Austrian Potato Salad

Heidrun Kubart
by Heidrun Kubart
4-6 side dishes
35 min

This simple yet creamy, flavorful, tasty, and hearty Austrian potato salad is simple, quick, and easy to make. It is a potato salad made with vinegar and oil (i.e. without mayo) that plays all the bits: It is a vegan (vegetarian) potato salad, a classic potato salad, a warm potato salad, a Viennese potato salad (ergo a Kartoffelsalat as we call it in German, or Erdäpfelsalat as it is mostly called in Austria), a healthy potato salad and the best potato salad in terms of taste. This Austrian potato salad is further perfect for any occasion. Definitely a potato salad jackpot.

What is Austrian Potato Salad

I am sorry to disappoint you at the very beginning, but actually, there is no such thing as a typical Austrian potato salad. Rather, there is a Tyrolean potato salad, a Styrian potato salad … and a Viennese potato salad. Basically, they are made similarly, but with modifications. Some add ham, others add bacon or pumpkin seed oil and lamb’s lettuce.

A pastel pink vintage bowl filled with potato salad, placed on a grey vintage table

This recipe is a delicious classic Viennese potato salad, just like you would eat it at Grandma’s or in the famous traditional Viennese restaurant “Figlmüller” as an accompaniment to the Wiener Schnitzel, but all vegan. Huh! What shouldn’t be vegan in a potato salad that isn’t prepared with sausage, meat or egg? Viennese-style potato salad is originally marinated with beef broth. Sob! Such surprises are often to be found in Austrian cuisine.

You can find some more recipes from Austria on my blog that are guaranteed to be cruelty-free, such as potato dumplings with red cabbage, kale stew with potatoes (yes, we love potatoes) but also Krautfleckerl (Austrian noodles with cabbage), Liptauer (a savory spread), apple cinnamon rolls or Kaiserschmarrn.

If you were wondering what the difference of a German vs Austrian potato salad is: It can’t be answered that easily, as there is also no such thing as a classical German potato salad. There is a Bavarian potato salad, a Swabian potato salad, a potato salad from Northern Germany, … They can also be made with mayonnaise or with oil and vinegar instead. But what is often found in them are cucumbers (or gherkins), and eggs.

A bowl filled with Austrian Potato Salad, seen from top
How to make Austrian Potato Salad

This vegan potato salad is made without mayo, also without eggs, sour cream, bacon, celery, cucumber, and without gherkin. Instead, this delicacy is made classically with (apple cider) vinegar and oil, as well as mustard. It’s much lighter than the mayonnaise version, but still very hearty.

In addition to these ingredients, it is the broth that is responsible for the good taste. Unfortunately, this is usually beef broth. But nobody needs a dead cow for a tasty potato salad, vegetable broth does the same and easily transforms it into a vegan potato salad. It still tastes very authentic. As a Viennese who has eaten tons of Austrian potato salad, I dare to say so.

One “secret” and a special thing about the Viennese potato salad is a dressing made with red onions, over which you pour the hot broth. As a result, the onions are blanched and no longer taste as strong.

A pastel pink vintage bowl filled with potato salad, placed on a grey vintage table
A pastel pink vintage bowl filled with potato salad

For potato salad, please use waxy potatoes, bring them to a boil, and let them cook for about 20 minutes. After you have briefly quenched them with cold water, you can peel them and cut them into slices.

The warm dressing is then poured over the warm sliced ​​potatoes, allowing them to absorb the flavor nicely. The whole thing is quick and easy to do – you just need a little patience while the potato salad is steeping, because it tastes best that way, at least for an hour, even better overnight.

A fork with potato salad on it, in the background a bowl filled with potato salad

Let the potato salad sit outside the refrigerator so that you have a warm or lukewarm potato salad, that is how this Austrian potato salad is supposed to be eaten. But you can also eat it cold from the fridge, it tastes just as good. It is also perfect for any occasion, whether it’s a barbecue, Christmas, or any other day. As I said at the beginning – it’s a potato salad jackpot.


💚 “Erdäpfelsalat” 🥔🇦🇹 Learn how to make a creamy, flavorful, and hearty Viennese / Austrian Potato Salad aka the very best potato salad. Detailed recipe on 🌱👩‍🦰

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Recipe details
  • 4-6  side dishes
  • Prep time: 15 Minutes Cook time: 20 Minutes Total time: 35 min
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  • 1 kg (2.2 lbs) waxy potatoes
  • 1 red onion, finely diced
  • 250 ml (1 cup) hot water
  • 1 tsp vegetable stock powder
  • 6 tbsp oil (e.g. rapeseed or sunflower oil)
  • 4 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp mustard
  • 1 tsp salt
  • some black pepper
  • fresh chives

Place potatoes in a pot of cold water and bring to a boil. Let cook for about 20 minutes.
While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the dressing: Put the diced onions in a bowl, add the vegetable stock powder, and pour in hot water.
Add the oil, vinegar, mustard, salt, and a little fresh pepper. Stir.
When the potatoes are done (prick them with a fork to see if they're done), rinse them briefly in cold water. Then peel and slice while still warm, but not too thin (otherwise they all break).
Pour the warm dressing over the warm potatoes, stir gently, and let the potato salad sit at room temperature for at least an hour.
Sprinkle with fresh chives before serving.
  • Cook the potatoes until done, but not too mushy, or you'll end up with a mashed potato salad.
  • Yes, 250 ml (1 cup) of liquid (broth) may seem like a lot, but the potatoes will soak up the dressing nicely. In the end, the salad ends up being creamy.
  • Therefore, please do not add more seasoning right away, but let the salad soak for at least an hour first.
  • The potato salad can be prepared in advance and tastes even better the next day.
Heidrun Kubart
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  • Cathy Whitney Cathy Whitney on May 08, 2023

    What are "waxy" potatoes?

    • See 1 previous
    • Heidrun Kubart Heidrun Kubart on May 09, 2023

      Don't use the potatoes you would use for mashed potatoes! Waxy potatoes do not contain that much starch.

  • Susie Susie on May 09, 2023

    What kind of mustard?

    • Heidrun Kubart Heidrun Kubart on May 09, 2023

      Use whatever you have. Last time I only had mustard mixed with herbs at home and it tasted delicious.

      I hope where you live you don't have too fancy or very different mustard options. But use what you might also put into a hot dog ... hope this explanation helps.