I don’t know about you, but I love, love, LOVE that tangy German potato salad — you know the one I’m talking about, right? With the sliced or diced potatoes, the bits of parsley and onion, the bits of bacon, and that lusciously tangy vinegar dressing. It always makes me think of two things:
- My aunt Heidi (she was married to my late maternal uncle; he met her when he was stationed in Germany, and I remember most her potato salad, her Schnitzel, and her tangy marinated cucumber salad) and
- the annual Oktoberfest in Lawton, OK, which was three days of that glorious potato salad eaten to background of classic polka music and German party songs.
(Go on. Watch the video and sing along. I dare you! You know you want to — and I won’t tell.)
So, given this love of German potato salad, you can imagine my joy when I came across a recipe in my Better Homes and Gardens Recipe Card library for a main dish casserole called “Hot Sausage-Potato Salad.” Me being me, I used this recipe as a base to create a lighter, healthier version that hubby and I refer to simply but aptly as “that German Potato Salad with Smoked Turkey Sausage thing” — and it’s what we’re going to have for supper tonight. I’ve got the traditional oven directions here, but you can also finish cooking it in the microwave, if you’d rather, which makes it a handy “go to” dish during hot weather, as well.
I’ve lightened the dish by using turkey bacon, smoked turkey sausage, and artificial sweetener instead of sugar, as well as taking advantage of my non-stick skillet and using Canola or olive oil instead of fat rendered from the bacon. I prefer red potatoes for this dish, ‘though a baking-type potato will work, too. With my potatoes, I simply scrub them well and leave the skins on, which boosts the nutrition of the potatoes. I also prefer to include sliced celery as opposed to celery seed, which adds a bit more in flavor, texture, and nutrition, as well. Serve along with a green vegetable or with some mixed vegetables, and you’ve got supper!
To make this vegetarian: Substitute vegetarian bacon for the turkey bacon and vegetarian sausage for the smoked turkey sausage, or leave out the sausage all together.
German Potato Salad Casserole with Smoked Turkey Sausage (Serves 4 to 6)
- 6 to 8 slices turkey bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 14 ounces smoked turkey sausage, bias-sliced in about 1″ or so slices
- 1/2 of a medium-sized onion, chopped (white or yellow onion; purple onion will be good, too, but may make the salad a bit pink in color)
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup Splenda granular (measures for measure like sugar) or equivalent of your preferred sweetener
- 1 to 2 stalks celery, sliced (or a sprinkling of celery seed to taste)
- 1/2 cup vinegar (suggest white distilled or apple cider vinegar — and if you like it a bit more tart, add another splash or two)
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 1/2 to 3 cups cubed, cooked potatoes (I prefer to use red potatoes for this dish, and honestly, I just guess at the amount of potatoes)
- Parsley (dried is fine, as is fresh) to taste
- Coarse ground black pepper (and salt, if desired) to taste
- Cook potatoes until just tender but still firm — remember, they’ll be cooking some more when you finish up the casserole. (I often will cook them in the microwave with some water, in the same casserole dish I’ll use for the finished casserole.) Rinse and/or let rest in cold water until cool enough to handle. Cube potatoes.
- Cook turkey bacon. (I prefer to cook mine in the microwave on one of those ridged bacon-cooker things — I’ve found that makes for the crispiest turkey bacon). Crumble turkey bacon.
- In a non-stick skillet, brown turkey sausage slices (use some cooking spray or canola or olive oil, if need be); remove and set aside.
- To the same skillet, add a splash (tablespoon or two) of canola or olive oil, heat, and sauté onion and sliced celery (if using) just until tender. Stir in flour, then blend in the Splenda, vinegar, and water; cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Season to taste with coarse ground black pepper and, if needed, salt. (This is your “dressing.” Add in a bit more flour, Splenda, vinegar, and/or water as needed to achieve desired consistency and flavor.)
- In a lightly sprayed or lightly oiled 2-quart casserole dish, gently toss together potatoes, smoked turkey sausage, parsley (reserve some for topping the casserole, if you like), and crumbled bacon (reserve some for topping the casserole, if you like) with the Splenda-vinegar dressing mixture. Bake, uncovered, at 350F for about 30 to 40 minutes, or until bubbly and heated through. (NOTE: If you prefer, finish cooking this in your microwave — microwaves and settings vary, so you might need to experiment with it a bit to determine the best settings and cooking time for your microwave.)
- Top with reserved crumbled bacon and parsley, if desired. Let rest 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
This smells and tastes so yummy, you’ll be doing the Chicken Dance in your kitchen! 😉