Come join me today as I share a family recipe for German Cucumber Salad with Sour Cream Dressing. This recipe tastes just like I remember my Oma Behr making for our family when I was a child. This is another one of our delicious summer salads the whole family is going to love.
This recipe for German Cucumber Salad with Sour Cream Dressing is the perfect salad to make with all the fresh cucumbers showing up in farmer's markets, grocery stores and even your own garden.
Another recipe that's also great for excess cucumbers is Easy Refrigerator Pickles. My husband makes this recipe every summer.
German Cucumber Salad with Sour Cream Dressing
Do you have a recipe that brings back happy memories? For me it's this German Cucumber Salad. As I said above, this is my Oma Behr's recipe that she taught to my mother and now I make it for my family.
Our garden has been exploding this summer! I guess it's giving back two-fold since we didn't plant a garden last year...well that's what I like to think.
What is German Cucumber Salad?
But for now, let's get back to the salad. I've made this a few times already for my family this summer. I even used cucumbers from the grocery store and the salad still came out amazing.
To begin with, Cucumber Salad or, Gurkensalat in German, is a fresh and simple side dish featuring thinly sliced cucumbers in a sour cream and dill dressing...although I didn't have any dill on hand yesterday when I made this salad. I use fresh chives from the garden and it is just as good.
When I was looking at other recipes for this salad they all seem to skip the most important step that my Oma and my mother did...you need to salt the cucumbers and let them drain to remove the excess water. Do not skip this step!
By the way, I've had other cucumber salad's where they are watery and just don't have the same taste as when you salt the cucumbers first. I include photos so you can see how easy it is to do this part of the recipe.
Helpful Kitchen Tools
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- Mandolin slicer - you don't have to spend a lot of money on one either. The one I use is under $10
- Veggie peeler
- Glass batter bowl - I love that this bowl has a lid making serving and storing easy.
- Mason jars
Main Ingredients Needed
To make this recipe, you'll need 2 medium to large sized cucumbers. I really think you're going to like the sour cream dressing. Sometimes, I'll double the recipe and store it in a mason jar to use on a regular tossed salad...it's that good!
Exact measurements are listed below in the recipe card. Make sure you scroll down to print and save the recipe for later!
- Sur cream
- ½ tsp. sugar
- Chopped chives
- Salt and Pepper
- 2 medium sized cucumbers
Step 1: Peel and Slice the Cucumbers
- You don't need to peel the cucumbers, but I like them peeled. It's really up to you and your family's tastes.
- One of the most important tips is to slice the cucumbers VERY thin. That's another secret to this recipe. You do not want a thick cucumber for the salad.
- Using a mandoline slicer is the best tool to get your cucumbers really thin.
Step 2: Salt the Cucumbers
Do Not Skip this Most Important Step for the Cucumber Salad
- Now, the most important step is to salt the cucumbers.
- Place the cucumbers in a colander.
- Salt the cucumbers. Be generous with the salt as you want to remove as much excess water as possible.
- If the cucumbers are extremely fresh, as mine are, you will be surprised how much water are in them.
- Cover the cucumbers with a paper towel.
- Then weigh them down. I like to use a plate, a bowl and a big mug. It doesn't really matter what you use, just weigh them down because this will help push the water out from the cucumbers.
- Let the cucumbers sit like this for an hour or so.
- You can leave the colander on the kitchen counter or even in a clean sink.
Step 3: Drain and Squeeze the Cucumbers
- Once the cucumbers have been draining for about an hour, you need to squeeze them dry.
- Believe it or not, there's still a ton of water in the cucumbers!
- Take them in your hand a little at a time and squeeze them over the same bowl.
- Go ahead, don't be shy...squeeze the cucumbers dry!
You can see from the photo below how much water was in these cucumbers. If you skip this important step, this water will end up in your dressing making for a very watery cucumber salad.
I know some people have commented or sent me messages saying they never do this step and they think they're cucumber salad is fine. My reply back has always been, try it this way one time and you'll be convinced you need to drain the cucumbers every single time you make this salad.
Step 4: Make the Homemade Sour Cream Dressing
- Combine the ingredients for the dressing together in a bowl.
- I love to use my House Seasoning but salt and pepper work great too.
- If you have dill, you can add one tablespoon dill in place of the chopped chives.
- I also like to add thinly sliced red onion sometimes too.
Serving and Storing Tips
- The salad is ready to enjoy right away...but, like with everything else in life, it does taste better after it's been refrigerated for a few hours.
- Make sure you taste it and season with more salt and pepper if needed.
- Store in an air-tight container and place in the refrigerator for up to three days.
Why this Salad Works
I love this cucumber salad. It's one of my favorite summer salads to serve and one of the reasons why we grow so many cucumbers in our garden.
However, what's really nice are the memories making and serving this salad bring back to me. For the most part, I think of my Oma Behr every time I squeeze the cucumbers. If I close my eyes, I can see her in her little kitchen in Mt. Kisco, NY standing in front of the sink squeezing cucumbers.
- This salad is perfect in the summer served alongside grilled barbecue chicken.
- It pairs nicely with barbecue food as well.
- This is a great side salad for Sheet Pan Chicken and Potatoes.
Tried this recipe? Let me know in the comments and don't forget to rate it!
More Easy and Delicious Salad Recipes:
- Tuna Nicoise Salad
- Fiesta Corn Salad
- Homemade Italian Salad Dressing
- Classic Egg Salad
- Creamy Pasta Salad
- 2 tbsp vinegar
- 2 tbsp mayonnaise
- 2 tbsp sour cream
- ½ tsp. sugar
- 1 tbsp chopped chives
- Salt and Pepper
- 2 medium sized cucumbers
- Peel the cucumbers if desired and thinly slice them with a mandoline slicer. The thinner the better!
- Place the cucumbers in a colander and salt them...generously.
- Cover the cucumbers with paper towel and place the colander over a bowl to allow the cucumbers to drain the excess water for at least 2 hours.
- Squeeze the cucumbers to remove any excess water...you want them as dry as possible.
- Add the cucumbers to a bowl and prepare dressing.
- Combine all the ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl and then pour over the cucumbers. Toss gently to combine.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.
This salad comes together quickly, but you do need to allow time for the cucumbers to drain properly and get rid of all the excess water.
So, please do not skip the step for salting and squeezing the cucumbers. If you do, the salad will not be the same as the one I am sharing with you today.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 78Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 6mgSodium: 122mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 1g
The nutrition information is calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee its accuracy. If this data is important to you, please verify with your trusted nutrition calculator.
This recipe has been updated since it was first published in 2017. There's a few new photos and tips for you to make the best Cucumber Salad!