This Quick and Creamy Cucumber Salad is great for picnics, potlucks, barbecues, family dinners, or any occasion when a quick, delicious, and nutritious salad is in order. Chock full of crunchy cucumbers, zesty red onion, and the creamy tanginess of sour cream, mayo, and herbs, plus a bit of honey sweetness and citrus, this salad just screams summer.
I love, love, love, love all things spring and summer. I love the sun, the pool, summer clothes, sunglasses, the smell of sunscreen…heck, I’ll even tolerate the summer bugs if that means I get my sunshine fix.
When I turn my thoughts to warmer weather, I turn my food thoughts too. (Yes, that’s a thing.) I think more about cooking outside, eating outside, lighter meals, cooler foods, and easy-to-make, easy-to-pack, yummy-to-eat sides. Especially salads of all sorts. They’re so easy to make and take — whether that’s to a family picnic or to your own backyard.
This Quick and Creamy Cucumber Salad is a riff off of one my aunt used to make and bring to just about every potluck we ever had — not that anyone was complaining. I feel like this one is lighter though and really lets all the ingredients and flavors shine through. It’s best to eat the day of or the next day for sure — you don’t want your cukes to get too soggy…unless you’re into that kind of thing.
HOW DO YOU MAKE CREAMY CUCUMBER SALAD?
When I say “quick” I mean it! Making this salad really could not get any easier! First I peel and cut my cucumbers into rounds and set those aside. Then, I thinly slice the red onion and add that to the cucumbers. Then, I whisk together the sour cream and mayo, adding in the spices, lemon juice, and honey, making sure to combine that well.
I add the cucumbers and red onion to the sour cream and mayo mixture and give it all a good stirring to coat all of the veggies. I like to serve mine right away but you could wait up to a day. Make sure you stir it before you serve it though!
HOW DO YOU CUSTOMIZE THIS CREAMY CUCUMBER SALAD?
There are many ways you can riff on this salad.
- Use plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream.
- Skip the mayo and use Greek yogurt or just sour cream.
- Add smoked, grilled, or just plain old frozen corn (off the cob) into the mix for a touch of sweetness.
- Skip the dill or swap it for another herb you love.
- Change the red onions for white, yellow, or green or leave them out and sub in another veggie like some diced bell peppers, corn, or shaved carrots.
- Add some lemon zest if you like a little more lemon to your cucumber salad.
- Instead of garlic powder, try minced or crushed garlic.
- If you like a more tart salad, leave out the honey.
WHAT KIND OF CUCUMBER IS BEST FOR MAKING CUCUMBER SALAD?
I’ve found there are usually about three kinds of cucumbers at most grocery stores: Pole, English, and Persian.
Pole cucumbers are the most common. They are the ones you see stacked or piled high and are usually under a dollar a cucumber. They are kind of waxy on the skin and so that’s why I like to peel this tough wax and skin off before cutting them and using them in food. They can be kind of seedy and watery. If you don’t like the seeds, then cut those out too.
English cucumbers are long and thinner than Pole varieties. They are usually sealed in plastic (why, I’m not sure…maybe so they don’t have to be coated in wax to keep?). They are my favorite kind of cucumbers, even though they are more expensive than the Pole cucumbers. However, they are bigger and have less seeds and a thinner skin, so I don’t always peel these for salads and other dishes.
Persian cucumbers are the smaller ones you’ll see packaged 5-6 together. They are great for veggie trays and for snacking. They are good in this salad too, but you’ll need to buy two or three packs of them to have enough cucumbers in your salad. This can get expensive and a little tedious.
No matter which cucumber you go with, you can’t go wrong with this summer cucumber salad!
Quick and Creamy Cucumber Salad
- 2 large cucumbers - peeled and thinly sliced into rounds
- ¼ red onion - thinly sliced
- ⅓ cup sour cream
- ¼ cup mayo
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
- 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons honey
- ½ teaspoon salt - or to taste
- ¼ teaspoon cracked black pepper - or to taste
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder - optional
- Whisk together sour cream, mayo, dill, lemon juice, honey, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
- Stir in cucumbers and red onions. Serve immediately or cover and chill for up to 24 hours - give it a good stir immediately before serving.