Old Fashioned Cucumbers and Onions in Vinegar

This old fashioned cucumbers and onions in vinegar recipe just screams summer to me. I have fond memories of my mom making this recipe for pot lucks and summer barbecues.

And even better, this dish is kidney friendly!

Cucumber salads, like this one, are a delicious way to get some extra vegetables into your meals. This recipe is so refreshing. The perfect option for a hot summer day!

How To Serve Old Fashioned Cucumbers and Onions in Vinegar

I usually serve this recipe as a side dish. It will often make an appearance along with grilled chicken and corn on the cob.

You could bulk up this recipe with some more vegetables and a little protein to make it a main dish! Sliced tomatoes or blanched green beans would be delicious additions! Add a can of low sodium garbanzo beans for an extra boost of fiber and a little protein. You are good to go!

Old Fashioned Cucumbers and Onions in Vinegar Ingredients

  • Cucumbers – obviously a must for this recipe. Both English and conventional cucumbers work in this recipe. I prefer to leave the peel on the cucumbers for some extra color and fiber! But, cucumbers are traditionally peeled in most old fashioned cucumbers and onions in vinegar recipes
  • Onions – nearly any onion works too! I like the flavor of sweet onion for this recipe the best. Red onions also give the dish a lovely color!
  • Vinegar – I usually use plain old distilled white vinegar for this recipe. But, you could definitely get fancy and use flavored vinegar for an extra punch of flavor. Apple cider vinegar would be delicious too!
  • Oil – I like to use a neutral flavored oil like canola or vegetable oil for this recipe. I find olive oil to have a bit too strong of a flavor for this recipe.
  • Spices – just enough to give the dish some life!

Are Cucumbers and Onions in Vinegar Healthy?

Absolutely! This recipe is filled with vegetables and is low in sodium and fat. Most of the flavor in this recipe comes from the vinegar, which gives it a delicious bite, and herbaceous dill.

There is a little added sugar in this recipe. However, one serving only contains 2 grams of added sugar and 5 grams of total carbohydrate.

For some specific kidney health concerns, both cucumbers and onions are low in oxalate and potassium.

Happy Eating!


Print Recipe
4.60 from 5 votes

Old Fashioned Cucumbers and Onions in Vinegar

Sweet and tangy cucumbers and onions marinated in vinegar with dill
Prep Time5 minutes
Marinating Time3 hours
Total Time3 hours 5 minutes
Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 1/2 cup
Calories: 41kcal


  • 3 cucumbers sliced thin
  • 1 sweet or red onion sliced thin
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons distilled vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon dill weed dried
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  • Combine cucumbers and onions in a large bowl.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients. Pour over cucumbers and onions. Mix or toss to combine.
  • Let cucumbers and onions marinate in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours and up to overnight. The longer the better!


Nutrition Facts (per 1/2 cup): 41 calories, 2g fat, 0g saturated fat, 5g carbohydrate, 2mg added sugar, 1g fiber, 0.5g protein, 51mg sodium, 13mg calcium, 96mg potassium, 16mg phosphorus, 2mg oxalate 

17 thoughts on “Old Fashioned Cucumbers and Onions in Vinegar”

  1. 5 stars
    Hi Melanie,
    I don’t add sugar, salt or oil to my food. I made the cucumber in vinegar dish. It is delicious. I did not add any oil, salt or sugar. It was sweet from the apple cider vinegar. I used a purple shallot instead of the onion, and besides black pepper, I used onion and garlic powder, ground cumin and turmeric, and sweet paprika, ginger and garam masala instead of the hot pepper.
    Thank you so much for your mini cookbook.
    All the best.

    1. Melanie Betz MS, RD, CSR, FAND

      All of these modifications sound delicious! Thank you so much for sharing. I’m glad my recipe gave you a good starting point!

    1. Melanie Betz MS, RD, CSR, CSG

      There is a small amount of sugar in this recipe. No matter who you are, a tiny is completely ok!

  2. I got a Cucumber, Onion, and Tomato Salad recipe from an A.T. & T, repairman last year; I shared some of my cucumbers with him. He took several so I asked him how he was planning to fix them. He told me he cuts up the cucumbers, onions, and tomatoes and uses a dressing called Garlic Expressions. It is similar to your salad and since I’ve been growing the pickling type cucumbers in my yard for the past two years that is my go to salad. It is so good! I’ve been having it (without the tomatoes due to CKD) almost every day with my evening meal. The difference from your salad is the dressing. We have a small company in Perrysburg, OH, that produces the dressing and it is absolutely delicious. It has vinegar, olive oil, and garlic cloves in the bottle. It’s my favorite. It is being sold here in Toledo, OH, by most large grocery stores.

    1. Melanie Betz MS, RD, CSR, CSG

      Such a fun story! Thank you for sharing. I also LOVE having cucumber salads in the summer – so refreshing! This dressing sounds delicious! I checked the sodium on it and it looks like it has 220mg of sodium per tablespoon. This is on the higher end, but as long as you fit that sodium in your daily sodium amount it is a great option!

  3. 5 stars
    I tried this Old Fashioned Cucumbers and Onions in vinegar recipe and I was really impressed. So easy yet so delicious. I absolutely loved it. That bit of tartness together with some sweet, the crunch, chill and just the blend of flavors has made this salad one of my favorites. Thanks Melanie.

  4. Hi Melanie,
    I’m wondering about a few ingredients. Could I maybe use 1 TBSP of Olive oil in place of the 2 TBSPs of Canola or Veg Oil? Do I need to add the sugar–or could I maybe use half of the recommended amount? Also, could I add minced garlic?

    Thank you,

    1. Melanie Betz MS, RD, CSR, CSG

      Hi LeeAnn! You could definitely use olive instead of canola or vegetable oil. I personally like a neutral flavored oil in this recipe, but olive oil could definitely work. I’d probably recommend using the whole 2 tablespoons though – it makes A LOT of cucumbers! You could definitely half the sugar if you would like. Or, swap in some sugar substitute if you wanted. Minced garlic would be delicious!

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