Cucumbers and sour cream come together to create a simple, refreshing, and creamy Cucumber Salad. This simple summer side dish only requires a handful of ingredients and is a great way to use fresh garden cucumbers.
The Best Cucumber Salad
A staple at every summer cookout is what my family affectionately refers to as Sour Cream Cucumbers.
Thinly sliced cucumbers and onions are soaked in salt water and then tossed with sour cream for a refreshing, creamy salad that is the perfect pairing to heavier summer dishes like Burgers.
This Cucumber Salad is tangy, creamy, and fresh in every bite. It is a perfect way to use up abundant garden cucumbers.
Notes on Ingredients
- 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 salad.
- Onions: Yellow onions are traditional in this cucumber onion salad, but a Vidalia onion can be substituted.
- Salt: The magic of this salad is that the cucumbers and onions are soaked in a salt water solution before being tossed with sour cream. The cucumbers soak up the salt water, flavoring them and the onions are mellowed out from the salt water. You can use kosher salt or table salt for this recipe.
- Sour Cream: The sour cream gives this salad the creaminess that is key. 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): Growing up, we never added dill to the Cucumber Onion Salad, but it does add a delicious pop of flavor but is completely optional.
How to Make Cucumber Salad
- Wash the cucumbers and peel if needed.
- Using a mandoline, a food processor, 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 salt water brine easily.
- Place cumbers and onions into heavily salted water. You want to soak your cucumbers for at least 30 minutes, but one to four hours is best. It is safe to leave them right on the countertop while they brine or you place them in the fridge if desired.
- Once soaked, 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.
- After the cucumbers are drained well, toss the cucumbers and onions with sour cream or Plain Greek Yogurt and dill if using.
- While you can serve immediately, it is best to cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to develop.
Leftover Cucumber Onion Salad can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 24 hours.
Because this salad will become watery as it sits, it is best served within 24 hours of preparation. It is safe to store for up to 3 days but will become watered down.
More Classic Summer Side Dishes
- Old Fashioned Baked Beans
- Grilled Corn on the Cob
- Instant Pot Potato Salad
- BLT Pasta Salad
- Bacon Ranch Potato Salad
Be sure to add this Sour Cream Cucumber Salad to your next potluck or barbecue menu. It is one everyone will enjoy! I would love for you to leave a comment and review below once you have tried!
Creamy Cucumber and Onion Salad
- 3 large cucumbers
- 1 large onion
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 cup sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon fresh dill, minced optional
- Slice the cucumbers and onion into paper thin pieces (⅛ inch).
- Place the slices into a large bowl and cover with water. Stir in the kosher salt and allow to soak for 1-4 hours.
- Drain off the brining liquid. Quickly rinse cucumbers and onions and then allow to drain fully agian.
- Mix together sour cream and fresh dill, if using, into cucumbers and onions until fully combined.
- Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving. Best if served within 24 hours after assembling.
- 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.
- Use sour cream or plain Greek yogurt interchangeably.
- 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 countertop or place in the fridge.