Cucumber salad is a light summer side dish that comes together in no time. With just a few simple ingredients, you’ve got a healthy, refreshing accompaniment to a variety of main courses. This cucumber salad recipe works especially well alongside grilled entrees like chicken and assorted skewers. You can also jazz it up with additional ingredients like tomatoes and avocados!
With July 4th quickly approaching, I’ve got BBQ and potluck recipes on my mind (and I’m already missing this greek pasta salad from a couple weeks ago). While main courses and desserts get most of the attention when planning for summer gatherings, quick and easy side dishes shouldn’t be overlooked.
This cucumber salad recipe is so easy, and it comes together in less than 10 minutes. It can be left very basic, or you can jazz it up with additional vegetables (I’ve got some variation suggestions below).
I have a feeling we’ll be snacking on this throughout the summer, not just during the holiday weekend!
- You can slice the cucumbers with a knife, but I like using a mandoline here. It gets the job done quickly, and the cucumbers are thin and uniform. While I have a larger mandoline that’s best for more heavy duty jobs, this was a great task for my cheap handheld mandoline.
- I used sherry vinegar, which has a very mild sweetness (it’s much less sweet than balsamic). It’s also less acidic than red wine vinegar, so it creates a more subtle vinaigrette. However, if you don’t own sherry vinegar and don’t wish to purchase it, red wine vinegar may be substituted.
- English cucumbers are slightly sweeter than regular cucumbers, and the seeds are smaller (you also have the option to use seedless English cucumbers, but I barely notice the seeds here). You can find English cucumbers for sale in the produce aisle near regular cucumbers. They’re a bit longer and thinner, and they’re usually individually wrapped.
- I love how fast and mild the chives are here, but you could substitute some thinly sliced red onions or shallots if you have those on hand.
Cucumber Salad Variations
If you want to jazz up this salad with additional flavors, here are some great options to consider:
- Cucumber Tomato Salad: add 2-3 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- Cucumber Avocado Salad: add 2 firm but ripe avocados, peeled, pitted and diced
- Creamy Cucumber Salad: Whisk 1-2 tablespoons sour cream into the salad dressing before mixing with the cucumbers (start with 1 tablespoon and taste before adding more. You might need to add additional salt and pepper since you’re diluting the spices). A bit of chopped fresh dill would also work well in this version.
What to Serve with Cucumber Salad
This cucumber salad recipe works well with poultry and meat, especially off the grill. Try serving it with kebob skewers, burgers, or grilled steak or chicken. My Cumin Marinated Grilled Flank Steak with Salsa is a good option!
Looking For More Salad Recipes?
- 1/4 cup sherry vinegar (red wine vinegar may be substituted)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste
- 1 1/2 - 2 pounds English cucumbers, thinly sliced crosswise (around 2 medium)
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
- In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the vinegar, oil, sugar, salt and pepper.
- Place cucumbers and chives in a medium-sized bowl and toss with the vinaigrette.
- Chill for 5-10 minutes before serving so the flavors have a chance to mingle.
- Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
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