This easy and refreshing cucumber salad recipe is perfect for hot days! A sweet and tangy dressing coats fresh cucumbers, onions and lots of fresh herbs.
This cucumber salad recipe is the ultimate summer side dish. Like all the best summer recipes, it only requires a few ingredients, but still packs a great flavor. Thanks to a light sesame vinaigrette, it’s salty, sweet, nutty and tangy, with lots of fresh mint and dill to top it off. You only need 15 minutes to prepare it (including 10 minutes of cooling time with no hands), so mix it up and enjoy it as a side dish or, like me, eat it straight from the bowl! In hot weather, nothing could be more refreshing.
Cucumber salad recipe ingredients
This bright and fresh cucumber salad recipe calls for just 8 ingredients:
- english cucumber, of course! This salad turns out best when you cut cucumbers into thin slices like paper. I recommend using a mandolin to get even slices.
- Red onion. The thinner these guys are, the better, so if you have a mandolin use it for onion as well as cucumber.
- Rice vinegar, sesame oil and honey combine to make a hazelnut vinaigrette, sweet and tangy for the crunchy vegetables.
- Dill and mint. They add delicious freshness to fresh cucumbers and onions.
- Pickled mustard seeds. I list them as optional, but I highly recommend using them. Their flavor is a great complement to dill, and they add flavorful complexity to this simple onion and cucumber salad.
Add a pinch of sea salt and you have everything you need!
Find the full recipe with the measurements below.
How to make a cucumber salad
This recipe is quick and easy to mix. Here’s all you need to do:
- First, add the sliced English cucumbers and onion to a large bowl along with the honey, rice vinegar, sesame oil, salt and fresh dill. Mix everything together and put the bowl in the fridge to cool for 10 minutes.
- Once the mixture has cooled, transfer it to a serving dish, leaving any excess liquid.
- Garnish the cucumber salad with fresh mint leaves and pickled mustard seeds, if using them.
- Salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!
Find the full recipe below!
What to serve with a cucumber onion salad
I tend to gobble up this cucumber salad as soon as I mix it up, but on days when I have a bit of restraint, I serve it as an accompaniment to a classic picnic. We love these recipes:
Complete the meal with a fruit salad, grilled corn on the cob or grilled vegetables with spoonfuls of tzatziki.
Thanks to the sweet and tangy sesame dressing, this cucumber salad recipe also pairs well with Asian flavors. Try it as a side dish with soba noodles, crispy tofu, or banh mi sandwiches. Add a spoon to a watermelon poke bowl or pair it with sushi, spring rolls, or summer rolls for a light meal.
More Favorite Salad Recipes
If you like this easy cucumber salad recipe, then try one of these summer salads:
This cucumber salad recipe is the perfect side dish for summer grilling! I list pickled mustard seeds as optional, but I highly recommend including them. They really take this salad on top.
- 2 soup spoons rice vinegar
- ½ teaspoon agave nectar or honey
- 1 english cucumber, thinly sliced into rounds
- ⅓ Chopped off sliced red onions
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon chopped dill
- 1 teaspoon fresh mint leaves
- Pickled mustard seeds, optional (recipe below)
- extra virgin olive oil, for drizzle, optional
Pickled mustard seeds, optional (makes an extra charge)
- 1/2 Chopped off apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 Chopped off the water
- 3 soup spoons cane sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/3 Chopped off yellow mustard seeds
Prepare the pickled mustard seeds, if using them. Combine vinegar, water, sugar and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stir in the mustard seeds, reduce the heat and cook over low heat for 30 minutes or until the mustard seeds are plump. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Make the salad. In a large bowl, combine the vinegar, agave nectar, cucumber, onion, salt, sesame oil and dill. Stir to coat and refrigerate for 10 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl, leaving some of the excess water behind. Garnish with fresh mint, spoonfuls of pickled mustard seeds, if using, and a drizzle of olive oil, if desired. Season to taste and serve.