, for me the amount of broth/vinegar is just right. Otherwise the salad would be too ‘dry’ for me ;-) Thanks so much for your feedback and I hope you’ll make it from time to time, Ursula

    1. Ursula Post author

      Hi Mary,
      Not sure what you mean by ‘oids Nags’ :)
      Most of the regular potato salads in Austria do not contain dill nor caraway seeds. There are recipes containing these ingredients, but honestly, I can not remember a single potato salad I have had with dill/caraway. But please, fell free to add them, if you prefer. Ursula


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