Monday, June 23, 2014

25 Favorite Healthy Cucumber Salads to Keep You Cool

Summer means cucumbers, and here are 25 Cucumber Salads to eat all summer long!

25 Favorite Healthy Cucumber Salads to Keep You Cool found on

How do you feel about cucumbers?  I'm always kind of shocked when someone tells me they don't like them, but then I realize maybe those cucumber-adverse people have only had grocery store cucumbers.  Those overly large waxy creatures are a poor substitute for fresh garden cucumbers, which are loaded with a delicate flavor that I just love.  If I don't have cucumbers from the garden I love the mini Persian cucumbers that you can buy at Costco, or the European cucumbers that are available all year.  As soon the weather gets hot I start craving cucumber salads.  Back in 2011 I posted ten favorite cucumber salads, but four years later I have a lot more favorites, so I'm updating this post to share 25 Favorite Healthy Cucumbers Salads to Keep You Cool.  Hope you enjoy trying some of them!

This Not So Dumb Salad with Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Onions, Avocado, and Balsamic Vinegar was sent to me by a reader named Lisa.  It's turned into one of the most popular recipes on my blog, so thanks again to Lisa for sharing this great idea of a tomato-cucumber-avocado salad dressed simply with balsamic vinegar and sea salt.

When I got the recipe for Al's Famous Hungarian Cucumber Salad (from my friend Al Church), it rocked my world.  If you like cucumbers, this salad is not to be missed!

This Bulgur Salad with Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Parsley, Mint, and Lemon is a little bit like Tabbouli, but this time the emphasis is on the tomatoes and cucumbers instead of the other ingredients.

This Chinese Cucumber Salad is simple but delicious and perfect to serve with any dish that has soy sauce.

Effie's Easy and Amazing Cottage Cheese Salad with Za'atar was sent to me by a reader from Israel, and it really is amazing!

It's an old photo that I'd like to re-shoot, but I absolutely love the flavors in this Vegan Tomato Salad with Cucumber, Avocado, Cilantro, and Lime.

I think cucumbers and Feta are a match made in heaven, and one favorite salad with that combination is this Cucumber and Tomato Salad with Marinated Garbanzo Beans, Feta, and Herbs

Another cucumber and feta salad that I've made over and over is this Cucumber and Avocado Salad with Lime, Mint, and Feta.

Sweet and Sour Cucumber Salad with Fresh Dill is a summer classic.

This Quinoa Salad with Avocados, Radishes, and Cucumbers is a combination I could eat all summer long!

People who share my love of fresh parsley will enjoy this Cucumber, Onion, and Parsley Salad with Feta.

Middle Eastern Tomato Salad is a classic combination of cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, parsley, and mint, and I've been enjoying this for years!

It's unusual, but this Cucumber Avocado Salad with Tuna, Cilantro, and Lime is a combination that really works!

Another old photo, and one of the more unusual cucumber salads on my blog, but if you have fresh basil you must try this Garden Cucumber Salad with Tuna and Fresh Basil.  I could eat this every day for lunch in the summer!

I'm not crazy about this photo, but I do love this Easy Cucumber Salad with Balsamic Dressing.

Cucumbers add a nice crunch to Quinoa Tabbouli with Parsley and Mint.

I love this Cucumber and Radish Salad with Feta, Red Wine Vinegar, and Buttermilk Dressing.

I finally got better photos for this Chopped Greek Style Salad with Red, Yellow, and Orange Bell Peppers and lately I've been buying those bags of mixed-color peppers just so I can make this.

This Asian Cucumber Salad with Cilantro and Vidalia Onions is another one I've made many times.

Chopped peperoncini in the salad and peperoncini brine in the dressing makes all the difference in this Spicy Chopped Greek-Style Salad with Peperoncini.

I love this Spicy Shrimp and Cucumber Salad with Mint, Lemon, and Cumin.

If you like Thai food, you must try this Wake-Up-Your-Mouth Thai Cucumber Salad that I first made back in 2006.  This is one of my favorite side dishes for any kind of grilled chicken.

There are a lot of summer ingredients in Fattoush, the middle eastern bread salad that's so delicious, but cucumbers are essential for this salad.

