Cucumber Salad – A Couple Cooks
This cucumber salad recipe is crunchy, tangy and cool! Flavored with onion and dill, it’s refreshing and quick to whip up.
Here’s one of our favorite side dishes that’s packed with flavor and fits almost any diet: Cucumber Salad! It’s simple and punchy, with a vinegar-based dressing that packs in tangy, sweet and salty flavor. It’s ideal for just about anytime: summer cookouts or pitch-ins, lunches, or an easy make-ahead side dish you can keep in the fridge for dinners all week. This is one of our favorite because it’s so simple and packed with flavor (plus we both love pickles so it checks that box!).
Ingredients in this cucumber salad recipe
This cucumber salad recipe is actually more like quick-pickled cucumbers and onions than a salad (similar to this German Gurkensalat). While we love a creamy cucumber salad, the vinegar-based cucumber salad is our preference. It’s so easy, holds up well over time, and has incredible flavor. Here are the ingredients you’ll need:
- English cucumbers: look for the long, thin English cucumbers that come plastic-wrapped in the grocery store.
- White onion and red onion: or just use one type of onion. We like using both to get the bright color of red and the mild flavor of white.
- Fresh dill: it’s best with fresh herbs, but you can substitute dried dill here and it’s still fantastic.
- White vinegar: make sure it’s not white wine vinegar! This is straight white vinegar, which has a piercing straightforward flavor.
- Granulated sugar: a bit of sugar balances the acidity.
- Kosher salt and black pepper
English cucumber vs standard cucumbers
The best type of cucumber to use in a cucumber salad? English cucumber, aka Persian cucumber or seedless cucumber. It’s got a much better texture and flavor compared to a standard cucumber. Here’s a breakdown:
- English cucumbers are long and straight, with a thin, bright green skin with ridges. The seeds are very small and the flavor is sweet and mild. Because of the thin skin and small seeds, it doesn’t need to be peeled or seeded before eating. You can find English cucumbers next to the standard cucumbers in the produce section: it’s sold with a plastic covering to protect its delicate skin.
- Standard slicing cucumbers are shorter, with thick, dark green skin and very large seeds. The thick skin and seeds can be bitter, so they’re often removed when cooking.
Want to use standard cucumbers? You can substitute the same weight of standard cucumbers here and it will taste great too! Make sure to slice them very thinly, or you can peel them if you’re sensitive to the bitter flavor of the skin.
Tips for making cucumber salad
Got your cucumbers? Here are a few tips for making this cucumber salad recipe, the ideal summer side dish for cookouts, pitch-ins and more! Here’s what to know:
- Use a mandolin for easy slicing. A mandolin is a slicing blade that makes it easy to cut vegetables uniformly. If you’ve got one, it makes this salad recipe a breeze! Make sure to wear the protective gloves that come with the blade to prevent injury.
- Don’t have one? Use a chef’s knife to cut the cucumber as thinly as possible.
- French cut the onions. Cut the onion from the root end to stem end to make the most attractive-sized pieces (here’s a video).
- Refrigerate for 1 hour. You can eat this salad right away, but it’s best after 1 hour of refrigeration. This chills the salad and softens the vegetables.
This cucumber salad recipe is great for making in advance and holds up well in the refrigerator. Store cucumber salad for up to 7 days refrigerated. It tastes even better after a few days of refrigeration. Use it for side dishes all week long!
More cucumber salad recipes
There are lots of variations on this theme! Here are a few more cucumber salad recipes:
This cucumber salad recipe is…
Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free.
- 2 English cucumbers* (1 3/4 to 2 pounds)
- 1/2 white onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced (or more white onion)
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dried dill
- ½ cup white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon water
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- Slice the cucumbers as thin as possible, using a mandolin if desired. Thinly slice the onion.
- In a small bowl, mix the white vinegar, water, sugar, salt, and pepper. Pour the mixture over the cucumbers and onions, mixing everything together to ensure even coverage. You can serve immediately, but it’s best to refrigerate 1 hour so the vegetables become softer.
- Stir again to evenly mix the dressing. Then serve with a slotted spoon. Store refrigerated for up to 7 days.
*English cucumbers are seedless cucumbers with a very thin skin and mild flavor: they’re worth seeking out for this recipe. If you’d like, you can use the same weight of standard cucumbers: make sure to slice them very thinly or peel them if you’re sensitive to the bitter flavor of the skin.
- Category: Side dish
- Method: No Cook
- Cuisine: Vegetables
- Diet: Vegan
Keywords: Cucumber salad, cucumber salad recipe