German Cucumber Salad Recipe (2 Dressing Options) (2024)

German Cucumber Salad with dill, aka Gurkensalat in German, is the perfect budget-friendly side dish for family dinners, parties, and potlucks.

This popular German recipe has plenty of flavorful dill and can be dressed in a vinaigrette or sour cream dressing.

German Cucumber Salad Recipe (2 Dressing Options) (1)

German cucumber salad is a very popular side salad in Germany and is usually served in German restaurants.

The secret to making the best German cucumber salad is slicing the cucumbers as thin as possible. I sliced mine a bit thicker because I like that extra crunch, but in authentic Gurkensalat, the cucumbers are sliced so thin they are nearly translucent.

German cucumber salad is often served as a refreshing side dish with meat and fish.

This delicious salad recipe is one you’re going to want to have on hand for parties, cookouts, family gatherings, and summer BBQ.

The flavors and textures in this refreshing summer salad are absolutely amazing, and your guests are guaranteed to love it.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Here are four reasons why this German cucumber salad recipe is a keeper:

  • This easy salad is a great way to switch up your summer side dish routine and try something a little different.
  • It’s budget-friendly. You only need a handful of fresh ingredients, most of which you may already have on hand.
  • It’s a time-saver. If you make this salad with vinaigrette dressing, you can keep it overnight, and it will taste even better the next day.
  • It’s healthy. Fresh cucumbers provide lots of vitamins and minerals and help keep you hydrated during hot summer days.

Ingredient Notes

Here is an overview of the ingredients you’ll need to make German cucumber salad:

Ingredients For the Salad:

  • Cucumbers – I use small field cucumbers. English cucumbers also work. Be sure to slice them as thin as possible.
  • Onion – you can use a white onion or red onion for a pop of color.
  • Fresh Dill – gives this salad a traditional fresh Gurkensalat flavor.

Ingredients For the Creamy Dressing:

  • Sour Cream (or plain yogurt) – creates a rich, tangy, and creamy dressing.
  • Olive Oil – loosens up the sour cream a bit to give it a dressing consistency.
  • Dijon Mustard – adds subtle spice and mustard-y flavor.
  • White Wine Vinegar – gives this dressing light and refreshing sweetness and adds acidity.
  • Sugar – balances the tangy flavors.
  • Garlic – it’s optional, but if you love garlic, don’t skip it.

Ingredients For the Vinaigrette Dressing:

  • White Vinegar – gives the dressing the perfect amount of sour, tangy taste.
  • Olive Oil – neutralizes the vinegar, creating a vinaigrette.
  • Sugar – sweetens the dressing and balances the acidity of the white vinegar.
  • Salt – enhances and balances the flavor of the salad.

How To Make German Cucumber Salad

Here are the step-by-step instructions on how to make German cucumber salad:

Option # 1 – Creamy German Cucumber Salad

  1. Prepare the vegetables: Using a very sharp knife or a mandoline slicer, slice the cucumbers and onion as thinly as possible. Roughly chop the dill. Mince the garlic if using.
  2. Make the creamy dressing: In a small bowl, mix together sour cream, olive oil, mustard, white wine vinegar, sugar, and garlic (if using). Combine well.
  3. Assemble the cucumber salad: Place the cucumber slices, onions, and dill in a large mixing bowl. Add the dressing, toss, and season to taste with salt. Refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.

German Cucumber Salad Recipe (2 Dressing Options) (2)

Option # 2 – German Cucumber Salad with Vinegar & Oil

  1. Prepare the vegetables: Using a very sharp knife or mandoline, slice cucumbers and onion as thinly as possible. Chop the dill.
  2. Make the oil and vinegar dressing: In a small bowl, add vinegar, olive oil, and sugar. Whisk until well combined. Season with salt.
  3. Assemble the cucumber salad: Place the sliced cucumbers, onions, and dill in a large bowl. Add the dressing, toss, and season to taste with salt. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

German Cucumber Salad Recipe (2 Dressing Options) (3)

Recipe Tips

Here are a few tips on how to make the best cucumber salad:

  • I prefer small field cucumbers for this recipe. I love them because they are local, super fresh, crunchy, and slightly sweet. But large field cucumbers or English cucumbers work great too. If you use large field cucumbers, make sure to peel them and scoop out the seeds.
  • For the best flavor and texture and to keep things authentic, slice the cucumbers VERY thin.
  • If your cucumbers are on the watery side, you can sprinkle them with salt, let them sit for a few minutes, and then blot away the released moisture before adding them to the salad.
  • This cucumber salad tastes better when chilled, so place it in the fridge for at least one hour before serving.
  • Don’t be afraid to make a big batch! The cucumber salad made with vinegar and oil keeps well in the fridge and tastes even better the next day as cucumbers ferment a bit. If you make the creamy version, it’s better to consume it the same day.


