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oktoberfest cucumber salad and beer
Photo by Brett Sayles on

Fall means cooler weather, family gatherings, and holidays. For us, it also means Oktoberfest parties. We have a family cookbook full of must-have recipes for our annual party and Oktoberfest cucumber salad is high on that list. Crisp cucumbers in a tangy, yet sweet sauce that goes well with your sausage, kraut, and beer.

Oktoberfest: Friends, Family, Food, & Fun

Oktoberfest is objectively the best time of year. I know because I have done the math and compiled the spreadsheets. Is it because of the beer? Yes, but also no. Could it be that the weather in Florida outside is finally not surface-of-the-sun hot? Partially. Can it be the gathering of friends and family to share delicious food? That is part of it. Both of us can trace some aspect of our heritage to Germany, so being able to share our culture with friends and family is part of the fun as well.

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Oktoberfest is *our* event

I’m fuzzy on how it actually started but our annual Oktoberfest party has become our signature event. All of our local family and friends come over to the house and people ask about it each year to plan ahead. We spend the day cooking a veritable feast of pretzels, grilled sausage, spaetzle, cucumber salad, potato salad, sauerkraut, and toppings. It is honestly nice to have an event you can share with your community each year that you own.

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Cooking food is sharing your culture

Except for the sausage and sauerkraut, we make all of the food from scratch for the party using family recipes where we can. I was lucky enough to get many of my family recipes passed down to me when they compiled many of them years ago. That said, we have to give a quick thanks to Alton Brown for his soft pretzel recipe because it is simple, scalable, and near dummy-proof.

Oktoberfest cucumber salad recipe: most requested

I’m not sure why so many people are attracted to the cucumber salad recipe, but they certainly are. I never fail to get at least one person asking me for this recipe. Perhaps because it is unusual to have a salad comprised almost entirely of cucumber. Maybe it is the clever balance of tart and sweet people love. No matter the reason, this dish is a winner and worth making year round.

oktoberfest cucumber salad

Oktoberfest Cucumber Salad

German cucumber salad (gurkensalat) we make every year for our Oktoberfest party. It pairs well with beer, sausage, pretzels, potatoes, and spaetzle.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Refrigerate for 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 30 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine German
Servings 6
Calories 75 kcal


  • Mandolin slicer (optional)


  • cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp vinegar white or apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 4 cucumbers
  • ½ sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill weed, chopped


  • Combine the sugar, vinegar, water, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Stir until sugar and salt are dissolved.
  • Slice the cucumbers and onions thinly (on the mandolin if you have one)
  • Stir the cucumbers, onions, and dill together to mix them up
  • Pour the wet ingredients over the veggies and stir to combine
  • Rest the mixture in the fridge for at least 4 hours, but longer is better.


  1. The mandolin isn’t necessary, but will definitely make thinly slicing 4 cucumbers into consistent circles a lot easier. (use appropriate safety measures though)
  2. Feel free to adjust the wet ingredient mixture to taste; add some sugar if you find it too sour or add some vinegar if you find it too sweet. Add water if the mixture is too over powering in general. The key is the balance of sour and sweet.
  3. The longer this sits and marinates the better it will taste, so feel free to make this dish the day before.
  4. Serve this with a slotted spoon unless you want soup as a side dish to your sausage and spaetzle.
Keyword vegetarian

Note: feel free to find this and other recipes I’ve shared on my recipe page

Link to Plaza And Main St Recipes

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