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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 Rachel will walk you through every step of this recipe. Sometimes it helps to have a visual, and we’ve always got you covered with our cooking show. You can find the complete collection of recipes on YouTube, Facebook Watch, or our Facebook Page, or right here on our website with their corresponding recipes.

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
  • 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
  • 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.


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
April 26, 2020 3:37 pm

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.

May 31, 2020 7:23 am
Reply to  Julie Martin

When you used dry dill, how much did you use?

Julie Martin
June 1, 2020 6:54 pm
Reply to  Angela

2 generous teaspoons of dry dill.

Chris T
July 18, 2020 1:23 pm
Reply to  Angela

I used the full amount still, and it tasted wonderful. I also cut the sugar in half, but I like a tangy vinaigrette.

July 27, 2020 7:50 am
Reply to  Angela

Making this tonight. I know this is going to be delicious, like all your other recipes.

June 30, 2019 2:10 pm

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

August 2, 2019 4:57 pm

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!

September 13, 2020 1:28 pm
Reply to  Lisa

So glad you wrote your version. Was hoping to eliminate all those steps and lower the sugar. Thanks.

Judy Rimer
June 3, 2020 3:09 pm

Love the recipe! Only thing I did differently is used 1/2 red onion and 1/2 sweet onion. I also use a small fork to score the sides of the cucumbers… looks pretty!

Carol Tiller
July 13, 2020 6:19 pm

5 stars
Favorite Cucumber Salad recipe. Easy to make and delicious.

Suzanne Rothwell
June 22, 2020 10:51 am

5 stars
Delicious. Perfect to serve with bagels and nova/lox for a branch. A cool summer salad. This recipe is right that the dill should marinate with the cucumbers–not be added later. Also the longer it marinates the better. I make this one day ahead. And I make this to have over several days. Thank you.

June 21, 2020 11:22 am

This was the best it was easy and just as good the next day. I made sure cucumbers were dried with paper towel before adding dressing which kept everything crispy. Will continue to make it

May 18, 2020 7:40 am

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

August 1, 2020 11:26 am
Reply to  Barbie

Cherry tomatoes sound amazing and so lovely with this!!!!

September 13, 2020 1:31 pm
Reply to  Barbie

Oh great idea about adding peppers and tomatoes.

April 21, 2020 10:20 pm

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

April 21, 2020 10:30 am

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

April 20, 2020 1:22 pm

Beautiful made. Look delicious!

October 13, 2020 1:11 pm

I simply love this recipe!!! Instead of using sugar I used agave syrup and used Brags apple cider vinegar instead.

August 31, 2020 7:27 am

5 stars
Lovely recipe I will substitute the sugar for monkfruit

Pat boskey
July 28, 2020 1:57 pm

5 stars
We love this simple recipe – very delicious!
I stay at home chef is my go to for recipes. She never disappoints!!

November 14, 2019 1:55 pm

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

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