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Frankfurt Green Sauce Recipe – Oma's Frankfurter Grüne Sosse

Oma Gerhild

by: Gerhild Fulson  /  Cookbook Author, Blogger, German Oma!

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Traditional in Spring in Frankfurt is this delicious cold herb sauce called Grüne Sosse, literally Green Sauce

Since the fresh herbs that are used in the traditional Frankfurter green sauce recipe are available in the springtime, this is also served on Maundy Thursday (the Thursday before Good Friday), which in German is Gründonnerstag (literally, Green Thursday), making this green sauce a perfect choice.

With seven different kinds of herbs, this easy-to-make sauce is served with hard-boiled eggs and Pellkartoffeln. Pellkartoffeln are boiled potatoes, usually new ones with thin skins, that have been cooked in their skins, then peeled and served.

Frankfurt Green Sauce Recipe - Oma's Frankfurter Grüne Sosse

A little history…

This famous German sauce was apparently renowned author Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's favourite dish. A famous myth is that Grüne Sosse was invented by his mother. The first Frankfurter Green Sauce recipe was published in 1860 in a cookbook by Wilhelmine Rührig, almost 30 years after Goethe's death.

You may notice that there's a similarity between Frankfurter green sauce and the Italian salsa verde. Perhaps that's because the Frankfurter one stems from Italy, as evidence suggests that it was introduced in Frankfurt by Italian trading families around 1700.

Germans decided to replace the vinegar and oil with cream. Naturally. Germans LOVE their cream!

Originally the sauce used mayonnaise, but that's changed over the years. Now there are variations that use combinations of quark, sour cream, plain yogurt, buttermilk, or crème fraîche. Of course, in each one of these, using full-fat varieties is key to the wonderful flavor.

Can you use low-fat or no-fat? Of course. But, the taste definitely will be lacking.

What traditional herbs are in German Green Sauce?

The springtime herbs are:

  • borretsch - borage
  • kerbel - chervil
  • kresse - cress
  • petersilie -parsley
  • pimpinelle - salad burnet
  • sauerampfer - sorrel
  • schnittlauch - chives 

In Germany, all it takes is a trip to the market, and you'll find just what you need, already prepackaged for you to take home and use.

Traditional herbs for Frankfurter Green Sauce available to purchase in Germany

Outside of Germany, some of these herbs can be really difficult to find.

One alternative, if you're really wanting to make the original Frankfurter Green Sauce recipe (also called Grie Soß in the dialect of Frankfurt, Hessen), is you could grow the herbs yourself. The seeds can be purchased online.

You can purchase seeds to grow your own herbs for Frankfurter Green Sauce

Alternatively, you can do what I do and use substitutes. Will the sauce be identical? Nope. Will it be similar and delicious? Yes!

Oma Says,

I never had genuine Frankfurter Gruene Sosse growing up, since I'm not from the Frankfurt area. It’s a recipe I needed to experiment with over here in Canada, since we don’t have access to most of the traditional green sauce herbs used in it.

That’s when I realized substituting other different herbs works. Even if it doesn’t taste the same, it still tastes delicious and brings that springtime freshness to the dinner table.

This famous German food is also a perfect side dish to serve on those hot summer days!

What substitutes can be used for German Green Sauce?

Ideally, find as many of the traditional herbs as you can. If you only have parsley, chives, watercress, and sorrel available, then just use them.

Alternatively, add in others that are your favorites. Here are some that make great substitutes/additions:

  • tarragon
  • dill
  • summer savory
  • lovage
  • lemon balm
  • spinach leaves
  • arugula

Here's Oma's collection of German favorites in Easter Feast e-Cookbook. Grab your copy today!

Take a look at Oma’s Easter Feast eCookbook and enjoy the traditional taste of German cuisine!

Take a peek at all Oma's eCookbooks. They make sharing your German heritage a delicious adventure!

How to make Green Sauce

Get all your ingredients ready. Choose the traditional herbs or your favorites. I only had parsley, dill, and chives available, so I used them.

