German Gurkensalat Cucumber Salad

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German Gurkensalat is what we in America know as Cucumber Salad. It is originally from Germany, and we owe it to German immigrants who, long ago, brought this, one of their favorite dishes, with them. It soon became popular in the States, especially in the south.


There are two classic versions of Gerkensalat, One has a creamy sauce, made with sour cream in it, and the other is a lighter version. This recipe is the lighter version, although I do include the optional garnishes of a dollop of sour cream and a cherry tomato.

While there are of course many slight variations on the traditional recipe, this one is my personal favorite. If you are preparing an authentic German meal of Weiner Schnitzel, this makes for a perfect and traditional side dish.

German Gurkensalat Recipe-


  • 2 English cucumbers thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground coarse sea salt
  • 1 red or white onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill minced
  • sour cream (optional) for garnish
  • cherry tomatoes (optional) for garnish


  1. Season cucumbers with salt in a large bowl and let sweat 1 hour. Drain liquids and toss cucumbers with onion slices.
  2. In a small saucepan over high heat, pour in white vinegar and water and stir in sugar until dissolved and liquid turns clear, 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Pour over cucumbers and onions. Stir in dill. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 1 hour.
  4. Serve your German Gurkensalat cold or at room temperature. I prefer it cold, and often like to garnish each serving with a tablespoon of sour cream topped with a cherry tomato placed in the center of each serving.

Do you like German dishes? We have lots more, just click here on German Cuisine!

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