Home > German Food > Grüne Soße

Green Sauce Recipe

What exactly is Frankfurter Grüne Soße?

In Germany green sauce is known as Frankfurter Grüne Soße. It is a traditional dish in Frankfurt and Hessen. The cold herb sauce consists of sour cream, boiled eggs, spices, and of course, herbs.

Rumours and heated discussions about the origins of the Frankfurter Grüne Soße, as well as what is considered the authentic recipe, circulate about this famous german food.

plate with sauce, potatoes and eggs

German Green Sauce with boiled eggs and potatoes

Facts about Frankfurter Grüne Soße

Green sauces have been known for centuries in Italy and France. It is not certain whether French immigrants or Italian trading families brought the recipe to Frankfurt. It is also unknown why the Grüne Soße didn't spread all over Germany. There is only a variant eaten in Kassel, in the north of Hessen.

The most important ingredients of the Frankfurter Grie Soß, as the green sauce is called in the local dialect, are seven particular herbs. The percentage of each herb should not be more than 30%, and 70% of the herbs should have been grown in Frankfurt.

green sauce herbs

Herbs packages for Frankfurter Grüne Soße

The seven herbs are:

  • Borretsch - Borage - Borago officinalis

  • Kerbel - Chervil - Anthriscus cerefolium

  • Kresse - Garden Cress - Lepidium sativum

  • Petersilie - Parsley - Petroselinum crispum

  • Pimpinelle - Salad Burnet - Sanguisorba minor

  • Sauerampfer - Sorrel - Rumex acetosa

  • Schnittlauch - Chives - Allium schoenoprasum

The most famous myth is that green sauce was Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's favourite dish, invented by his mother. Locals love to connect their favourite fare with the renowned author, who was born in Frankfurt. However, there is no evidence that this rumour is true. Actually, the first recipe of Frankfurter Grüne Soße was published in a cookbook by Wilhelmine Rührig in 1860, almost 30 years after Goethe's death.

Frankfurter Grüne Soße has a protected geographical status in Germany, an application for Europe-wide protection at the European commission is still negotiated. There is even a Grüne Soße monument in Frankfurt-Oberrad, seven green houses, one for each herb.

Frankfurter Grie Soß is served with potatoes and boiled eggs, or with Tafelspitz (prime cooked beef), or fish.
Frankfurter Schnitzel is a crumbed (paniert) pork schnitzel served with green sauce and potatoes.

Whenever we have vistors from abroad, I recommend this authentic local dish because I really love it. I admit, reactions have been mixed so far.

Grüne Soße Recipe

Ingredients for 2 servings as a main dish

  • 250g herbs
  • 250g sour cream with 20-25% fat
  • 150g yogurt
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • salt & pepper

green sauce

Potatoes and Grüne Soße


Wash the herbs and dry them on paper towel, remove the thick stems

Peel the eggs and put the yolk into a mixing bowl, ad lemon juice, 2/3 of the herbs, 1/4 teaspoon salt and the yogurt

Puree using a hand blender

Stir the sour cream into the mixture

Add the coarsely chopped egg white

At the end, add the remaining finely chopped herbs and season with pepper, salt and lemon juice.

Let the green sauce rest in the fridge for at least one hour. Serve with boiled potatoes and boiled eggs cut in halves, this is the most traditional way.
I love it to mash the warm potatoes with a fork and mix them with the green sauce. We say "mantschen" which can be translated with mess around :).


You can use mayonnaise or curd cheese instead of the sour cream, or a mix of them.

When served as a side dish with fish or meat this recipe is enough for 4 servings.

My husband doesn't like the herby Frankfurter Grüne Soße, so the variant at home is called Schnittlauch Soße. The recipe is the same, but I use only Schnittlauch (chives), 4 eggs and I add a pinch of nutmeg.

potatoes, eggs, chives sauce

Schnittlauch Soße, my husband's favourite version of Grüne Soße

I really would love to hear how you like the Frankfurter green sauce.

plate with potatoes, eggs and green sauce

Still hungry? Here are more traditional German food recipes for you.

Copyright © 2010- Rita Amend.