German Cucumber Salad

German Cucumber Salad Recipe (Gurkensalat)

Cooks in 1 Hours, 00 Minutes Difficulty Easy 0 comments This post may contain affiliate links. We may earn money from the companies mentioned or linked to in this post.

When summer falls like a blowtorch in central Arizona, I can’t help thinking about the verdant hills of the Rhineland. Memories of its checkered fields of sunflowers and vineyards, beautiful trees, and the much cooler temperatures get me all dreamy. If I could get on a plane this minute and head to Germany, I would. Since that’s not in the cards just this moment, I’m sitting in the air conditioning and eating German Cucumber Salad, “Gurkensalat.”

aerial shot of town
Photo by Bruno Joseph on

Perfect Summer Salad

Salads and summer were made for each other and this cool, creamy, and slightly tangy German Cucumber Salad is the perfect antidote for the rising temperatures. Serve it alongside pretty much any grilled meat like brats, steaks, ribs, or you name it. It especially pairs well with pork. It’s even great on its own. I can’t help nabbing a little slice here and there from the refrigerator when I pass by. It’s calls me, you know.

Ingredients for German Cucumber Salad. Cucumbers, sour cream, salt, white wine vinegar, pepper, and dill on a cutting board.
Six Ingredients for German Cucumber Salad (Gurkensalat). Cucumbers, sour cream, salt, pepper, white wine vinegar, and fresh dill.

How to Make German Cucumber Salad

This salad is so easy to make you might find yourself making it again and again this summer. The first step is to gather your ingredients. Luckily, there are only six of them: cucumbers, sour cream, salt, pepper, white wine vinegar, and fresh dill. You can use regular white vinegar, but I find white wine vinegar has a more delicate flavor.

Prevent Watery Cucumber Salad

Once you’re sure you have everything you need for the gurkensalat, wash and peel the cucumbers. Then slice them with a mandolin or a sharp knife into 2 or 3 mm thick coins. Place the coins in a colander set over a shallow dish like a pie plate, or in a strainer over a bowl and sprinkle with salt. Stir to distribute the salt on all the cucumber slices and set aside for 20 to 30 minutes. This process will draw water from the cucumbers and prevent your German Cucumber Salad from turning into a watery mess.

Salted Cucumber Slices
Salting cucumbers before mixing with dressing keeps salad from becoming too watery.

Prepare the Dressing

While the cucumbers are draining, mix the sour cream, white wine vinegar, pepper, and chopped dill in a small bowl. Then, set the bowl in the refrigerator to keep cool until the cucumbers are done sweating.

Mix it All Up

Once the cucumbers have drained, place them in a bowl and cover them with the dressing. Mix it all well with a big spoon to ensure all of the cucumbers are coated with dressing. If you’re watching your salt intake, you may want to rinse the cucumbers and pat them dry before mixing them in with the dressing. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for, at least, one hour to meld the flavors in this creamy cucumber salad.

Serve German Cucumber Salad cold and enjoy!

Looking for more yummy summer recipes to pair with meat from the grill? Try my Salsa Verde Recipe with Roasted Tomatillos.

German Cucumber Salad Recipe (Gurkensalat)

5 from 1 vote
Recipe by Kimberly Scott Course: SaladsCuisine: GermanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Resting Time





Salads and summer were made for each other and this cool, creamy, and slightly tangy German Cucumber Salad is the perfect antidote for the rising temperatures.


  • 3 large cucumbers

  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons salt (approximately)

  • 1 cup sour cream

  • 1/8 cup white wine vinegar

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 Tablespoons fresh dill, chopped


  • Wash and peel cucumbers. Slice very thinly (approx. 2 to 3 mm) with a mandolin or sharp knife and place in a colander or strainer placed over a bowl.
  • Sprinkle salt over cucumbers and mix well. Allow to stand for 20 to 30 minutes to sweat out excess liquid. This will keep your salad from becoming watery.
  • Place drained cucumbers in a salad bowl. (You may rinse and pat them dry first to remove the salt, if you like.)
  • Mix sour cream, white wine vinegar, pepper, and dill in a small bowl and pour over the cucumber slices. Mix well, coating all slices with the dressing.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for, at least, one hour. Longer is better, up to 8 hours.
  • Serve cold.


  • Will last up to two days in the refrigerator, but is best eaten fresh.
  • You may substitute white vinegar for white wine vinegar. The flavor will not be as delicate, but it will still taste good.

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