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This cucumber salad with vinegar is perfect for barbecues and picnics, a refreshing mix of tangy and salty sliced cucumbers and onions. 

Cucumber salad with vinegar
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This cucumber salad with vinegar is everything summer! Did you grow up with the tradition of eating it? It’s perfect for everything from summer potlucks to patio barbecues to picnics. It accessorizes perfectly with everything from salmon to a grilled burger.

The thinly sliced cucumbers and onions are salty, tangy, and lightly sweet all at once, and totally addicting. This cucumber salad is vegan, plant-based, and gluten-free, so it works for lots of diets too. Keep reading for how to make it!

Or, try it creamy! Try our Cucumber Salad with Sour Cream.

Ingredients in this vinegar cucumber salad recipe

There are only a few ingredients you need to whip up this cucumber salad with vinegar.

  • Cucumbers: English cucumbers are preferable if you can find them. They have a sweet flavor, delicate skin, and imperceptible seeds. You can use standard cucumbers as well, but we recommend English if you can find them (also called Persian cucumbers).
  • White onion: The mild flavor of white onion is key in this recipe. You can also combine white onion and red onion as we do in our classic cucumber salad.
  • Fresh dill: Here we’ve used fresh dill to add an herby flair. But it’s not a requirement: making the salad without it still tastes excellent. You can also substitute dried dill if desired.
  • White vinegar, sugar, and kosher salt: These ingredients combine to make a tangy brine for the salad.

How to make cucumber salad with vinegar

This cucumber salad with vinegar is incredibly easy to make: the only hard part is waiting while it marinates in the refrigerator! The trick to mastering this cucumber salad is to slice the onions and cucumbers as thinly as possible. Slicing the cucumber and onion thinly allows the salt to draw out most of the moisture, and gives this salad the most incredible texture.

Cucumber salad step 1: Slice the ingredients.

Step 1: Thinly slice the cucumbers and onions. If you have a mandolin, it works well for slicing the cucumbers: but it’s not needed at all: a simple knife will do the trick!

Cucumber salad step 2: Whisk together the vinegar, salt and sugar.

Step 2: Whisk together the white vinegar, sugar, and salt.

Cucumber salad step 3: Allow the salad to marinate.

Step 3: Once the cucumbers and onions are mixed with the vinegar, salt and sugar (they’re basically quick pickles!), they need to marinate in the refrigerator. Wait 1 hour while time does its magic!

After 1 hour marinating time, you can enjoy your cucumber salad with vinegar salad anytime over the next 7 days. The flavor just gets better with time!

Cucumber salad with vinegar in bowl with dill.

Menus with vinegar cucumber salad

There are so many ways to accessorize this cucumber salad with vinegar! We eat it primarily in as a summer side dish, so naturally we think of meals full of summer produce. Of course you can eat this salad all year long. Here some ideas to get your wheels turning:

Summer Patio Menu

Picnic Menu

Want more with cucumbers? See Top Cool Cucumber Recipes.

Dietary notes

This cucumber salad with vinegar recipe is vegetarian, gluten-free, vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free.

Frequently asked questions

Can I make this salad ahead of time?

Yes! The flavors will meld and develop over time, making it even more delicious.

How long will cucumber salad last in the refrigerator?

Stored in an airtight container, cucumber salad can last 7 days in the refrigerator. The cucumbers will soften slightly over time.

What kind of vinegar is best for cucumber salad?

White distilled vinegar is a classic choice. We recommend using it if at all possible.

Can I use a different type of cucumber?

English cucumbers are ideal for their thin skin and fewer seeds, but regular cucumbers work too. Just peel them first if the skin is thick or waxed.

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Cucumber salad with vinegar

Cucumber Salad with Vinegar

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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 6 to 8 1x


This cucumber salad with vinegar is perfect for barbecues and picnics, a refreshing mix of tangy and salty sliced cucumbers and onions.


  • 2 large, thin cucumbers (English if possible)
  • 1 small yellow or white onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill (optional)*
  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper


  1. Slice the cucumbers as thin as possible, using a mandolin if desired. Peel and thinly slice the onion into half moon shapes. Layer the cucumbers and onions in a large shallow bowl; add the dill (if using).
  2. In a small bowl, mix the white vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper. Pour the mixture over the cucumbers and onions, mixing everything together to ensure even coverage. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour**.
  3. Stir again to evenly mix the dressing, then serve with a slotted spoon. Store refrigerated for up to 7 days; the flavor even improves over time!


*You can also omit the dill, or use ½ teaspoon dried in place of fresh.

**If you’re pressed for time you can serve immediately, but it’s best after 1 hour marinating time. 

  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Raw
  • Cuisine: German

Looking for salad recipes?

Outside of this salad, here are a few of our best salad recipes:

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Dale V dunlop says:

    Have you ever put onions in bowl with water and sugar,, place plate over them and let sit over night then drain off water that flows over top of plate and use for eating? Did I miss somethig here?

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      No, but it sounds great!

  2. Dotty Jurek says:

    So far I love the Sonja & Alex recipes, simple to follow and excellent flavor. Keep on cooking and sharing Sonja & Alex!


    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      Thank you!

  3. Kristy says:

    Can you add tomatoes to this?

    1. Alex Overhiser says:


  4. LARRY REEVER says:

    I slice the cucumbers into a bowl and sprinke some salt and mix. Put a lid on the bowl and let stand for about an hour. Drain off the juice. Then add the thin slice onions, salt, and pepper. I use ground dill and sprinkle some in. Mix well. In another bowl mix the vinegar, sugar, and some water to your preferred taste. Sweet or sour or moderate taste. Mix this in with the cucumber mixture and chill for at least an hour before serving. I prefer to refrigerate overnight. Sometimes I will add mayonnaise in to make it creamy. Personal preference.

  5. Ted says:

    Why the sugar?

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      The little bit of sugar just balances the full flavor of the salad!

  6. Cindy Ralston says:

    Could you add cold spaghetti to this cucumber onion recipe. I have had it like that before but can never find an actual recipe. Thanks

  7. Lotanna says:

    I just made this and it was so good. I think it’s going to become a fridge staple

  8. Jessie says:

    I made this and it was awesome. Thank you!