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Mom’s Best Cucumber Salad

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Mom’s Best Cucumber Salad combines thinly sliced cucumbers and onions with a delicious creamy dressing.  The perfect combination of crunchy, creamy, sweet, and savory all at once. This salad brings back so many wonderful memories of childhood!

Using cucumbers in recipes is commonplace for me. I love them in my Healthy Tuna Chickpea Salad and my Mediterranean Grain Bowls with Chicken, as well as my Spinach Salad with Avocado and Goat Cheese. SO many great ways to include them in recipes!

Overhead shot of the best cucumber salad.

Get ready for all the feels today with my Mom’s cucumber recipe. In case you are new here, my mother passed away in April of this year, and I wrote a tribute in her honor. My mom is one of the reasons I started this blog, and I’m sharing her recipes in Norma Jean’s Kitchen.

Norma Jean had the greenest of thumbs. She loved tending both her beautiful flower garden and vegetable garden. Summertime was an exceptional time of year, and she shared her bounty of fresh garden produce with her friends and neighbors. Fresh lettuce, onions, radishes, beets, carrots, green beans, rhubarb, potatoes, cucumbers, and tomatoes GALORE! Dad got his fair share and then-some, and Mom made sure his lettuce and cucumber salads had an excessive amount of vinegar and onions, just like he wanted. 🙂 I can picture her now, bent over in the garden getting every ripe veggie, bringing them into her kitchen, and then working her magic. Gosh, what I would give for another glimpse.

Two wooden spoons serving sliced cucumbers.

Creamy Cucumbers

There are so many spins on cucumbers these days, but I love how these make me feel. (Oh, the nostalgia!) Here is how I describe them.

  • Crunchy – Cucumbers are naturally crunchy if you are using fresh ones. I love the mouth-feel!
  • Creamy – That dressing gives them a nice creamy coating.
  • Zesty – The vinegar gives that little bit of tang which is so necessary for great cucumbers.
  • Sweet – I used way less sugar than my mom did, but I feel like they are sweet enough.
  • Salty – Confession. I usually add a little extra pinch of salt to my serving. So good!

From the moment Mom could pick them from the garden, her delicious cucumbers were made on repeat. Dad loved his with lots of STRONG white onions (instead of the milder red I used here) and plenty of vinegar. It was rare that he told Mom they were perfectly made. I think he just liked to tease her that they needed “more vinegar and onions, Norma”. 😀

Ingredients Needed for Creamy Cucumbers

  • Fresh Cucumbers – If you don’t grow your own or have access to a Farmer’s Market, grocery store cucumbers work fine. I don’t have a garden, but I wish I did! Also, Mom used regular cucumbers, but I think English cucumbers would be good too.
  • Onions – Mom used strong white onions, but I prefer red. Not as strong and really delicious in this salad.
  • Mayonnaise – I rarely buy Miracle Whip anymore (which is what Mom used all the time), and prefer the mayo with olive oil. Just use whatever you like best.
  • Sugar – The sugar is needed for this version of cucumbers. You could try using less than the recommended 1/4 cup in this recipe.
  • Vinegar – Use Apple Cider or even white vinegar.
  • Salt – I love kosher salt and that’s all I use anymore. But you could use regular table salt as well (but use less).
  • Pepper – While I normally use freshly ground black pepper, I recommend using regular black pepper for this recipe.
A jar of dressing being poured on a bowl of sliced cucumbers and onions.
A bowl of sliced cucumbers and red onions, with the dressing on top.

How to make the Best Creamy Cucumber Salad:

This delicious salad, my friends, can be made in only 20 minutes. But it’s best to make it ahead of time for those flavors to meld together!

