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Grandma's Cucumber Salad

Old-Fashioned Cucumbers and Onions in Vinegar

When it comes to making cucumber salad, my gran knew what she was doing. She taught me all about making old-fashioned cucumbers and onions in vinegar. That's why I lovingly sometimes call this dish, Grandma's Best Cucumber Salad. It's made with crispy slices of cucumber and onion in a simple dill vinegar dressing!
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Keyword creamy dill cucumber salad, cucumber and onion salad, cucumbers and onions in vinegar, quick cucumber salad
Prep Time 10 minutes
Press Cucumbers 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 76kcal


  • saucepan
  • medium bowl
  • Strainer
  • cutting board
  • Knife


  • 3 cucumbers thinly sliced
  • 1 small red onions sliced
  • salt to taste

Vinegar Dressing

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup white wine vinegar apple cider vinegar, rice vinegar, red wine vinegar or white vinegar
  • cup sugar more or less to taste
  • ¼ cup fresh dill chopped or mint, parsley, basil or

Creamy Dill Dressing

  • 1 cup sour cream Greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ -⅓ cup fresh dill minced


Prepare Cucumbers and Onions

  • Peel cucumbers if desired. I usually use english cucumbers so I don't have to peel them.
  • Slice your cucumbers in half lengthwise and using a spoon scrape the seeds and pulp from the cucumbers.
  • Dry your cucumbers with paper towel along the freshly scooped center.
  • Thinly slice your cucumber. Make each slice around ¼ of an inch thick.
  • Thinly slice onions.
  • In a strainer with a bowl underneath, toss your cucumber and onion slices with 1 tablespoon of salt. Excess water will drain into the bowl while it sits in your fridge for 1 to 3 hours.
  • But wait! First you must fill your biggest resealable bag with water and place it on top of your cucumbers and onions. If you only have smaller sized resealable bags, use enough of them to cover the top of your bowl and weigh down your cucumber and onions.
  • Once drained, Transfer cucumber and onions to medium bowl.

Vinegar Dressing

  • In a small saucepan boil water and add salt and pepper.
  • Remove from heat. Add sugar and vinegar and stir until dissolved.
  • When cool enough place sugar mixture in to the refrigerator.
  • When sugar mixture is cold pour it over all of the cucumber and sliced onions.
  • Sprinkle with chopped fresh dill.
  • Leave the cucumber salad to chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  • Enjoy!
    Clear glass bowl full of cucumber and onion salad on the table.

Creamy Dill Dressing

  • Whisk sour cream, vinegar, sugar, and dill together in medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Cover and refrigerate until needed. Allowing time for the flavors to come together and blend is important. You'll be glad you did this if time permits.
  • Add cucumbers and onion.
  • Toss to coat.
  • Serve chilled and enjoy!
    Bowl of creamy cucumber and onion salad.


Nutrition is calculated using the vinegar dressing.
Expert Tips:
  • Bitter skin: Peel larger cucumbers with bitter skin so it doesn't add bitterness to the salad.
  • Eat immediately: Letting the salad sit for a bit to absorb the flavor is fine but really this salad tastes best when eaten within the first 24 hours.
  • Fresh herbs: Give this salad the most flavor and are more visually appealing.
  • Salt and press: For a less watery salad, take the time to press all the water from the cucumbers.


Calories: 76kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 0.3g | Saturated Fat: 0.03g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.01g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.02g | Sodium: 398mg | Potassium: 262mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 260IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 1mg