Experience the ultimate summer refreshment with our Creamy Cucumber Salad. Crisp English cucumber, tangy Greek-style yogurt, and fragrant dill combine to create a sensational dish that will keep you cool all season long.
Updated May 2021
An Easy Cucumber Salad Recipe
When the heat of summer hits, there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a crisp and refreshing salad. And what better way to beat the summer heat than with a Creamy Cucumber Salad?
It’s the ultimate summer salad that brings together the crispness of cucumbers, the tanginess of the dressing, and the freshness of dill. With its simple yet vibrant flavors, this salad is sure to become a favorite in your repertoire. Packed with fresh flavors, this salad is the perfect side dish for barbecues, picnics, or even a light lunch. So delicious on its own but pairs so well as a side with your favorite grilled recipes and also at a potluck or summer BBQs.
The ingredient lineup for this fresh cucumber salad is super simple – just a few items for the salad plus a couple more for the dressing.
For the Salad
- English cucumber: The crisp and refreshing texture of English cucumber works perfectly in this salad, and its mild flavor pairs well with the dressing. Use a knife or a mandolin to slice thinly. Persian cucumbers will work as well.
- Red onion: The finely diced red onion adds a touch of sharpness and color to the salad. Soaking the onions in cold water helps to mellow their bite if you prefer a milder flavor. You can also use a mix of fresh onions or pickled onions.
- Fresh dill: The fragrant and herbaceous dill brings a burst of freshness to the salad, enhancing its overall flavor profile.
For the Dressing
- Greek-style yogurt: The creamy and tangy Greek-style yogurt serves as the base for the dressing, giving it a luscious texture and adding a hint of tartness. Use vegan Greek-style yogurt or a coconut based yogurt to keep this recipe plant-based.
- Lemon juice and apple cider vinegar: These acidic ingredients brighten the flavors of the salad and help to balance the creaminess of the yogurt.
- Dijon mustard and garlic: These ingredients provide a subtle kick and depth of flavor to the dressing, making it more complex and satisfying.
- Maple syrup: A touch of maple syrup or another liquid sweetener helps to balance the acidity and adds a touch of sweetness to the salad.
- Salt and black pepper: These seasonings bring out the flavors of the ingredients and add depth to the overall taste.
How to make Cucumber Salad
- Prepare the vegetables: Thinly slice the onions and cucumbers with a mandolin or knife.
- Season with salt: Add the cucumbers to a bowl then season with salt and let it sit for about 5 minutes to sweat or while you prepare the dressing.
- Make the dressing: Meanwhile, add all the dressing ingredients to a mason jar or a bowl and shake well or whisk unti very well combined. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
- Toss and serve: Add the onions, dill and parsley then pour dressing on top. Toss until well combined. Add more salt and black pepper, as needed and garnish with more parsley and dill, if desired. Chill for at least 20 minutes or serve immediately.
Tips for the Best Cucumber Salad
Want to make sure your salad is as tasty as possible? Follow these tips, and you can’t go wrong.
- Slice the cucumber thinly: To ensure a delicate and enjoyable texture, it’s important to slice the cucumber thinly and evenly. This allows the dressing to coat each slice evenly, enhancing the overall flavor.
- Soak the onions (optional): If you find raw onions too strong, soak the diced onions in cold water for 10 minutes before adding them to the salad. This simple trick helps to mellow the flavor while retaining their crispness.
- Use high-quality yogurt: The quality of the yogurt you choose will greatly impact the creaminess and taste of the dressing. Opt for a thick Greek-style yogurt or a dairy-free alternative like coconut yogurt for the best results.
- Adjust the dressing to your taste: Feel free to customize the dressing by adjusting the amount of lemon juice, maple syrup, or salt according to your preference
- Chill before serving: For the most refreshing experience, refrigerate the salad for at least 30 minutes before serving. This allows the flavors to meld together and the dressing to thicken slightly.
Creamy Cucumber Salad is incredibly versatile and pairs well with a variety of dishes. Here are a few serving suggestions to get you started:
- Grilled meats: Serve this salad alongside grilled chicken, steak, or seafood for a light and refreshing contrast to the smoky flavors.
