Make these old fashioned cucumbers with your fresh garden cucumbers! This is a refreshing cucumber salad with a sweet and simple vinegar dressing, like Grandma used to make.

This post was sponsored by Zulka, but all opinions are mine.

I have to say, if you haven’t had this easy cucumber onion salad, you are missing out! It’s a simple summer salad that dresses sliced cucumbers and onions with a homemade dressing. I remember my maternal Grandmother serving this delicious salad every year in the late summer months. It’s a great way to use up garden cucumbers, which is definitely what she was doing!

a close up photo of cucumber and onion salad

Luckily, it’s easy to make this classic cucumber salad! You only need a few simple ingredients; cucumbers, water, oil, vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper and celery seed. I add fresh dill to the mix, but feel free to omit the dill, or substitute other fresh herbs like fresh basil.

an overhead photo of cucumber salad in a white bowl

For this easy recipe, I used Zulka® pure cane sugar. I love to use Zulka® because it’s a clean sugar! There are no animal by-products, chemicals or preservatives added. And, it’s sustainably produced using family-owned sugar mills! 

Zulka is a high-quality sugar that can replace other sugars 1:1 in your baking recipes! I love using it in salad dressing as well, because it dissolves fully without having to heat the dressing up. 

For the dressing recipe, you can make adjustments. If you like a more tart dressing, add more vinegar. For extra sweetness, add more sugar. I know that some of my family members add whole garlic cloves to the dressing for a garlicky flavor. Please taste and adjust to your personal taste! 

an overhead photo of a bag of Zulka sugar next to a bowl of cucumber salad

Recipe Substitutions:

This easy cucumber salad is a flexible recipe with several substitutions. You know that I love substitutions because they allow you to use what you have on hand at home! Here are a few suggestions: 

  • Instead of white vinegar, use red wine vinegar, rice vinegar, white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • Instead of the yellow onion, use a white onion, Vidalia onions (sweet onions), red onions or shallots 
  • Instead of the fresh dill, use dried dill. You will need 1/3rd of a teaspoon of dried dill.
  • I used garden cucumbers for this recipe, but feel free to use another variety. English cucumbers, Persian cucumbers or mini snacking cucumbers. Be aware that some varieties have thicker skin, so you may want to peel those first when using them.
an overhead photo of a bowl of cucumber salad with onions

Recipe Additions: 

  • Add a cup of halved cherry tomatoes. 
  • Add fresh herbs like fresh parsley or basil. 
  • Add whole garlic cloves or a sprinkle of minced garlic to the dressing.

Looking for a creamier version of this cucumber salad recipe? Try my Easy Creamy Cucumber Salad.

a close up photo of cucumber salad

Serving Suggestions: 

This simple side dish is perfect for summer cookouts or early fall potlucks. If you’re making it for home, I love this serving fresh side dish on a hot summer night. It’s wonderful with grilled pork chops or smoked chicken.

When I have leftovers, I like to eat this easy salad recipe for lunch as a main course with some hummus and crackers on the side! 

The good news is that this great recipe lasts in the fridge for about a week, so you can use it for several meals.

an overhead photo of a bag of zulka sugar

Storing Leftovers:

Store leftovers in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to one week. I like to use a mason jar or glass container since this is an acidic recipe. 

a close up photo of cucumber and onion salad

Old Fashioned Cucumber Salad

Yield: Serves 5-6
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Additional Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes

Make these old fashioned cucumbers with your fresh garden cucumbers! This is a refreshing cucumber salad with a sweet and simple vinegar dressing, like Grandma used to make.


  • 2 large fresh cucumbers, sliced (about 3-4 cups)
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • ½ yellow onion, sliced thin

For the dressing:

  • ¾ cup white vinegar
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • ½ cup Zulka pure cane sugar
  • ​2 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

Optional, for garnish:

  • fresh dill


  1. Slice cucumbers into thin slices using a chef knife or mandolin slicer. 
  2. Place sliced cucumbers on a paper towel lined plate or cutting board and sprinkle them with the salt. Allow the cucumber slices to rest for at least 20 minutes. This will help to remove excess moisture, so you have crisp cucumbers! 
  3. In a large bowl, add vinegar, oil, Zulka sugar, water, black pepper, and celery seed. Whisk vigorously with a wire whisk until the sugar dissolves. 
  4. Add onion slices to the vinegar mixture and allow it to rest for at least 5 minutes before adding the cucumbers. 
  5. Toss the cucumbers and onions in the vinegar dressing, then cover with plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator to marinate for at least 2 hours before serving. 
  6. Serve cold. Enjoy!


Substitute any neutral oil like olive oil or avocado oil for the canola oil.

Nutrition Information
Yield 6 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 305Total Fat 25gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 22gCholesterol 0mgSodium 709mgCarbohydrates 21gFiber 1gSugar 19gProtein 1g

The nutrition for this recipe is calculated by an app and may be incorrect.

Did you make this recipe?

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