Cucumber and onion salad – Immaculate Bites


Cucumber and Onion Salad delivers a refreshing variation on the traditional lettuce-based salad. The crisp cool of cucumber contrasts with the bite of sweet red onion to create this flavorful family favorite. And, even better, it pairs well with summer cookout recipes.

Cucumber and onion salad in a white bowl.

18th-century English writer Samuel Johnson once said: “Cucumbers should be well sliced, dressed with pepper and vinegar, and then thrown out.” That’s only because Mr. Johnson didn’t have this easy and deliciously fresh cucumber and onion salad with vinegar recipe!

You know I’m all about Southern comfort food, and this Cucumber and Onion Salad is no exception. It adds something extra to any barbecue, picnic, or family get-together.

Refreshing Cucumber and onion salad with red pepper flakes

Isn’t Cucumber and Onion Salad a Little Boring?

Not in the least! Any pork or beef dish would be incomplete without the fresh ‘n tangy taste of this popular side salad that refreshes the palate. Most salads have lettuce as a base, but this one swaps it with the versatile flavor and texture of cool cucumbers.

Recipe Ingredients

Recipe Ingredients of Cucumber and Onion Salad
  1. Cucumbers – This fresh-tasting and crisp member of the fruit family packs a nutritional punch with vitamins A and C, magnesium, and iron.
  2. Red Onion is sweet and pungent, which pairs well with the milder cucumber.
  3. Garlic has a distinct, sharp flavor that enhances most dishes and adds a little something to the salad.
  4. Vinaigrette– White vinegar mixed with sugar makes a sweet and tangy dressing.

How to Make Cucumber and Onion Salad

Slicing and salting the cucumbers
Drying the cucumbers
  • Slice the Cucumber – Cut thin cucumber slices using either a sharp knife or a Mandoline slicer. Place the cucumber slices in a bowl and sprinkle with salt. Toss to mix the cucumber and salt together. Set aside for 30-60 minutes to draw out excess water.
  • Dry the Cucumbers – Line a baking sheet with paper towels after your cucumbers have released the excess moisture. Rinse the cucumber slices, then place them on the baking sheet and gently pat them dry.
  • Other Ingredients – Slice the onion and chop up the garlic.
  • Assembly – Put the cucumbers into a salad bowl. Add the sliced onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes with black pepper to taste.
  • Dressing – Whisk the water, vinegar, and sugar together until blended. Pour it over the salad and serve.
Assembling the rest of the ingredients and making the dressing
Cucumber and onion salad with grilled lamb

Recipe Variations

  • Cucumber and onion salad with mayo is a creamy alternative found on many Southern tables.
  • Alternatively, why not opt for a cucumber and onion salad with sour cream to add some extra richness and texture to the flavor of this fresh and crisp side dish?
  • Add tomato to enhance the color and flavor variety to your salad.

Tips and Tricks

  • Eliminate the cucumber’s bitter taste by peeling all or some of the skin.
  • Add some dill to enhance the salad with extra flavor.
  • Add 2-3 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice to add some zest and zing to the salad.
  • Swap white vinegar for apple cider vinegar.

Make-Ahead Instructions

Prepare the cucumber and salt mix ahead of time to allow it to sit for at least an hour. That gives you enough time to get the rest of the ingredients ready, and to pour yourself a glass of wine. 😉🍷

Serving and Storage Instructions

Cucumber and Onion Salad is best served in a large bowl. After assembling the salad and adding the vinegar mix, cover tightly with plastic wrap. Leave in the refrigerator for at least 1-2 hours before serving.

This salad can stay fresh for up to a week in the refrigerator. I don’t recommend freezing this salad as raw vegetables tend to turn to mush after freezing.

Serving cucumber and onion salad with grilled lamb chops

FAQs

Can I add some olive oil to my cucumber and onion salad?

Why not? Raw olive oil is a healthy fat that boasts powerful anti-inflammatory properties. It will add a rich, creamy texture to the salad but be sure to add it only when ready to eat. Allowing the cucumber to soak in the olive oil will make them soggy.

Do I have to use sugar?

No. You can substitute sugar with a pinch of stevia or omit it altogether.

Which cucumber is best for this salad?

The English cucumber is known for its crisp ‘n crunchy texture and fresh flavor. Alternatively, opt for the standard American slicing cucumber found in most stores.

What to Serve with Cucumber and Onion Salad

This salad can be served alongside rich braised beef neck bones or hearty instant-pot country-style ribs. Some delicious stuffed pork chops or your choice of ribs works, too.

More Cool Cucumber Recipes to Try

Conclusion

This cucumber and onion salad is straightforward with simple ingredients, but there is nothing simple about the flavor. Would you like more deliciously nutritious recipes? Sign up for my newsletter to keep up-to-date.❤️

Watch How to Make It

Cucumber and Onion Salad

This salad delivers a refreshing variation on the traditional lettuce-based salad. The crisp cool of cucumber contrasts with the bite of sweet red onion to create this flavorful family favorite.

Instructions

  • Slice cucumbers thin, using a sharp knife or mandoline, whichever works best for you.

  • Add sliced cucumbers to a large bowl, sprinkle them with salt, and toss to combine. Set aside 30-60 minutes to draw out the liquid from the cucumbers.

  • Line a baking tray with paper towels. Set aside.

  • Use a colander to drain liquid from the cucumbers. Then thoroughly rinse using cold water. Drain as much liquid as possible.

  • Place on a prepared baking sheet and pat dry to soak off excess liquid.

  • Add cucumbers to a salad or large bowl with sliced onion, garlic, red pepper flakes, and black pepper to taste.

  • Whisk vinegar, sugar, and water together, and pour over the cucumbers. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator 1-2 hours before serving.

Tips & Notes:

  • Eliminate the cucumber’s bitter taste by peeling all or some of the skin.
  • Add some dill to enhance the salad with extra flavor.
  • Add 2-3 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice to add some zest and zing to the salad.
  • You can swap white vinegar with apple cider vinegar.
  • Please keep in mind that the nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary significantly based on the products used in the recipe.

Nutrition Information:

Serving: 150g| Calories: 82kcal (4%)| Carbohydrates: 19g (6%)| Protein: 1g (2%)| Fat: 1g (2%)| Saturated Fat: 1g (6%)| Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g| Monounsaturated Fat: 1g| Sodium: 1752mg (76%)| Potassium: 251mg (7%)| Fiber: 2g (8%)| Sugar: 16g (18%)| Vitamin A: 146IU (3%)| Vitamin C: 7mg (8%)| Calcium: 32mg (3%)| Iron: 1mg (6%)


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