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 is both refreshing and delicious.
The Best Cucumber Salad
A staple at every summer cookout needs to be this recipe for Creamy Cucumber Salad.
While there are a lot of variations on cucumber salads, this recipe is the best! Made with the perfect ratio of fresh cucumber to tangy onions to creamy sour cream, and a bit of fresh dill to elevate the flavors, this Cucumber Salad recipe is light, refreshing, and incredibly easy to make.
Notes on Ingredients
Cucumber Salad with Sour Cream only requires a few ingredients. That said, pay attention to the notes on ingredients to ensure you make the BEST cucumber salad.
- Cucumbers: You can opt to use either standard garden cucumbers or English (AKA Seedless) 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: The magic of this salad is that the cucumbers and onions are soaked in a saltwater solution before being tossed with sour cream. The cucumbers soak up the saltwater, flavoring them and the onions are mellowed out from the saltwater. 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 dill or don't have it on hand.
How to Make Cucumber Salad
As I stated earlier, this cucumber salad recipe is incredibly simple to make. While it requires very little hands-on prep time, 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 accordingly.
- Wash and dry the cucumbers really well. If using garden cucumber, peel away the skin. Remember there is no need to peel English/Seedless cucumbers.
- Using a mandoline slicer, a food processor fitted with the slicing blade, or a sharp knife, slice the cucumbers and onions into very thin slices. You want the slices to be paper-thin, so they can soak up the saltwater brine easily and become fork-tender.
- Place the sliced cucumbers and onions into heavily salted water.
- Let the cucumbers and onions sit in the saltwater brine for at least 1 hour or up to 4 hours. It is safe to leave them right on the countertop while they brine unless your house is on the warm side, then I would suggest placing them into the refrigerator.
- After soaking, drain the cucumbers and onions using a colander and lightly rinse to remove the brine. Trust me, the cucumber and onion salad will retain plenty of salt.
- Place the drained cucumbers and onions into a large mixing bowl and add in the sour cream and dill, if using. Give everything a good toss to evenly coat the cucumbers and onions with the sour cream mixture.
- Cover the salad and refrigerate for 30 minutes for the flavors to develop and then serve as desired.
This Cucumber Onion Salad is a summertime must-make recipe! It is an affordable, easy, 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 pairing when served with Grilled BBQ Chicken Breasts and Grilled Corn on the Cob--talk about the ultimate summertime meal.
Creamy 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.
Creamy 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, food processor fitted with a slicing blade, 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.
This recipe was originally shared in 2017 but updated in 2022 with a video and a few helpful tips.
Alex Caspero MA,RD (@delishknowledge)
I love cucumber salad like this, reminds me of something my mom used to make when I was a kid. I can't believe I've never made it! Sounds awesome!
Well, now you need to make it again 🙂
Cynthia/ What A Girl Eats
One of my favorite salads…so simple, but so delicious!
Nothing beats simple, especially when it tastes so good!
Lauren Kelly Nutrition
I love easy, healthy and delicious recipes! This looks amazing!
Barbara | Creative Culinary
I love your changes; not that I don't love the old standby but I grew dill and have a huge supply of it I dried that I don't find enough uses for...this salad is calling my name!
I too, love a good standby, but a fresh change is ALWAYS welcome as well!
I love how this salad uses greek yogurt! Both tangy AND creamy. Can't wait to try it.
You will love it!
Olivia @ Olivia's Cuisine
What a nice, light salad! Definitely trying this soon!
Thanks Olivia--I hope you love it!!
I love this salad. Such a classic! So glad salad season is here!
Me too. I can never have enough salad recipes!
Cucumbers are always on the menu. I love how light and refreshing this one is.
Cucumbers are such a great compliment to any summer meal. I hope you enjoy this one!
Kaitie @ Fuchsia Freezer
Easy and delicious! I love dill & cucumber... and it sounds so fresh... perfect for the summer! Thanks!!
Thanks. I love healthy and easy!
Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness
This sounds awesome! I love how simple and refreshing this salad is!
Never can have too many simple salads for the summer!