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Light and Easy Cucumber Salad

Cucumber and Onion Salad is a simple, classic recipe of sliced cucumbers and onions in vinegar. The cucumbers are crisp and tangy with a touch of sweetness—perfect for a snack or simple side dish.

Cucumber salad in a serving bowl.

If you want a cool, refreshing summer salad for your next picnic, you will love this recipe for old-fashioned cucumbers and onions in vinegar. It’s so simple and so easy and keeps for several days in the refrigerator.

I love a great make-ahead dish!

Did you know cucumbers are a nutritious and low-calorie vegetable choice? That’s what I love about summer–so many healthy and fresh options!

We usually have a bowl of this cucumber onion salad in the refrigerator all summer. You can easily add to it as the week goes on by dropping a few more cucumber slices in the vinegar.

Tools for the Cucumber Salad Recipe

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You could use a mandoline for this recipe if you want to get super-thin cucumber slices or just slice the cucumbers with a knife. I like the cucumber slices to be about a 1/4-inch thick, so a knife works just fine.

Cucumber Salad Recipe Ingredients

👋 Want the printable recipe? Just scroll down!

Since this salad consists of cucumbers and onions in vinegar, that’s almost all you need to make it. Sprinkle in some celery seeds, a little sugar, and a little salt and pepper and that’s it!

  • Cucumbers
  • Onion
  • Vinegar
  • Water
  • Sugar
  • Celery Seeds
  • Salt
  • Pepper
Cucumbers and onions on a table with a bowl and knife.

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Cucumber Tea Sandwiches – dainty tea sandwiches with a slice of cucumber and a dill-cream cheese spread

How to Make Cucumber Salad – Step by Step

Step 1.

Slice some cucumbers and onions into a bowl and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Cucumbers and onions sliced in a bowl for cucumber salad.

Step 2.

Then combine vinegar, water, sugar, celery seeds, salt, and pepper in a saucepan and cook just until sugar dissolves but not to the point of boiling.

Vinegar in a pot with celery seeds.

Step 3.

Pour the hot vinegar mixture over the cucumbers and onions.

Pouring vinegar over cucumbers and onions.

Step 4.

Cool the cucumbers and onions until they are cool as a cucumber (I couldn’t resist that, sorry) and then refrigerate for several hours before serving.

Cucumber and Onion Salad is best when the cucumbers and onions get cold and a little crispy.

Old-fashioned cucumbers and onions in vinegar in a bowl.

How to Store Old-fashioned Cucumbers and Onions in Vinegar

The Cucumber Salad will keep in the refrigerator for several days. I use an airtight container so my whole fridge doesn’t smell like vinegar.

Are you looking for a cucumber salad recipe with sour cream? Try this one for Creamy Cucumber Salad from my friend Stacey at SouthernBite.com.

If you’ve tried this recipe, please rate the recipe and leave a comment below!

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Cucumber salad in a serving bowl.

Cucumber and Onion Salad

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Cucumber and Onion Salad is a simple, classic Southern recipe of just sliced cucumbers and onions in vinegar with a hint of sugar.

Ingredients

  • 3 cucumbers, sliced
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup vinegar (white or apple cider)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Place cucumbers and onions in a bowl and sprinkle a little salt over them.
  2. Combine the remaining ingredients in a saucepan and cook until just hot, not boiling.
  3. Pour over the cucumbers and onions. Cool, then cover and refrigerate.

Notes

Keeps in refrigerator for several days and is better the second or third day.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 6 servings
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 65Sodium: 200mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 1gSugar: 11gProtein: 1g

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Update Notes: This post was originally published June 14, 2013, and on May 14, 2019, was updated with one or more of the following: step-by-step photos, video, updated recipe, new tips.

This post is part of my favorite Southern Foods at Home collection.

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Rebecca Hynum

Thursday 1st of May 2014

I have thoroughly enjoyed your Southern Classic recipes and have pinned most of them since I use Pinterest as my go to cookbook while in the grocery store. Although all are familiar, there are always different twists to even someone's favorite often cooked dishes. I can't wait to try your recipes. Thought I might pass along a favorite of mine which came from my mother since your cucumber and onions recipe made me think of it. You would think it would taste horrible but it's actually quite good. No measurements -- just slice cucumbers and onions, slather them up with sour cream and salt and pepper. So good. I think somewhere I've seen folks add a bit of acid such as fresh squeezed lemon, just a tad to this dish. Again thank you for sharing all these delicious sounding recipes. Rebecca