This easy Cucumber Salad with tomatoes, avocado, red onions, and dill all tossed in a simple vinaigrette is the perfect refreshing side dish.
Cucumber Salad is the perfect easy and delicious recipe for hot summer days. It’s made simply with fresh cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, and creamy avocado chunks, all tossed in a refreshing homemade vinaigrette dressing.
There’s nothing like a cool and refreshing dish on a hot day. When you think of refreshing foods, what do you think of? The first foods that come to my mind are watermelon, ceviche, berries, and of course—cucumbers. These crunchy veggies are made of approximately 95% water, which means they’re excellent for hydration.
This Cucumber Salad is fresh, flavorful, and beyond easy to make. The dish comes together in just 10 minutes, so it’s the perfect dish to enjoy at a picnic or as a healthy side dish alongside your favorite lean protein and grain or starch. When I serve this dish as part of a larger meal, I typically pair it with grilled chicken or fish and rice, quinoa, or potatoes. It adds the perfect refreshing touch to an otherwise rich and savory meal.
Serve this dish as a refreshing snack to enjoy after a day at the pool or as a flavorful side dish at your next family dinner or backyard barbecue. I guarantee you’re going to love this tasty salad.
What Ingredients are in Cucumber Salad
To make this easy Cucumber Salad, you will need the following key ingredients:
- Cucumbers: I prefer to use Persian cucumbers in this dish because they’re smaller, crisper, and much less seedy than regular cucumbers. If you can’t find Persian cucumbers, English cucumbers will work great too.
- Avocado: This provides a really nice creaminess to the dish, as well as tons of nutrients and heart-healthy fats.
- Tomatoes: Juicy cherry tomatoes add a delicious flavor and a fantastic pop of color.
- Olive oil: Extra virgin olive oil is an essential component of any homemade vinaigrette dressing.
- White balsamic vinegar: If you can’t find this, it can be substituted for white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar. Lemon juice can also be sued to add some brightness to the dish.
- Garlic: I love the flavor that freshly minced garlic adds to this dish. This recipe calls for just one clove so the flavor doesn’t overpower the other ingredients, but you can add another if you prefer a stronger garlic taste.
What kind of cucumbers are best for salad?
Any cucumber will work in a cucumber salad but some choices hold up better. Hothouse (English) cucumbers and Persian cucumbers have less liquid and smaller seeds than traditional cucumbers. They also have a more tender, less bitter skin. This makes them ideal for salad. The skin adds color and texture to the salad. The lower moisture content means the salad won’t get soggy as quickly.
If you are using traditional cucumbers, simply remove some or all of the peel. Then use a spoon to scoop out the seeds.
What are the best onions to use in cucumber salad?
Any onions can work with this cucumber and tomato salad, but I usually like the color and sweetness of red onions. Simply slice them thin and add them right into the salad. White or yellow onions can also be used but they have a stronger flavor. Green onions could be added for a more mellow onion flavor.
For any onion, you can soak the sliced onions in cold water for 15-20 minutes. This takes out some of the bite and makes the flavor less intense.
What dressing to use with cucumber salad?
This salad uses a simple vinaigrette made with white balsamic vinegar, garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper. This vinaigrette can be made with balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or even white vinegar as well.
How to make this a creamy cucumber salad?
If you prefer a creamy version of this salad, simply whisk some Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, or sour cream into the dressing. Then add some extra vinegar, salt, pepper, and herbs to balance out the flavor. Once the dressing is ready, just toss everything together in a large bowl.
Recipe Tips and Variations
Here are some of my top tips and tricks to help you make this dish:
- If you’re worried that you didn’t make enough salad, you can stretch the dish farther by tossing in a few handfuls of arugula.
- The dish is best when served the same day you make it, but you can prep it a few hours in advance if needed. However, I recommend waiting to add the avocado until just before serving it to avoid winding up with brown avocado.
- Want to add fresh herbs to this dish? Dill, parsley, cilantro, basil, and fresh mint are all great options.
- If you don’t have red onions, you can swap them out for green onions or shallots instead.
- If you like your dishes with a kick, feel free to add a pinch of cayenne powder to the dressing or sprinkle with red pepper flakes.
- Add some crunch with sliced radishes, sesame seeds, or sliced almonds.
- Top this tasty salad with some feta cheese or goat cheese to add another layer of flavor.
What to Serve With This Dish
While this dish is delicious on its own, it also pairs wonderfully with classic summertime foods like burgers, grilled meats, tacos, potatoes, and sandwiches. Here are some of my favorite dishes to serve with cucumber salad:
- Crispy Shrimp Burgers
- Chicken Caesar Burgers
- Grilled Lemon Dijon Chicken Thighs
- Blackened Salmon
- Grilled Vegetable Skewers
How to Store This Cucumber Tomato Salad
Because of the high water content in cucumbers and tomatoes, this dish is best when served the day you prepare it. However, it will keep well when stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 48 hours.
If you decide to prepare it a few hours in advance or the night before, I highly recommend waiting to add the avocado until you’re ready to serve. Avocado tends to brown pretty quickly once it’s exposed to oxygen, and while this won’t necessarily affect the flavor, we want to keep the avocado looking vibrant so the dish looks nice and fresh.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below you will find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about this healthy salad recipe:
What is the difference between white balsamic vinegar and regular balsamic vinegar?
White balsamic vinegar is lighter in color and milder in flavor than regular balsamic vinegar. While both are made from white grapes, white balsamic vinegar is pressure-cooked instead of being slowly simmered like balsamic vinegar.
What is a substitute for white balsamic vinegar?
If you don’t have white balsamic vinegar on hand, you can swap it out for a similar vinegar like white wine vinegar, rice wine vinegar, or apple cider vinegar.
Which herbs pair well with cucumber?
Cucumber pairs well with a wide variety of herbs. Some of the most popular choices include fresh dill, parsley, cilantro, basil, and mint.
What can I use instead of Persian cucumbers?
If you can’t find Persian cucumbers at the store, you can swap them out for English cucumbers instead. The texture is very similar, so they will work just as well.
More Healthy Salad Recipes
If you liked this recipe, you’ll love these:
Easy Cucumber Salad
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- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar (or regular)
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 Salt and pepper (kosher is best)
- 4 Persian cucumbers, sliced (or 1 large English cucumber)
- 1 avocado, chopped
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 tbsp fresh dill, minced (more to taste)
- 1/4 red onion, sliced thin (optional)
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* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
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