Tangy Pickled Cucumber Salad

updated yesterday
summer

A light, fresh salad of quick-pickled cucumbers and chopped fresh chives that's perfect for your next potluck or barbecue.

Serves4 to 6

Prep5 minutes

Jump to Recipe
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When you crave a veggie side dish that won’t weigh down the rest of your dinner but still has enough punch to stand out on its own, make this tangy pickled cucumber salad. Quick-pickling the cucumbers with apple cider vinegar and a little sugar is a simple, yet delicious recipe for one of the best sides at any BBQ party or summer cookout.

Tossed with nothing more than a little olive oil, salt, pepper, and lots of chopped fresh chives, the cucumber slices transform into a simple salad that’s the perfect counterpart for grilled meat, chicken, or fish (and more!). Here’s how to make tangy pickled cucumber salad for your next cookout.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

Why You’ll Love It

  • It’s ultra refreshing. This tangy cucumber salad is a light and welcome addition to whatever you happen to toss on the grill in the evening, such as steak, chicken, fish, or veggies.
  • You can make it ahead. Toss it together at the beginning of dinner prep, and let it sit and marinate while you prepare the grilled goods. And since it does need a little time for the flavors to marry, you can make it in advance, as it will continue to get better over a few hours or even overnight.

Key Ingredients in Tangy Pickled Cucumber Salad

  • Cucumbers: Look for English cucumbers, which are thin-skinned and seedless.
  • Apple cider vinegar: We like apple cider vinegar for its sharp, subtly sweet flavor.
  • Sugar: Granulated sugar balances out the tartness of the vinegar.
  • Chives: Chopped fresh chives add a mild onion flavor.

How to Make Tangy Pickled Cucumber Salad

  1. Make the dressing. Place the vinegar, oil, sugar, salt, and pepper in a large bowl and whisk to combine. 
  2. Slice the cucumbers. Thinly slice the cucumbers crosswise, then add them to the bowl, along with the chopped chives. Toss to combine.
  3. Cover and refrigerate. Allow the flavors to meld for at least 30 minutes or overnight. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed before serving.
(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

What to Serve with Tangy Pickled Cucumber Salad

Make-Ahead and Storage Tips

  • Make ahead: Cover and refrigerate in an airtight container for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
  • Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Tangy Pickled Cucumber Salad Recipe

A light, fresh salad of quick-pickled cucumbers and chopped fresh chives that's perfect for your next potluck or barbecue.

Prep time 5 minutes

Serves 4 to 6

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup

    apple cider vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons

    olive oil

  • 2 teaspoons

    granulated sugar

  • 1 teaspoon

    kosher salt, plus more as needed

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 pounds

    English or seedless cucumbers (about 4 medium)

  • 2 tablespoons

    finely chopped fresh chives

Instructions

  1. Place 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 teaspoons granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and a few grinds of pepper in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Thinly slice 4 medium English or seedless cucumbers crosswise. Place them in the bowl, add 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives, and toss to combine.

  2. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight to allow the flavors to meld. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed before serving.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.