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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 | Vinegar cucumber salad

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. And 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.

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. 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! Slicing the cucumber and onion thinly allows the salt to draw out most of the moisture, and gives this salad the most incredible texture. 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.

The other key component of this cucumber salad with vinegar is time. 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. So just wait 1 hour while time does its magic. Then, you can enjoy your salad anytime over the next 7 days. And the flavor gets better with time!

Related: Easy Homemade Pickles Recipes | German Cucumber Salad

How to cut an onion for cucumber salad with vinegar

A few 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

Best Grilled Veggie Burgers
Mango Skewers or Peach & Burrata Salad
Vinegar Cucumber Salad
Watermelon Salad
Lemon Cucumber Water

Picnic Menu

Tomato & Eggplant Stacked Sandwich
Vinegar Cucumber Salad
Crispy Roasted Chickpeas
Garlic Herb White Bean Dip and Veggies
Fresh peaches or cherries

Want more with cucumbers? See Top Cool Cucumber Recipes.

This recipe is…

This recipe is vegetarian, gluten-free, vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free.

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Tangy cucumber salad

Cucumber Salad with Vinegar

  • 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
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh ground 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!
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Raw
  • Cuisine: German

Keywords: Cucumber Salad Vinegar, Cucumber Salad, German Cucumber Salad, Salad Recipes, Vegan Salad Recipes, Easy Side Dish Recipes

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About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you’ll want to make again and again.

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  1. 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

  2. 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.

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


  4. 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?