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Cucumber Salad Recipe with Vinegar and Dill

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This delicious fast pickled cucumber salad recipe has vinegar and dill for a delicious, refreshing, tangy salad. It’s a hit with my kids too and one of my favorite Shabbat lunch ideas to eat with salmon. This post contains affiliate links.


kid friendly cucumber salad recipe with vinegar and dill - title image with text

Growing up, I loved delicious cucumber salad that is often sugared up (and often too much so) in true Ashkenazic tradition. But I especially loved Grandma’s.

Grandma’s cucumber salad wasn’t too sugary and was just perfect and full of delicious dill flavor. It was just the right touch.

I never got Grandma’s recipe. I don’t even know if Grandma has a recipe. But I did try making it a number of times before I got the flavor I wanted. It’s still not Grandma’s cucumber salad recipe but it’s quite good.

It’s got just the right tangy flavor, with just the right amount of sugar to temper the vinegar. It’s got dill.

And guess what? My kids love it! All three of them! Would you believe it?!

There are a few ways to make this cucumber salad recipe with vinegar and dill easier.

  • I use English cucumbers and keep the peel on
  • This recipe is best with thin slices, so I use a food processor to make mine. It rinses clean in minutes.
  • I use Pyrex bowls with lids to store and serve.
  • Small 5 oz measuring cups that have tablespoon measures are fabulous for recipes like these that are generous on the tablespoon use.

I never thought of this recipe as “pickled” but the truth is, it kind of is. We always like to make it a bit in advance so that the cucumbers soften and absorb the flavor. Okay, fine. So that they pickle. Yes, it’s pickle salad. Go sell it to your kids that way (I may have done that too).

And while, yes, it’s sugary, it does have “salad” in the name so if you’re on a diet or whatever, I think you’re good.

When and with what to serve this cucumber salad recipe

I typically make cucumber salad for Shabbat lunch. As a Sabbath-observant Jew, I serve a more formal Friday night dinner and Saturday lunch every week. We often have guests – sleepover or just for the meal.

However, we do not cook anything on the Sabbath (we can prep, just not cook or bake.) Reheating foods are complicated. We often prepare hot dishes such as this cholent recipe, however we also tend to look for fabulous, refreshing sides to go along with it.

In the winter, we like to have something lighter to go with the heavy cholent.

In the summer we often ditch the cholent in favor of a cold meal.

This cucumber salad recipe with vinegar and dill is fabulous to balance out heavier, saltier dishes such as stews, Shnitzel, and deli platters. I don’t make it very salty to keep it refreshing.

It’s also fabulous as a side with salmon, or for any picnic type setting.

And I just love serving cucumber salad in those moments where you want an extra thing to decorate people’s plates with at a buffet, but you want to be able to prep it a day before. Most salads need to be prepped fresh but this one is even better the next day.

Our Favorite Cucumber Salad Recipe with Vinegar and Dill

I’ll put it out there: I did use a spice mix for this recipe. If you haven’t yet tried Trader Joe’s Dill Pickle seasoning mix, you’re missing out! It allows me to pull out much less for this recipe.

But I did also include alternatives.

I also like to use English cucumbers (or hot house cucumbers) for a few reasons. They produce fewer seeds and don’t “pulp” when I process them. They are a bit sweeter and crisper with a better flavor. Cucumber salad can get mushy quickly, but hot house cucumbers minimizes that. You can keep the peels on (since they’re thinner), which helps avoid mushiness, and makes it easier. It adds a little crunch.

Ingredients for fast pickled cucumber salad

  • 2 large English (hothouse) cucumbers, scrubbed with peel on
  • 3 T white sugar
  • 5 T white vinegar
  • Optional small onion ( I omit this lately because of my kids)
  • 1 T Trader Joe’s Seasoning in a Pickle OR
    • 1/2 t. salt
    • 1 t. onion powder
    • 1 t. garlic powder
    • 1 t. dried dill (or a few sprigs fresh – see note)

Equipment:

How to make cucumber salad with vinegar and dill

  • Slice your cucumbers in the food processor, using the slicing blade. If you don’t have a food processor, slice it thin. You may want to use a potato peeler to peel thin slices. If using onion, add it in as well.
  • Mix your dressing ingredients in the bowl, add the cucumbers, and toss. Refrigerate for a couple of hours or overnight before serving.

Note: you may want to experiment with the amount of dill as it has a strong flavor and preferences can vary. Recipe is just a starting point.

Kid-Friendly Quick Pickled Cucumber Salad Recipe
Yield: 6

Kid-Friendly Quick Pickled Cucumber Salad Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Make a delicious cucumber salad recipe that the kids love to eat too! This comes together in minutes with easy cleanup. The quick pickled deli-style salad is foolproof and fabulous with many types of meals.

Ingredients

Spice mix

  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1 t. onion powder
  • 1 t. garlic powder
  • 1 t. dried dill (or a few sprigs fresh - see note)

Equipment

Instructions

  • Slice your cucumbers in the food processor, using the slicing blade. If you don't have a food processor, slice it thin. You may want to use a potato peeler to peel thin slices. If using onion, add it in as well.
  • Mix your dressing ingredients in the bowl, add the cucumbers, and toss. Refrigerate for a couple of hours or overnight before serving.

Notes

Note: you may want to experiment with the amount of dill as it has a strong flavor and preferences can vary. Recipe is just a starting point.

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