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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.