Cucumber Salad

Featuring fresh dill, onions, and a sweet, tangy dressing, this cucumber salad recipe is a refreshing summer side dish. Bonus: it couldn't be easier!

Cucumber salad

This cucumber salad recipe is one of the simplest summer side dishes, and if you ask me, it’s also one of the best.

  • It’s versatile. Serve it with any cookout or picnic fare.
  • It’s flavorful. Shout out to the sweet and tangy dressing!
  • And it’s SO refreshing. Just the thing for a hot day.

It’s my take on a classic cucumber salad, complete with crisp, cooling cucumbers, red onion, and a punchy vinegar dressing.

My special twist? I shower it with dill and chives for a fresh, savory kick. This cucumber salad has definite dill pickle vibes, and I am 100% about it. I think you will be too!

Thinly sliced cucumbers on cutting board next to red onion, dill, chives, and honey

Cucumber Salad Recipe Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make this cucumber salad recipe:

  • Cucumbers, of course! I like to use English cucumbers in this recipe because they have thin, delicate skins and nearly undetectable seeds. No need to peel!
  • Red onion – For savory bite.
  • White wine vinegar – It gives the salad a delicious tangy kick. Rice vinegar works here too!
  • Honey – Its sweetness balances the tangy vinegar. If you’re vegan, feel free to use agave nectar instead.
  • Salt – It draws moisture out of the cucumbers, giving them a crisp, pickle-like texture. It also makes the flavors in this salad pop!
  • Fresh dill and chives – Dill is a classic ingredient in a cucumber onion salad, as its sour flavor pairs perfectly with the sweet and tangy vinegar dressing. I love to use chives here too. They enhance the savory flavor of the onion and give the salad a wonderful fresh finish.
  • Freshly ground black pepper – Add a few twists for peppery depth of flavor.

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

Thinly sliced cucumbers and red onion in glass mixing bowl

How to Make Cucumber Salad

This fresh cucumber salad is SO easy to make!

First, thinly slice the cucumber and red onion. I like to use a mandoline for slicing the veggies because it yields uniform, paper-thin slices. If you don’t have one, a sharp knife will work too. Do your best to slice the cucumbers and onion as thinly and evenly as you can.

Next, toss the veggies with the vinegar, honey, and salt. Stir well so that they are evenly coated and that the honey is well dispersed.

Then, chill the salad for 20 minutes. This step is super important, so don’t skip it! The chilling time gives the cucumbers a chance to soak up the dressing’s flavor. The salt will also cause them to release a lot of water. After the 20 minutes, you’ll transfer the salad to another bowl or serving dish, leaving the water behind. This way, your cucumber salad will be less soggy.

Finally, garnish with the fresh herbs and black pepper. Season to taste and serve!

How to make cucumber salad - tossing cucumbers and onions in mixing bowl

What to Serve with Cucumber Salad

This easy cucumber salad recipe is the perfect side dish for classic cookout fare. Pair it with whatever you’re grilling—veggie burgers, black bean burgers, you name it! Round out the meal with other summertime sides like corn on the cob, grilled vegetables, tomato salad, or coleslaw.

This salad is also a great addition to a picnic. Pack it up to enjoy with a sturdy salad, such as my Easy Pasta Salad or Cherry Tomato Couscous Salad, or with a sandwich. I love it alongside a Chickpea Salad Sandwich or Caprese Sandwich.

FAQs

Do you peel cucumbers for cucumber salad?

In this recipe, I call for English cucumbers, the variety that often comes wrapped in plastic at the grocery store. They have very thin, delicate skins, so there’s no need to peel them. If you can’t find English cucumbers, Persian cucumbers are a great substitute. Just note that because they are much smaller than English cucumbers, you’ll need to use more of them. I’d estimate that about 6 Persian cucumbers would work well here.

If regular cucumbers are all you have, you should peel them before making this recipe. I also recommend cutting them in half lengthwise and scooping out the seeds before you slice them. The seeds can be tough and bitter. You won’t miss them here!

How do you keep cucumber salad from getting soggy?

