High concentrations of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol are likely associated with a lower risk of posttransplantation diabetes mellitus (PTDM). However, HDL particles vary in size and density with yet unestablished associations with PTDM risk. The aim of our study was to determine the association between different HDL particles and development of PTDM in renal transplant recipients (RTRs). We included 351 stable outpatient adult RTRs without diabetes at baseline evaluation. HDL particle characteristics and size were measured by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. During 5.2 (IQR, 4.1‒5.8) years of follow-up, 39 (11%) RTRs developed PTDM. In multivariable Cox regression analysis, levels of HDL cholesterol (hazard ratio [HR] 0.61, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.40–0.94 per 1SD increase; p = 0.024) and of large HDL particles (HR 0.68, 95% CI 0.50–0.93 per log 1SD increase; p = 0.017), as well as larger HDL size (HR 0.58, 95% CI 0.36–0.93 per 1SD increase; p = 0.025) were inversely associated with PTDM development, independently of relevant covariates including, age, sex, body mass index, medication use, transplantation-specific parameters, blood pressure, triglycerides, and glucose. In conclusion, higher concentrations of HDL cholesterol and of large HDL particles and greater HDL size were associated with a lower risk of PTDM development in RTRs, independently of established risk factors for PTDM development.