Cucumber Salad with Sour Cream is the ultimate summer side dish! Made with fresh cucumbers, onions, and sour cream, this creamy cucumber salad comes together with minimal effort to create a summer salad that everyone will enjoy!
Growing up, there were three dishes that HAD to be served at every summer potluck and celebration. My Papa's homemade baked beans, my great-aunt's homemade brownies, and my mom's sour cream cucumber salad.
These recipes from my childhood are still cherished today and continue to make an appearance at every summer gathering.
why this is the best cucumber salad recipe
- Creamy, yet light and refreshing. Made with the perfect ratio of fresh cucumbers to tangy onions to creamy sour cream, and a bit of fresh dill to elevate the flavors, this Cucumber Salad with sour cream is filled with flavor without being heavy.
- Incredibly easy to make. The hardest part about making this cucumber salad is slicing the cucumbers. It really is quite an easy side dish to make!
- Only a handful of ingredients are needed. You only need four ingredients to make this recipe, and that includes the salt!
- The perfect recipe for garden cucumbers. If you are lucky to have an abundance of garden cucumbers, this recipe allows them to shine.
- Unique, yet crowd-pleasing side dish. This simple creamy cucumber salad is always a hit at parties and potlucks.
Ingredients for Cucumber Salad
- Cucumbers: You can opt to use either standard garden cucumbers or English (AKA Seedless or Hothouse) Cucumbers. If using English Cucumbers, there is no need to peel them prior to slicing. However, if you are using garden cucumbers, you MUST peel the waxy skin for the best texture in your salad.
- Onions: Yellow or white onions are best in cucumber salads, as they have a nice tangy bite and are easy to thinly slice.
- Salt: You can use either kosher salt or table salt for this recipe.
- Sour Cream: The sour cream gives this salad the creaminess that is key. Use full-fat or reduced-fat, not fat-free, sour cream for best results. Feel to swap out the sour cream with plain Greek yogurt--every bit as delicious with an added dose of protein and less fat.
- Dill (optional): Fresh herbs always add a nice pop of flavor and dill is a classic pairing to cucumbers and sour cream. However, feel free to omit it if you don't care for fresh dill or don't have it on hand.
How to Make Cucumber Salad
While this cucumber salad recipe requires very little hands-on prep work, the cucumbers and onions need to soak in salt water for at least 1 hour and the prepared salad needs to chill for 30 minutes before serving for best results, so plan to prepare at least 90 minutes before serving.
Step One: Prepare Cucumber and Onions. The key to achieving the best texture to this salad is to thinly slice the cucumber and onions. You want the slices to be paper-thin, so they can soak up the salt water brine easily and become fork-tender. I find that this is best done with either a knife or a mandoline.
Step Two: Soak Cucumbers and Onions. The magic of this salad is that the cucumbers and onions are soaked in water that has been heavily seasoned with salt before being tossed with sour cream. The cucumbers are flavored while the onions are mellowed out from the soaking process.
Step Three: Drain and Rinse. After soaking, drain the cucumbers and onions using a colander and lightly rinse under running water to remove the brine. The cucumbers will have soaked up plenty of salt to flavor the salad.
Step Four: Toss and Chill. Once the cucumber and onions have been brined and rinsed, it is as easy as tossing them with sour cream (and dill if desired). It is best to chill the cucumber salad for 30 minutes prior to serving to allow the ingredients to marry together.
This Cucumber Onion Salad is a summertime must-make recipe! It is an affordable, simple, crave-worthy side dish that is perfect for any summer gathering, yet is easy enough for busy weeknights.
It pairs perfectly with heavier summer classics like Grilled Burgers, Slow Cooker Pulled Pork, or Instant Pot BBQ Ribs. It also makes a fabulous side dish for Grilled Shrimp or Grilled BBQ Chicken Breasts.
Sour Cream Cucumber Salad should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. While best if consumed within 24 hours after preparation, you can safely store the salad in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
The cucumbers will release water as they sit, so the salad can become watery after 24 hours. To combat this, drain the salad over a fine-mesh strainer. If needed, mix in a couple of additional tablespoons of sour cream. Give the salad a taste, adding additional salt if needed.
More Classic Summer Side Dishes
- Old Fashioned Baked Beans
- Instant Pot Potato Salad
- BLT Pasta Salad
- Bacon Ranch Potato Salad
- Broccoli Salad
Be sure to add this Sour Cream Cucumber Salad to your next potluck or barbecue menu. It is one side dish that everyone will enjoy! Also, I would love for you to leave a comment and review below once you have tried this recipe.
Sour Cream Cucumber Salad
- 3 large cucumbers Seedless/English or Garden Cucumbers
- 1 large yellow onion
- water for soaking
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 cup sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon fresh dill, minced optional
- Wash and dry the cucumbers really well. If using garden cucumber, peel away the skin. There is no need to peel English/Seedless cucumbers.
- Using a mandoline or a sharp knife, slice the cucumbers and onion into paper-thin pieces that are about ⅛-inch thick.
- Place the onion and cucumber slices into a large bowl and cover with cold tap water. Stir in the kosher salt and allow the cucumber and onions to soak for 1-4 hours. Note: While this mixture is safe to sit out at room temperature if your kitchen is warmer than 75 degrees F or you have creatures that may disturb the mixture, it is best to refrigerate the cucumber and onion mixture.
- After soaking, drain the cucumber and onions using a mesh strainer. Quickly rinse cucumbers and onions with water, draining fully after rinsing.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the drained cucumbers, onions, sour cream, and dill, if using. Gently toss together until the cucumbers and onions are fully coated with the sour cream.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving. This salad is best if served within 24 hours after assembling.