Vinegar Marinated Cucumbers are a light, refreshing, summertime side dish. Add regular or cherry tomatoes to make it an even more colorful cucumber salad.
Vinegar Marinated Cucumbers (Cucumber Salad)
Cucumber Salad is a healthy and vibrant summer side dish. Who would’ve guessed that cucumbers in vinegar could be so good!Our mom often made these vinegar marinated cucumbers with cucumbers from our garden. It was the most frequent side dish for our summer evening dinners. The sliced cucumbers and red onions soak up the sweet and tangy vinegar dressing. It tastes so fresh and delicious. This a great, light side dish for barbecues, picnics, or potlucks. You can serve immediately or store in the fridge to eat as a snack.
You can use any variety of slicing cucumber for this salad, and it will taste great. Cucumbers fresh from the garden are always a first choice, no matter what the variety. However, English cucumbers, Persian cucumbers, or the regular grocery store variety cucumbers are also delicious. If purchasing cucumbers, choose cucumbers that are firm, without any blemishes or soft spots.
Tips for Cucumber Salad
- Turn the vinegar marinated cucumbers into a colorful summertime salad by adding cherry tomatoes or sliced tomatoes, some red onions and a splash of olive oil.
- You could also add green bell pepper, red or yellow peppers, slices of squash, or fresh herbs to the mix. Fresh basil or fresh dill add a burst of flavor. There is no wrong way to dress up this salad.
- Any kind of onion will work for this cucumber salad recipe. I like red or purple onion for the color, but any onion you have on hand is great.
- You can make this recipe right before serving or ahead of time to let the cucumbers have longer to marinate. To do this, divide the cucumbers into a couple of quart jars and pour the vinegar mixture over the top instead of putting in Ziploc bags (as directed in the recipe card below). This makes it easier for snacking right out of the jar.
- You can store these vinegar marinated cucumbers in your fridge in a jar or air-tight container for up to 3 days. Any longer than that and the cucumbers will lose their “crisp-ness” and become limp. There is also a slight risk for microbes forming after 3 days, but I know some people keep them in their fridge and continue to eat them for up to a week without any issues.
The Best Dressing for Cucumber Salad
It is hard to beat cucumbers in vinegar with a little sugar, which is the basis of the dressing in this recipe. The vinegar enhances the natural flavor in the cucumbers, and every crunchy bite is refreshing. The flavor of vinegar used in the dressing is a matter of preference. Apple cider vinegar, rice vinegar, red wine vinegar, and white vinegar all give their own unique flavor to the dressing.
There are also creamy cucumber salads that use a sour cream and mayonnaise base dressing. Again, it’s a matter of preference. This adds calories to the salad, and makes a heavier dressing that can dominate the fresh cucumber taste. With the vinegar based dressing, this cucumber salad is only 66 calories per serving.
More Fresh Side Dishes
- Roasted Vegetable Medley: This Roasted Vegetable Medley is a delicious, healthy, and easy side dish. The vegetables have just the right balance of tenderness and crispness.
- Asian Cucumber Salad: Another fresh, cucumber salad with an Asian twist! A great, low-calorie side dish.
- Light Greek Pasta Salad:Light Greek Pasta Salad a fresh, flavorful pasta salad that is perfect for lunch, dinner, potlucks, or BBQs! Great as a main dish OR a side dish!
- Side Salad with Homemade Greek Dressing:This flavor packed Side Salad with Homemade Greek Dressing is an amazing side to just about any meal! To make it a meal on it’s own, add some grilled meat.
How to Make Cucumber Salad
- Peel and slice cucumbers into thin slices.
- Cut onion in half and cut into very thin slices.
- Combine onions and cucumbers in a large bowl.
- In a separate, medium-sized bowl, combine remaining ingredients.
- Stir until sugar dissolves.
- Pour vinegar mixture over cucumbers and onions.*
- Stir until the cucumbers are evenly coated in the dressing.
- Refrigerate at least 20 minutes.
- Before serving, drain liquid and place in a serving bowl to serve.
- *See notes above for instructions on saving in refrigerator.