Creamy Cucumber Salad is one of our favorite classic summer sides. Heck, it’s one of everyone’s favorites! Cool, crisp cukes balance perfectly with a tangy dill dressing. Swap some sour cream with Greek yogurt for less fat and more refined flavor. Plus, get our best tips to avoid a sad, soggy salad.
Almost a quarter century ago, cucumber melon body spray hit the scene, and I’m convinced part of the reason I love cucumbers so much to this day is thanks to that sense memory. T’was an absolute revolutionary concept to me that one could smell great whilst smelling like vegetables.
So now, whenever I can, wherever I can, I’m adding cukes. Period. From salads to salsas, in my water, and on my eyelids. Especially in the summer.
It may not be my favorite summer vegetable, but it’s the perfect foil to my favorite summer vegetable, as evidenced in this cucumber and tomato salad with avocado. It’s also the perfect foil to some of my favorite summer fruits – like this strawberry cucumber salad, or my ode to Bath & Body Works, cantaloupe salad.
In any hearty mixed salad worth its salt (like classic Italian or even restaurant-style buffalo chicken salad), you’d miss it if it wasn’t there (especially if there’s tomatoes involved). But rarely, does cucumber take centerstage.
I gave it a co-starring role in my must-try cauliflower tabbouleh, but cucumbers are getting top billing in my latest summer salad recipe.
This Mediterranean-inspired deli classic is one I’ve loved for years and years. Done right, creamy cucumber salad with dill will make any warm summer picnic “cool as a cucumber.” Done wrong, well, it’s slop.
Cucumber salad with sour cream and yogurt dressing is an easy addition to any summer spread, but there are three things you need to know before you tackle this recipe, so your picnic guests don’t tackle you.
Key Tips for Perfect Creamy Cucumber Salad
If you’ve never prepared creamy cucumber salad before, it seems super duper straightforward… until you whip that baby up and you’ve been left with a soggy, gross mess. Cucumber dill salad isn’t difficult to make at all! But you do need to follow a few simple rules to achieve the perfect flavor AND texture.
Use the Right Cucumbers
We always English cucumbers – they have thinner skin, smaller seeds (or no seeds at all), and a slightly sweeter flavor.
Salt and Drain the Cucumber Slices
Osmosis, baby! This serves a few purposes – for one, salting cucumbers simply makes them yummier. Salt will seep into the flesh, seasoning the cucumbers from the inside out.
Second, this draws out moisture to prevent the rich, creamy dressing from getting watery during the chilling stage.
Give salad a good while to chill – at least 2 hours, and up to 24 – in the fridge. The good news? This means it’s a terrific make-ahead summer salad for picnics and potlucks.
How to Make Creamy Cucumber Salad
Creamy Cucumber Salad is dill-icious! A simple salting process helps thin-sliced English cucumbers stay crisp and crunchy, even in the creamy, tangy dressing. This perennial favorite is prefect for prepping in advance.
- SLICE. Cut cucumber into ¼″ coins. Tip: use a marked silicone baking mat as a guide for consistency, if you need it.
- SALT. Place the slices into mesh strainer, sprinkle with salt, and toss to combine. Nest into a large mixing bowl then let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- STRAIN. Give the cucumbers a good toss and allow the weeped moisture to strain into the bowl below..
- DRY. Spread the cucumbers slices onto baking sheets lined with paper towels. Blot any remaining moisture.
- WHISK. Whisk the sour cream, Greek yogurt, vinegar, dill, and pepper in a large mixing bowl until very smooth.
- FOLD. Gently fold the cucumbers into the creamy dressing until evenly coated. Chill in refrigerator at least 2 hours, up to 24, before serving.
Make It Your Way
German Cucumber Salad: for a slight variation on this cucumber salad recipe with more bite, add half a red onion, very thinly sliced – think slivers. You’ll also want to slice the cucumbers super thin – no more than ⅛″ – to nail the traditional texture. If you have nervous knife skills, invest in a vegetable mandoline for easy, consistent slicing.
Sweeten It: if you prefer a slightly sweeter bite, add 1 teaspoon sugar to the sour cream dressing. Whisk well to ensure it dissolves fully.
Swap the Acid: instead of apple cider vinegar, try white vinegar or lemon juice. If you’re very sensitive to acid, add 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard plus ½ teaspoon of sugar.
More of Our Best Classic Summer Sides
- Italian Potato Salad
- Tomato Salad with Bacon Dressing
- Keto Broccoli Salad
- Easy Grilled Vegetable Kabobs
- Healthy No Mayo Potato Salad
- Bacon Coleslaw
Did you make this creamy cucumber salad? I’d love to know how it turned out! Leave a comment and a rating below.
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- 2 english cucumbers, sliced into ¼″ coins
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- ¼ c sour cream
- 2 tbsp Greek yogurt
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 3 tbsp fresh dill, plus more for garnish
- ½ tsp ground pepper
- Place the cucumber slices into a fine mesh strainer nested in a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle the salt over the cucumbers, toss until well-combined, and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Line a baking sheet with two layers of paper towels. Give the cucumbers a good toss in the strainer to release as much water as possible, then transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Blot away any additional moisture.
- Combine the sour cream, Greek yogurt, apple cider vinegar, pepper, and fresh dill in the mixing bowl; whisk until smooth.
- Add the cucumbers to the sour cream mixture, then fold with a rubber spatula until evenly coated.
- Transfer to the fridge and chill at least 2 hours, or up to 24.
- Taste for seasoning just before serving and adjust with salt and pepper to taste. Serve chilled with more fresh dill.