A new favorite salad with cucumbers is this Spinach and Kale Salad with Greek Flavors and Feta-Lemon Vinaigrette.

And last but absolutely not least, this Tomato, Cucumber, and Radish Salad with Yogurt and Tahini Dressing is my attempt at re-creating a salad I enjoyed in Chicago with my blogging friend Lydia.

How do you feel about cucumbers?   If you have a favorite cucumber salad, please share what it is in the comments.  (Links from other food bloggers are welcome for this post; please inspire us with your favorite salad that uses cucumbers.)
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  1. I actually really love cucumbers. They are crispy and so light and actually refreshing to me. I am so happy to have all these great recipes now!

  2. I love cucumbers and this is a fantastic roundup!!!

  3. Glad I am not the only one who loves cucumbers!

  4. These cucumber salads all look so good I'd like to try some of these. I've been enjoying lots of cucumbers this summer, in salads, soups and pickles. Sometimes I just cut them up and eat them straight up without anything else.

  5. Jeanette, I do that too, especially with garden cucumbers.

  6. I love cucumbers and have a ton of them in the refrigerator. This weeks cucumber roaster-
    -Sliced and sprinkled with some rice wine vinegar and dill weed.
    -In chopped salad with tomatoes, bell pepper, red onion, feta cheese, kalmata olives
    -Thai with ginger, scallion, rice wine vinegar, sugar, cilantro
    -Friday treat- Creamed with a mayo-sour cream dill dressing
    - Tomorrow- spears with a little S&P

  7. CJ, thanks for all the great cucumber ideas.

  8. Cucumber sandwiches, with or without cheese, all different cheeses.

  9. Here's one that I made up from different asian cucumber recipes.

    Asian Cucumber Salad

    1 Cucumber – peeled, seeded and thinly sliced
    ¼ c. sliced red onion
    1 Tbl. sugar or Splenda
    2 Tbl. chopped cilantro
    1 Tbl. lime juice
    1 Tbl. rice vinegar
    2 tsp. fish sauce
    1 tsp. dark sesame oil
    ½ tsp. salt
    ½ tsp. sambal olek or sriracha sauce (optional)

    Combine all ingredients. Let set at room temperature for 30 minutes or more before serving. Taste to see if salty/sweet/spicy flavor needs to be adjusted before serving.

  10. Great recipes, Kalyn. I love cukes too-here's my newest favorite-a crunchy Mediterranean inspired salad from Whole Foods:

    I also love them sliced thin and piled high on a whole wheat and hummus sandwich!

  11. I LOVE cucumbers. Thanks for posting these delectible recipes, Kalyn. The only vegetable I am growing this season due to a lot of traveling is a green zebra tomato plant which I picked up at the farmers market in June...its very tall now but has two tomatoes on it...not ripe yet (I think)..but how do I know when green zebras are ripe?

  12. I adore cucumbers, and though I don't grow my own, I love Kirby (pickling) cukes from the local farm stand, and the mini-Persian cucumbers that are becoming easier to find in the supermarket. Every one of these cucumber salads looks fantastic!

  13. This post pains me a bit... My wife has two stomach issues... Cucumbers and watermelon. Sigh

    Look wonderful, but very unlikely to try any

  14. I love cucumbers. I've grown them for the first time this year and they are so incredibly sweet. So many don't even make it to the table because I wind up nibbling on them. These recipes are great and I can't way to try them!

  15. Oh I do feel bad for anyone who doesn't get to enjoy cucumbers. The garden cucumbers are so divine, but the small Persian cucumbers are also just wonderful.

  16. Wanda if you type "Green Zebra Tomatoes" into the search bar there is a post from last year where I showed how they look when they're ripe.

  17. These are all wonderful recipes, especially the ones with feta.

    I've always loved the very simple cucumber and onion salad my mother in law taught us how to make, and that my husband now makes perfectly. It's a perfect accompaniment to barbecue - tangy, light, delicious.

    The recipe is in this blog post - the 2nd recipe down in the post.

