Simple Cucumber Salad
Have you tried this recipe for simple cucumber salad with chives yet? It’s ready in 10 minutes, goes great as a side dish for barbecues and cookouts and is only 19 calories per serving. It is fat-free, paleo-friendly, vegan and gluten-free.
I originally shared this recipe on May 20th, 2014. I have updated some of the text today. This post may contain affiliate links.
Why We Love This Recipe
When cucumbers are in season, and you want an easy and fast side dish you can never go wrong with a simple cucumber salad. Sometimes when I am feeling a bit more fancy, I make my 15 minute Greek Cucumber Salad or my Cucumber and Napa Cabbage Slaw, but this recipe that I have today for Simple Cucumber Salad is really my go-to recipe for when I want to make a super fast and easy side dish with cucumbers.
This recipe is wonderful with Grilled Lamb Kofta, or chicken marinated in The Best Chicken Marinade. I also love it with Burgers and other barbecue fare like Italian Pasta Salad, Vegan Potato Salad and my favorite Healthy Coleslaw.
I also love the fact that it doesn’t have any oil in it, so it is really low in calories, so if the main course is a little more indulgent in the calorie department, you don’t feel like you are missing out when you have a generous portion of this cuke salad to fill out the plate.
Ingredients For This Recipe
You will need six cups of sliced cucumbers for this recipe. One large garden cucumber yields about 2 cups of sliced cucumbers.
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.
Many cucumber salads call for red onion, and they would certainly work here in this recipe, but I like to use chives because they have a much more subtle taste (not as sharp) and they are in season at the same time as cucumbers, and earlier in the spring.
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.
You can also substitute another fresh herb such as basil or dill. Use 2 tablespoons.
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.
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. You can read more about which vinegars are best for different recipes in my guide to vinegar.
Sugar and Salt
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.
The salt also keeps this recipe savory and balances the acidity in the dressing. If using kosher salt, read this first.
How to Make This Simple Cucumber Salad Recipe
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.
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.
Step 3: Stir the chives into the dressing.
Step 4: Add the cucumbers and toss to coat.
FAQs for This Recipe
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.
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.
What To Serve This Cucumber Salad With
This salad is great with grilled pork chops or grilled pork tenderloin or pan fried fish.
You can also add it to barbecue menus for a fast veggie side dish along with grilled corn, grilled zucchini or grilled carrots.
I love the flavors of this Za’atar Chicken Burger when paired with cucumbers and I also love Shrimp Kebabs with pretty much every summer salad!
More Summer Salad Recipes:
I am head over heels for this Grilled Corn and Chickpea Salad recipe. I hope you’ll try it!
If you haven’t already, this Cucumber Noodle and Napa Cabbage coleslaw recipe is super popular, and so delicious!
If you’re feeling adventurous, try this Creamy Blue Cheese Coleslaw with Walnuts. It’ll knock your socks off!
While my cousins are here I am planning to make Macaroni Salad. It’s a classic for a reason! Everyone loves it.
Thanks so much for reading! If you are new here, you may want to sign up for my email newsletter to get a free weekly menu plan and the latest recipes right to your inbox. 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! ~KatiePrint
Simple Cucumber Salad
- Total Time: 10 minutes
- Yield: 6 cups 1x
Here is a simple 10 minute recipe for cucumber salad with chives and rice vinegar dressing. It is so easy to make and only has 19 calories per serving. Not only is it fat-free and vegan but it makes a great side dish for cookouts or barbecues.
- 3 large cucumbers (enough to make 6 cups sliced)
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons chopped chives, optional
- Peel cucumber if necessary (see note below) and cut into rounds.
- Stir vinegar, sugar and salt in a bowl until the salt and sugar are dissolved. Stir in chives if using.
- 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
Keywords: healthy cucumber salad, quick cucumber salad, how to make cucumber salad, easy cucumber salad
This is the perfect summer salad. It’s perfect since it’s easy AND cooling. I’m in!
I love cucumber salad. It’s so perfect for hot summer. Totally love it!
So simple yet so refreshing! I love recipes like this!!
I love this kind of salad – light, refreshing, and makes a good side dish to any meals.
so summer! What a great side for every meal!
There is nothing more refreshing than a cold cucumber salad in the summer. Yum!
Nothing better than a simple and fresh cucumber salad! Love the addition of chives!
I don’t eat white sugar so we used some honey instead and it was delicious! I also really like a touch of sesame oil. Thanks for the inspiration!
Such a simple classic, it’s nice to have just the right ratios of the ingredients! Thank you.
So simple, yet so delicious!
This is a great low calorie snack and very tasteful. I made a few changes. I swapped the sugar for 1 packet of Stevia. I then added dill, and dashes of onion and garlic powder. The rest of the recipe remained the same. So good. Thank you for sharing.
How cool is it that you had a cucumber salad for a snack! Love that! Thanks for coming back to rate Chris. I appreciate it.
Perfect snack or side dish. I never think of having this at times of year other than summer, but why not???
It’s a summertime staple in our house!
I loved this salad as a child and am so glad I found your recipe! It’s wonderful!
I am thrilled to hear it Liz!
Why does the Note say 0 mg added sugar when the recipe includes a teaspoon of sugar?
Thanks so much for pointing that out. It actually has 3g. I updated the recipe card. Hope you enjoy it!
Would ACV be okay to use or is rice vinegar a better choice? Thanks!
Yes apple cider vinegar will work. It will be stronger tasting, so you may want to use a little less (to taste.) Enjoy!!