  • This crunchy cucumber salad is delicious as is, and you can also add parsley, green onions, tomatoes, and garlic for even more great flavor.
  • Instead of sour cream, feel free to use Greek yogurt or your favorite plain dairy-free yogurt.

What to Serve with Gurkensalat

German cucumber salad is often served with meat or fish. The recipes below pair perfectly with this German cucumber salad:

  • Pan-Fried Rainbow Trout
  • Roasted Salmon with Vegetables
  • Baked Rainbow Trout with Vegetables
  • Yogurt-Marinated Chicken Kebabs
  • Healthy Turkey Meatballs

How To Store Leftover Cucumber Salad

Store German cucumber salad in an airtight container in the fridge.

The creamy cucumber salad should be consumed on the same day. You can store the salad made with the vinegarette dressing (the non-creamy version) for up to 3 days.

Keep in mind that the longer the cucumber salad is stored, the less crisp the cucumbers will be.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is German Cucumber Salad Sweet or Savory?

German cucumber salad is the perfect balance of sweet flavors and savory aromas. The end result is pleasantly tangy and absolutely delicious.

Why is My Cucumber Salad Watery?

Cucumbers are naturally high in water and release their natural moisture in the presence of salt and/or acid, which can make a cucumber salad watery.

How Do You Keep Cucumber Salad From Getting Soggy?

After slicing the cucumber, sprinkle the slices with salt. The salt encourages moisture to release from the cucumbers, so all of that excess water doesn’t end up in your salad.

Let the cucumbers sit for 15 to 20 minutes. Drain the released liquid and make the salad. Taste the salad before adding more salt.

German Cucumber Salad Recipe (2 Dressing Options) (5)

German Cucumber Salad Recipe (2 Dressing Options)

Yield: 4 to 6 portions

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Additional Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

This simple German cucumber salad is crunchy and refreshing. It's perfect for a family dinner or a party and the leftovers taste great too. Two dressing options.


  • 2 pounds small field cucumbers (English cucumbers would also work), thinly sliced
  • 1/2 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh dill, loosely packed

For Vinegar and Oil Dressing:

  • 4 Tbsp white vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • salt to taste

For Creamy Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
  • 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped (optional)


  1. Place the cucumbers, onion, and dill into a large bowl.

For Cucumber Salad with Vinegar and Oil:

  1. Add the white vinegar, olive oil, and sugar. Mix well to combine. Season with salt.
  2. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.
  3. Keeps well in the fridge for up to 24 hours.

For Cucumber Salad with Creamy Dressing:

  1. In a small bowl, add the sour cream, olive oil, mustard, white wine vinegar, sugar, and garlic (if using). Mix to combine.
  2. Add the dressing to the cucumbers and mix well. Season with salt.
  3. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving. Better to consume the same day.


Nutrition information is a rough estimate for 1 of 4 servings calculated for the salad made with vinegar and oil.

Nutrition Information

Yield 4 portionsServing Size 1/4 of recipe
Amount Per ServingCalories 142Total Fat 10.5gSaturated Fat 1.5gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 9gCholesterol 0mgSodium 11.4mgCarbohydrates 11.7gFiber 1.6gSugar 5.6gProtein 2g

Nutrition facts provided on this website are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a qualified health care provider for personalized diet advice and make sure that each of the ingredients is allowed in your diet.

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German Cucumber Salad Recipe (2 Dressing Options) (2024)


What is German salad made of? ›

Classic German potato salad, mixing in the flavor and crunch of cucumber, pickles, bacon . onions and herbs, with a mustard vinaigrette dressing. A nutritious , colorful, German salad full of tasty ingredients, quick and easy to put together.

What is cucumber dressing made of? ›

In a small bowl, whisk together yogurt, milk, mayonnaise and vinegar. Stir in cucumber, green onion, garlic, dill and pepper. (Make-ahead: refrigerate in airtight container for up to 1 week.).

