Have you tried this 10-minute recipe for cucumber salad yet? If you have loads of fresh cucumbers on hand, make this side dish for a weeknight dinner, backyard barbecues and summer cookouts. It is crunchy, deliciously refreshing and only 19 calories per serving.

Cucumber salad in a white bowl on a graw wooden board with chives

I originally shared this recipe on May 20th, 2014. I have updated some of the text today.

When cucumbers are in season, and you want an easy and fast side dish you can never go wrong with a simple cucumber salad.

As an avid veggie gardener, I love growing cucumbers. Along with 15 minute Greek Cucumber Salad or Cucumber Tomato Salad, this easy Cucumber Salad with vinegar and chives is my go-to recipe for when I want to make a super fast and easy side dish with cucumbers. It takes 10 minutes (or less) and it doesn’t have any oil in it, so it is really low in calories!

Ingredients For This Recipe

Here are the ingredients you will need. Please check the full measurements in the recipe card below and check out our substitutions and variations info if you want to improvise.

the ingredients for this cuke salad with text overlay labeling them
  • Cucumbers: You will need six cups of sliced cucumbers for this recipe. One large garden cucumber yields about 2 cups of sliced cucumbers.
  • Chives: Chop the chives fine. You will need two tablespoons. If using red onion, mince or thinly slice it. You will only want about 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion.
  • Rice Vinegar: This is also called rice wine vinegar. You want to look for natural or unseasoned rice vinegar. Seasoned is slightly different because it is sweetened and has sodium added to it. If you can only find seasoned, omit the sugar and only add salt to taste.
  • Salt: The salt brings out the flavors
  • Sugar: I love to add a little sugar to my cucumber salad. Especially one like this that is so lean. It really brings out the natural sweetness in the fresh cukes and they taste more floral and almost melon-like in a way.

Do you need to peel cucumbers for salad?

If you have a thin skinned variety of cucumber, such as European or Lebanese, you do not need to peel them before slicing. If you have regular “garden” cucumbers, you can either peel them entirely, or remove strips of the peel off with a vegetable peeler. This will result in a more pleasant and tender texture.

How to Make Cucumber Salad

This 10 minute cucumber salad recipe is so easy to make that it hardly counts as a real recipe. But I do have a couple tips to share with you all. 

steps for this recipe, peeling the cucumbers and stirring the vinegar sugar and salt

Step 1: Peel the cucumbers if using garden cucumbers. Or for thinner skinned varieties like European or Persian cucumbers you can skip peeling them.

Slice them into rounds. If you slice them very thinly the salad will become watery quickly. So if you plan to serve this at a barbecue or cookout and it will sit for more than an hour, slice the cumbers about 1/4 to 1/3-inch thick.

Step 2: Stir or whisk the vinegar, sugar and salt in a bowl to dissolve them. Stir until you cannot see or feel any grains of the sugar and salt in the bowl.

steps to make this recipe. Add the chives first and stir. Then add in the cucumbers and toss them with the dressing.

Step 3: Stir the chives into the dressing.

Step 4: Add the cucumbers and toss to coat.

cucumber salad in a white bowl from the side with backlighting

FAQs for This Recipe

Can you make cucumber salad ahead?

This recipe can be made up to three hours ahead. Because of their high water content, cucumbers let off their water when they are sliced and come in contact with salt or anything salty. If it becomes watery, use a slotted spoon to serve it. 

Can I add yogurt to this recipe?

To make a creamy version of this recipe. After dissolving the sugar and salt into the vinegar, add 3 tablespoons of full fat Greek yogurt to the dressing and whisk well. Add sour cream for a richer result. Sub chopped dill (or use 1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed) for the chives and add 1/4 cup sliced red onion. closeup of the cucumber salad with yogurt and red onion

What Goes With Cucumber Salad?

Ingredient Substitutions and Variations To Try

  • Instead of chives: try thinly sliced red onion
  • Instead of rice vinegar: You can also substitute red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar or even white vinegar. I don’t recommend cider vinegar or balsamic for this recipe as their flavors are too assertive and sweet. Read more here: guide to vinegar.
  • Herbs: You can also add a fresh herb such as basil or dill. Use 2 tablespoons chopped.
  • Vinaigrette: This is a low calorie cucumber salad, but if you want a traditional salad dressing with oil instead use our Red Wine Vinegar Salad Dressing or Lemon Juice Salad dressing.

More Summer Salad Recipes:

overhead of cucumber salad

At Healthy Seasonal Recipes, we specialize in cooking with fresh veggies and creating weeknight meals. Sign up HERE to get more produce-forward dinner ideas for FREE! If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review. I would love to hear what you thought! Happy Cooking! ~Katie

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close-up of ceramic bowl with cucumber salad with chives

10 Minute Cucumber Salad

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5 from 15 reviews


Here is a simple 10 minute recipe for cucumber salad with chives and rice vinegar dressing. This easy salad is the perfect low-calorie side dish for cookouts or barbecues.


  • 3 large cucumbers (enough to make 6 cups sliced)
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives, optional


  1. Peel cucumber if necessary (see note below) and cut into rounds.
  2. Stir vinegar, sugar and salt in a bowl until the salt and sugar are dissolved. Stir in chives if using.
  3. Add cucumbers and toss to coat with the dressing. Serve immediately or chill up to 3 hours.


If you have a thin skinned variety of cucumber, such as European or Lebanese, you do not need to peel them before slicing. If you have regular “garden” cucumbers, you can either peel them, or remove strips of the peel off with a vegetable peeler. This will result in a more pleasant and tender texture.

If you prefer to use another vinegar, I would recommend red wine vinegar.

You can omit the sugar if you are sugar free.

If you would prefer to add oil to this, use 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil.

This recipe does not keep well because the cucumbers become soft and let off their water. I recommend serving right away or within three hours. Serve with a slotted spoon.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Raw
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1 cup each
  • Calories: 19
  • Sugar: 3 g
  • Fat: 0 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 5 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 1 g