Creamy Cucumber Salad is so easy, creamy, and refreshing. The nostalgic flavors feature crisp summer cucumbers and onions coated with fresh dill and a sour cream dressing. It’s a must-have summer side dish!

This creamy cucumber salad recipe, sometimes called German Cucumber 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 youngest, so it is on the regular rotation all summer long.

Creamy cucumber salad recipe in a serving bowl garnished with dill

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The Best Cucumber Salad Dressing

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!) This is the perfect cucumber salad recipe for when the fruit is in season from May through August. Each bite is more refreshing than the last.

Fresh dill and crispy cucumbers pair perfectly! Then, you coat that flavor combination in the creamy sour cream dressing making this creamy cucumber salad recipe truly an iconic dish that tastes of summer.

Creamy Cucumber Salad Video

Watch how easy it is to bring the dish together in a few simple steps. It will quickly become a summer side dish you’ll make year after year.

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 bright pop of color against the green cucumbers. Sweet Vidalia onions or chopped green onions also work for a milder onion flavor.
  • Sour Cream – provides a tangy and thick base for this yummy salad. You can substitute Greek yogurt for sour cream, but it thins the dressing, and it adds more tangy flavor.
  • Lemon Juice – Fresh lemon juice works the best (trust me!) and helps cut the thick sour cream to make the sauce taste lighter.
  • Garlic – Again, fresh garlic is best, but pre-minced or even garlic powder will work.
  • Dill – Fresh or frozen dill tastes the freshest. We love to freeze the abundant fresh dill from summer and use it for this salad in the colder months. You can substitute dill with finely chopped parsley or chives (whatever you have growing in your garden).
Cucumbers, red onions, dill, garlic and sour cream combine to make a delicious cucumber salad recipe

Pro Tip: To freeze fresh dill – rinse, dry, chop, and then lightly pack into freezer zip bags and freeze flat. You can enjoy it right out of the freezer for any recipe that calls for dill, from Egg Salad to Tartar Sauce.

How to Make Creamy Cucumber Salad

  1. Stir together the sour cream, lemon, garlic, dill, and salt and pepper in a small bowl to make the scrumptious creamy dressing. Then, set the bowl aside.
  2. Slice the cucumbers and onions thinly using a mandoline set to 1/8″ or a sharp knife. Remember to peel the cucumber if wax-coated. Place in a serving bowl.
  3. Pour the creamy sour cream dressing into the serving bowl, and then mix to evenly coat the onions and cucumbers. Serve immediately.
Dressing for cucumber salad in cup

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

Sliced cucumbers and red onions ready for the delicious sour cream and dill sauce to complete this easy Creamy Cucumber Salad.

What Cucumbers are Best for Salad?

The varieties of cucumbers are almost as endless as the types of cucumber salads. These are my favorite cucumbers to include in salads and whether or not you need to peel before slicing:

  • Garden Cucumbers: Crisp, crunchy, and our favorite when they come fresh from the garden. They can be served peeled or unpeeled.
  • English Cucumbers: Also known as European cucumbers. This variety is mild in flavor, almost seedless. They are typically sold wrapped in plastic to protect their thin skin, so there is no need to peel them.
  • 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: Found at most grocery stores year round. They have a wax covering to help preserve the cucumber and will need to be peeled prior to eating.
Bowl of creamy cucumber salad with serving spoon

How to Keep Cucumbers from Getting Soggy

This recipe is best eaten immediately and only stays truly crispy for three to four hours in the fridge. After that, the cucumbers release water, thinning the dressing.

  • Dry the cucumbers before using– Pat the cut cucumbers dry with a paper towel before adding the dressing. You can also use a salad spinner.
  • Try salting– You can add a teaspoon of salt to the cucumbers in a colander for 30 minutes before making the salad to draw some of the water out, but the texture will be softer and not as crispy.
Close up of a creamy summer side dish with cucumbers, sour cream dressing, fresh lemon juice and red onions

Variations

If you’re feeling adventurous, try some of these other variations and ways to serve this cucumber salad:

  • Change the herbs– you can swap the dill for fresh parsley or chives. If you don’t have fresh herbs, you can use about a third of the amount of dried dill.
  • Opt for Mayo– substitute mayo for the lemon juice for a thicker sauce.
  • Add heat – add some red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper to taste.
  • Include other fresh vegetables – try adding sliced radishes for an extra crunch, or add grape tomatoes, corn, or even avocado