  1. Peel and thinly slice the cucumbers. If you have a mandolin slicer, feel free to use that for slicing. Otherwise, a knife works just fine.
  2. Thinly slice some red onion. You could use white onion if you prefer a stronger onion flavor.
  3. Combine. Add the cucumbers and onions in a large bowl and toss.
  4. Make the dressing. Combine the mayonnaise, sugar, vinegar, and salt. Whisk, and pour over the cucumbers and onions. Mix well.
  5. Let the flavors meld. Place the cucumbers in the refrigerator for a couple of hours to let the flavors come together.
  6. Serve. To serve, add some black pepper and additional salt if needed. Enjoy!
Closeup of a bowl of cucumber salad.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can you make the dressing with other ingredients? Yes, you could try making the dressing with combinations of plain Greek yogurt, sour cream, half and half, and milk. I have a lighter version on the blog, called Fresh Cucumber Salad. Confession…I prefer Mom’s version!
  • Do I need to sweat the cucumbers? When sweating a vegetable, salt is used to draw out excess moisture. My mom used to sweat the cucumbers by soaking them in salt water overnight, and then rinsing and straining them the next day. She eventually stopped doing this before making her cucumber salad, and I never noticed a difference. I don’t see the need to sweat the cucumbers either.
  • How long do these cucumbers keep? You can store this creamy cucumber salad in the refrigerator, in an airtight container, for 2-3 days. I’ve found them to stay crunchy for several days. You could also halve the recipe, and just make it more often. It’s simple!
Wooden spoons serving a helping of cucumber salad.

Make this “Norma Jean” salad next: Creamy Potato Salad

Please let know if you try this recipe. Be sure to comment and leave a review on the blog so I can see what you think. You can also like my Facebook Page, follow me on Pinterest, and catch me on Instagram.

xoxo ~Sue

Two wooden spoons serving sliced cucumbers.

Best Cucumber Salad

Sue Ringsdorf
Best Cucumber Salad combines thinly sliced cucumbers and onions with a delicious creamy dressing.  The perfect combination of crunchy, creamy, sweet, and savory all at once. This salad brings back so many wonderful memories of childhood!
5 from 9 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings
Calories 185 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 5-6 medium cucumbers – peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup red onion – you could also use white
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise – or Miracle Whip
  • 1/4 cup sugar – more or less to taste
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar – can also use white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt – I use Kosher salt (add more or less to taste)
  • black pepper – to taste

Instructions
 

  • Peel cucumbers, and slice thin. You can also use a mandolin to slice. Slice onion thinly as well. Combine cucumbers and red onion in a large mixing bowl.
  • Mix up the dressing by combining the mayonnaise, sugar, apple cider vinegar, and salt. Pour over the cucumbers, and combine well.
  • For best results, place cucumber salad in your refrigerator for a couple of hours to help meld the flavors together. Check flavors before serving.
  • To serve, add black pepper and more salt if desired.

Notes

  • You can store this creamy cucumber salad in the refrigerator, in an airtight container, for 2-3 days. I’ve found them to stay crunchy for several days.

Nutrition

Calories: 185kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 1gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 510mgPotassium: 248mgFiber: 1gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 135IUVitamin C: 6mgCalcium: 26mgIron: 0.4mg
Keyword best cucumber salad, creamy cucumber salad
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

16 Comments

  1. Julie gatz says:

    Love love this recipe. My grandmother made these frequently when I was young. Just made and used monk fruit sweetener. Perfect summer recipe.

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      Oh what a great idea, Julie! Thanks for letting me know. 🙂

  2. Made it last night and it’s already gone. Making more today!!

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      Hi Vanessa! So glad you enjoyed the cucumbers! 🙂

  3. Linds Froehlich says:

    Love love love these cucumbers!!

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      Thanks Linda! I appreciate the feedback! 🙂

  4. Jackie Thill says:

    I’ve made this recipe three times this summer and it will remain in my rotation. LOVE a good cucumber salad, and this is as close to Mom’s as I can get minus the miracle whip 🙂 and even less sugar than this recipe calls for (personal choice). It IS really good.

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      I never knew Mom’s cucumber could be so easy! And yes, you can definitely use less sugar. Glad you liked it, Jackie! 🙂

  5. Judy Buerkle says:

    I’ve made a similar salad but never added the mayo to make it creamy. Nice change of pace!

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      It’s definitely worth a try, Judy! 🙂

  6. This recipe is awesome and especially tastes great on those hot summer days! I can still hear your Dad….. Norma, needs more Onions! Those were the days…….

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      Those really were the days! Miss it.

  7. I LOVE these more than Rob and I have been eating them for longer. 🙂

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      Oh haha! I’m glad you love them so much, Shari!

  8. Rob Reding says:

    We make these all summer long with cucumbers from the farmers market. I LOVE them.

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      Thanks to Janene sharing Mom’s recipe, I will be making them too! 🙂

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