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
For the web story version of this recipe, click here!
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- 3 English cucumbers thinly sliced on mandoline (skin on or off depending on preference)
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- ⅓ cup white wine vinegar see note
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Fresh dill or parsley chopped, to taste
- 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.
Made this recipe more than once since my garden produced so many cucumbers! Used parsley from the garden also. Very tasty & easy to make. This one’s a keeper!
Hi Judy, I am so happy you enjoyed the recipe! I’ve been making it so much too because of the surplus of cucumbers haha
I substituted a quality balsamic vinegar and added 2 tsp. of Italian seasoning. It turned out great!
I’m so glad you enjoyed! Great additions!
Nice refreshing recipe on hot days!
I added dill to mine which is what we’d do in Texas! Thanks!
Dill is a great addition!
I make mine with rice vinegar.
Yes, rice vinegar is so great!
Can I use regular vinegar? Or Apple cider vinegar?
Hi Mary, yes you can substitute either one, but they do have different flavors with white vinegar being stronger and apple cider vinegar more mellow. I have used apple cider vinegar myself before and enjoyed it with the recipe.
Sounds like the refreshingly perfect side for our Fourth of July family cookout! I will definitely be making this recipe.
I’ll be using English cucumbers.
I’m going to check out more of your recipes.😋
Hi Linda, it’s a great dish to enjoy at cookouts! I make it then for my family as well. I hope you love the recipe and look forward to you making more!
We have been making this salad for generations and love it!! But never with honey in the dressing. I would rather add a little bit of crushed garlic instead, for a savory salad. My grandmothers would peel, slice and salt the cucumber as you explained, then put them in a soup plate and cover them with another soup plate, than shake them. After a few minutes of shaking the cucumbers, they drain the extra liquid and add the dressing. That would save the 30 minutes in the fridge..
I love garlic, sounds like the perfect addition! I’ll try your soup plate idea next time, always great to save time (especially when hungry!).
Where can I buy the salad bowl to make the cucumber salad in? Thank you!
You can make/serve the cucumber salad in any type of bowl. The wooden bowl in the picture was purchased at target though.