German Rice Salad {Potato Salad Knock-Off}

A riced-up version of classic German potato salad with whole grain brown rice, crisp bacon pieces, and a honey vinaigrette just for your homemade autumn Oktoberfest (a week late).

Yesterday we piled in the car, arms and legs of small bodies, and every ten minutes of our drive to see the in-laws my children asked what town we were in, eagerly looking for the landmarks that indicated we were making progress towards our destination. Cousins and grandparents and aunts and uncles waited, and clearly the wheels were not spinning fast enough.

The earth has turned since we last visited in July; the fields of corn have slowly shifted from bright green labyrinths to crisp dry stalks the color of coffee with an overabundance of cream swirled in. Hay bales dot the landscape, their golden round shapes tiny across the horizon, but threatening if you were to walk up to one on its own.

The air that hung in heat waves all summer now has a crispness to it that hits you in the back of the throat when you breathe in. Cheeks blush as the wind whips them, turning the color of the apples that line the roadside stands.

Oktoberfest has passed, but that’s not to say the feeling of autumn has gone with it. Warm rice salad in the flavors of classic German potato salad pair with a few local sausages and a Maß all the same. Plus, the brown rice adds a wonderful nuttiness to the dish.

I used Hinode Medium Grain Brown Rice here from the rice cooker (and not just because they sponsored this post), but any brown rice will do: Jasmine brown, long grain, microwaveable packets. Make it convenient and have it prepped ahead, warmed just for adding the dressing.

Tip: Store leftovers and reheat with sliced sausages for an easy lunch.

4 cups cooked brown rice (hot)
6 slices raw bacon, diced
1 medium onion, diced
¼ cup white vinegar
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley

In a sauté pan over medium heat, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove the bacon and drain on paper towels, leaving the grease in the pan. Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes or until translucent and starting to cook down. Add in the vinegar, water, and honey. Heat to simmer, and continue cooking for 5 minutes. Stir in salt and celery seed. Pour the hot dressing over the rice. Add bacon and parsley and stir to combine. Serve immediately alongside sausages.

Note: Leftover rice and sausage also makes an excellent lunch the next day.

Makes 4-6 servings.
Copyright © Food for My Family.


  1. This is a beautiful salad…I love German potato salad but have never imagined making it with something other than potatoes. Perfect idea!

  2. Now this is my kinda comfort food! Rice any which way makes me smile but I love the potato salad knockoff.xo

  3. Such a great idea and a good way to add healthful fiber with the brown rice. We have small hot food thermos containers that we use for soup but this would be a nice change to pack for lunches. Thanks!!

  4. I love rice salad! This looks like the perfect dish for the season, yummy!

  5. I grew up in MN and have fond memories of the fall and Oktoberfest’s and this looks like something I would have eaten…just beautiful!

  6. This is my kind of knock off!

  7. I love rice salads and don’t make them often enough. What a great lunch to send off to school with your kids – leftovers rock!

  8. What beautiful writing! I really felt like I was right there with you on your drive 🙂

    My German grandmother used to make an unforgettable potato salad…wish I could have it again.

  9. This is such a brilliant idea. I’ve never done rice salad before. So smart!

  10. Pictures of sausage always make me laugh! The rice salad looks really good!

  11. I love how you made this into a brown rice salad – wouldn’t have thought to do that.

  12. Oh my goodness. As much as I adore German Potato Salad, I can just imagine the taste of this rice! So smart, Shaina!!!

  13. My family is German and German Potato Salad makes an appearance at just about every get-together. Perhaps next time, I’ll impress everyone by bringing rice salad instead. 🙂 Such a great idea!

  14. Oh yes. This is my kind of meal. I LOVE German Potato Salad, so this totally makes it a legit meal. So smart 🙂

  15. Rice salad? Again, you are a genius, my friend!

  16. Rice salad?! genius!!! love this Shaina

  17. I know I would love this so much! I’m not big on potato salad so I will have to try it!

  18. What a great way to make over German Potato Salad!

  19. love how simple, yet flavorful this is!

  20. quick easy recipes says:

    This tasted really well. I don’t eat much rice but I’ve begun to appreciate how well it tastes now prepared with the right ingredients in a really good recipe like this. Very nice easy recipe to follow.

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