This Creamy Cucumber Salad is a version of one of my childhood favorites! Cucumbers and Onions are tossed with a creamy dressing for a perfect side dish for any picnic or barbecue.
Growing up, summer meant simple pleasures of backyard sprinklers, mud pies, catching fireflies, and family picnics at the lake or my grandparent’s pool. And those are priceless memories that I still cherish. I hope that my children will one day look back at their childhoods with the same fondness that I do, and that the SIMPLE things is what they will hold near and dear to their hearts.
At our family gatherings, be it a BBQ, lake picnic, family reunion, or just a gathering or friends, there were certain dishes that just HAD to be present.
- Watermelon–something about being outside spitting those black seeds, screamed summer.
- Papa’s Baked Beans–they were from my Papa and EVERYONE called them Papa’s Baked Beans and begged for them. I will share that precious family recipe soon.
- Potato Chips–you could not have Papa’s beans without chips to scoop them up. Trust me on this one!
- Dill Dip–a creamy dip seasoned with dill to serve with fresh veggies.
- Cucumber Salad--a tangy salad of sliced cucumbers and onions, tossed traditionally with a creamy dressing made simply with sour cream.
The rest of the food was icing on the cake. We may have hot dogs, burgers, chicken, pizza, pies, brownies, whatever else, but those 5 staples HAD to be there for a summer family event to occur.
Today, I am sharing with you my family’s classic Cucumber and Onion Salad.
Creamy Cucumber Salad
This easy cucumber and onion salad is the perfect for a summer picnic or side dish for your backyard cookout.
Finely sliced cucumbers and onions are soaked in a salty brine and then drained and tossed with sour cream or Greek yogurt is just a magical combination. This summer cucumber salad is tangy, creamy, and fresh in every bite.
How to Make Creamy Cucumber Salad
Step One: Slice the cucumbers and onions.
- Select Cucumbers
- You can make this cucumber salad with both Hothouse or English cumbers or your standard garden variety.
- If you are using English Seedless Cucumbers, you do not need to peel your cucumbers, but if using standard cucumbers, it is a MUST to peel away that waxy exterior for the best texture in your cucumber salad.
- Select Onions
- I prefer yellow onions in this cucumber onion salad, but a vidalia onion can be substituted.
- Slice Cucumbers and Onions
- Once you have selected your cucumber and onions, you need to slice them into very thin slices.
- You can use a mandoline, a food processor or a sharp knife.
- You want the slices to be paper thin.
Step Two: Soak the cucumbers and onions in salt water.
- Place cumbers and onions into heavily salted water.
- This just brings such a great flavor to the salad, as cucumbers soak up the salty brine very quickly.
- You want to soak your cucumbers for at least 30 minutes, but one hour to four hours is best.
Step Three: Drain the cucumbers and onions.
- Drain the cucumbers and onions and lightly rinse to remove the brine. Trust me, the cucumber and onion salad will be plenty of salt.
Step Four: Toss the cucumbers with the Creamy Yogurt
- After the cucumbers are drained, toss the cucumbers and onions with sour cream or Plain Greek Yogurt.
- Add in freshly minced dill if desired.
Notes on Cucumber and Onion Salad
- The fresh dill is not traditional in this Cucumber and Onion Salad, or at least was not when I was a child, but I love that the dill wakens up the flavors and brings freshness to the salad.
- I personally prefer to swap out the sour cream with plain Greek yogurt–every bit as delicious with an added dose of protein.
- This cucumber salad is best if served immediately after mixing in the sour cream or Greek yogurt, or within 24 hours. After that it begins to get a bit watery.
- You want to soak your cucumbers and onions in the salt water for at least 30 minutes, but one hour to four hours is best. It is safe to leave them right on the counter top or place in the fridge.
Summer Side Dishes
Recipe for Creamy Cucumber Salad
Creamy Cucumber and Onion Salad
- 3 large cucumbers
- 1 large onion
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon fresh dill minced
- Slice the cucumbers and onion into paper thin pieces (1/8 inch).
- Place the slices into large bowl and cover with water. Stir in the kosher salt and allow to soak for 1-4 hours.
- Drain and quickly rinse cucumbers and onions.
- Mix together sour cream and fresh dill into cucumbers and onions and serve.