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This cold cucumber salad recipe is quick and easy. A refreshing cucumber salad that is perfect for lunch, potlucks, summer BBQs, and more!
What is cucumber salad?
Any method of serving fresh vegetables with a dressing constitutes a salad. I only used two simple parts for this cucumber salad recipe – the dressing and the cucumbers!
This salad is tossed in a marinade that is both tangy and sweet. Every ingredient enhances the natural flavors of the cucumbers instead of covering them up.
This is a very nutritious salad. Cucumbers are high in water (which makes them low in calories) and high in fiber. They are low-carb vegetables that you can enjoy on a keto diet.
Keep reading, and I’ll share ways to modify the dressing to make it low-carb as well!
Can you add other vegetables?
For this salad, I only used fresh cucumbers, but you can definitely add any of your favorite veggies as well. Toss in some chopped tomatoes and bell peppers for a perfect garden salad.
If you add more vegetables, you might have to add more dressing to cover them all.
Types of cucumbers
There are many different types of cucumbers; the most common are Armenian, Persian, English, and garden cucumbers. Any of those cucumbers will work in this salad recipe!
Striped Armenian cucumbers are the sweetest varieties. They are smaller with thinner skin. English cucumbers are another variety that doesn’t have the bitter taste that some garden cucumbers do.
If you grow cucumbers in the garden, pick them while they are small so that they have the sweetest flavor.
Armenian, Persian, and English cucumbers all have thin skin, so you actually don’t have to peel them. I do peel them, but you can make that call. If you get garden cucumbers, they have thick skin and are sometimes waxed, so I always peel those.
There isn’t a right or wrong way to peel your cucumbers. However, a vegetable peeler is simple to use and peels cucumbers quickly!
Preparing cucumbers for the salad
To prep my cucumbers for this salad, I used a mandoline to slice them and get a nice, uniform thickness. You can also just use a knife to slice them.
Since you are not cooking them, they don’t have to be a uniform thickness. So if I am in a rush, I sometimes just roughly slice them and add them to the bowl.
Cucumbers are full of water, so I like to draw some of the liquid out so they do not get soft and soggy quickly. Salt the cucumbers and let them sweat for thirty minutes in the fridge.
After 30 minutes, drain the cucumbers in a colander. Then, use a paper towel to pat them dry.
This process will keep the cucumbers from releasing a ton of water into the marinade we are going to be making.
Making cucumber marinade
Everyone’s palate is different, so this marinade recipe is great because you can customize it to your liking. I use a combination of:
- White wine vinegar
- Olive oil
- Ground black pepper
Let’s look at some of the main ingredients and any substitutions you can make.
The honey brings a subtle sweetness and offsets the vinegar in the cucumber marinade. Use your favorite low-carb sweetener or honey substitute if you are making a low-carb marinade for this cucumber salad recipe.
You could even leave it out, but I love that touch of sweetness.
The herbs bring an additional layer of freshness to this cucumber salad recipe, so I recommend using either fresh dill or fresh parsley.
You can use dried herbs, but the taste won’t be as pronounced.
Storing cucumber salad
The cucumber salad can be enjoyed right away or consumed within a few days, depending on the type of cucumber used. Some cucumbers soften much faster, and the dish is best enjoyed with cucumbers still crunchy.
The best way to store the dish is in an airtight food storage container in the refrigerator. It is tasty and fresh when eaten within three days.
I hope you enjoy this easy, delicious, and refreshing cucumber salad!
Love cold refreshing dishes?
- Greek Orzo Pasta Salad
- Grilled Avocado Shrimp Ceviche
- Melon and Prosciutto Salad
- Grilled Peach Salad with Basil Vinaigrette
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- In a large bowl, add sliced cucumbers, add kosher salt, and toss cucumbers until fully coated with salt. Cover and place in fridge for 30 minutes to draw excess water out.
- Remove from fridge, drain in a colander, and use a paper towel to dry cucumbers off.
- Wipe bowl clean of excess moisture, whisk in the vinegar, oil, honey, and black pepper. Add the cucumbers and fresh herbs. Toss until cucumbers are fully coated.
- Serve right away, or place in the fridge for up to three days or until cucumbers are no longer crunchy.
- Types of cucumbers: There are many different types of cucumbers, the most common are: Armenian, Persian, English, and garden cucumbers. Any of those cucumbers will work in this recipe.
- Peeling cucumbers: Armenian, Persian, and English cucumbers all have thin skin so you actually don’t have to peel them. I however peel them, but you can make that call. If you get garden cucumbers, they have a thick skin and sometimes waxed so I always peel those.
- How-to prep cucumbers: I used a mandoline to slice the cucumbers and get a uniform thickness. You can also just use a knife to slice them.
- Salting cucumbers: Cucumbers are full of water, so I like to draw some of the liquid out so they do not get soft and soggy quickly.
- Marinade: Ratio’s of vinegar to sweetness may vary due to peoples personal preference. Once combined with cucumbers, you can adjust to be more sweet or more tart.
- How-to store: The cucumber salad can be enjoyed right away, or consumed within three days depending on the type of cucumber used. Some cucumbers soften much faster and the dish is best enjoyed with cucumbers still crunchy.