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Cucumber Salad is cool, crunchy, refreshing, and easy to throw together on a hot summer day! It’s easy to double for BBQ’s, potlucks, or just as an afternoon snack. Plus cucumbers are in season from May through August, making it the perfect summer salad! If you’re in a cucumber kind of mood, you must also try my Cucumber Tomato Salad!
Perfect for Summer
This Cucumber Salad recipe is one of my Grandma’s beloved recipes. I use the term ‘recipe’ loosely because she never really wrote any recipes down. “Just make it until it tastes right.” is really hard to do with any of Grandma’s recipes, especially this cucumber salad. But don’t worry, I have cracked the code! “Just make it until it tastes right” is today’s “measure with your heart”.
But, Where is the Sour Cream?
The most common question I get about this recipe is how to make this cucumber salad recipe with sour cream. Lots of German grandmas used to make their cucumber salads with sour cream and mine did not, hence this recipe. The best answer I have for you is to add your sour cream sparingly and taste as you go. Find what is most delicious to you and go from there. Some stir in half a cup to the entire recipe while others just dollop it on top at the end. It’s totally up to you!
Or try using Greek Yogurt, Ranch Dressing or Mayonnaise as your creamy stir in. Whatever floats your boat.
How to Make Cucumber Salad
This simple cucumber salad is filled with fresh crunchy ingredients. For full recipe details, including ingredients needed and measurements, see the printable recipe card below.
Peel + Slice Cucumbers
You can use a knife or a mandoline slicer. You want your cucumbers 1/4-1/8 inch thick. The thinner they are, the easier they absorb the dressing. If you’re buying from a store, English cucumbers are the best choice, but if you have fresh garden cucumbers, feel free to peel, slice in half lengthwise and scoop out the larger seeds if needed.
Thin Slice the other Veggies
Slice onion, green pepper, and garlic. These don’t have to be nearly as thin as the cucumber but small enough to be bite sized.
Make the Dressing, Pour over Veggies + Marinate
This vinegar and water based marinating liquid is as good as it gets. Stir it together with salt, pepper, and sugar.
Pour the dressing over the cucumbers and marinate. The longer it sits, the better it tastes!
Refrigerate for minimum of 6 hours (or even overnight!) and then serve.
Storing Leftover Cucumber Salad
Because this is vinegar based and essentially pickles, this cucumber salad can last in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Of course it won’t last that long because it’s so good, but it should be good for at least two weeks.
Cucumber Salad Recipe Tips and FAQ:
If I don’t have garden fresh cucumbers, I used English Cucumbers. I like these because they have thinner skins and don’t have to be peeled, but you certainly can. Persian cucumbers are another option. If you have garden fresh cucumbers coming out of your ears, feel free to use those too! You’ll want to peel or peel strips on your garden cucumbers because they typically have a thicker skin and can taste bitter. They also have bigger seeds that you can scrape away with a spoon.
For a sharp, strong oniony taste, use white onions. If you’re looking for a more mild flavor, try using red onions.
Green pepper is the most bitter and unripe of all of the bell pepper colors. It goes perfectly with this cucumber salad.
You need to store your cucumber salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator . You’re essentially pickling your cucumbers and the best way to do that is in an air-free environment. Also, you don’t want your fridge to stink! So, a bowl with a good lid, a large jar or a plastic container all would be great. My grandma used to use larger jars with a little plastic wrap under the seal for a little extra anti-leak insurance.
No, I don’t recommend freezing it. Cucumbers break down and don’t hold the same texture after they are frozen. They would be mushy. No thank you. Also if you added any sour cream or mayo to the dressing, it would separate and really compromise the entire salad texture. Enjoy it fresh!
Use a knife or a mandoline slicer. You want your cucumbers 1/4-1/8 inch thick. The thinner they are, the easier they absorb the dressing.
Remove cucumbers and vegetables from the jar using a slotted spoon to drain the liquid. Serve in a small bowl as a snack or easy side dish.
Delicious Main Courses to Serve with Cucumber Salad
More Summer Salads to Try…
Here are a few other summer salads that are delicious and perfect for potlucks, family get-togethers and BBQ’s:
- Simple Macaroni Salad
- Classic Coleslaw
- Amazing Broccoli Salad
- Creamy Potato Salad (no eggs!)
- Southwest Chicken Chop Salad
This recipe can become an heirloom to pass down for your family too, so try making it the next time you’re looking for a salad. If you make this recipe, I would really appreciate it if you would give it a star review! If you have a picture of your finished dish, post it on Instagram using the hashtag #laurenslatest and tagging me @laurens_latest.
Printable recipe card is below! Have a great day, friends! 🙂
- Peel cucumbers and slice very thin. Place into a bowl with onion, bell pepper, and garlic.
- In a liquid measuring cup, stir remaining ingredients together. Pour over veggies and stir. Cover and refrigerate 6 hours (at least!!) to overnight before serving.