This Creamy Cucumber Salad recipe is a modern (and healthier) take on the classic sour cream or mayo-based salad. It’s light, refreshing, and crunchy, making it the ideal side dish to anything grilled. 

thinly sliced cucumber dressed in a creamy dressing in a white bowl set on top of a yellow napkin

This salad is:

  • Crunchy
  • Refreshing
  • Herbaceous
  • Tangy
  • Easy to make!  and quick
  • Gluten-free
  • Can easily be made dairy-free and vegan

Creamy cucumber salad with greek yogurt 

Classic recipes for creamy cucumber salad use sour cream as the dressing base. It’s tart, creamy, and cooling—a perfect pairing for cucumbers! Luckily, Greek yogurt achieves the same thing except it adds protein and decreases saturated fat.

The key to making a really good creamy cucumber salad with Greek yogurt is to use full fat Greek yogurt. While it decreases the overall saturated fat it doesn’t sacrifice in flavor or texture. 

cucumbers, yogurt, vinegar, oil, shallots, and herbs mise en placed and ready for combining

What you’ll need for creamy cucumber salad:

  • Plain full-fat Greek yogurt
  • White wine or tarragon vinegar
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • English cucumber (you can also use regular, but I prefer English, which are also called hot house, because they have less seeds and a thinner skin).
  • Shallot (feel free to use half a red onion instead)
  • Mixed fresh herbs (I like mint and parsley, though dill and tarragon are also stellar).

How to make creamy cucumber salad 

This salad is a simple one, but there are a few tips and tricks that will make the process even faster and more efficient, let’s dive in!

  1. Whisk together the dressing ingredients (yogurt, vinegar, oil, salt, and pepper) in a large bowl. Pro tip: instead of making the dressing in a separate bowl and drizzling it over the cucumbers, whisk it up in a large bowl then add the salad ingredients. This decreases the amount of dishes you have to clean. 
  2. Wash and thinly slice an English cucumber (about ⅛-inch thick). Pro tip: use a mandoline for quick, uniform slicing. 
  3. Thinly slice a shallot. Add the cucumber and shallot to the bowl with the dressing.
  4. Chop the herbs then add to the bowl with the dressing, cucumber and shallot and toss to coat. Season the whole lot with salt and pepper to taste. Pro tip: use a mix of two or three herbs! 
thinly sliced cucumber dressed in a creamy dressing in a white bowl set on top of a yellow napkin

How long does this creamy cucumber salad last?

Crunch is a big part of this salad, and because of that, it’s best enjoyed on the same day as it’s made. However, this salad will last in the refrigerator for up to three days. If you plan on making this and keeping it for a few days, I recommend adding a few fresh slices of cucumber to the salad before serving to add a dose of crunch. 

What kind of cucumbers are best for this salad?

I prefer to use English cucumbers, also called hot house cucumbers, because they have less (and smaller) seeds, have a thinner skin, and are ever so slightly sweeter. You can also use Persian cucumbers which will add even more crunch (they’re amazing!).

Get a rundown on the different types of cucumbers you can buy.

You can certainly use regular cucumbers, though I recommend partially, if not fully, peeling the skin if you do. I’d also recommend slicing the regular cucumber in half lengthwise, scooping out the seeds, and slicing into 1/8-inch thick half moons.

thinly sliced cucumber dressed in a creamy dressing in a white bowl set on top of a yellow napkin

Can you make the creamy dressing with mayo, sour cream, or half-and-half?

Sure! Many recipes out there use those, some even use ranch dressing. If it comes down to what you have on hand, well, use what you have on hand!

If you use mayo, I would also add some sour cream or Greek yogurt for a bit of tang. Keep in mind, if you’re using half-and-half, the dressing will be thinner than it would be if made with sour cream or Greek yogurt. 

Variations on this salad:

  • Use sour cream instead of yogurt for a more decadent salad.
  • Keep it simple and classic with just fresh dill (not a combo of herbs).
  • Add chopped tomatoes.
  • Use red or sweet white onion instead of shallot.
  • Use Persian cucumbers instead of English for ultra crunch.
  • Dress with my Classic Vinaigrette instead of the creamy dressing.
thinly sliced cucumber dressed in a creamy dressing in a white bowl set on top of a yellow napkin, lamb chops on a platter set off to the top left

Serve this salad with…

More salad recipes you may like…

thinly sliced cucumber dressed in a creamy dressing in a white bowl set on top of a yellow napkin

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thinly sliced cucumber dressed in a creamy dressing in a white bowl set on top of a yellow napkin

Modern Creamy Cucumber Salad

  • Author: Lauren Grant
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 3 cups (4 servings) 1x
  • Category: Side
  • Method: no-cook
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

Ready in less than 30 minutes, this is a great recipe for summer dinners! Light, herby, and crunchy, this modern cucumber salad is the ideal side dish for any grilled meat or fish.


Ingredients

Scale
  • ¼ cup full-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon tarragon or white wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil + more for serving
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 english cucumber, sliced ⅛-inch thick (about 3 ½ cups)
  • 1 shallot, halved and thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup mixed chopped fresh herbs such as dill, mint, parsley and/or tarragon

Instructions

In a medium bowl, whisk together Greek yogurt, vinegar, oil, salt and pepper. Just before serving, add cucumber, shallot and herbs and toss to coat; season with additional salt and pepper to taste.

Drizzle servings with olive oil.


Notes

Make it dairy-free & vegan: use plain dairy-free yogurt in place of Greek yogurt.

Add some citrus: for a bit more zing, add some minced lemon zest and/or lemon juice.


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: ¾ cup
  • Calories: 54
  • Sugar: 2.5g
  • Sodium: 298mg
  • Fat: 2.5g
  • Saturated Fat: 1g
  • Carbohydrates: 5g
  • Fiber: 0.5g
  • Protein: 1.5g
  • Cholesterol: 2mg

Keywords: cucumber salad, creamy cucumber salad

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About The Author

Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine, EatingWell.com, AmericasTestKitchen.com, and more.

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