How do you keep cucumber salad from getting watery? ›

The solution: The standard recommendation for ridding watery vegetable such as cucumbers of unwanted moisture is to salt them. The salt draws out the liquid from the vegetable because of the natural tendency of salt water solutions to equalize when mixed together.

Why is my cucumber salad frothy? ›

Why is my cucumber salad frothy? This happens when the cucumbers release the moisture within them. It's completely normal and doesn't change the taste of the salad. Stir the salad, and if desired, add in more sour cream to thicken it up.

What is French dressing in Germany? ›

In North America, French Dressing refers to an oil and vinegar based dressing that is often rather sweet and it's orange in color. In Europe on the other hand, French dressing is rather different. It's made with vinegar, oil, Dijon mustard and garlic, and often some fresh herbs.

What is German field salad? ›

Field salad (Valerianella locusta), known as feldsalat in German, is used like lettuce in salad. It is also famously known as Rapunzel Lettuce, after the vitamin-rich food that cost a peasant family their only daughter in the Brothers Grimm fairy tale.

What does a cucumber salad contain? ›

This easy cucumber salad consists of nothing more than the cucumbers, some rice vinegar, either dill or basil, and salt and pepper. You don't even really need the herbs!

What are the three basic types of salad dressing? ›

In Western culture, there are three basic types of salad dressing: Vinaigrette; Creamy dressings, usually based on mayonnaise or fermented milk products, such as yogurt, sour cream (crème fraîche, smetana), buttermilk; Cooked dressings, which resemble creamy dressings, but are usually thickened by adding egg yolks and ...

What is the most unhealthy salad dressing? ›

And at the top of that list? Caesar dressing. Made up of mayonnaise, cheese, salt and oil (and all too often, anchovies), Caesar tends to be one of the least healthy options out there. Those ingredients cause it to be high in both saturated fats and sodium.

What can you put on cucumbers to make them taste better? ›

Enhance the taste of cucumbers by incorporating herbs and spices. Sprinkle freshly chopped mint, basil, cilantro, or dill over sliced cucumbers to add a burst of freshness. Additionally, spices like black pepper, cumin, or paprika can provide a subtle kick to the cucumbers, making them more interesting and flavorful.

How do you keep cucumbers crisp in cucumber salad? ›

Salt the slices first. No matter the salad recipe you're making, salt the cut-up cucumber beforehand. The extra step allows them to release some of their water — keeping them extra crisp even when they get tossed with the dressing.

Why is my cucumber salad bitter? ›

A cucumber's bitterness is caused by cucurbitacin, a bitter chemical that protects the plant from predators. Usually, cucurbitacin stays in the stem and leaves, but it can work its way into the fruit. A cucumber's bitterness is caused by cucurbitacin, a bitter chemical that protects the plant from predators.

Should I salt cucumbers before making salad? ›

When you salt cucumber pieces or slices and let them sit for 30 minutes in a colander, the salt draws out excess moisture which then drains away. This means that the cucumber will release less water into whatever dish you're adding it to, such as tzatziki, tabbouleh, Greek salad, or potato salad.

What is the white stuff that comes out of cucumbers? ›

Before eating cucumber, the sides are cut and rubbed to remove the sap. What causes the sap to come out on rubbing? Sometimes when you bite into a cucumber it has a bitter taste. Suposedly its an organic compound called cucurbitacin, its a waxy or white liquid.

What is the difference between American and German potato salad? ›

There are two main differences between American and German Potato salads. American potato salad is usually tossed in a mayonnaise-based dressing and served cold. German potato salad is tossed in a vinegar-based dressing and is traditionally served warm (but you can totally serve it cold too! It's still delicious!).

What are the key ingredients in German food? ›

Whilst there are regional variations in food culture, most German recipes focus heavily on bread, potatoes, and meat, especially pork, as well as plenty of greens such as types of cabbage and kale. Cake, coffee, and beer are all highly popular elements of German cuisine too - which will be good news to most!

What lettuce is popular in Germany? ›

One of the most popular salads in Germany is the iceberg lettuce. Iceberg lettuce tastes very fresh for a long time long due to its tight and well-hydrated leaves.

What is the white German vegetable? ›

The white vegetable in the photo above is actually asparagus. The green variety is more popular in other countries, but Germans love their white asparagus and anxiously await its arrival in spring, keeping a lookout in late April for the first stalks of their "white gold" to appear in stores and roadside stands.


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