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Creamy Cucumber Dill Salad: Cookout Sides

black bowl with fresh sliced cucumbers in dill dressing

Creamy Cucumber Salad with Sour Cream is an old fashioned salad that all Midwesterners grew up with. When your garden was producing a ton of cukes this is an easy 15 minute salad that everyone will enjoy.

It goes great as a cookout side alongside tender ribs, bbq lamb chops or a cheeseburger with green chili aioli!

The cucumber salad is so easy to make it’s a great choice for picnic’s potluck’s or a casual weeknight dinner.

I love seasonal vegetables. When cucumbers are in harvest they seem crispier, more flavorful and more hearty. But luckily they are available all year long so I tend to keep this recipe in my pocket for a quick side for any meal that needs a side to go with it.

This recipe is from my mom’s recipe notes— I think of all of the times she made it growing up and you just know that one has been passed from grandma, to mom, to daughter …. it has to be great! And this one is!

sliced fresh cucumbers in a colander

Kinds of Cucumbers

Who knew there were so many kinds of cucumbers. At the grocery store you are likely to find them marked as Kirby, Persian, English, Armenian and pickling cucumbers.

  • English Cucumbers (often grown in a Hothouse and are marked that way) are long and thin and have lots of seeds. The seeds are thin though so it’s optional to remove them.
  • Garden Variety usually have very dark skin and are usually just marked cucumber at the market. Peel the skin or scrub the because they are coated in a waxy film to hold in the moisture. Depending on the how many seeds there are, you might want to scrape out the center to remove them. They tend to be super crunchy and great in salads.
  • Kirby or Gherkins are pickling cucumbers. They have super bumpy skins and are very crunchy to begin with so they hold up well to pickling. They are also shorter to fit in jars better!
  • Persian have very few seeds and you won’t ever have to remove the centers to use them. They are firm and the skin is soft enough to eat.

To make Cucumber Dill Salad you’ll can use Persian, English or the garden variety. If you select the garden variety or the English Cucumber remove some of the skins so they are crunchier.

Persian cucumbers have the softest skins and least amount of seeds so this variety works great for kids who might be a little picky!

Slicing peeled cucumbers on a cutting board
English Cucumber, some of the skin peeled and sliced thin.

The Heart of the Salad: How to prep the cucumber

  • Using a peeler roughly peel the cucumber leaving some skin on so that when it is sliced it has a pretty variation in color (see photo above)
  • Slice the cucumber super thin— think the thickness of a quarter. It’s thin enough it will be a tender bite but thick enough to keep its crunch.
  • Cucumbers can be really watery, which will dilute the no mayo dressing. Place the sliced cucumbers in a colander or in a bowl and sprinkle generously with salt.
  • Letting the cucumbers sit in the fridge for at least an hour to release the water. You can dab them with a paper towel to help remove additional moisture.

Be sure and check out our list of the 101+ recipes for all of your BBQ Side dish needs for summer entertaining!

Stirring sour cream, dressing for the fresh dill sour cream cucumbers
No Mayo Dill Dressing

Sour Cream Dill Dressing —

Making the dressing for the cucumbers while they release their moisture allows the dressing flavors to meld. Sour cream is tangy but if you don’t like sour cream you could use a plain Greek yogurt–

Fresh dill, lemon juice and a splash of vinegar are all that is in the dressing — it’s as easy as stirring it together

Serving bowl behind a small plate of cucumbers in sauce on a plate

Cucumber Salad Variations

  • Sliced radishes add a pretty red color and a different crunch
  • Sliced red onions add a sweetness and a pretty purple color
  • Sliced red, green and yellow peppers are fun too!
  • Don’t like dill? Basil, tarragon, or thyme would also work.
  • Add some tomatoes for a different texture!
  • Don’t want to mix your own dressing? Use a ranch dressing— the cucumbers are the star of this recipe but ranch works great!

Common Questions:

How to make this ahead for BBQs– slice the cucumbers, store in a sealed container separate of the dressing that is also made ahead. Mix together about 2 hours before you are ready to serve.

How long can I keep this salad? The cucumbers are crunchier in the first 24 hours. However, it still is very good for up to 3 days after mixing the sour cream dill dressing with the cucumbers.

More Cookout Sides you might enjoy!

sliced hasselback potatoes with parsley on a blue plate

Pair this salad with these Grill Food Ideas

Full slab of Oven baked beef ribs on a try
Beef Ribs
Yield: 8

Creamy Cucumber Dill Salad (Sour Cream)

black bowl with fresh sliced cucumbers in dill dressing

Creamy cucumber dill salad made with no mayo can be served at BBQ's picnics or alongside a simple weeknight dinner. I love that I can make it ahead of time- and just mix it right before serving!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Additional Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 2 large English Cucumbers (see notes) About 2 cups
  • 1 cup Sour Cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Dill, minced
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, grated finely
  • 1 teaspoon Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tablespoon White Vinegar (apple cider vinegar ok too!)


  1. Rinse cucumbers. Peel roughly the skins of the cucumber leaving a small amount on for color contrast and added crunch. 1 Large cucumber yields about 1 cup cucumbers. If there is a little more it will be fine.
  2. Slice thinly across the cucumber so they look like coins, about the thickness of a quarter. (need help cutting them evenly, a mandoline works well.)
  3. Place the sliced cucumbers into a colander and sprinkle with salt to help remove any excess moisture. Place a paper towel on the bottom to catch any water being released. Set aside.
  4. Mix the sour cream, dill, lemon juice, vinegar and garlic and stir to combine. This can be made ahead. The longer it sits, the more the flavors meld.
  5. Using a Microplane to grate the garlic will give a super fine consistency for the best results.
  6. Dab the cucumbers to remove the last of the water right before adding the dressing to the cucumbers.
  7. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  8. Serve.
  9. This holds for 3 days in a sealed container in the fridge. It is best eaten within 24 hours to get the maximum crunch.
  10. If you want to make this ahead of time, slice cucumbers and place in a separate sealed container from the dressing. Stir dressing in up to two hours before serving.


  1. 1. I use English cucumbers and don't remove the seeds. If you want to remove the seeds do so before adding salt to remove water.
  2. Other cucumbers that work well are Persian, Armenian, and garden cucumbers.
  3. At the market cucumbers marked just cucumbers are usually garden cucumbers. These have a small wax coating on them, wipe away or definitely peel the skin for best results.

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    Nutrition Information:



    Serving Size:


    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 59Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 141mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 1g

    This recipe was calculated using the exact brands and measurements I used to make this recipe. If you are following a strict diet please note changing anything will cause the nutritional info to change. Please calculate your own nutritional information if you want it exact to what you make and use my calculations as a guide only.

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    Thursday 4th of June 2020

    The perfect side for BBQ! love that it doesn't have mayo.

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