Creamy Cucumber Salad
I have a new recipe for your summer capsule menu today! Creamy Cucumber Salad. Forget the soggy, bland cucumber salads you may have tasted in the past. This healthy version is crisp, refreshing, and guaranteed to coordinate with the rest of your potluck spread.
Eating this Creamy Cucumber Salad made me realize that I overlook cucumbers more easily than I should.
At the market or grocery store, I don’t flock to the cucumber stand or suddenly wonder how I ended up with a giant stack of cucumbers in my cart the way I do with berries and bell peppers.
Cucumbers aren’t usually an ingredient that I choose to make the centerpiece of a dish I bring to a barbecue or potluck. When I do, it’s as a supporting ingredient, like in this Italian Farro Salad.
This Creamy Cucumber Salad made me rethink my ways. Not only do cucumbers have star power, they are an ideal addition to a larger potluck spread.
Since they’re mild, cucumbers blend nicely with a wide array of dishes. No matter what else ends up on the picnic table, your Creamy Cucumber Salad will be right on trend.
Cucumbers are delightfully fresh, meaning they provide just the bright accent that any summer meal needs to feel balanced and complete. Check out my Cucumber Tomato Avocado Salad for another incredibly fresh summer dish using cucumbers.
Creamy Cucumber Salad, Made Better (and Better For You!)
Prior to making this recipe, I’d never been a big fan of cucumber salads.
Most had the same standard creamy cucumber salad salad dressing with mayo and milk or mayo and sour cream (or if someone felt really wild, it would be a creamy cucumber salad with miracle whip). The dressings were all bland, gloopy, and took away from what I love about cucumbers most: their spa-like lightness and crunch.
I ditched the mayo, opting instead to make my Creamy Cucumber Salad with Greek yogurt. It is still plenty creamy and tangy, without overwhelming the cucumbers’ delicate flavor.
To give the Creamy Cucumber Salad extra zip and crunch, I layered the cucumbers with sliced radishes, another under-sung but oh-so-wonderful ingredient. The two play well off of each other and make this recipe much more interesting than other standard-issue cucumber salads you may have tried.
Finally, for extra color and super-fresh flavor, I sprinkled this healthy Creamy Cucumber Salad with a handful of chopped dill and chives.
If you prefer a cucumber salad no dill (or no chives), you can replace either with another fresh herb you enjoy or have in your garden.
A quick recipe tip: you’ll notice the recipe starts with salting and draining the cucumbers before adding any other ingredients. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP. It’s important to extract extra water from the cucumbers to ensure that your salad stays crisp and doesn’t become watery.
I tried the recipe both ways (salting + draining and not), and I pinky promise you it’s worth the time.
Creamy Cucumber Salad
- 2 long English cucumbers — peels left on, thinly sliced (if using regular cucumbers, peel first)
- 1 bunch radishes — thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt — divided, plus additional to taste
- 3/4 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
- 2 teaspoons white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 clove garlic — minced (about 1 teaspoon)
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
- 3 tablespoons chopped chives
- In a medium bowl, place the cucumbers and radishes. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and stir to combine. Cover and let sit 30 minutes. This step is crucial to ensure your salad does not become watery.
- Pour the cucumbers and radishes into a colander and stir, draining out as much of the water as you can. Transfer to a dry bowl.
- In a separate bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the Greek yogurt, vinegar, honey, garlic, pepper, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Pour half of the dressing over the cucumbers and radishes and stir to combine. Continue adding additional dressing until you reach your desired creaminess. You want the vegetables to be well coated but not soggy.
- Stir in the dill and chives. Taste and season with additional salt and/or pepper as desired. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.
- This salad can be prepared up to 1 day in advance. Store the radishes and cucumbers separately from the dressing, then combine just before serving.
For an extra super creamy salad, swap 3 tablespoons of the Greek yogurt for olive oil-based mayo.
Nutrition InformationAmount per serving (1 (of 6), generous 3/4 cup) — Calories: 48, Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 2mg, Carbohydrates: 7g, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 4g, Protein: 4g
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