• Salads | Side Dishes
  • Cucumber Salad Recipe

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    Light and refreshing cucumber salad recipe – perfect for a warm summer day. It’s a great side for just about anything you put on the grill – chicken, steak, and fish.

    healthy cucumber salad with dill

    This easy cucumber salad is light and refreshing for a warm summer day. It’s a perfect side for just about anything you put on the grill. I like to serve it alongside chicken, fish, or steak.

    It’s a popular salad in Germany where I used to enjoy it while I lived there during my college days. They call it Gurkensalat – some variations are with a vinegar base and some are with a creamy base. Both are delicious but this is my favorite.

    It’s very easy to make and it takes only about 10-15 minutes to put together. For more easy salad recipes, be sure to check out my favorite Caesar salad and Tomato salad recipes.

    Why you will love this easy cucumber salad recipe

    • Easy side dish: This quick & easy recipe is the perfect side salad for any meat, fish, or poultry dish.
    • Healthy: This nutritious salad is not only wholesome but also full of flavor.
    • Crowd-pleaser: Everyone will love this simple cucumber salad.
    best cucumber salad in a white bowl

    Ingredients

    • English cucumbers. I prefer to use long English cucumbers for this salad, but you could also use any type of cucumber.
    • White wine vinegar: You can substitute it with champagne or sherry vinegar, or even with apple cider vinegar.
    • Sweeter (honey, maple syrup, or sugar). You only need just a little bit of sweetener to balance out the acidity of the vinegar. You can use any type of sweetener, or you can skip it if you want.
    cucumber salad ingredients on a board

    How To Make Cucumber Salad

    • Mix cucumber and onions in a large bowl.
    • Mix white wine vinegar, water, salt, pepper, and sweetener in a small jar. Pour over the cucumbers and onions, and toss to coat.
    • Sprinkle some fresh chopped dill and toss the salad. 
    how to make cucumber salad and dressing

    Cucumber Salad Dressing

    If you are wondering what dressing goes with this salad, look no further. This simple dressing is light and delicious. It’s made with white wine vinegar, water, a tablespoon of sweetener, fresh chopped dill, salt, and black pepper.

    Quick and Easy Salad

    Even though this salad with cucumbers is very quick and easy, it doesn’t lack flavor. The simple dressing brings all the delicious and refreshing flavor of the marinated cucumbers. The cucumbers are crunchy and cool. Even though it tastes great with just vinegar and salt, adding onions & dill elevates this simple salad to something more interesting.

    This German cucumber salad is also healthy because it doesn’t use any mayo or sour cream. And if you are looking for a keto salad, you could substitute the tablespoon of sugar with another sweetener or omit it. I used English cucumbers, but you could use regular pickling cucumbers. If I use the pickling cucumbers, I would use 4 to substitute the 2 long English cucumbers.

    cucumber onion salad

    What to serve it with

    This quick salad is great as a side dish served with almost anything. Try it with some of these easy dinner ideas.

    close up of sliced cucumbers and red onion in a bowl

    Storing & Making Ahead

    Also, you can serve the cucumber onion salad right away or store it in the fridge before serving. In general, the salad can be refrigerated for about 2-3 days.

    You can make the salad 3 – 4 hours in advance. Slice the cucumbers and the red onion and store them in an airtight container in the fridge. Mix the dressing and store it in a separate jar in the fridge. Toss the salad with the dressing just before serving.

    If you are planning to refrigerate it overnight, season the sliced cucumbers with salt and place them in a colander sitting in a bowl in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to 1 hour. Allow the salt to draw out the excess moisture. Once the cucumbers have drained, discard the liquid and continue with the recipe. 

    cucumber slices and dressing in a white bowl

    TIPS FROM NELI’S KITCHEN

    Tips and Recipe Notes

    • Use English cucumbers for this salad – they have thin skin and peeling is not required. You can also use Persian cucumbers which are smaller in diameter.
    • Use fresh dill for the most delicious flavor.
    • You can use a mandoline to slice the cucumber and red onion into even and thin slices. Of course, if you prefer you can use a knife.
    • This recipe is best served immediately since the cucumber becomes watery over time. But you can prepare it 3-4 hours ahead of time and refrigerate it.
    • If you are planning to refrigerate it overnight, season the sliced cucumbers with salt and place them in a colander sitting in a bowl in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to 1 hour. Allow the salt to draw out the excess moisture. Once the cucumbers have drained, discard the liquid and continue with the recipe. 