- Sandwiches and wraps: Spread the salad on a sandwich or wrap for an extra burst of flavor and crunch.
- Potluck or picnic: Bring this salad to your next potluck or picnic as a refreshing side dish that everyone will love.
- Healthy lunch: Enjoy a bowl of Creamy Cucumber Salad on its own for a light and satisfying lunch.
Feel free to get creative and customize the Creamy Cucumber Salad to your liking. Here are a few ideas to inspire you:
- Swap with your favorite vegetables: For a colorful twist, add some halved cherry tomatoes or diced tomatoes to the salad. They will provide an extra burst of juiciness and sweetness.
- Experiment with herbs: If you’re not a fan of dill, try using other fresh herbs like parsley, mint, or cilantro. Each herb will bring its unique flavor to the salad.
- Spice it up: Add a pinch of cayenne pepper or a sprinkle of chili flakes to give the salad a kick of heat.
- Creamy avocado: For a creamier and more indulgent version, dice an avocado and toss it into the salad. The avocado will add richness and a velvety texture.Swap with your favorite vegetables: Add some cherry tomatoes, avocado or sliced radishes
- Add Nuts or top with some Vegan Cheese: You can top this refreshing salad with nuts and seeds (or in addition to it), feel free to garnish your salad with vegan parmesan cheese.
- Change up the flavor profile: Swap the oil for some sesame oil and the lemon juice for some coconut aminos and sprinkle the top with sesame seeds for an Asian Cucumber Salad.
Can I Make This Salad Ahead?
This salad is a great make-ahead recipe if you store it properly. To make it in advance, gather all your salad ingredients in a container or bowl, cover and refrigerate them. Then, make your dressing and place it in the fridge in a separate container. Put your salad together and enjoy within 5 days, for best results.
Storage and Freezer Instructions
Creamy Cucumber Salad is best enjoyed fresh. However, if you have leftovers, you can store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Keep in mind that the cucumbers may release some liquid as they sit, so give the salad a quick stir before serving again.
If you know you want to save some of your salad, set aside the amount of salad and dressing you want to store and refrigerate them separately. This way, it’ll stay good for up to 5 days.
Freezing is not recommended, as the cucumbers will lose their crispness and become mushy.
More Healthy Salad Ideas
Need more healthy salad recipes in your life? We’ve got you covered!
- This Creamy Broccoli Salad is jam-packed with flavor and nutrients.
- Made sweet and savory with the addition of peaches and blueberries, you’ll fall in love with this Arugula Salad Recipe.
- Our Easy Avocado Tuna Salad is such a fun side dish or light lunch!
This Cucumber Salad is a fresh and flavorful side dish made with sliced cucumbers, fresh and pickled red onions with a tangy vinaigrette dressing. Perfect for spring and summer picnics, barbecues and a delicious way to use up those garden vegetables. Pairs well with any main and is naturally gluten-free, vegan, paleo, low carb with a Whole30 option.
- 1 medium English cucumber , sliced thinly and evenly into coins (about 2 cups)
- 1 small red onion , finely diced (about 1/2 cup) (optional: to remove some of the bite, soak the onions in a small bowl of cold water for 10 minutes, then drain)
- 3 tbsp finely chopped fresh dill plus more for garnish
- ½ cup unsweetened plain thick Greek-style yogurt or plain coconut yogurt , dairy-free or regular - we like Kite-Hill, Culina, Yoggu or Cocojune
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 garlic clove , finely minced or grated
- Coarse sea salt or Kosher salt to taste
- ½ - 1 tsp maple syrup , or preferred sticky liquid sweetener
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Add the ingredients for the salad, side by side into a large bowl: cucumbers, onions and dill.
- In a bowl or measuring cup, whisk together all the ingredients for the dressing until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed..
- Add the dressing to the salad. Toss gently to combine.
- Garnish with more fresh dill, black pepper and serve.
Disclaimer: This updated post was generated on July 5, 2023 by ChatGPT, an AI language model, and all info should be reviewed and validated by a human for accuracy and relevancy before implementation.