German Cucumber Salad Recipe

German Cucumber Salad is a refreshing summer salad made with simple ingredients that are a staple in most kitchens! This recipe is easy to make, budget-friendly, and perfect for a potluck, family dinner, or summer cookout.

German Cucumber Salad is a refreshing summer salad made with simple ingredients that are a staple in most kitchens! This easy recipe is easy to make, budget-friendly, and perfect for a potluck, family dinner, or summer cookout.

German Cucumber Salad is light, refreshing, and so easy to make! A perfect salad to bring to a party or potluck. My family especially loves this salad in the summer months because it is so light and tastes super fresh. This recipe is similar to how my German Grandmothers make their cucumber salad. I say similar because none of them can ever tell how much of each ingredient they use. But it tastes like Oma made it!

Cucumber Salad is called Gurkensalat in German and is made with sour cream, vinegar, and fresh dill. Like most German salads, this one tastes best after it has chilled for a few hours in the fridge. You can make it up to one day in advance! Perfect for a big party or barbecue.

This easy salad tastes great with fish or meat. In Germany, cucumber salad is often served with Schnitzel.

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German Cucumber Salad is a refreshing summer salad made with simple ingredients that are a staple in most kitchens! This easy recipe is easy to make, budget-friendly, and perfect for a potluck, family dinner, or summer cookout.

Julia’s Tips and Tricks for making this German Cucumber Salad Recipe

  • This salad needs to rest in the fridge for 4 hours or longer to fully develop its flavor. It tastes great when you just made it but it tastes even better after a few hours. The dressing will get a bit watery but that’s totally normal. If you want you can season the sliced cucumbers with salt before adding the dressing and squeeze out the moisture after a few minutes then toss them with the dressing.
  • The secret to a perfect German Cucumber Salad is to slice the cucumbers super thin! The thinner the better! The slices should be almost translucent. The mandoline slicer I use and love is linked below.
  • You can add thinly sliced onion or a minced clove of garlic to this salad. I grew up without garlic or onions in my sour cream cucumber salad because garlic is not really common in the German cuisine and I’m not a big fan of raw onions.
  • English cucumbers work best for this recipe. They often are wrapped in plastic and are unwaxed. You don’t need to peel these cucumbers. But you can also use regular cucumbers.
  • There are two versions of cucumber salad in Germany. This sour cream cucumber salad and a vinegar and oil version. To make a vinegar and oil dressing for the cucumber salad use 1/2 cup canola oil and 1/4 cup white vinegar instead of the sour cream and vinegar the recipe below calls for. The other ingredients are the same.

German Cucumber Salad is a refreshing summer salad made with simple ingredients that are a staple in most kitchens! This easy recipe is easy to make, budget-friendly, and perfect for a potluck, family dinner, or summer cookout.

Looking for more summer sides & salads?

Tools used in the making of this German Cucumber Salad

Mandoline Slicer: This slicer is the BEST! It’s super sharp, made in Germany, and you can slice different thicknesses, julienne, and shred. Perfect for super thin cucumber slices, coleslaw, and making homemade fries! I bought this for my husband’s birthday last year and he loves it.
Cut Resistant Gloves: Better also get a pair of these with the slicer! Trust me this thing is extremely sharp. Luckily we haven’t had any accidents since we bought these but I wish we had these a few years ago when my husband tried to make coleslaw.
Vinegar: I like to use this German seasoned vinegar for salads but you can also use distilled white vinegar, white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar. But do NOT use balsamic vinegar!

German Cucumber Salad is a refreshing summer salad made with simple ingredients that are a staple in most kitchens! This easy recipe is easy to make, budget-friendly, and perfect for a potluck, family dinner, or summer cookout.
5 from 9 votes
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German Cucumber Salad Recipe

German Cucumber Salad is a refreshing summer salad made with simple ingredients that are a staple in most kitchens! This recipe is easy to make, budget-friendly, and perfect for a potluck, family dinner, or summer cookout.

Course Salad
Cuisine German
Prep Time 15 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 45 kcal
Author Julia

Ingredients

  • 2 English cucumbers or 4 medium cucumbers
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (115g)
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp fresh or frozen dill
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • black pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Peel the cucumbers if desired and thinly slice them with a mandoline slicer. The thinner the better! Put them in a large salad bowl.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together the sour cream, vinegar, sugar, and dill. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Pour dressing over cucumber slices and toss until combined. Cover and let chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  4. Serve with a slotted spoon.

German Cucumber Salad is a refreshing summer salad made with simple ingredients that are a staple in most kitchens! This easy recipe is easy to make, budget-friendly, and perfect for a potluck, family dinner, or summer cookout.

30 Comments

    • Dawn

      Frozen is really a good alternative, if you have not done so with fresh herbs in an ice cube tray….on the market is Dorot who makes a line of frozen herbs which are excellent almost as good as fresh when called for and better then dried although dried dill is pretty darn good when it comes to dried herbs. But the frozen Dorot brand comes separated in little squares maybe teaspoon size you will love it in a pinch and I also saw another company cannot recall the name. I am in in New Jersey so hopefully you have it in your area if interested.

    • Julia

      I used German Herb Vinegar in the video, it’s quite difficult (and expensive) to get outside of Germany so the recipe card provides an alternative that everyone can get. I linked to the German vinegar above the recipe card.

  • Janet

    My mother used the vinegar and oil and a bit of Miracle Whip, but always salted the cukes first to draw out the water, then drained and added the dressing. Am going to try your sour cream version today, but salt them first and drain.

  • Lindel Kinder

    I just made this for my husband’s German decendents family reunion. I tasted right after making. It is good. Can’t wait till it marinates over night. Fresh dill right out out of my garden

  • Karen M. BUSHY

    It is very much worth slicing the cucumbers early in the day, spreading them out on paper towels, sprinkle lightly with salt, and get rid of a lot of the water. The flavor seems to be much better. Mom always peeled the cucumbers, so I do, too. Our family recipe calls for a bit more sugar in the dressing. Great memories!

  • Don

    I made this today for my family. I am German and Austrian. I grew up eating this salad all summer long and every summer of my childhood. It comes out exactky like both my great grandmothers and grandmother’s recipe. I used my Kraut Hobel to slice the cucumbers paper thin. The Austrians cut the slices thicker, but I love the paper thin the best. Danke, es schmecht gut!!!

  • Sabine w

    I made this two ago with light sour and vinegar.
    IT WAS DELICIOUS. Memories of years of family meals where my mum made this. I’ve been making the yoghurt Greek version, not nearly as nice. It tasted much better the next day. Loved it.

  • Joanne Eroglu-Prenter

    Lemon juice, olive oil and milk work just as well, especially with crushed garlic, salt and fresh dill. Ate this a lot as a student in Germany. Love it!

  • Eleonor Golden

    My German mother makes a version of the oil and vinegar recipe, but includes sliced, boiled potatoes and onions. All her kids love it but we were beginning to think it wasn’t “german” because no German outside her family has heard of it. This is the closest I’ve seen. She thought maybe her family had brought it from Czechoslovakia.

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