Old-fashioned cucumbers and onions in vinegar is a refreshing cucumber salad that is quick and easy to make. It's a great side dish recipe that is perfect to serve to your family or bring to your next barbecue or pot-luck.
Even though this recipe is popular in the summer, it's also a great recipe for a simple side dish that can be served any time of the year.
One of my favorite ways to enjoy old fashioned cucumbers and vinegar is with Swedish Meatballs. I love the way the tart simple vinegar brine tastes with hearty meatballs and mashed potatoes.
Why you will 🤍 this cucumber onion salad
- It is a light and refreshing salad - crispy cucumbers, onions and fresh herbs blend perfectly together.
- It's a simple recipe that is also healthy! Cucumbers are low in calories, full of nutrients and water.
- It's a great make ahead dish. It will keep in your refrigerator for up to a week or bring it to your next pot luck.
Here is What You Will Need
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This is an overview of the ingredients and steps to make this recipe, scroll down to see ingredient notes and substitutions as well as a printable recipe card with exact measurements and complete cooking instructions.
- Fresh cucumbers
- Apple Cider or White Vinegar
- Sea Salt
- Coconut Sugar
- Fresh Dill
- Ground Pepper
Here is how to make this old-fashioned cucumber salad recipe
Prepare the ingredients: Slice the cucumbers and onions into thin slices. Measure the salt, sugar, vinegar and chop the fresh dill.
Step 1. Prepare the cucumbers and onions
Place the sliced cucumbers into a medium-size bowl with the onion slices.
Step 2. Brine the cucumbers
Stir in the salt and sugar, and allow the cucumbers to sit at room temperature for one hour.
Step 3. Add water if necessary
At this point, the cucumbers will have released water into the bowl. You do not need to drain the cucumbers. If the amount of water seems sparse, add a tablespoon of water.
Step 4. Add vinegar
Stir in the vinegar and chopped dill. Adjust the flavor with more water for a less vinegar taste.
Ingredient Notes & Substitutions
The complete list of ingredients to make this recipe is above. Below are notes about some of the ingredients, along with ideas for substitutes.
Cucumbers. You can use any type of cucumber in this recipe. I find that young cucumbers with small seeds work. This is also a great recipe to use up cucumbers in your garden.
In the winter, I like the small Kirby cucumbers, Persian cucumbers for their delicate flavor and thin skins. English cucumbers or regular cucumbers from the grocery store work well too.
Onions. As with the cucumbers you can use any variety of onions that you have. Red onions make a pretty presentation, white onion, yellow onions or Vidalia onions are also good choices. I like to use a Vidalia onion which are sweet onions to balance the tartness of the vinegar.
Coconut Sugar. I prefer to use natural sweeteners, and you can easily substitute with white sugar for coconut sugar. You can also use an equal amount of honey.
Sea Salt. can be replaced with table salt or kosher salt.
Vinegar. Apple cider vinegar is my vinegar of choice in this recipe, but you can also use white wine vinegar, red wine vinegar, rice vinegar or champagne vinegar.
Experiment with different types of vinegar in this salad, each one will give its own flavor to this salad.
This tangy side salad tastes great as a side dish garnished with black pepper and served with a burger, grilled chicken, beef, pork chops, seafood or Swedish meatballs
How to Store Leftover Cucumber Vinegar Salad
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
If you like cucumbers, try this Summer Salad with Cucumbers and Feta
Zucchini and Onions Salad. Replace the cucumbers with thinly sliced zucchini or a combination of both sliced cucumbers and zucchini.
Cucumber and Onions with Tomatoes. Make a true summer salad, and add cherry tomatoes or tomato wedges to the salad.
Cucumber and Onions with Peppers. Add ½ to ¾ cup of bell pepper slices to the salad.
Change up the Herbs and use any combination of chopped fresh mint, fresh basil or fresh oregano.
Greek cucumber salad - Add some chopped kalamata olives and feta cheese to the cucumber mixture.
Spicy cucumber salad - Add a teaspoon of red pepper flakes to add spice to the salad.
Creamy cucumber salad - Add ¼ cup of sour cream or greek yogurt to the vinegar mixture for a creamy dressing.
- Slice the cucumbers as thin as possible for best results. A mandolin slicer works well for this.
- If the salad is too tangy, gradually add water to balance the flavor. You can also add a little more sugar too.
- If the salad is too watery, gradually add vinegar to taste.
The cucumbers are soaked in salt and sugar brine to draw the water out of the cucumber slices. The water also dilutes the vinegar taste; more water can be added if the vinegar is too strong.
It's okay to not peel the cucumbers when the skin is thin as is the skin is on baby, Persian or English cucumbers. If the skin is thick and tastes bitter it's best to peel the cucumbers.
No! Do not drain the cucumbers before adding the vinegar. The water from the cucumbers will dilute the vinegar, and it can be adjusted by adding more water and sugar to taste.
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Do you like this recipe?
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Click on serving size to scale this recipe
- 3 medium cucumbers
- 1 medium onion
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped dill
- pepper to taste
- With a sharp knife or mandolin slicer, slice 3 medium cucumbers and 1 medium onion thin
- Place the onions and cucumbers into a bowl; sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sea salt and 1 tablespoon coconut sugar and mix well.
- Set the mixture aside for at least one hour to allow the cucumbers to release water
- Add the ½ cup apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar and 2 tablespoons fresh chopped dill stir – adjust the salad with salt, pepper and sugar and water to taste
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and can vary based on cooking methods and ingredients used
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