  18. That cucumber-dill-vinegar salad sounds great! Sometimes I think the simplest cucumber salads are the best.

  19. Oh, man! I love this lineup! Now, which one should I make first. Hmmm...

  20. Actually, I know which one I'll start with first. The Not-so-dumb salad, which I've printed and then the Greek-style salad. Also printed. Just need to buy the cucumbers. ;-)

  21. Paz, I bet the GreenMarkets in NYC have wonderful cucumbers!

  22. Oh, yes, Kalyn! I'm sure. I'll plan to do some shopping there. I'm glad you mentioned them because I didn't even thing of it.

  23. We got quite a few cucumbers in our CSA box this week- perfect timing!

  24. My mother in law always kept me supplied with her cucumbers. Now Ibuy them I prefer the Lebanese, which I guess is what you call Persian.

    Great round up Kalyn.

  25. Love the cucumber roundup. I checked your blog tonight specifically for cucumber recipes, for we came home from a 10 day vacation and I picked 25 cucumbers that ripened while we were gone!!! Not to mention the 15+ picked in the days prior to departure. At that time, I came across a Wasabi Cucumber Salad that is divinely Asian tasting, has quite a kick, and I made several times already. I have it posted on my blog:

    I look forward to using up our bounty with some of your posted recipes. Thanks again.

  26. How nice to get CSA cucumbers; I bet they are fantastic.

    Thanks Barbara! Yes I think Lebanese and Persian cucumbers would be the same thing. Very small with thin skin.

    Maria, your salad with wasabi sounds wonderful!

  27. I haven't chimed in for quite some time, but I had to stop and say thanks. I don't even know how many times I have googled for cuke recipes and not found much to try...I love this post. So many good ideas that are just my style I jotted down several of the recipes and hit the store for a few of the ingredients I don't usually keep on hand...tried the one with garbanzo beans to start off...gonna try one with avocado today.... loving it.

  28. Mom-ster, glad you like the cucumber recipes! Have fun trying them.

  29. ok, that is the best salad page ever, love all the salads, I love cucumber, so bookmarking this page :)

  30. Wonderful round up! One of my favorites is a cucumber yogurt salad - tzatziki in greece or raita in India - my recipe is here:

  31. Eve, I do love that type of cucumber salad with yogurt!

  32. I adore cucumbers in every form. They're always so refreshing! What a fantastic round-up this is, Kalyn.

  33. Thanks Dara. I am totally with you on the cucumber love. I think they're the perfect summer food. And such a good vehicle to transport Feta cheese to your mouth!

  34. Ahhhh, my favorite food for summer, cucumbers! Brings back wonderful food memories. My Polish mother, in the hot and humid climate of Toronto summers always had cucumbers in a dish of cold sour cream with skinny strips of onion around it. I relish that memory.
    Thanks for all the delicious cucumbe recipes, Kalyn. I am printing them out as I write.

  35. What a fun memory Wanda. My own mom always had cucumbers in the fridge in a mixture of water and apple cider vinegar. We would eat them with lots of salt and black pepper. I think they're the perfect summer food; hope you enjoy!

  36. I forgot to add an ingredient to my Polish mother's recipe for cucumbers. Besides cold sour cream she sprinkled on some dill. Loved it.
    All your delicious posted recipes are making my mouth water, Kalyn.

    Happy Cool Summer!

  37. Oh yes, dill is always great with cucumbers!

  38. Love these! I will be doing lots of cucumber salads this summer.

  39. My little basil plant needed pinching back so I made the Garden Cucumber Salad with Tuna and Fresh Basil today and loved it. So easy to throw together and very refreshing. I can see this becoming a staple in my brown bag rotation.

  40. Kate, so glad you enjoyed it. I love that combination.

  41. A wonderful round up here! Cucumber is one of my favorite summer foods and we have in various ways. Did you know sliced cucumber and tomatoes are staple for a typical Turkish breakfast? Among all, I think my all time favorite cucumber recipe is cacik, which is a combination of strained yogurt, thinly chopped cucumber, mashed garlic and a little dried mint. A perfect refreshing appetizer or side dish or even a snack in summer!

  42. Zerrin, I did know that cucumbers are a staple in all the countries in that part of the world, but I had no idea they were eaten for breakfast. And I have not heard about cacik either, thanks for sharing that! Sounds like something I'd love.


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