Cucumbers contain a lot of water, so cucumber salad will naturally be a little wet. However, we don’t want it to be too wet. This is why I recommend chilling the dressed cucumber slices for 20 minutes and then transferring them to another serving dish. They’ll release a lot of water while they chill, and removing it from the salad makes it considerably less soggy.

How long will cucumber salad last in the fridge?

This cucumber salad is best on the day it’s made. However, if you have leftovers, they will keep well in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Cucumber salad recipe

More Favorite Salad Recipes

If you love this cucumber onion salad, try one of these easy salad recipes next:

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Cucumber Salad

rate this recipe:
5 from 60 votes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Chilling Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Serves 6
This cucumber salad recipe features thinly sliced cucumbers, red onion, fresh dill, and a sweet and tangy vinegar dressing. Cooling and refreshing, this summer salad is a perfect BBQ or picnic side dish.

Ingredients

  • 2 English cucumbers, very thinly sliced
  • ½ large red onion, very thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey or agave nectar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • Chopped fresh chives, optional, for garnish
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, toss together the cucumber, onion, vinegar, honey, and salt. Chill for 20 minutes.
  • Transfer to a serving bowl, leaving any excess water behind. Sprinkle with the dill and chives, if desired. Season with several grinds of pepper and serve.

22 comments

5 from 60 votes (51 ratings without comment)

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Rate this recipe (after making it)




  1. Betsey
    06.19.2024

    5 stars
    This salad is delicious! I used our homegrown onions, cucumbers, and honey we just harvested. Thank you for such a delicious salad to use our veggies in!! Next batch I’m thinking of adding my homemade goat milk cheese.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      06.20.2024

      Hi Betsey, I’m so glad you loved it!

  2. Luanne
    06.15.2024

    Delicious. Just what I was looking for.

  3. Theresa A
    06.11.2024

    Sounds yummy, back to the store I go

  4. Dee Atkinson
    06.11.2024

    5 stars
    Very easy and very, very good! I used sugar instead of honey, and added tomato, and voila! Delicious!!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      06.12.2024

      Hi Dee, I’m so glad you loved it!

  5. Diane
    05.14.2024

    5 stars
    Seriously a very delicious & easy to make salad. Very crunchy! I added a couple of radishes that I wanted to use up and added red pepper flakes coz I like a little heat. I did have to substitute real maple syrup for the honey when I found I was out of honey. Surprisingly the vinegar cancelled the maple taste of the syrup. I can’t wait to try it with honey! Thank you for the recipe!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      05.16.2024

      Hi Diane, I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  6. Joe
    05.01.2024

    5 stars
    I was looking for a quick salad. I had cucumbers so looked up, of course, cucumber salad. Your recipe was so easy to make and so very tangy-tasty! A perfect pair with oven baked chicken and crispy oven roasted potatoes. Mixed in some spinach and lettuce. This one is a keeper!

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      05.02.2024

      Hi Joe, I’m so glad you loved it!

  7. Michelle Wiener
    04.17.2024

    5 stars
    This is delicious! I added feta cheese.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      04.20.2024

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  8. Dee
    04.15.2024

    5 stars
    Eating it now…so good, need to make another batch!

  9. Linda Valla
    04.01.2024

    I made this salad for our family’s Easter dinner. Delicious!

  10. Linda Valla
    04.01.2024

    I made this salad for our family’s Easter dinner. My niece said that she liked it so much that she had seconds (for dessert)

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      04.05.2024

      Hi Linda, aww amazing! I’m so glad the salad was a hit.

  11. Lynda
    03.27.2024

    5 stars
    Is it possible to make the dressing for rhe cucumber salad ahead of time, then toss later?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      03.28.2024

      Hi Lynda, sure, that would work.

      • Lynda
        03.28.2024

        5 stars
        Thank you for your reply.
        You are very sweet.

  12. Mike
    03.23.2024

    5 stars
    I added sumac for a a slight lemony taste after i tried it without, i also cook a lot of Mediterranean food and i use it a bit, I also used red wine vinegar because that was all I had but this recipe was amazing

    • Heather
      05.04.2024

      Was it good with the red wine vinegar?? That’s all I have also but I was wondering if it would be the same….

      • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
        05.10.2024

        Hi Heather, the red wine vinegar will give the salad a slightly different flavor, but it would still work here!

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Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.