    More Easy Salads

    This cucumber dill salad is one of my favorite go-to salads, it’s tasty, simple, and uses only 5 main ingredients. Some other easy salads are:

    close up of sliced cucumbers and red onion in a bowl
    5 from 8 votes
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    Cucumber Salad

    Light and refreshing cucumber salad – perfect for a warm summer day. It's a great side for just about anything you put on the grill – chicken, steak and fish.
    Prep Time 15 minutes
    Total Time 15 minutes
    Servings 8
    Calories 24kcal

    INGREDIENTS

    INSTRUCTIONS

    • Mix cucumber and onions in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
    • Mix white wine vinegar, water, sugar in a small bowl. Pour over the cucumbers and onions, and toss to coat.
    • Sprinkle some fresh chopped dill and toss salad.

    TIPS & NOTES

    • Use English cucumbers for this salad – they have thin skin and peeling is not required. You can also use Persian cucumbers which are smaller in diameter.
    • Use fresh dill for the most delicious flavor.
    • You can use a mandoline to slice the cucumber and red onion into even and thin slices. Of course, if you prefer you can use a knife.
    • This recipe is best served immediately since the cucumber becomes watery over time. But you can prepare it 3-4 hours ahead of time and refrigerate it.
    • If you are planning to refrigerate it overnight, season the sliced cucumbers with salt and place them in a colander sitting in a bowl in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to 1 hour. Allow the salt to draw out the excess moisture. Once the cucumbers have drained, discard the liquid and continue with the recipe. 

    NUTRITION

    Calories: 24kcal | Carbohydrates: 5.7g | Protein: 0.7g | Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 293.2mg | Fiber: 0.7g | Sugar: 3.4g | Vitamin C: 4.1mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 0.2mg
    Course Salad
    Cuisine Mediterranean
    Keyword 4th of July, Gluten Free, Grain-Free, Healthy, Low Carb, Low Fat, Paleo, Summer, Whole30
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    Comments

    Lauren

    5 stars
    Delicious and easy!

    GLENNA HAUPT

    5 stars
    This is the ONLY recipe that recommends salting and discarding the liquid after settling. I remember from YEARS ago that this was the most healthy method. I made this tonight (with fresh dill) and loved it. You should get 10 stars for this recipe.

    Marianne Hartnack

    what can i substitute for the dill?

      Neli | Delicious Meets Healthy

      Parsley would work too, even though it won’t taste the same.

    Olga

    5 stars
    Neli, it looks perfect and tasty! Can’t wait to have this anytime of the day, love it!

    Anna

    Neli, what a great idea! I love cucumber salads. Your version really pleases me very well, with ingredients that I often use in cooking too.

    Sophie Anderson

    5 stars
    I made cucumber salad twice times per week, it’s same with your recipe but after salad done, I add 1-2 tablespoons of chopped dry-roasted peanuts. It make the salad more tasty.

    Anthony Allen

    5 stars
    YUMMY..To me, this is a classic southern salad that brings back wonderful memories of summertime dinners that were full of fresh garden veggies. Thanks for yor recipe!!

      Eva

      This is definitely a classic in the North as well.

    Debi

    Try adding sour cream to your taste. My grandmother did it that way & I used to love it.

      Neli | Delicious Meets Healthy

      Thanks, Debi! Yes, another way to make a cucumber salad is with some sour cream or yogurt. 🙂

    debby

    can I not salt the cumber, my cousin is on a no salt diet.

      Neli | Delicious Meets Healthy

      sure, you can skip the salt if your cousin is on a salt diet. But it won’t taste quite the same.

    Joan

    5 stars
    Good recipe. I think the salt notation is a little confusing. Probably should read tsp for teaspoon instead of tbsp. My first try was too salty but second was just fine.

    Rivaria

    5 stars
    Simple & tasty cucumber salad recipe. Within 15 mins prepared & serve it. Nice:)

      Delicious Meets Healthy

      5 stars
      Thanks, Rivaria! It is very delicious indeed and easy to make too!

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