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This Easy Cucumber Salad recipe is a family favorite recipe that people have been enjoying for ages. Thinly sliced cucumbers and onion are tossed in a sweet and tangy vinaigrette for a classic side dish. 

Cucumber Salad in a white bowl with a wooden spoon in it.

Cucumber Salad is a total classic! This particular recipe is heavily rooted in my German ancestry where they call it Gurkensalat. It’s a popular side dish that has made its way to America. It’s light, refreshing, and easy to make. There are two different versions of Cucumber Salad that you might find, one having a light vinegar sauce, the other being a creamy version. This recipe is for the light vinegar version. A creamy version would have a sauce made with sour cream, dill, garlic, sugar, and a little vinegar. Both vinegar and creamy versions can also be commonly found in southern cooking. While the recipe seems to have originated in Germany, it made its way to the Southern United States via German immigrants. There are slight variations out there, of course, but this version is my favorite.

What kind of cucumber should I use for cucumber salad?

English cucumbers have more flavor and less seeds and a perfect match for this recipe. If you don’t have access to English cucumbers, you can use regular seedless cucumbers. Since they are smaller, you will need to double the amount that you use.

SWEATING CUCUMBERS: This recipe calls for “sweating” the cucumbers. When sweating a vegetable you use salt to draw out excess moisture. This is commonly done when working with eggplant. You can certainly skip this step in the recipe, however, you’ll end up with extra liquids from the cucumber, which have a high volume of water content.

What kind of onion should I use?

Not only do they add some good color, but red onions are also perfect for eating raw. Be sure to slice them as thinly as you can. If you don’t have a red onion you can use a white onion in a pinch, but the onion flavor will be more prevalent. A yellow onion is not recommended.

Can I use dried dill instead of fresh?

Fresh dill is strongly preferred in this recipe. If you can’t find fresh dill or don’t have access, you can use dried dill. Use only 2 to 3 teaspoons of dried dill.

If you like this recipe, you may be interested in these other salad recipes:

PRO TIP: Use a mandoline slicer to cut the cucumbers and onions in this recipe for even slicing that’s razor thin.

Watch the video below where I walk you through every step of this recipe in my very own cooking show. You can find the full collection of video recipes on YouTube or browse them right here on my website with their corresponding recipes.

This Easy Cucumber Salad recipe is a family favorite recipe that people have been enjoying for ages. Thinly sliced cucumbers and onion are tossed in a sweet and tangy vinaigrette for a classic side dish. 

Cucumber Salad in a white bowl with a wooden spoon in it.
This Easy Cucumber Salad recipe is a family favorite recipe that people have been enjoying for ages. Thinly sliced cucumbers and onion are tossed in a sweet and tangy vinaigrette for a classic side dish.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 10 minutes
Ingredients
  • 2 English cucumbers thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 red onion thinly sliced
  • 1 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill minced
Instructions
  • Season cucumbers with salt in a large bowl and let sweat 1 hour. Drain liquids and toss cucumbers with onion slices.
  • In a small saucepan over high heat, pour in white vinegar and water and stir in sugar until dissolved and liquid turns clear, 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Pour over cucumbers and onions. Stir in dill. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 1 hour. Serve cold or at room temperature.
Notes

Nutrition

Calories: 70kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Sodium: 294mg | Potassium: 130mg | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 85IU | Vitamin C: 3.1mg | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 0.2mg
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: German
Keyword: Cucumber Salad

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Julie Martin

My husband loves this recipe. It is his most requested dish because it has the right amount of sweet and tangy taste. I like it because it is easy to make, delicious, and low calorie. I follow the recipe as stated, and have made it with both fresh and dried dill. The mandolin slicer makes prep fast and painless.

Lindsey

3 stars
This was great! I used red wine vinegar instead of white and didn’t add any water. If you want water in your salad you could skip the sweating part instead of adding a half cup of water back in after draining all the water out of the cucumbers. Other than that, loved it

5 stars
What a fantastic recipe! Can’t wait to try it.

April

5 stars
Simple and delicious!

Geri McGurk

5 stars
This recipe is delicious, and so easy to make!

Lisa

Delicious! I simplified s few steps: skipped sweating the cucumber. Only a teaspoon of sugar, water, and vinegar. Didn’t cook anything, just mixed it all together. Added some lemon juice and some pepper for extra pop. Definitely a keeper for fresh from the garden cucumber season!

Barbie

We love this recipe–especially with green peppers and cherry tomatoes added for color!!

Michele

5 stars
Followed directions except for cooking the vinegar and sugar. Everyone loved the salad. Very glad this was available!

OMG this looks so delicious! I have been craving cucumbers like crazy so I can’t wait to try!

Beautiful made. Look delicious!

Elizabeth Davis

I have loved this cucumber salad for years, but never could get it just right. Thank you, thank you, thank you for the right way to put it together. Can’t wait to try this recipe. Soon as we can get outside to a store!!!

Amilie

5 stars
Easy and delicious!!

kim vidor

OMG
I am not a cook but thought this would be easy…and it was….Did not have fresh dill, so I used dried…can’t wait to try with fresh dill….I did add a bit of spice…red pepper flakes and the was nice too….my whole family loved it…

Doug

5 stars
I cut the sugar by half and everyone though it was great! Quick, easy, and good!

Ryan

I reduced the sugar and still thought it was great. Excellent recipe if you’ve got excess cucumbers in your garden!

Patti McDermott

Me too! Perfect!

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