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 until August actually, making it the perfect summer salad! If you’re in a cucumber kind of mood, you must also try my Cucumber Tomato Salad!

Cucumber 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”.

Easy Substitutions

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.

What kind of cucumbers should I use?

I used English Cucumbers but if you have garden fresh cucumbers coming out of your ears, feel free to use those too!

What kind of onions are best in this recipe?

For a sharp, strong oniony taste, use white onions. If you’re looking for a more mild flavor, try using red onions.

What about the green peppers?

Green pepper is the most bitter and unripe of all of the bell pepper colors. It goes perfectly with this salad.

Cucumber Salad ingredients

How to Make Cucumber Salad

This simple cucumber salad is filled with fresh crunchy ingredients. For full recipe details, 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. I use English cucumbers, but if you have fresh garden cucumbers, feel free to peel, slice in half lengthwise and scoop out the larger seeds.

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 and then serve.

vinegar dressing for cucumber salad

Cucumber Marinating Tip

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.

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.

Delicious main courses to serve with this salad:

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:

Like my own family, this recipe can become an heirloom to pass down so try making it the next time you’re looking for a salad.

Printable recipe card is below! Pin it, print it, bookmark it! You won’t regret it.

cucumber salad


Grandma’s Cucumber Salad Recipe

My Grandma’s Cucumber Salad Recipe is cool, crunchy, refreshing, and easy to throw together on a hot summer day! Great for BBQ’s or potlucks. 
Course Lunch, Salad, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine German
Keyword cucumber salad, cucumber salad recipe, summer salad
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Refrigeration 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 15 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 56kcal
Author Lauren’s Latest


  • 2 English cucumbers
  • 1/4 small onion sliced thin
  • 1/4 green bell pepper sliced thin
  • 1 clove garlic smashed
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 2/3 cup cold water
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper


  • 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.


Calories: 56kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Sodium: 779mg | Potassium: 155mg | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 125IU | Vitamin C: 7.2mg | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 0.3mg

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