This Fried Potato Salad features baked russet potatoes that are diced, pan-fried in bacon fat and tossed with thick-cut bacon, a little red onion, scallion. The potato salad is bound with a zippy, homemade aioli with lots of red wine vinegar, coarse ground mustard, garlic and a pinch of smoked paprika. This recipe is a favorite addition to any barbecue, cook-out or potluck. Once you try this recipe, you'll forever say goodbye to the bland, deli-packed potato salad you used to know!
What It Takes: Ingredients for This Recipe
This Fried Potato Salad with bacon recipe comes together in under thirty minutes with just a handful of common ingredients. For this recipe, you can use left-over baked potatoes, fresh-baked potatoes, or (for ease and convenience) potatoes "baked" in the microwave.
How To Make Fried Potato Salad with Bacon
Unlike your traditional potato salad, this Fried Potato Salad recipe is all about bacon fat fried potatoes tossed in homemade Smoked Paprika Aioli. Unlike your traditional potato salad, this recipe is tangy, smokey, flavorful and has great textures. The potatoes get a little crispy and absorb all that bacon-y flavor. Meanwhile, a little red onion and scallion provide a nice freshness, satisfying crunch and pop of color. Smoked Paprika Aioli adds a creamy mouthfeel with a bit of garlic and zippy, acidity. It's super delicious while still warm, or chilled straight from the fridge. Check out our quick how-to video to watch it all come together! So easy!
Bacon Fat Fried Potatoes
For the star of this side dish, baked russet potatoes are pan-fried in rendered bacon fat. For the best results, we recommend the following:
- Start with a good-quality, thick-cut bacon. We like to use a nitrate-free bacon, when possible.
- Cook your bacon on medium-low heat and start in a COLD pan. Cooking the bacon low and slow will help to gently melt the fat and leave you with bacon that is properly crisped. All that rendered bacon fat that is left in the pan will be perfect for frying the potatoes!
- Cut and fry potatoes from cold or room-temperature. Leftover baked potatoes are perfect for this recipe! If you will be baking (or microwaving) potatoes fresh for this recipe, allow them to cool for a few minutes in the fridge or freezer. Cooler potatoes will be easier to dice and will fry better in the bacon fat.
- Fry potatoes in small batches. Don't overcrowd the pan! Like anything, potatoes need a little space to properly crisp up! Crowded potatoes will steam, not fry, and you'll never get that golden brown deliciousness!
- Transfer cooked bacon and potatoes to a paper towel-lined plate. Allow the excess grease to be absorbed on the paper towels (or recycled brown paper bag) before mixing this Fried Potato Salad with Bacon.
Smoked Paprika Aioli
Once you make your first homemade aioli, you'll never want to go back to the jar of mayonnaise! Making fresh mayonnaise (often called aioli) is so easy and so tasty! Aioli (aka mayonnaise) is an emulsion of egg yolks and oil. For this Fried Potato Salad with Bacon recipe, we flavored the emulsion with garlic, coarse-ground mustard, red wine vinegar and, of course, smoked paprika. The flavors work so well with the bacon and potatoes!
As seen in the video above, we made this Smoked Paprika Aioli using a food processor. Instead, you could also make this aioli in a traditional blender or in a jar with an immersion blender. The key to properly thicken aioli is to stream the oil in very slowly while processing on high speed. If the oil is added to fast, the aioli will not be emulsified.
This recipe makes about one cup of Smoked Paprika Aioli. Personally, we prefer our Fried Potato Salad with about half of this aioli. Add this aioli to the salad to suit your mayo-binding preferences. Leftover aioli is delicious on sandwiches and wraps, or as a dip for French fries or the like.
Share Your Success!
We can't wait for you to amp up your Summer side dish game with this Fried Potato Salad with Bacon and Homemade Aioli recipe! We first made this recipe for a Memorial Day potluck at a friend's house. When their neighbor tracked us down for the recipe more than a year later - we knew it was time to share it with the world! When this recipe makes its way to your table, be sure to drop us a star rating! And, as always, mention @foodworthfeed or tag #foodworthfeed in your Instagram posts and stories! We’d love to feature you on social! We love having a seat at your table, you’ll always have one at ours. Cheers!
