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How to Make an Easy Cucumber Onion Salad

Overhead of dressed cucumber onion salad in a bow with a wooden spoon and fresh dill garnish.
Recipe At-A-Glance
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Gluten-Free, Plant-Based10 minutes
Looking for a new way to use up that fresh summer cucumber? Add some onion and tangy dill and you've got yourself the perfect side dish.

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This Cucumber Onion Salad is remarkably simple—which I personally think is the mark of a really good seasonal recipe. In the summer, onions and cucumbers are so fresh, sweet, and delicious, you really want them to shine through. And this cucumber onion salad recipe does just that.

I’ve been eating this salad for as long as I can remember! It’s a classic in our family, and a great way to use up a bumper crop of fresh cucumbers. This is a no-muss, no-fuss recipe! It’s just a quick and easy summer side dish that’s a perfect last-minute addition to any of your summer cookout menus. Chances are, you already have everything you need to make it in your kitchen.

Overhead of six ingredients needed to make cucumber onion salad in bowls on a counter.Overhead of finished salad in a jar with a linen napkin and fork nearby.

What kind of onion do I need?

I do recommend looking for Vidalia onions for this dish. They are much sweeter and milder than your standard yellow or white grocery store onions. I’ve done this dish with “regular” onions in the past, and it works, but the onions are definitely the predominant flavor. If regular onions are all you have kicking around, I’d recommend letting the salad rest in the fridge for an hour or two before serving—the vinegar in the dressing will help to mild out the tang a little. I do not recommend using red onion, which can be quite overpowering and spicy when eaten raw.

Wholefully Protip

I highly recommend using a mandolin slicer for cutting both the cucumbers and onion in this salad. I’ve done it with a regular ole knife and cutting board before, and it’s a lot less tedious if you use the right tool for the job.

What is in the dressing for this salad?

This salad uses a super simple dressing of plain yogurt, white vinegar or apple cider vinegar, fresh dill, and a little salt and pepper. That’s all you need—this dish is all about the cucumber and onion!

When it comes to the yogurt, honestly, any kind of plain yogurt will do the trick. I’ve done this with plain Greek yogurt (full fat, reduced fat, and nonfat). I’ve done it with regular yogurt. I’ve done it with soy yogurt. I’ve done it with coconut milk yogurt. I’ve done it with sour cream even. It’s *really* hard to mess this dish up!
Cucumber salad in a jar on a white cloth napkin with a fork beside it.

How do you keep cucumber salad from getting watery?

This salad doesn’t tend to get watery like some other cucumber salads I’ve tried—I think it’s thanks to the thick creaminess of the dressing we use.

Can you make this side dish ahead of time?

Sure can! In fact, the flavors of this salad are better if you let it meld for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Sliced cucumbers on a cutting board.

How long can you store cucumber salad?

The cucumbers do tend to get a little soft after more than 24 hours. We recommend eating it within a day—which shouldn’t be any problem because it’s so delicious! You can stash it in an airtight container in the fridge while you’re working through it.

What do you serve with cucumber salad?

Cucumber salad is a great side dish for any of your summer cookout staples like burgers, chicken sandwiches, steaks—you get the gist.

Wholefully Protip

To get the pretty pattern on the cucumber slices, all you have to do is run a fork along the peel of a cuke before slicing. This not only makes for wicked pretty slices of cucumber, but the little ridges also help the yogurt dressing adhere to the cucumber slices.

 
Overhead of dressed cucumber onion salad in a bow with a wooden spoon and fresh dill garnish.

Simple Cucumber Onion Salad

Yield: 4 large servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

A Simple Cucumber Onion Salad is best made in summer, when the vegetables are at their peak freshness and their flavors can really shine through.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium cucumbers
  • 1 large onion, cut into thin slices
  • 1 cup plain yogurt (Greek, regular, soy, coconut - all work!)
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh dill
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Using a fork, scrape down the sides of each cucumber to make grooves. Slice into thin rounds.
  2. Mix cucumber slices and onion slices together in a large bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a smaller bowl, whisk together yogurt, vinegar, dill, salt and pepper. Pour over cucumbers and onions. Toss to coat.
  4. Refrigerate for 10-15 minutes to allow flavors to meld. Serve cold.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1 large serving
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 68Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 3mgSodium: 117mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 1gSugar: 7gProtein: 4g

At Wholefully, we believe that good nutrition is about much more than just the numbers on the nutrition facts panel. Please use the above information as only a small part of what helps you decide what foods are nourishing for you.

