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Cucumber Salad

This Cucumber Salad is fresh and healthy, with crisp cucumbers and red onion in a tangy dressing. Enjoy this simple side dish with your favorite summer meals.

Cucumber salad in a white serving bowl with a serving spoon.

Cucumber salad has its origins in Germany, where it is called Gurkensalat. It’s a light and refreshing side dish, perfect for serving at a summer BBQ. Unlike a creamy cucumber salad, this recipe features a simple vinegar-based dressing that’s light and tangy. Red onion and fresh dill bring flavor complexity to this simple salad.

I especially love serving this cucumber salad in the spring and summer when we’re grilling for dinner. When you’re cooking dinner on the grill, simple, flavorful side dishes are the best way to round out the meal. I don’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen preparing elaborate side dishes on a warm summer day, and I bet you don’t either. Enjoy this easy salad with your favorite grilling recipes, like Grilled Pork Tenderloin, Grilled Chicken Thighs and Grilled Pork Chops. You will also enjoy this cucumber tomato salad recipe!

 

The Best Easy Cucumber Salad

These tips will ensure that your cucumber salad turns out delightfully fresh and flavorful.

  • Use English cucumbers, also known as hothouse or seedless cucumbers. The thin skin doesn’t require peeling and the seeds are very small, so you don’t need to remove them.
  • Thinly slice the cucumber and onion. If you have a mandoline, it makes it easy to get even, thin slices of cucumber. If not, a knife works fine, too.
  • Serve it right away, or chill the salad in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours and then serve. Serving the salad right after making it ensures that it will taste fresh, with crispy, crunchy (not soggy) cucumbers.

Cucumber Salad Recipe Ingredients

Ingredients for cucumber salad recipe.

You’ll need just a handful of ingredients to make this recipe.

  • English Cucumbers: You’ll need 2 English cucumbers to make the salad. You don’t need to peel or seed them.
  • Red Onion: The sharp flavor is the perfect contrast to the cool, refreshing cucumbers. Be sure to slice the onion thinly so that it doesn’t overpower the salad.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: Brings bright, tangy flavor to the cucumber salad dressing.
  • Honey: Brings sweetness to the dressing. You can substitute granulated sugar if desired.
  • Salt & Pepper: Use Kosher salt or fine sea salt and season to taste.
  • Fresh Dill: Finishing off the salad with chopped fresh dill makes all of the flavors pop.

How to Make Cucumber Salad

  1. Thinly slice the cucumbers. Place them in a large bowl, along with the sliced red onion. Sliced cucumber and red onion in mixing bowl.
  2. Whisk together the dressing ingredients. 
  3. Pour the dressing over the cucumbers and onions in the bowl and toss to combine. Dressing poured over sliced cucumber and red onion in mixing bowl.
  4. Add the chopped fresh dill and toss to combine.

Storing Cucumber Salad

This salad is best when it’s freshly made, but you can prepare it a few hours ahead and refrigerate it before serving. Leftover cucumber salad will still be good after storing in the fridge for a day, but it will be more watery and less crisp since the cucumbers will lose some of their water over time. 

To prevent a soggy salad if you plan to serve it later, you can drain some water out of the cucumbers before preparing the recipe. To do this, place the sliced cucumbers in a colander and sprinkle them with up to 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir and then place the colander over a bowl. Let the cucumbers sit for about 30 minutes to let the excess moisture drain out. Since you salted the cucumbers, reduce the salt in the dressing and then season the salad with salt to taste.

Close up of cucumber salad with red onion and dill.

Serving Suggestions

Enjoy this cucumber salad with one of these delicious dinner recipes:

More Easy Salad Recipes

Or, try one of these delicious Salad Recipes.

Cucumber salad in white serving bowl.

This easy cucumber salad always takes me by surprise! Who knew that such a simple, healthy salad would have everyone going back for seconds?

Cucumber Salad

Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine German
Keyword cucumber recipes, cucumber salad, cucumber salad recipe
Prep Time15 mins
Total Time15 mins
Servings 6 servings
Calories 32kcal
This easy Cucumber Salad is light and refreshing, with cucumber, red onion and a tangy dressing. Serve this healthy salad as a side dish with grilled meats, baked chicken or salmon.

Ingredients

  • 2 English cucumbers
  • ½ small red onion (thinly sliced, about ½ cup)
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • ¾ teaspoon coarse Kosher salt or fine sea salt*
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill

Instructions 

  • Thinly slice the cucumbers and place them in a large bowl. (You do not need to peel the cucumbers.)
  • Add the sliced red onion to the bowl with the cucumbers.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the apple cider vinegar, honey, salt and pepper until well combined.
  • Pour the dressing over the cucumbers and onions in the bowl. Toss to combine.
  • Add the chopped fresh dill and toss to mix. Serve immediately, for best results.

Notes

  • If using regular table salt, start with half of this amount of salt and then adjust as needed, to taste.
  • This salad is best served right after making it, but it can be made up to 2 hours ahead and stored in the refrigerator until serving. As they sit in the dressing, the cucumbers will lose some of their firmness, but they will also absorb more flavor from the dressing.

Nutrition

Calories: 32kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 294mg | Potassium: 172mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 111IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 1mg
Nutrition information is an estimate.
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