Creamy Cucumber Salad
This Creamy Cucumber Salad is easy, refreshing, satisfying and goes with practically everything! It’s crunchy, creamy and requires only 10 minutes hands-on prep! It boasts crisp cucumbers, sweet fresh corn, crunchy bell peppers tossed in an intoxicatingly Lemon Chive Sour Cream Dressing spiked with fresh dill. This cucumber salad recipe takes just minutes to prep and is the perfect side dish for any potluck, barbecue, or dinner. This cucumber dill salad can all be prepped ahead of time then just tossed together when ready to serve for an effortless win every time!
Servings 12 -16 servings
- 3 English cucumbers (6 cups/approx. 2 pounds) 1/4” sliced*
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- corn from 1 ear sweet corn
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
Lemon Chive Dressing
- 1/2 cup sour cream omit lemon zest if using Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives may sub 1 tablespoon dried
- 2 tablespoon fresh chopped dill may sub 1 1/2 teaspoons dried
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Zest from one lemon
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp EACH sugar, oregano
- 1/4 tsp EACH pepper, garlic powder
- salt to taste
Place cucumbers in the inside colander of a salad spinner and place in the sink (without the outer spin bowl). Sprinkle with kosher salt and toss until the salt is evenly distributed. Let stand in the sink for 30 minutes to release excess water.
Whisk together all of the Lemon Chive Dressing ingredients. Refrigerate until ready to use. May be made 24 hours in advance.
After 30 minutes, add colander to salad spinner (don’t rinse cucumbers) and spin dry. Transfer cucumbers to paper towels and pat completely dry.
Transfer cucumbers to a large serving bowl along with corn and bell peppers. Add desired amount of dressing and let chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
If not serving within 30 minutes, keep salad and dressing separate in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
*You may also use traditional slicing/garden cucumbers but you will need to peel them first. You will need approximately 6 slicing cucumbers.
Cucumber Salad Tips & Tricks
- What to look for in cucumbers? Select cucumbers that are firm, bright and even in color. Avoid cucumbers that are soft, have any soft spots, blemishes, or yellowing.
- How to store cucumbers? Store cucumbers in the vegetable crisper. Don’t remove the plastic wrap from the cucumbers until it’s time to prepare them.
- Do I have to wash cucumbers? Only rinse cucumbers right before preparing them otherwise they can soften prematurely.
- Which cucumbers are best? You can use regular garden/slicing cucumbers, English cucumbers, or Persian cucumbers for this cucumber salad recipe. My favorite is English cucumbers.
- Do you peel the skin off of a cucumber? The skin of cucumbers is edible and contains most of the fiber and nutrients. I recommend leaving the skin on English cucumbers. If you use traditional waxy cucumbers, you will want to peel off the skin, however, because it is tough and waxy.
- Can I use table salt? Make sure you use KOSHER salt and NOT regular table salt as kosher salt is much less salty. Kosher salt will easily come off of the cucumbers with the excess water whereas table salt will stay with the cucumbers.
- Do I season with salt? Once the easy cucumber salad has chilled with the dressing, you will want to taste and season with freshly cracked salt. The amount will vary depending on how much kosher salt your cucumbers absorbed earlier.
- Do I have to sweat the cucumbers? Yes, DON’T SKIP sweating the cucumbers. This step is essential for crisp cumbers and creamy, not water cucumber salad dressing.
- Can I use different herbs? You can swap the chives for red onions in the salad or with another favorite herb in the dressing.
- Do I have to use all of the Cucumber Dressing? You may not use all of the Cucumber Dressing depending on personal preference. This also means you don’t have to be exact in your cucumber measurements because you can add more or less dressing to taste.
- Can I use Greek yogurt? Yes! I’ve tested plain Greek yogurt and sour cream and I think it comes down to personal preference. I personally prefer sour cream so that is how I’ve written the Cucumber Salad recipe. If you want to substitute the sour cream with Greek yogurt, I suggest omitting the lemon zest. You can add it back in once you taste the dressing if you would still like it tangier.
- Do I have to use mayonnaise? Mayonnaise (by definition) is an egg emulsion with oil and lemon juice which produces a lusciously creamy result. When
added to dressings, it binds all the other ingredients together to create a silky, cohesive creaminess that cannot be achieved any other way. You may substitute the mayo with sour cream or Greek yogurt but expect some dressing separation.
Creamy Cucumber Salad can last up to 3 days in the refrigerator stored in an airtight container but it is best the first day. I prefer the salad just 30 minutes after it has been tossed and refrigerated with the dressing (especially if serving company). This allows the flavors to build and meld but the cucumbers still remain crispy.
Cucumber Dill Salad is still safe to eat for up to five days after making, but the longer it sits, the less crispy and even soggy the cucumbers become. The cucumbers also continue to release water, so the flavor of the dressing literally gets watered down and become runnier so you will want to drain off any excess liquid.
HOW TO MAKE IN ADVANCE
- THE SALAD. Sweat, dry and toss the cucumbers with the other veggies in a paper-towel lined air-tight container up to 24 hours ahead of time. Store container in the fridge and pat off any excess moisture with the paper towels before adding the dressing.
- THE DRESSING. Make the Lemon Chive Sour Cream Dressing up to 24 hours in advance and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. If you choose to make it this far in advance, you might want to add a little more lemon before tossing as the lemon will mellow over time – just taste first and then make the call.
- COMBINE. Toss the cucumber dill salad with the desired amount of dressing right before serving or up to 30 minutes before serving