This crisp and refreshing cucumber salad is the perfect to-go side dish with its mix of thinly sliced cucumbers, vibrant red onion, and tangy vinaigrette.

This post contains affiliate links. Read the disclosure policy.

Cucumber salad in a serving bowl.

About Cucumber Salad

If you’re hunting for a way to use up fresh cucumbers (whether it be from a garden or a great sale), an easy cucumber salad is always a great choice.

Perfect for outdoor BBQ’s, a simple side dish, or even just a quick lunch, this recipe is easy to whip up and travels well.

And though there are countless versions of cucumber salads out there, I tend to like the sweet-and-tart kind. The tangy combination of vinegar and sugar just can’t be beat, the dill adds just the right amount of freshness, and the crisp and crunchy cucumbers (and onion!) just add to the satisfying flavor.

If it isn’t already obvious, this is the kind of side dish I love making but have a hard time sharing.

Cucumber salad recipe made with sliced cucumber, onions, and tangy vinaigrette.

What’s in cucumber salad?

To whip up a batch of this classic summer salad, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • White wine vinegar – The base of the dressing, giving it a nice tartness.
  • Sugar – Counters the “rough edges” of the vinegar to create a sweet and tangy flavor.
  • Fresh dill, salt, and pepper – Adds refreshing flavor, which you can customize to your tastes. The salt can also help keep the vegetables from becoming soggy.
  • English cucumbers – The star of the show!
  • Red onion – For a pop of color and flavor.
  • Water – Helps keep the vinegar from being overpowering.

Which vinegar for cucumber salad?

There are a lot of versions of this salad out there (German, Thai, Japanese, Chinese, and the list goes on and on…) but this is a more “classic” recipe that focuses on simple ingredients. The key point is the flavor combination of tart vinegar and sugar.

And to keep that simplicity, this recipe uses white wine vinegar.

Which cucumber is best for salad?

In truth, you could use any type of cucumber you’d like for this recipe. And that’s not to say that there aren’t subtle differences in texture and tastes between all the types of cucumber out there – cause there are – but keep in mind that the dressing in this recipe is pretty powerful. The most important thing will be using a fresh cucumber that’s a good shape and even side for a pretty looking salad.

All that being said, I tend to like using English cucumbers for this recipe, if for no other reason than they do have a sweeter flavor (which works well with the dressing) and they usually grow in similar shapes and sizes, making it easier to ensure your salad looks pretty, too.

What to serve with cucumber salad

This salad has a sweetly tart taste, so matching it with mild savory dishes works best.

Some of my favorites:

Can cucumber salad be made ahead?

Yes, it totally can!

Just whip it up and store it in the fridge until ready to serve.

However, keep in mind that the longer the veggies have to marinate in the dressing the more they’ll lose some of their crunchiness. The cucumbers also may discolor a little, turning a yellow color (sort of like a pickle).

The salad will still taste just as good – in fact, I actually like it more after it’s had time to marinate a bit – but if the texture and the color are a concern for you, I’d recommend mixing the dressing and storing it in a separate container from the veggies until you’re ready to serve.

How long does cucumber salad last?

Given the above, this salad has a shelf life of about three to four days when stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator. If you’re concerned about color and texture, only plan to keep this salad for a maximum of one day.

Two forks serving cucumber salad.

Notes & tips for cucumber salad with onion

  • Want to make this salad but worried about slicing all of these veggies? Don’t worry, I felt the same way! Thankfully for you and me, there’s a kitchen gadget for that (and it actually worked). I use this Slicer+Peeler for any recipe that calls for a lot of cutting. I’ve tried a ton of other slicers, many of them way more expensive than this one, and this one has outperformed them all.
  • This recipe makes a decent amount of dressing so that the salad keeps a ton of flavor. However, you can drain any excess dressing if you’d like; just be sure to leave enough dressing so that a simple stir is enough to refresh the coating on the veggies.
  • Red onions can pack a bit of a bite, so if you want a milder flavor, try soaking the onions first. To do this, submerge the red onion in a bowl of ice-cold water and let it soak for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain the onions, pat them dry, and then use in the recipe as directed.

More great side dishes

How to make cucumber salad

This next part is only a photo tutorial of the recipe steps. If you’re looking for the full recipe measurements and instructions, scroll down to Recipe Details.

Step 1 – In a large bowl, whisk together the white wine vinegar, water, sugar, fresh dill, salt, and pepper. Keep whisking until you can feel that the sugar has dissolved.

Step 2 – Add the sliced cucumber and red onion to the bowl with the dressing, then use a spatula to gently toss and mix until the cucumber and onion are coated.

Step 3 – Cover the bowl and chill for one hour.

Step 4 – Serve and enjoy!

Recipe Details

Cucumber salad in a serving bowl.
4.60 from 35 votes

Cucumber Salad

20 minutes prep + 1 hour Chill Time
59 kcal
Yields: 6 servings
This crisp and refreshing cucumber salad is the perfect to-go side dish with its mix of thinly sliced cucumbers, vibrant red onion, and tangy vinaigrette.



  • In a large bowl, whisk together white wine vinegar, water, sugar, dill, salt, and pepper. Mix until sugar has dissolved.
    1/2 cup white wine vinegar, 1/4 cup water, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons fresh chopped dill, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Add the cucumber and red onion to bowl, then use a spatula to toss and mix until veggies are coated in dressing.
    2 large English cucumbers, 1 medium red onion
  • Cover bowl and chill in the refrigerator for one hour.
  • Serve immediately. 


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 59kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 393mg | Potassium: 185mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 117IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 1mg

I do my best to provide nutrition information, but please keep in mind that I’m not a certified nutritionist. Any nutritional information discussed or disclosed in this post should only be seen as my best amateur estimates of the correct values.

Author: Chrisy

Made this recipe?

Tag @homemadehooplah on Facebook or Instagram and hashtag it #homemadehooplah so I can see what you whipped up!

Explore more: Brunch, Game Day, Holiday Dinner, No Bake, Popular, Potluck, Recipes, Salad, Sides, Veggies, Videos

Take recipes "to go"

Leave a comment

Recipe Rating


    • Genice Hanson

    How long can this stay in the refrigerator?

    • Julia

    Can you substiture white wine vinegar with something else?

    • JULIUS

    So no peeling the cukes??

    • Not if you don’t want to. It’s a personal preference to leave the skins on or peel them.

    • Thisni Caza
    • 5 stars

    I don’t say this to be mean, but fyi. The ‘slicer peeler’ is actually a mandoline. I didn’t see ‘peeler’ anywhere in the description. Also, it’s currently unavailable. Maybe update the link?

    • Estrellita

    Can you use monk fruit sweetener?

    • Leah

    Great recipe. Thanks!

    • Christine
    • 5 stars

    Can you use Splenda instead of regular sugar ?

      • Lisa R Gingerich
      • 5 stars

      Absolutely splenda works great..