Cucumber Salad, made with just 4 simple ingredients, is a fresh, tangy, and healthy side dish recipe. With simple ingredients like thinly sliced cucumbers, red onion and red wine vinaigrette, you will want to make this family favorite year round!
Sometimes, it’s hard to come up with a veggie side dish to make that’s quick, easy, and pairs perfectly with your entree. That’s why we LOVE this classic Cucumber Salad! We’ve been making this side salad for as long as we can remember and it’s easily considered a family favorite recipe.
A Cucumber Salad is also great to toss together when you’re on a budget. You only need cucumbers, red onions, olive oil, and red wine vinegar. With just a quick dash of salt and pepper, you’ll have your family’s new favorite side salad! We love it so much more than lots of other salads not just because of the simplicity, but also that satisfying crunch from the veggies.
If you need a veggie side dish on the table in about 10 minutes, this is a great recipe to utilize. It’s also really tasty if you have more time to play around with, too. We like to marinate the cucumbers and onions for up to 4 hours when we can. They really absorb the tangy flavor of the red wine vinegar that way!
Ingredients for Cucumber Salad
Fresh, all natural, and inexpensive – those are just three ways to describe this Cucumber Salad!
- Cucumbers – We like to use English cucumbers that are sliced nice and thin. A mandolin works fabulously if you have one handy, we have this simple mandolin that works great.
- Red Onion – Try to make sure all of the pieces are roughly the same size. You can also swap the red onion for a shallot, white onion or even a yellow onion. We like the milder flavor a red onion gives this salad, plus the beautiful pop of color it adds.
- Olive Oil – Since it’s such a key player here, make sure you use a good quality olive oil if you can! If you use a good quality olive oil, you’ll really be able to taste the flavor. If you don’t have olive oil, avocado is a good mild-flavored healthy substitute.
- Red Wine Vinegar – You can use white wine vinegar or even apple cider vinegar, if preferred.
- Seasonings – We like to season this simple side salad with freshly cracked black pepper and just a sprinkle of flaky sea salt. However, you can also add a healthy pinch of Italian seasoning!
How to Make Cucumber Salad
- Toss it. In a medium size bowl, toss to combine the cucumbers, red onions, olive oil and red wine vinegar. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
- Rest and enjoy! Cucumber Salad can be served immediately, but we prefer to let it rest for about 15 minutes before serving (or for up to 4 hours). If serving later, simply cover the dish and place in the refrigerator.
Variations to Try
- Switch up the seasonings. If you’re craving a little more flavor than just salt and pepper, there’s a lot you can do! Omit the salt and replace it with steak or fajita seasoning. You’ll be surprised at how well either of those pair with the red wine vinegar and veggies! Or go with a few good pinches of Italian seasoning.
- Sweeten it up a bit. If you want to balance out the tangy vinegar with a touch of sweetness, go for it! Sprinkle in just a pinch or two of either white granulated or coconut sugar to sweeten the salad up a little bit.
- Swap the red onions. If you find that red onions are a bit too potent or bitter for your tastes, swap them out for white or yellow onions.
- Add Tomatoes. Add some fresh tomatoes for our favorite Cucumber Tomato Salad!
Tips for the BEST Cucumber Salad
- Use English cucumbers. You can use any cucumber you like. However, we always get the best results with English cucumbers because they’re not waxed and they don’t have any seeds.
- Don’t store it for too long prior to serving. Cucumbers have a lot of water in them naturally. Keep in mind that the longer the salad sits, the more the cucumbers are going to produce water. The longest this salad should sit prior to serving is 4 hours – that gives the cucumbers and onions just enough time to really absorb the flavors without getting too watery.
- Try to make sure the veggies are uniform in size. When you slice the red onions and cucumbers, you want them to all be about the same size. Think about it – when you’re enjoying a forkful of Cucumber Salad, do you want one huge chunk of onion next to a tiny slice? Using a mandolin really helps keep everything similar in size.
You can enjoy Cucumber Salad all by itself or plate it next to one of these tasty entrees!
- Shrimp: If making a light and fresh dinner with shrimp, this cucumber salad will pair perfectly! These easy Garlic Butter Shrimp, or our favorite Fried Shrimp, will both go wonderfully with this side dish.
- Chicken: These Easy Baked Chicken Legs, or light and zesty Lemon Pepper Chicken, would be perfect served next to this salad.
- BBQ/Cookout: This cucumber salad is made for a bbq! Try it with our favorite Crockpot BBQ Chicken, Best Pulled Pork or Slow Cooker Country Style Ribs!
How To Store Leftovers
Cucumber Salad is best enjoyed the very first day it’s made. The longer it sits, the more liquid-y it will become from the cucumbers.
However, cucumber salad can be stored in an airtight container and kept in the fridge for about 1-2 days. When enjoying any leftovers, we usually drain out any excess liquid that has built up.
- 2 to 3 English cucumbers, sliced thin
- 1 small red onion, sliced thin
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- In a medium size bowl, toss to combine the cucumbers, red onion, olive oil and red wine vinegar. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
- Can be served immediately, but we prefer to let it rest for 15 minutes before serving (or for up to 4 hours). If serving later, cover the dish and place in the refrigerator.