Cassie is the founder and CEO of Wholefully. She's a home cook and wellness junkie with a love of all things healthy living. She lives on a small hobby farm in Southern Indiana with her husband, daughter, two dogs, two cats, and 15 chickens.

Leave a Reply

19 Responses
  1. Awesome combination of wellness and good taste! This salad will surely complete vegan diet meal so I could go out my way feeling fit and fabulous. Lately, I’d been busy preparing vegan recipes that I could eat in a week. Looking online, from foodies blogs helped me out plus it kept my motivation to continue this intensive fitness goal of mine. Cucumber has always been my favorite because it could be included both in main dishes and desserts. This salad is also great in keeping my immune system strong.

  2. My recipe is with the sour cream salt and pepper. We have always sliced the cucumbers sprinkled them with salt and set aside for awhile to drain some water off, otherwise the dressing gets real watery. This way the dressing stays thicker and sticks to the cucumbers and onions better. I don’t use vinegar, but I will try with fresh dill. I love dill.

  3. karen s

    to prevent your cucumbers from being bitter: cut the tip off one end and rub them together. It will draw a milky white substance or a gel like substance to the end. wipe it off and continue until it is gone. This is what causes your cucumbers to be bitter. Then peel, slice, whatever and enjoy

  4. Sally

    I love this recipe! I’ve been making it since you first published it and I love everything about it. A summer staple in our house.

    Thanks Cassie.

  5. This is probably one of the few summer dishes that I’ve been making for as long as I can remember. I grew up on an ewe farm in southern Michigan and our summer gardens were ginormous. While my mother taught my sister how to actually COOK, and can, and preserve, etc. I learned all the quick stuff. Mom said it was because when I decided I was hungry, I was hungry NOW! And since we weren’t allowed to eat between meals, by asking me to collect, clean, and cut stuff up from the garden, and put together the simpler dishes, I could *sneak* my snack from the slices! Tus I was the weird kid who loved raw veggies INCLUDING broccoli and “color flower”. =) I never thought about it as a recipe though as I’ve always made it from memory, almost from instinct, until a friend asked me for the recipe. Thank goodness people like you record this stuff! THANK YOU!

    Like you I always made it with sour cream until a couple years ago when I switched for the same reason. I have never used, or thought of using vinegar though. My dish ends up w/ a lot of milky cucumber ‘juice’ in the bottom of the bowl so I would fear adding a liquid would make it runnier? I’ll have to try a little vinegar next time. Of course, I’ll have to try apple cider vinegar. ANY excuse I can find to use raw AC vinegar w/ the mother – I’ll take it!

    When I only have a half hour or so before people will be eating it, I use onion powder vs. onions because for some folks the fresh cut, raw onions are too strong or can cause really bad heartburn. By cutting the onion slices in long, thin strips and letting it chill for, no less than, a couple hours, it allows the sour cream or yogurt to work on the onions and make them a little more palatable and the overall dish even more flavorful.

    THANKS CASSIE!!!

  6. Z E Johnson

    Nice. Another simple variation is to make the dressing out of a little mayo, or yogurt, or sour cream and a little fruit juice apricot, peach or pear work best.

  7. Kat

    I was always told that putting grooves in the cucumbers makes you burp less after eating them, especially with homegrown ones. I have no idea if that’s true. I’m satisfied with the pretty-ness factor! 🙂

  8. jeri

    This is one of my all-time favorites down to the little fork trick. I usually salt the cucumbers and let them drain in a colander for a while. So much water comes off, it keeps the yogurt/sour cream from getting watery. Not that it ever lasts that long.

  9. TOTALLY not a stick-to-the-menu person!! I am all over the place. 🙂
    Grooves in the cucumber? I’ll have to try that! I have about 8,000 pickling cucumbers that I bought at the farmers market (and that’s what’s left after already making 2 huge jars of pickles!).
    I don’t know if I told you this- but you look SO pretty in the “bio” photo on the sidebar!

  10. Shauna

    Can I come to your garden? I am SOOOOO JEALOUS. I grew cucumbers in a pot last year, but never made anything with them, because I love cucumber so much, and totally eat them plain. Like an apple.

Meet Cassie
Meet Your Host

Hello. My name is Cassie, and I’m a healthy home cooking expert.

I'm a Certified Holistic Nutritionist, and I've been developing healthy recipes professionally for over 15 years. Food is my love language, and my kitchen tips and nourishing recipes are my love letter to you!

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