What to Serve with Creamy Cucumber Salad

This delicious summer side salad pairs perfectly with meaty main dishes at summer barbecues and picnics, or all year around:

Make-Ahead

  • To Refrigerate: The salad is best served immediately, but it will last for two or three days in the fridge. If the salad gets watery, you can drain the water and add a bit more sour cream for leftovers the next day.
  • Freezing: This isn’t a good recipe to freeze as cucumbers and sour cream do not freeze well.
Creamy Cucumber Salad served in a bowl with a wooden spoon

Try this iconic salad recipe as a simple side for your next barbecue or picnic, and you’ll see why this creamy cucumber salad recipe is handed down for generations in so many families.

More Cucumber Recipes

If you love summer cucumbers as much as we do, you will find some new favorite cucumber recipes in this list. When cucumbers are abundant in our garden, these are the recipes we make most often:

Natasha's Kitchen Cookbook

Creamy Cucumber Salad Recipe

5 from 104 votes
Author: Natasha Kravchuk
Creamy cucumber salad in a bowl with cucumbers, dill, red onions and creamy sour cream dressing
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.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients 

Servings: 6 as a side salad
  • 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
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, reduced fat is ok
  • 1/2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice, from 1/2 small lemon
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed or grated
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt and pinch black pepper, or to taste

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, combine sour cream, lemon juice, garlic, dill, salt and pepper to taste. Stir and set aside while prepping salad.
  • Peel (if necessary) and 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, pour the sauce over the cucumbers and onions, and mix to coat. After adding sauce, the salad will stay fresh for about 2-3 hours if refrigerated.

Notes

Variations:

  • Chives – add 1/3 cup chives or green onion instead of onion for a milder onion flavor.
  • Mayo – lately we’ve been loving the addition of 1-2 Tbsp mayo to the dressing instead of lemon juice. 
  • Greek yogurt – I’ve tested plain Greek yogurt and it works (although not quite as good), just omit lemon juice if using.

Nutrition Per Serving

58kcal Calories5g Carbs2g Protein3g Fat2g Saturated Fat10mg Cholesterol217mg Sodium229mg Potassium1g Fiber2g Sugar176IU Vitamin A5mg Vitamin C59mg Calcium1mg Iron
Nutrition Facts
Creamy Cucumber Salad Recipe
Amount per Serving
Calories
58
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
3
g
5
%
Saturated Fat
 
2
g
13
%
Cholesterol
 
10
mg
3
%
Sodium
 
217
mg
9
%
Potassium
 
229
mg
7
%
Carbohydrates
 
5
g
2
%
Fiber
 
1
g
4
%
Sugar
 
2
g
2
%
Protein
 
2
g
4
%
Vitamin A
 
176
IU
4
%
Vitamin C
 
5
mg
6
%
Calcium
 
59
mg
6
%
Iron
 
1
mg
6
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Russian, Ukrainian
Keyword: Creamy Cucumber Salad
Skill Level: Easy
Cost to Make: $
Calories: 58

Natasha Kravchuk

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the blogger behind Natasha's Kitchen (since 2009). My husband and I run this blog together and share only our best, family approved and tested recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

Read more posts by Natasha

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Recipe Rating




Comments

  • Lana
    May 20, 2024

    Love this salad with added tomatoes and radishes. I don’t add mayo or lemon juice or garlic, but dill, sour cream (or yogurt or mix of sour cream and yogurt) + salt and pepper = so-so-so-so good. Def prefer green onions (but I don’t handle “real” onions well). Thanks!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 20, 2024

      Thank you so much for sharing that with me, Lana!

      Reply

  • Ryan Nelson
    April 21, 2024

    Best cucumber salad I have ever had!
    The flavors “pop”! This accompanied your “Perfect Hamburger” recipe. I chose the mayo/BBQ aioli. I have tried 4 of your recipes and each has been fantastically flavorful.

    Ryan

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      April 21, 2024

      Thank you and they’re a perfect match!

      Reply

  • Lisa Peterson
    March 23, 2024

    Very good! Followed the recipe I normally use vintager instead of lemon juice. Turned out really well. Will make again!

