Marinated Cucumbers are a summer favorite side dish using garden-fresh cucumbers, lots of fresh dill, and garlic! These crunchy cucumber spears are best for fresh eating and make fantastic lightly pickled refrigerator pickles that will last for days! Serve as an everyday side or upcoming BBQ’s and potlucks!

garlic and dill marinated cucumbers

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This is the old-fashioned way to make one of my parents’ go-to cucumber recipes! In Ukrainian these are called “molocolneye ohortse” meaning, “a little” salted cucumbers.

Back in the Ukraine, there were mainly 2 types of cucumbers, these quickly marinated cucumbers for fresh eating or pickled cucumbers preserved in big barrels or sometimes even canned. The barrel pickles were very salty and could last all winter, whereas the lightly salted ones were for fresh eating.

Cucumber dill spears

That’s not to say they only ate cucumbers that way, fresh cucumber salads were always popular including, a creamy cucumber salad or a cucumber tomato salad tossed in a vinaigrette, not to mention refrigerator pickles for Olivye Salad (Ukrainian Potato Salad).

You can do so much with fresh cucumbers, my mother-in-law likes to sprinkle sliced cucumbers with garlic salt and call it a day.

Ingredients for Marinated Cucumbers:

This cucumber recipe calls for super simple ingredients making it a great everyday side! Fresh dill is a must and using this salad spinner will make washing and drying so easy! Here are some of the main ingredients;

  • Fresh cucumbers- are the best if you can grow cucumbers or buy them locally in season, they add superior crunch! Use pickling cucumbers or English cucumbers cut into sections and spears.
  • Fresh Dill- if you don’t have any growing in the garden, buy the dill in the produce section.
  • Garlic- I use a garlic press to crush the garlic. It adds a little kick and zest to the salted cucumbers. Use a lot for spicy cucumber spears or the amount listed for mild garlicky flavor.
  • Salt- use a good quality sea salt that isn’t too coarse.
  • Oil and Vinegar- turn this into a quick side for fresh eating. This means you can enjoy it right after tossing it together (no more waiting for it to marinate). Use a mildly flavored oil like sunflower oil and white distilled vinegar.

Tip: make a big batch for fresh eating and store leftovers in the fridge to marinate.

Types Of Cucumbers To Use:

Pickling cucumbers are the best choice of cucumbers to use for cutting spears. However, we grew English cucumbers this year, and that worked great, just cut them into sections and then each section into spears. The Persian cucumber is also a great choice and if your cucumbers are very large cut them into more spears. Avoid using bitter cucumbers and leave the skins on.

How To Make Marinated Cucumbers:

This is a quick cucumber pickle recipe. Generally, you’d cut the cucumbers into spears and toss them with salt, fresh dill, and garlic, (black pepper if you wish) and have that sit for several hours to release its natural juices (so-called marinate).

My side of the family adds vinegar and oil to speed it up and it adds an extra tangy flavor, you can serve it immediately this way. I like to make a large batch and serve some for fresh eating and pack the leftovers into a jar or container for later.

As the cucumbers sit they marinate and develop more in flavor, making delicious refrigerator dill pickles!

  1. Slice off the ends and cut cucumbers into 4 wedges.
  2. Place the cucumber spears into a large mixing bowl (or zip-lock bag).
  3. Add the crushed garlic, salt, vinegar, oil, and finely chopped dill.
  4. Mix well and refrigerate or serve immediately.

How To Store Cucumbers?

The best way to store cucumbers from the garden is to place unwashed cucumbers into a grocery bag, and into a veggie drawer until you’re ready to use them for this recipe. Once you prepare marinated cucumbers they can last in the fridge in an airtight container or bag for up to two weeks if salted well.

What To Serve With Marinated Cucumbers:

Marinated cucumbers are crisp, light, and full of garlicky dill flavor! We love it best with potatoes, but you can serve these up with just about any main dish, BBQ, or sandwich! Here are some ideas:


Are Marinated Cucumbers Good For You?

Fermented foods are good for you. Homemade marinated quick pickles can be probiotic if you can let them sit at room temperature for a couple of hours to release their natural juices. Cucumbers are rich in antioxidants, and soluble fiber, and promote hydration as they have a high water content.


  1. My mother-in-law likes to refer this to as a simple cucumber salad as you can serve it immediately after mixing it.
  2. These are similar to refrigerator pickles as the salt draws the juices out and creates a natural brine that the cucumbers can sit in.
  3. Use a tall and narrow container for the natural juices to cover as much of the cucumbers as possible.
  4. These cucumbers stay very crunchy and crisp when using fresh cucumbers.
  5.  To cut cucumbers into spears, slice the cucumber in half lengthwise, then each piece in half again, lengthwise. For wider cucumber cut each wedge in half to make more spears.


Marinated Cucumbers (Garlic Dill Cucumber Spears)

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 15 servings
Marinated Cucumbers are a summer favorite side dish using garden-fresh cucumbers, lots of fresh dill, and garlic! These crunchy cucumber spears are best for fresh eating and make fantastic lightly pickled refrigerator pickles that will last for days! Serve as an everyday side or upcoming BBQ's and potlucks!


  • large mixing bowl
  • sharp knife and cutting board



  • 2 lbs cucumbers
  • 2 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 bunch dill (chopped)
  • 7 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 1 Tbsp white distilled vinegar



  • slicing cucumber spears
    Slice off the ends and cut cucumbers into 4 wedges. (If using an English Cucumber, cut into sections then spears).
  • marinating cucumbers in a large bowl
    In a large bowl, combine the cucumber spears, crushed garlic, chopped dill, salt, oil, and vinegar. Using kitchen gloves mix well.
  • storing cucumbers
    Serve immediately or pack into a jar and refrigerate.


  • Use a zip-lock bag to toss all of the ingredients together and for easy clean-up.
  • Store marinated cucumbers in an airtight jar or container, preferably one that keeps the refrigerator pickles in its juices.
  • This recipe is great for fresh eating and can be served right away or refrigerated for better flavor. 
  • Marinated cucumbers can keep up to 2 weeks if refrigerated. 
  • These are not spicy. 

Nutrition per serving

Serving: 1servingCalories: 18kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 0.4gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0.1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.04gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 389mgPotassium: 88mgFiber: 0.5gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 49IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 11mgIron: 0.2mg

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