Potato Salad with Apples and Bacon

Summer is the season for cookouts and potato salad, isn’t it? Our standard potato salad usually includes pickle juice and hard boiled eggs. Here’s a completely different take on a summer potato salad, seasoned with mustard, bacon, and the taste that makes you smile with surprise when you bite into it, chunks of apple. My friend Heidi H made this potato salad for a group of us this week; it’s based on a recipe she found recently in the Boston Globe. Everyone who ate it loved the apple, bacon, mustard, potato combo.

Potato Salad with Apples and Bacon Recipe

  • Yield: Serves 8.

Ingredients

  • 5 thick strips bacon
  • 1 large red or yellow onion, chopped
  • Salt
  • 2 Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, and cut in 1/2-inch dice
  • 3 pounds small yellow Yukon Gold potatoes, quartered
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced, including the greens
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper

Method

1 Combine the potatoes and enough cold water to cover by a couple of inches in a large saucepan. Add a generous pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and cover the pan. Simmer for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork. Drain well.

2 While the potatoes are cooking, cook the bacon in a heavy-based skillet over medium heat. Once cooked, remove the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels. Reserve the bacon fat in the pan. Once the bacon is cool, chop it.

3 Cook the onion in the fat in the pan on medium heat, until softened and just starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the onion from the pan to a large bowl, set aside. Add the chopped apple to the bowl.

4 Add the potatoes and chopped bacon to the onions and apple. Add the green onions, olive oil, vinegar, mustard, and thyme. Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve either warm, room temperature, or cold.

25 Comments

  1. Leisureguy

    Dicing the potatoes before cooking ensures that they will lose almost all their potassium to the cooking water—a shame, since potatoes are particularly rich in potassium. Why not simmer them whole and then dice? That would retain the potassium. See this post.

    Quartering them first will help them cook faster, and more evenly. I notice some people feel the same way about boiling beets; I have no problem cutting those either. If potassium loss is a concern, then it’s good to know about boiling potatoes uncut. ~Elise

  2. Liza Caldwell

    *stares and drools* To bad we already had dinner. :( Oh well, there’s always tomorrow, thanks for the amazing recipe. Once again your recipes are my dinner inspiration.

  3. Susan from Food Blogga

    I grew up on Italian-style potato salad with olive oil and vinegar, but I’m definitely open to the idea of new potato salads, and this is high on that list. The addition of apples is so appealing to me and makes this a perfect potato salad to glide into fall with.

    I’m so happy you like my skinny berry parfaits too. Thanks for the link, Elise!

  4. Diana

    I heard that you can steam the diced potatoes instead of boiling them from a food magazine somewhere, but I haven’t tried that trick yet.

  5. Anna

    Hey everyone, Have to tell you all that this potato salad made me the queen of my family picnic this year. The great thing is the children loved it.It really amazes me how much a little bacon and apple can do in potatoes.For all of us that like hot potao salad this would be great. Thanks Anna

  6. Nate

    This really is a great recipe. I love the apple crunch and its sweetness juxtaposing against the tartness of the mustard.

    Does it have to be Golden Delicious? I am wondering if a sweeter, yet still firm apple could be substituted.

    You could use any sweet, firm apple. ~Elise

  7. Garrett

    This is how I usually make my potato salad, minus the apples, which I now think I’ll try! Personally, I wonder how you can have potato salad without bacon (and olives).

  8. MariaV

    I will try anything with bacon in it. It sounds like a refreshing change from the standard potato salad.

  9. jonathan

    I prepared a red cabbage/apple cole slaw recently, albeit with a mayo-based dressing.

    Ginormous deliciosity: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Purple-Apple-Slaw/Detail.aspx

    I love the idea of the lighter, French-style vinaigrette for this salad, which will make me feel worlds better about the fact that I’ll be making it with 7 strips of bacon, instead of the suggested five.

    Shame on me :-)

  10. Charlemange

    I made this minus the onions ahead of time to go with some pulled pork but I ate a lot of it already, it was so good! I am not a big potato salad fan either.

  11. Espahan

    Elise,

    This is going to be on my menu for the weekend. I’m on the lookout for potato and apple recipes. The bacon addition sounds good, and the apples. I will use the apples from my tree that produces very early, starting late July, greenish/yellow apples. I can’t remember the name of the tree. It’s an old variety. I have already made two apple pies.

  12. Teresa

    I just made this potato salad last evening to accompany pork chops. This was a hit! Just delicious! Thank you, Elise.

  13. Laura

    I grew up eating my grandmother’s German potato salad. It too included bacon and used a small amount of the bacon drippings to create the sauce along with vinegar (that she insisted had to be boiled first — we never really knew why!?) and mayo. Like with this recipe, the bacon adds depth of flavor. I am looking forward to trying this!

  14. Dewi

    I thought I would post my modifications to this recipe, since the end result was so delicious. I followed everything to the letter except:

    1) I used red potatoes instead of yukon gold (I peeled a few, left the peels on a few)

    2) I used fresh dill instead of fresh thyme

    3) I omitted the bacon

    4) I used half the onion and added half a red bell pepper, cooked them together in grapeseed oil and added a generous handful of sliced almonds at the end to get them nice and toasty.

    I brought this to a potluck and folks went nuts!

  15. Willom

    RE: Loss of nutrients during cooking. If one is really so concerned that they will not be able to get potassium from any other food sources, then make a point of saving the cooking liquid. I usally don’t salt the water I cook vegetables in, and use the nutrient-rich liquid for a quick stock, in baking, even as a refreshing drink. I sometimes water my plants with it, too!

  16. staria

    My family’s Potato Salad recipe has apples; they love the apple in it so much that the salad has slowly become an Apple Salad with potatoes.

  17. Kirsten

    Wow! I have tried several of your recipes posted here before and they have all turned out great, but this potato salad is unbeatable! Thanks for sharing. This one is going to be one of my staple dishes to bring to parties! Not to worry, though…I’ll give credit. Thanks again! Love it, love it, love it!

  18. culinspiration

    I wonder if some of the oil (1/2 a cup is pretty hefty) could be substituted with vegetable or chicken broth to make a dressing similar to German-style potato salad?

    I don’t see why not. If you try it that way, please let us know how it turns out for you. ~Elise

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