Ingredients needed to make Frankfurter Green Sauce

Remove the egg yolk from 4 hard-boiled eggs and place them in a blender (or food processor if you don't have a blender). Chop up the egg whites into very small pieces and set them aside.

Remove the yolks from the hard-boiled eggs and chop the egg whites.

Add plain Greek yogurt, sour cream, lemon juice, oil, chopped green onions, 3 cups of your chosen herb mixture, and a bit of sugar to the blender and mix till smooth. 

Add everything except the chopped egg whites to the blender
Blend on high until herbs are chopped and sauce is creamy

Season with salt and pepper.

Cover and put the sauce in the fridge for at least one hour.

Add chopped egg whites to chilled Frankfurter Green Sauce and season

Stir in the chopped egg whites and refrigerate for at least another 30 minutes.

Don't have a blender?

One of our Kaffeeklatschers, Thea Justen, sent in her Mom's recipe that uses herbs Thea has available, yet she makes hers without a blender.

Her recipe is slightly different, yet so yummy as well. Take a look at hers and compare with mine below. 

How to serve this delicious vegetarian German dish

The most traditional way is to serve the cold sauce with hot boiled potatoes and hard-boiled eggs. However, there are a few other ways to serve green sauce:

  • Frankfurter Gruene Sosse with Tafelspitz (boiled beef).
  • Green sauce with pork schnitzel and boiled potatoes (or French fries). This combination is called Frankfurter Schnitzel and is traditionally served in the Frankfurt region with a glass of apple wine to drink.
  • Green sauce is also delicious with roast beef or fish.

More German Sauce Recipes

More popular dishes from Frankfurt

Ready to make this Frankfurter Green Sauce recipe?

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Frankfurt Green Sauce Recipe – Oma's Frankfurter Grüne Sosse

This cold herb sauce is a traditional dish served at Easter time in Frankfurt. With its seven distinctive herbs, this easy-to-make sauce is served with boiled new potatoes and hard-boiled eggs. 

Prep Time

10 minutes

Cook Time

none

Total Time

10 min + 90 min chill time

Servings:

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients:

  •  4 large hard-boiled eggs, peeled
  • 1 cup (230 grams) plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 cups (460 grams) sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon (15 milliliters) lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons (30 milliliters) sunflower oil
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • 10 ounces (280 grams) finely chopped mixed herbs (see Notes/Hints below) 
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  •  salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions:

  1. Cut the eggs in half and remove the yolks. Put the egg yolks into a blender. Set the egg whites aside.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients to the blender and mix till smooth.
  3. Pour into a mixing bowl and season with salt and pepper. Mix well.
  4. Cover and put in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
  5. Finely dice the egg whites and add to the sauce.
  6. Mix well.
  7. Refrigerate for at least 30 more minutes.
  8. Serve the cold sauce with hot potatoes that have been cooked in their skins and more hard-boiled eggs.

Notes/Hints:

  • For the herbs, the classic mix: borage, chervil, cress, parsley, salad burnet, sorrel, and chives. Use an equal amount of each herb to make up the 10 ounces by weight or 3 cups.
  • Substitute herbs that can be used: tarragon, dill, summer savory, lovage, lemon balm, spinach leaves, and arugula.
  • Add 1 tablespoon mustard, such as a hot mustard or a whole-grain mustard.
  • Use olive oil instead of sunflower oil.
  • Use white wine vinegar instead of lemon juice.
  • Use white pepper if you don't want black specks in your sauce.
  • Add several finely chopped gherkins along with the diced egg whites.
  • To make the Pellkartoffeln, choose potatoes that are the same size, preferably on the smaller size (not the baby potatoes). Boil them in salted water until they are just tender. Peel them while they are still hot, and serve.

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Unless otherwise noted recipe, images and content © Just like Oma | www.quick-german-recipes.com

04.12.2022 revision update

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Traditional for Easter in Frankfurt is Green Sauce. With its 7 distinctive herbs, this is easy-to-make sauce is served with boiled new potatoes and hard-boiled eggs.

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