This cucumber salad is easy and refreshing. In this recipe, cucumbers are thinly sliced, combined with shredded carrots, and tossed in a slightly sweet and tangy dressing.
The dressing for this cold salad is as easy to make as the salad. A combination of apple cider vinegar, olive oil, sugar, and spices coat the cucumbers and carrots in a not-to-sweet and tangy sauce. We use a similar dressing in our three bean salad that works so well.
The marinated cucumbers and carrots make a wonderful side dish, especially in the summer when cold dishes fit right in. Serve it at your next barbecue with a loaded potato salad, a simple macaroni salad, and the classic coleslaw for a delicious side dish spread.
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What’s to love about this cucumber and carrot salad?
- It is easy to make with just a few ingredients.
- The ingredients are affordable especially if it’s made during the summer when it’s peak season for cukes.
- It is a meat-free option for parties so your veggie loving friends will be happy. Try these marinated tomatoes for another meatless option.
- Cucumber – We prefer English cucumbers for this salad because they have less seeds and thinner skin than other varieties. They are also larger. Other cucumber varieties will work too but you may need to add an extra one if they are on the smaller side.
- Carrots – They add sweetness and crunch. Cut them small and thin so they don’t compete with the crunch of the cucumbers. Use a julienne (matchstick) cut or shred them.
- Onion – We use thinly sliced yellow onion, but white and red can be substituted.
- Vinegar – Apple cider vinegar is used here. White wine vinegar and red wine vinegar can be substituted.
- Oil – Use extra virgin olive oil or light–tasting olive oil.
- Sugar – Is used to balance the tart flavors. We use raw cane sugar, but white sugar can be used. If you need to replace the sugar, try half the amount of honey. Use a slice of cucumber to taste the dressing and add a little more if you need to.
- Spices – Salt, black pepper, and garlic powder add flavor. Go light on the garlic powder because we don’t want it to be overwhelming.
- See the recipe card for quantities and preparation.
Add the apple cider vinegar, olive oil, sugar, salt, pepper, and garlic powder to a small jar or bowl. I like using canning jars to make dressings. They close tightly and I can shake vigorously without spilling.
Shake the jar or whisk the dressing to combine. Refrigerate it while you prepare the salad to let the flavors come together. Shake or stir it well before adding.
Place the sliced cucumbers, carrots, and onions in a large bowl.
Next, add the dressing and gently toss and stir the salad until coated.
Cover the bowl with a lid or plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours, up to overnight. Toss/stir a few times while refrigerating, if desired.
Stir and toss well before serving. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cucumber salad to a serving dish leaving most of the dressing behind.
Frequently asked questions
I like to use English cucumbers, but any type of cucumber will also work. English cucumbers are also called greenhouse, hothouse, burpless, or European cucumbers. They are long, have fewer seeds and thinner skin than other varieties.
It is not necessary to peel cucumbers before eating. However, it is important to wash them well. I prefer to half peel cucumbers by removing a section of the peel and leaving a section all the way around. Just note that it should be washed well even if it’s getting peeled.
We use apple cider vinegar to make the dressing for cucumber salad, but white wine vinegar and red wine vinegar also work well.
If you want to add a little extra zip to the cucumber salad add a pinch of crushed red pepper. Add a pinch or two of fresh or dried dill for an herbal flavor. Oregano or an Italian seasoning mix will give the salad extra flavor.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. This recipe does not freeze well.
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- ⅓ cup Apple Cider Vinegar
- ¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 tablespoon Sugar
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- ¼ teaspoon Black Pepper
- ¼ teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 2 large English Cucumbers thinly sliced (wash well and peel all or some parts of the cucumber, if desired)
- 1 cup matchstick cut Carrots also called julienne cut, shredded carrots will also work
- ½ small Onion thinly sliced (white, yellow, or red onion will work well)
- Add the apple cider vinegar, olive oil, sugar, salt, pepper, and garlic powder to a small jar or bowl.
- Shake the jar or whisk the dressing to combine. Refrigerate it while you prepare the salad to let the flavors come together. Shake or stir it well before adding.
- Place the sliced cucumbers, carrots, and onions in a large bowl.
- Next, add the dressing and gently toss and stir until the ingredients are coated with the dressing.
- Cover the bowl with a lid or plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours, up to overnight. Toss/stir a few times while refrigerating, if desired.
- Stir and toss well before serving.
- Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cucumber salad to a serving dish leaving most of the dressing behind.