More Recipes You'll Love
Enjoying this Fried Potato Salad with Bacon? Great! Check out these other crowd-approved Summer recipes!
- Halloumi Pasta Salad with Greek Herb Vinaigrette
- Whipped Ricotta & Grilled Asparagus Toast
- Cucumber Strawberry Salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette
- Tangy Apricot BBQ Sauce (for Grilling, Glazing & Dipping!)
Thirsty too? Head to our Cocktails & Mocktails archives for some delicious drinks to whet your whistle!
Fried Potato Salad with Bacon & Homemade Aioli
- Food Processor, Blender or Immersion Blender
Fried Potato Salad
- 3 pounds raw or baked russet potatoes if using leftover baked potatoes, skip Step 2
- ½ pound thick-cut bacon diced
- Fine, sea or kosher salt to taste
- Neutral cooking oil as needed, vegetable oil, canola oil, or avocado oil recommended
- ⅓ Cup red onion small diced, optional
- 4 - 8 scallions small diced, divided to reserve some for garnishing, if desired
- ½ Cup - 1 Cup Smoked Paprika Aioli as desired
Smoked Paprika Aioli
- 2 egg yolks
- ¼ Cup red wine vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons coarse-ground dijon mustard
- 1 clove of garlic
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon fine, sea or kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
- ¾ Cup neutral cooking oil vegetable oil, canola oil, or avocado oil recommended
Fried Potato Salad
- Gather, measure and prepare the Fried Potato Salad ingredients as listed. To view metric measurements, toggle the US Customary/Metric switch at the top of this recipe card. Check out our How To Make Fried Potato Salad with Bacon video for a visual demonstration.
- If using previously baked potatoes, skip this step. To cook your potatoes in the microwave, start by thouroughly washing your potatoes. Then, using the tines of a fork, poke several holes in the skins of your potatoes. In 2 batches (for microwave space), microwave the potatoes on high power for 5 minutes. Carefully flip the potatoes over and microwave on high power for an additional 5 minutes. It is okay if the potatoes still seem a bit firm, they will continue to cook when they are pan-fried. Transfer the potatoes to the fridge or freezer to allow to cool for a few minutes before proceeding.
- If desired, peel the potatoes. (Personally, we like to keep the potato skins on.) Dice the potatoes into bite-sized pieces and set aside. If still warm, keep the diced potatoes in the refrigerator until ready for frying (Step 5).
- In a large, heavy-bottomed skillet, add the diced bacon. Heat the pan to medium-low. Cook the bacon, stirring occasionally, until desired doneness. Remove the bacon from the pan and transfer onto a paper towel lined plate. Keep the rendered bacon fat in the pan.
- Increase the heat of the skillet to medium. Carefully add about one third of the potatoes to the pan. Allow to sear, undisturbed, for 2 - 3 minutes or until golden brown. Toss to flip and sear an additional 2 - 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt. Transfer fried potatoes to a paper towel lined plate. Repeat this step with remaining potatoes. Add an additional splash of neutral cooking oil to the pan, as needed, for frying subsequent batches.
- Transfer fried potatoes and bacon to a large bowl. Add red onion and scallions. Add about half of the Smoked Paprika Aioli. Toss to combine. Add additional aioli and salt to taste, as desired. Garnish with reserved scallions, if using. Serve while still warm or keep refrigerated until ready to serve chilled. Enjoy!
Smoked Paprkia Aioli
- Gather, measure and prepare the Smoked Paprika Aioli ingredients as listed.
- In a food processor fitted with the blade attachement (blender or jar with immersion blender), combine egg yolks, red wine vinegar, mustard, garlic, smoked paprika, salt and pepper. Process on high speed for 15 - 30 seconds until combined.
- While processing on high speed, add a tiny splash of neutral cooking oil. Allow to continue processing for 15 seconds. Then, while still processing on high speed, very slowly stream in the remaing oil. The mixture will thicken as the oil is slowly incorporated
- Keep the Smoked Parika Aioli refrigerated in an airtight container until ready to be used in this recipe. Leftover aioli is delicious on sandwiches, wraps or as a dip for French fries and can be kept refrigerated for 3 - 4 days. Enjoy!