Creamy German Cucumber Salad Recipe – Oma's Norddeutscher Gurkensalat

Oma Gerhild

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

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This northern German cucumber salad recipe, aka Norddeutscher Gurkensalat, is one of our favorite summer salads. It's the one that's most popular in Northern Germany. In fact, it's one that I just can't change the recipe for.

I've tried, BUT, nothing beats this delicious version that I grew up with.

This cucumber salad is so delightfully refreshingThis is the first time my granddaughter made the German cucumber salad recipe. It turned out wunderbar!

It seems that whenever I make it, I never make enough. Somehow, it always disappears quickly. My plan is always to make more the next time, after all, it's a quick German recipe ... so easy to make.

Tips and Tricks for Cucumber Salad :)

  • You can use any type of cucumber for this recipe, but English cucumbers work best. If the skin is nice and thin, don't bother peeling them. Leaving the peel looks pretty in the salad and is healthier. Lecker!
This cucumber salad is so delightfully refreshing!
  • Some people remove the seeded center part of the cucumber to help remove some of the excess water. I don't. I love using the whole cucumber, including the cucumber juices. It's healthy. Why throw some of it away?
  • If you wish, you can make it hours ahead – you just need to make it a bit differently then. The problem is that cucumbers are quite watery and if the dressing is added early, the cucumbers release liquid which dilutes the dressing. There are two ways to tackle this:
  • One way is to slice cucumbers thinly, then put them into a bowl, sprinkle them with a teaspoon of salt, and stir. Let sit for about one, or even a couple of hours. The salt will draw out the cucumbers' excess moisture. (This will help keep the dressing from thinning out too much while the cucumbers are marinating.) Drain well and pat dry with a paper towel. Add the dressing to which you have NOT added salt. Rather, taste the final salad before adding extra salt if needed.
  • Another way to pre-make the salad is to cut the cucumbers into paper-thin slices. A sharp knife or mandoline slicer will help. Then, leave them in a bowl covered with plastic wrap in the fridge. Make the dressing and refrigerate it as well. Combine the cucumbers and the dressing just before serving.
  • You'll find that when you serve this delicious salad, everyone will want the recipe, so be prepared to give it out. Adults and kids alike just love the taste of fresh cucumbers in the creamy dill dressing.

Want a cucumber salad without the creamy dressing?

Above is my cucumber salad with a simple vinegar dressing that makes a very refreshing side dish that's perfect for buffets and picnics. It's also a perfect accompaniment to most meals. Here's the recipe.

Lydia Remembers...

I have so many wunderbar memories in the kitchen with my Oma, and have had MANY of her most popular and traditional recipes, like this homemade cucumber dill salad! 

Oma and I have made this staple side salad for many family gatherings and it has certainly become a favorite. It's a refreshing side dish that adds a bright and summery feel to any meal! 

Making this traditional recipe is quite the yummy treat for me considering pickles are my FAVORITE snack of all; the dill flavoring is spectacular. For all you dill lovers looking for a light summer snack, this is the one!

I remember learning to make this salad a few different ways. The Northern and the Southern way! The dill makes for such a nice punch of flavor. 

Learn a little bit about me, Lydia, and my kitchen adventures with Oma!

Grab your copy of Oma's favorite salads in her Summer Salads e-Cookbook.

Take a look at Oma’s Summer Salads 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!


Yep. Hummus. Sylvie, my daughter-in-law, shares that hummus is delicious with this. Her easy hummus recipe is so quick to make and it's becoming wildly popular in Germany. Try it. I think you'll like it too!

Oma says,

When making this creamy cucumber salad recipe, you can use low-fat sour cream or yogurt instead of regular sour cream. Personally, I love to use Greek yogurt.

Fresh dill is awesome for the best flavor, but frozen or dried are good too. Not only is the resulting salad so tasty, but any remaining dressing is devoured as well.

Did you know ...

 ... that this simple side dish is one of the TOP 10 traditional side dishes to serve with Rouladen? Really.

Looking for more recipes for German salads?

Ready to make the best German cucumber salad?

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Creamy German Cucumber Salad Recipe – Oma's Norddeutscher Gurkensalat

This refreshing summer salad, the creamy cucumber salad that's popular in northern Germany, is made with simple ingredients. It's a great way to use up fresh cucumbers from the garden. It's also a perfect salad to bring along to a summer cookout since it's a perfect accompaniment to grilled meats. Have I mentioned that it's perfect? ;)

Prep Time

10 minutes

Cook Time


Total Time

10 minutes


Makes 4 servings


  • 2 cucumbers, peeled and thinly sliced 
  • ½ cup sour cream 
  • ½ teaspoon dill, preferably fresh (or more to taste)
  • 1½ teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1½ teaspoons granulated sugar
  • salt and pepper


  1. Put the thin cucumber slices into a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the dressing ingredients: sour cream, dill, lemon juice, and sugar. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate.
  3. Just before serving, pour the creamy dressing over the thinly sliced cucumbers and mix.


  • If you have time, you can pre-slice the cucumbers and sprinkle them with a little salt and let them stand. Pour off the excess liquid by draining the slices in a sieve. Add the sour cream mixture to the drained cucumbers and mix.
  • Use regular cucumbers or seedless cucumbers; if you use English cucumbers, there's no need to peel.
  • Use apple cider vinegar, white vinegar, or white wine vinegar instead of lemon juice.
  • Use low-fat sour cream, plain yogurt, or Greek yogurt instead of the regular sour cream. Use vegan yogurt for a vegan version.
  • My personal preference is to leave the salad as is, however any of the following would make a great addition: thinly sliced raw onions, such as red onion, white onion, sweet onion, or green onions. Fresh chives are also delicious.
  • Make variations of this recipe by experimenting with any of your favorite fresh herbs for a different taste.
  • There are non-creamy versions of this delicious side dish that are popular in Southern Germany. Check out my version of a southern German cucumber salad.

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Unless otherwise noted recipe, images and content © Just like Oma |

04.21.2023 revision update

Below is Karen's recipe (from Lethbridge, AB Canada) that she sent into our 2012 Quick Christmas Recipe Contest. It's a great traditional cucumber salad from her Oma.

Karen's Oma's Gurkensalat


  • 1 cucumber
  • 3 green onions or sweet white onion sliced
  • 4-6 radishes sliced
  • ½ teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
  • ½ teaspoon chopped dill
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • ½ teaspoon granulated sugar
  • salt & pepper to taste


  • Slice cucumber with or without skin
  • Add sliced onion, radishes, and herbs.
  • Make dressing and pour over veggies.
  • Let sit in the fridge for at least an hour, stir before serving.
  • Serves about 4 people

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This cucumber salad is so delightfully refreshing, especially in the summer.

Oma's German Cucumber Salad Recipe ~ Northern Gurkensalat

Oma's Northern German Cucumber Salad Recipe ~ Gurkensalat
Traditional German Cucumber Salad recipe that brings back memories of Mutti's cooking. Creamy, tart, sweet, yummy! Just like it's made in northern Germany! OH. SO. GOOD.

Ingredients: cucumber, sour cream, fresh dill, lemon juice, sugar, seasonings,

For the full recipe, scroll up ...

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