Creamy Cucumber Salad Recipe
This Creamy Cucumber Salad is so easy, creamy, and good. Crisp summer cucumbers and red onions with a delicious coating of fresh dill and sour cream dressing make this a must-have summer side dish!
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Why we Love this Creamy Cucumber Salad:
When garden cucumbers are plentiful, we enjoy finding creative ways to use them up. This salad is in our top 3 cucumber recipes along with our Cucumber Tomato Avocado Salad and Ceviche. Our entire family loves this salad even our 5-year old so it is on the regular rotation all summer long.
Creamy Cucumber Salad, sometimes called German Cucumber Salad, is the perfect dish during the summer. The thick creamy sauce made with fresh lemon, dill, and sour cream, reminds me of Tzatziki Sauce (and I could put that stuff on anything!).
Creamy Cucumber Salad Ingredients:
You don’t need a long list of ingredients to make the best cucumber salad. Try this recipe with fresh garden-grown cucumbers and you will be hooked!
- Cucumbers: Fresh garden-grown cucumbers are my favorite for this dish, however, you can make this dish year-round with cucumbers from the grocery store
- Onions: I love using red onions for their sweetness and a bright pop of color against the green cucumbers. Yellow onions or chopped green onions also work.
- Sour Cream: provides a tangy and thick base for this yummy salad. Greek yogurt also works well.
- Lemon Juice: Fresh lemon juice works the best (trust me!) and helps cut the thick sour cream to make the sauce taste lighter.
- Garlic Cloves: Again, fresh is best!
- Dill: Fresh or frozen dill works. We love to freeze the abundant fresh dill from summer and use it for this salad in the colder months.
Cook’s Tip: To freeze fresh dill – rinse, dry, chop, lightly pack into freezer zip bags and freeze flat.
Can I Substitute the Sour Cream?
I love using sour cream as the sauce base in this Creamy Cucumber Salad. It creates a delicious thick dressing. You can use reduced-fat sour cream which will create a slightly thinner sauce but will still be thick enough to contrast with the cucumbers.
If you are really cutting calories, try using plain Greek yogurt and add lemon juice to taste as Greek yogurt is tangier than sour cream.
What Cucumbers are Best for Salad?
The varieties of cucumbers are almost as endless as the types of cucumber salads. My favorite cucumbers to include in salads are:
- Garden Cucumbers: Crisp, crunchy, and our favorite when they come fresh from the garden. They lack the wax coating of those purchased at grocery stores. They can be served peeled or unpeeled.
- English Cucumbers: Also known as European cucumbers. This variety is mild in flavor, almost seedless, and usually 1-2 feet in length. They are typically sold wrapped in plastic to protect their thin skin and there is no need to peel them. These are greenhouse grown and typically more expensive.
- Cocktail Cucumbers: Deliciously crunchy and much smaller than other varieties of cucumbers. They are also more expensive per pound, but there’s no need to peel them.
- Wax-Coated Cucumbers: Probably the most prevalent cucumbers in North America, found at most grocery stores. They have a wax covering to help preserve the cucumber and will need to be peeled prior to eating.
How to Make this Easy Creamy Cucumber Salad:
1. Dressing time! Stir together the sour cream, lemon, garlic, and dill in a small bowl to make the scrumptious creamy dressing and set aside. Remember to add salt and pepper to taste.
2. Thinly slice cucumbers and onions into a large mixing bowl. Remember to peel the cucumber if you are using one that is wax-coated. Just before serving stir in the sauce to evenly coat the onions and cucumbers. (Only 2 steps – I promised you this was an easy salad!)
Pro Tip: Wait until right before serving to add the creamy dressing. After adding sauce, the salad will only stay fresh for about 2-3 hours if refrigerated.
More Delicious Cucumber Recipes:
- Avocado Cucumber Shrimp Bites – easy mouth-watering appetizer that always disappears fast.
- Creamy Cucumber and Tomato Salad – classic mix of cucumbers and tomatoes in a simple dressing.
- Cucumber Avocado Salad – simple and excellent salad with easy lime dressing
- Cucumber Feta Salad – with fresh Greek flavors
- Refrigerator Pickles – a quick and easy recipe for crisp and refreshing dill pickles
Creamy Cucumber Salad Recipe
This easy Creamy Cucumber Salad combines crisp cucumbers and sweet red onions with fresh sour cream, lemon, and dill sauce that will have you begging for more.
- 1 1/2 lbs cucumbers 2 english cucumbers or 7-10 small ones
- 1/2 medium purple or yellow onion thinly sliced
- 1 Tbsp fresh or frozen dill chopped
- 3/4 cup sour cream reduced fat is ok
- 1/2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice from 1/2 small lemon
- 1 large or 2 small garlic cloves pressed
- 1/2 tsp sea salt and pinch black pepper or to taste
In a small bowl, combine 3/4 cup sour cream, 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice, 2 pressed garlic cloves, 1 Tbsp dill, 1/2 tsp salt or to taste and a pinch of pepper. Stir and set aside while prepping salad.
Slice cucumbers into thin rounds or half rounds if using large cucumbers. Place in a large mixing bowl. Add thinly sliced onion. Just before serving stir sauce into the salad and mix to coat cucumbers. After adding sauce, the salad will stay fresh for about 2-3 hours if refrigerated.
*For best results, add the creamy sour cream dressing to the cucumber salad just before serving.
*Fresh lemon juice works best.
*I've tested plain Greek yogurt and it works (although not quite as good), just omit lemon juice if using.
If you make this recipe, I’d love to see pics of your creations on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! Hashtag them #natashaskitchen