    Reply

  • Corinne
    February 7, 2024

    Hi there!! This recipe looks delicious and super easy!! But I have a question… Did you use fine sea salt or coarse sea salt? It makes a difference!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      February 8, 2024

      Hi Corinne, I always use fine sea salt. Sorry I missed that important detail and I will clarify that in the recipe.

      Reply

  • Slava
    December 3, 2023

    I made this salad and used it as a side dish for pork ribs. It was absolutely amazing!
    https://magicskillet.com/recipe/baked-chipotle-baby-back-ribs/

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      December 3, 2023

      Thank you for sharing, Slava!

      Reply

  • Sandy
    October 6, 2023

    Easy to make and VERY delicious. I made it exactly as the recipe says and it was perfect. My entire family loved it. I’ve made this several times now. That sauce! So good! This is a good one Natasha!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      October 6, 2023

      I’m so happy you enjoyed that. Thank you for sharing that with us, Sandy!

      Reply

  • Len W
    September 17, 2023

    Lost my connection while typing earlier.

    The cultures in the yogurt interact with the mayonnaise to soften the flavor of the yogurt. It’s a great salad base that can be flavored with herbs, curry powder, chili powders and chopped pickled vegetables.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      September 17, 2023

      Thanks for sharing!

      Reply

  • Kathy S Olson
    September 7, 2023

    I did use 5% Greek yogurt with the lemon juice and was delicious.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      September 7, 2023

      Hi Kathy! That’s great to hear. I’m glad you liked the recipe.

      Reply

  • NANCY Guppy
    September 3, 2023

    I made this with my abundant garden cucumbers and it is simple and delicious. I used frozen dill with garden chives and basil. Definitely a keeper. Reminded me of my Hungarian aunts cucumbers in sour cream.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      September 3, 2023

      Awesome! Great to hear that you enjoyed it, Nancy.

      Reply

  • Lori
    September 1, 2023

    Great recipe! I used mayo as well as a squeeze of lemon and dry dill. This recipe is definitely a keeper! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      September 1, 2023

      You’re welcome, Lori! I’m so glad you found another keeper.

      Reply

  • George
    August 24, 2023

    Hello, I like the sour cream mayo combo. I also use it in my potato salad, it add extra creaminess. Thank for your recipe. My grandmother would make the cakes with vinegar, water, little sugar, pepper, and paprika. She was hungarian.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      August 24, 2023

      Hi George! So glad you love the recipe.

      Reply

  • Jana
    August 15, 2023

    This is the third time making this salad as 4 of 5 of us are cucumber and dill LOVERS. (I quadrupled the fresh dill.) This is absolutely refreshing and delicious. It is a hot day here in CA, I don’t want to make hot food, so we are having this with cold shrimp and a crusty baguette. Thank you, Natasha!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      August 15, 2023

      You’re welcome. Jana! I’m glad you love it!

      Reply

  • Laura
    August 14, 2023

    A new favourite! With such simple ingredients I was skeptical, but it is absolutely delicious. A perfect light side dish for summer. Personally I love it the next day too. Cukes aren’t as crispy but it’s still really, really good.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      August 14, 2023

      Thank you for sharing, Laura!

      Reply

  • Carol Gatton
    August 6, 2023

    Prepared your recipe for skillet salmon & loved it. You are so much fun!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      August 6, 2023

      Great to hear that you enjoyed the recipe, Carol!

      Reply

  • Slavomira Lacinova
    July 30, 2023

    Just like mom makes it, love it. We omit the onion for digestive reasons and it still tastes good.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      July 30, 2023

      Sounds good, nice to know that you found and loved our recipe too!

      Reply

  • Karen
    July 26, 2023

    Light, refreshing and delicious. What I do for my husband’s leftovers is put the cucumbers and onions in a container and the dressing in a separate container then he can mix them at lunchtime. This eliminates the soggieness.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      July 26, 2023

      Hi Karen! That’s a great idea. Thank you for your wonderful feedback.

      Reply

  • Anne
    July 26, 2023

    This was the best cucumber salad I have ever had!!!! My husband and I devoured the whole thing and still craving for more. An absolute “must have” in my recipe arsenal.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      July 26, 2023

      That’s wonderful! I’m so glad it was enjoyed. Thank you for the feedback.

      Reply

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