Creamy cucumber salad recipe with a tzatziki-inspired dressing made with Greek yogurt, vinegar, fresh lemon, garlic, and dill. It’s light, refreshing and less than 30 calories per serving!
This easy cucumber salad, inspired by our tzatziki yogurt sauce, has been on repeat lately. It’s straightforward to make, goes with just about anything, and thanks to the Greek yogurt, it is healthy! Less than 30 calories for one cup, now that’s something we can get behind!
How to Make the Best Creamy Cucumber Salad
Our creamy cucumber salad and the vinegar based version start the same way. We salt the cucumbers. Think of this as a quick marinade for the cucumbers. Salting makes cucumbers taste better, with minimal effort from you. We do the same thing with tomatoes when making bruschetta or tomato salad.
To do it, toss cucumber slices with salt in a colander. After 30 minutes, rinse the cucumbers and shake mostly dry. While you wait for the cucumbers, make the dressing, which also benefits from some extra time.
For the dressing, combine Greek yogurt with garlic, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, dill and lots of black pepper. Season with a pinch of salt then set it aside while the cucumbers sit. Since there’s garlic in the dressing, the extra 30 minutes gives the garlic a chance to flavor the dressing.
Since we love cucumber and onion salads, we throw in sliced red onion. Just like garlic, onion adds flavor, so we add the sliced onions straight to the dressing. This way, while the cucumbers are salting, we take full advantage of the time to infuse as much flavor into the dressing as possible.
By the way, you can definitely make this cucumber salad with sour cream instead of yogurt. Just swap the yogurt for sour cream, and you’ll have more of a German-style cucumber salad.
When the cucumbers are ready, toss them with the dressing and onions. You can serve the salad straight away or let it sit in the refrigerator a day or so. As the salad sits, it becomes more flavorful, but the cucumbers do soften a bit. We’re not too worried about that, but it is something to keep in mind.
You May Also Like These Salads with Cucumber
- Here’s our simplified Creamy Tzatziki Sauce.
- Cucumbers add lots of crunch to our easy chickpea salad with lemon and dill.
- This simple Greek salad is one of our favorite salads on the blog.
- We love this lemony arugula and couscous salad with cucumbers and feta cheese.
- Everyone loves this simple orzo pasta salad with cucumber, olives, artichokes, tomato, and fresh herbs.
- One of our most popular recipes, these light lemony chicken breasts are served with a salad of cucumber, tomatoes, and feta.
- We love this colorful chopped cucumber and tomato salad. With tomatoes, onion, cucumber, parsley, and a simple vinaigrette, the salad is crunchy, ultra-flavorful and is vegetarian.
Tzatziki Cucumber Salad
Creamy cucumber salad tossed with a tzatziki-inspired yogurt dressing. Salting the cucumbers for 30 minutes before making the salad helps to draw excess water out and makes the cucumbers taste even more cucumbery. As this salad sits, the flavor gets better and better. Keep in mind; however, the cucumbers will continue to release water, thinning the dressing out a bit. We’re okay with this, though, since the cucumber “water” adds even more flavor to the dressing. If the dressing gets too thin, add another spoonful of yogurt.
You Will Need
1 1/4 pounds cucumber, sliced (2 medium)
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more as needed
3 tablespoons thick plain Greek yogurt, we use Fage whole milk
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Juice from 1 lemon wedge
1 teaspoon finely minced garlic (1 small clove)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dried dill
Fresh ground black pepper
1/2 cup sliced red onion (1 small onion)
More fresh dill and or mint leaves, optional
1Add the sliced cucumbers to a colander and toss with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Set aside for 30 minutes, either in the sink or placed over a bowl to drain.
2Meanwhile, make the cucumber salad dressing. In a large bowl, stir the yogurt, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, and chopped dill together. Season with a pinch of salt and a generous amount of black pepper. Mix the onions around in the yogurt dressing then set aside until the cucumbers are ready.
3After 30 minutes of salting the cucumbers, rinse them with cold water. Shake off excess water then add to the dressing. Toss the cucumbers until coated. Taste then season with additional salt and pepper, if needed. Serve with more fresh herbs scattered on top. Serve or keep refrigerated up to 2 days.
Adam and Joanne's Tips
- Use thinner skinned Persian cucumbers (smaller) or English cucumbers (often wrapped in plastic) for this. They are a bit more crisp with fewer seeds than regular cucumbers.
- Swap Greek yogurt for sour cream.
- Mint is excellent in this salad. We especially love adding torn or whole mint leaves to the salad before serving.
- The combination of red wine vinegar and fresh lemon makes the salad more interesting, but you can use one or the other if that is all you have.
- Nutrition facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA database to calculate approximate values.