Cucumber Salad

Cucumber Salad Recipe Video – scroll down for recipe

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Cucumber salad a great thing to make the day before a big party because it just gets better in the fridge for the first couple days. After that, it’s still good, but definitely best if eaten within 2-48 hours of making it. Serve it with any grilled meat or even with sandwiches. A good rule is, if you’d serve pickles with it, you can serve cucumber salad with it, too.

My mom used to make this often and it was always one of my favorites. She called it “quick pickles”. Now, my friend Steph makes this for just about every potluck. She calls it “cucumbers’n’onions” and she makes the best. I tried to get her recipe once, but she just said, like anyone who’s been improvising the same recipe for years, “a little vinegar, a little sugar, yadda yadda, you know”. So I had to do some actual measuring (blech!) and adjusting, but this here’s a pretty good copy-cat recipe of Steph’s cucumbers’n’onions.

Cucumber Salad Recipe – printable!


Cucumber Salad

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5 from 5 reviews

  • Yield: 4-6 1x


  • 1 large cucumber
  • 1 small white or yellow onion
  • 1/3 cup vinegar (rice, white wine or champagne vinegar preferred)
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • Optional: 1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed


  1. Use a fork to score the cucumber lengthwise, all around, cutting through the skin.
  2. Slice very thinly.
  3. Peel the onion, halve it, and slice into thin half-circles.
  4. Dissolve the sugar and salt in the vinegar in a large bowl.
  5. Add the cucumber, onion, and dill if using.
  6. Refrigerate 1-2 hours before serving.


This keeps well in the refrigerator up to 48 hours, and keeps decent in the fridge up to 56 hours.

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If you like this cucumber salad, take a peek at this great tabouli recipe, it also travels well and can be made ahead of time!


  1. Great Stone Face on June 9, 2012 at 5:16 pm
  2. Mother Effingby on June 9, 2012 at 11:45 pm

    My pa used to make this with big old Bermuda onions. I can’t even GET Bermuda onions in the store. I guess I have to settle for Vidalia onions. But this is just like the recipe he made. We used to make it on Sundays after morning church and before evening church. Lotsa potluck dinners.

    • Hilah on June 10, 2012 at 7:06 pm

      Ooh, you know I found an old recipe for Onion Salad in my grandma’s collection. I think it said to slice the onions, them pour boiling water over them, cool, drain, then soak in ice water, drain, and pour over a vinaigrette. I bet you could skip the boiling water if you found some of those sweet onions, though.
      Come to think of it, I haven’t seen Bermuda onions since I was a kid either. Just Vidalia. I wonder about that…

  3. Great Stone Face on June 10, 2012 at 8:55 am

    Oops. Bad link. Here is the correct one.

    • Hilah on June 10, 2012 at 7:11 pm

      Yum! Looks like you did add the red bell peppers?

  4. Great Stone Face on June 10, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    Yes, we had a jar of roasted peppers in the cupboard. I cut a couple up and mixed them in for color. This was a quadruple recipe, and I drained off a bunch of the liquid just before serving. The folks from my former office really enjoyed it. Thanks for the recipe!
    We just watched an episode of “Two Fat Ladies” on The Cooking Channel. Their recipe for cucumber sauce evoked somewhat (in my mind) your cucumber salad recipe. They peeled and seeded a cucumber and chopped it finely. The cuke was mixed with choped chives, sugar, and vinegar. Then left for 30 minutes. The liquid was strained off and the cuke was mixed with sour cream. They served the cuke sauce over salmon mousse.

    • Hilah on June 12, 2012 at 8:26 am

      Wow, that cucumber sauce recipe sounds really good. I need to watch some of those old episodes. Kinda surprised to hear it’s on the Cooking Channel.

  5. Jackson on June 17, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    Just made this, I had some small yellow tomatoes from my CSA and threw those in too. Great easy little recipe, perfect for a hot Sunday afternoon. Thanks!

    • Hilah on June 17, 2012 at 3:51 pm

      Hi Jackson! That sounds great – I’m planning to make a variation of this salad today, too. Thanks for commenting! Have a nice Sunday.

  6. Sue Gabson on June 27, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    I make this all the time it’s great! My dad grown onions called Elissa Craig and they are awesome in this. For a different twist try it with thinly slices kohlrabi. Just let it marinade a little longer

    • Hilah on June 28, 2012 at 8:48 am

      Hi Sue!
      I’ve never heard of those onions – I’m guessing they’re an heirloom variety? I love the idea of kohlrabi, too. I haven’t had that in years!

  7. Sherry on June 29, 2012 at 12:55 am

    My fellow teachers and I used to BEG the cafeteria ladies to make cucumber salad for us. Their version had diced tomatoes. It was OH so refreshing on one of those fiery-
    temperature days.

    • Hilah on July 1, 2012 at 9:44 pm

      Yum, Sherry! That sounds good! I know exactly what you mean about fiery hot days!

    • Mother Effingby on July 4, 2012 at 1:39 am

      Cucumber salad is also very good with steamed shrimp and pickled ginger! And a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds, too. I forgot about this. It’s served as an appetizer in sushi restaurants sometimes.

      • Hilah on July 5, 2012 at 9:32 am

        Oh yeah! I love that stuff.

  8. Sherry on August 12, 2012 at 8:05 am

    There should be warning label on this recipe: It’s addicting! I’ve made five batches in the last week (2 of those were double-batches for a total of 7 batches) and I ate almost all of them myself! It’s so quick, easy and cheap! Thank you for sharing this!

    • Hilah on August 13, 2012 at 9:22 am

      Haha! Thanks, Sherry! Yes, I find it a little too easy to eat, myself. 😉 At least it’s light and pretty healthy!

  9. Midori on November 27, 2012 at 11:13 pm

    well i will for sure look forward to make this! =D for tmrw thanks hun!

  10. Jackie on February 5, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    My mother-in-law used to make this salad. She peeled the cucumber, slice thin,place in a colander along with diced onions , s bit pf salt and pepper and press them for a couple of hours to get all the water out of the cucumbers. The dressing was similar to yours except she added a bit of cream or buttermilk. It was yummy. Of course being an old fashioned cook it was “a pinch of this, a dash of that” (you know what I mean)
    Will try yours and compare – bet they are both delicious.

    • Hilah on February 6, 2013 at 10:22 am

      That sounds good, Jackie! Reminds me of the one I’ve had at German restaurants a few times. The cool buttermilk makes such a refreshing dressing. Hope you like my version, too. Thanks for writing!

  11. "Grandpa Al" on January 31, 2021 at 2:35 pm

    So a short backstory first, I heard that my kid brother (note I’m 64 and he is he’s 61, so yeah, technically, still and for always, my kid brother), I heard that he was talking about our mom’s cucumber and onion salad and how he couldn’t duplicate it, I guess… Anyway I got this second hand from a buddy of his and I made a mental note to, one day….. and lo and behold, the calendar said that’s today… So I’m going to make it, staying true to YOUR recipe…. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

    I’m kinda doing this one for him so I won’t really know until later,

    • Hilah on February 1, 2021 at 9:41 am

      Do let me know if this cucumber salad is the one you’ve been looking for!

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