Mutti's Herring Salad Recipe

Creamy sweet and sour herring salad served in a red bowl with a sprig of oregano! on the side. Wunderbar!

My Mutti's Herring Salad is such an easy dish to make for a perfect quick supper. Our kids LOVE this! Really. It's creamy and sweet and sour!   Wunderbar. Aka, Heringsalat, it's such a traditional German food that's so easy and fast to make. For our family, all that's needed are some boiled potatoes and dinner or lunch is ready. Yes, that quick!

This also makes a great German appetizer. Serve it with crackers or crusty bread. 

Kaffeeklatsch Trivia with a cup of coffee and steam rising

  • Rollmops (soused herring) are pickled herring fillets rolled around an onion or gherkin and a specialty of Berlin
  • Bismarckhering which are marinated in vinegar, oil, onions, mustard seed and bay leaves 
  • Matjeshering are pickled in a salt brine letting the enzymes ferment the fish
  • Matjesbrötchen are German bread rolls filled with pickled herring and sliced raw onions
  • Brathering are first floured and fried in butter before being marinaded in vinegar, onions, mustard seed, bay leaves and spices.
  • Pickled herring is a great source of vitamin D, vitamin B12, and selenium 

Mutti's Herring Salad Recipe


  • 1 jar (about 500 ml) herring, drained (see hints below)
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 3 - 4 dill pickles, sliced (optional)
  • fresh dill (optional)


  • Herring should be in bite-sized pieces.
  • Stir in the sour cream. Add more if needed.
  • Add the dill pickle slices and stir.
  • Serve immediately or refrigerate until needed.
  • Serves 2 - 3.


  • Add some sliced pickled beets for color
  • I usually use "Herring Fillets in Wine Marinade"
  • Use low fat sour cream or plain yogurt
  • Sprinkle with fresh dill

Oma's Tips

  • Use pickled herring that you get in jars. Drain well, keeping the onions with the herring.
  • Mix with the sour cream, add pickles if you wish, and that's it.
  • Remember to always keep a jar of pickled herring in the fridge for those really busy days when you need a quick dinner idea or as part of your quick and easy appetizer recipes. 

Fast, easy, delicious, and very traditional, why not try it for supper tonight!

Pretty pink potato and herring salad served in a white bowl, garnished with parsley.

Leftover Salad?

Just mix the leftover salad, some leftover cooked potatoes, and some sliced or cubed pickled beets ...

and ...

you have Herring and Potato Salad.  A pretty pink-colored salad that was my Mutti's favorite salad to make for buffets.  For the actual recipe, check it out here.

Quick Dinner Idea ...

Mutti's Herring SaladHere, I've served the salad with boiled potatoes and tomatoes. Sprinkle some chives over the top. Super quick. Super delicious!.
German Fish Recipe: herring saladHere, I'm serving this as an appetizer. I didn't add too much cream, just enough to smooth out the flavor. Parsley sprinkled over the top and ready to serve.

Especially useful after a day at work and shopping and in need of something delicious and quick.

First I'd put the potatoes on to boil.

Even faster, though, I'd do them in the microwave. Using new potatoes was best.

While they were cooking, I would start the herring salad. Finished!

A super supper ready in almost no time at all. 

More Salad Recipes

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