This easy, refreshing cucumber salad recipe is perfect for hot days! A sweet and tangy dressing coats cool cucumbers, onions, and lots of fresh herbs.
This cucumber salad recipe is the quintessential summer side dish. Like all the best summer recipes, it calls for just a few ingredients, but it still packs a big punch of flavor. Thanks to a light sesame salad dressing, it’s salty, sweet, nutty, and tangy, with plenty of fresh mint and dill to take it over the top. You only need 15 minutes to make it (including 10 minutes of hands-off chill time), so toss it together and enjoy it as a dinner side dish, or, like me, eat it straight out of the bowl! On hot days, there’s nothing more refreshing.
Cucumber Salad Recipe Ingredients
This bright, fresh cucumber salad recipe only calls for 8 ingredients:
- English cucumber, of course! This salad turns out best when you slice the cucumbers paper-thin. I recommend using a mandoline to get even slices.
- Red onion. The thinner these guys are, the better, so if you have a mandoline, use it for the onion as well as the cucumber.
- Rice vinegar, sesame oil, and honey combine to make a nutty, sweet, and tangy dressing for the crisp veggies.
- Dill and mint. They add delicious freshness to the cool cucumbers and onions.
- Pickled mustard seeds. I list these as optional, but I highly recommend using them. Their flavor is a great complement to the dill, and they add savory complexity to this simple cucumber onion salad.
Add a sprinkle of sea salt, and you’ve got everything you need!
Find the complete recipe with measurements below.
How to Make Cucumber Salad
This recipe is quick and easy to toss together. 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. Toss it all together and put the bowl in the fridge to chill for 10 minutes.
- After the mixture has chilled, transfer it to a serving dish, leaving behind any excess liquid.
- Top the cucumber salad with fresh mint leaves and pickled mustard seeds, if you’re using them.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper, and enjoy!
Find the full recipe below!
What to Serve with Cucumber Onion Salad
I tend to gobble up this cucumber salad as soon as I toss it together, but on days when I have some restraint, I serve it as a side dish with classic picnic fare. We love it with these recipes:
Thanks to the sweet and tangy sesame dressing, this cucumber salad recipe pairs well with Asian flavors too. Try it as a side dish with soba noodles, crispy tofu, or banh mi sandwiches. Add a scoop to a watermelon poké bowl, or pair it with sushi, spring rolls, or summer rolls to make a light meal.
More Favorite Salad Recipes
If you love this easy cucumber salad recipe, try one of these summer salads next:
- Watermelon Salad with Feta
- Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
- Cucumber Tomato Salad
- Easy Pasta Salad
- Best Broccoli Salad
- Greek Salad
- Or any of these 37 Best Salad Recipes!
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- ½ tablespoon agave nectar or honey
- 1 English cucumber, thinly sliced into rounds
- ⅓ cup thinly sliced red onions
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon chopped dill
- 1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves
- Pickled mustard seeds, optional (recipe below)
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling, optional
Pickled Mustard Seeds, optional (makes extra)
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 tablespoons cane sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/3 cup yellow mustard seeds
- Make the pickled mustard seeds, if using. Combine the vinegar, water, sugar, and salt in a small pot over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stir in mustard seeds, reduce the heat, and cook over low heat for 30 minutes or until the mustard seeds are plump. Remove from the 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. Toss to coat and chill for 10 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl, leaving some of the excess water behind. Top with fresh mint, dollops of pickled mustard seeds, if using, and a drizzle of olive oil, if desired. Season to taste and serve.