Who says a good Greek salad needs lettuce? Ditch the romaine and you’ve still got the rest of the best veggies – ripe tomatoes, zesty red onion, briny Kalamata olives, and crisp English cucumber. Mediterranean Cucumber Salad is bright and bold, and we love the fresh herb vinaigrette with just a hint of mint!
Some reach for sushi rolls. Perhaps you prefer pickles. Others enjoy the crusts cut off their cucumber sandwiches at tea time. No matter how you take your cukes, I salute you. But my personal favorite cucumber recipes are all salads.
Not any one in particular, mind you. I love the cool crunch in all kinds of ways. A simple salad of cucumber, tomato, and avocado is one of my favorite companions for a hearty sandwich at lunch. Burgers and dogs love a side of creamy cucumber salad with tangy dill dressing. And refreshing strawberry cucumber salad goes great with grilled chicken.
However, if I had to settle on one cucumber salad to rule them all… well, I probably couldn’t choose just one. But I could narrow the playing field, and this bright and earthy mediterranean cucumber salad for sure makes the cut.
Mediterranean Flavors Make the Best Salads!
Unless you count Whole30 January as a diet (I consider it a “reset”), I don’t do diets. I don’t judge, but I don’t partake. Too much food, too little time. But if I did, I’d 100% be on the Mediterranean Diet. I mean, I kind of already am. Part time, at least. Practically full time in the summer.
Fresh vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, and red wine? Sign me up! And the flavors? Bright and bold. Simple ingredients that taste like they were made for each other no matter the combination.
So, even if you are the dieting type, the good news is you aren’t sacrificing satisfaction when you indulge in any number of delicious Mediterranean-style salads.
If you’re looking for some bulk, orzo pasta salad or mediterranean chickpea salad fit the profile. For a more veggie-forward dish, cauliflower tabbouleh is even better than the real thing. But if you specifically want a cucumber-forward salad, then Mediterranean cucumber salad is the way to go!
What are English Cucumbers?
While we don’t love that they’re usually encased in the clingiest cling wrap ever, English cucumbers – also known as European cucumbers – are our #1 pick for cucumber recipes. We do love that they’re long and lean, so they yield a more uniform cut for a more balanced bite of salad.
English cukes have thin skins (hence the plastic protection), so they don’t require peeling. And like “seedless” watermelons, any scant seeds that do exist are small, tender, and barely noticeable, so no scooping! (If you have to swap for a North American cucumber, we recommend you both peel and seed before slicing.)
How to Make Our Mediterranean Cucumber Salad
Simple summer vegetables tossed in a fresh herb vinaigrette make Mediterranean Cucumber Salad an easy choice for an easy side salad. Chop cherry tomatoes, red onion, Kalamata olives, and crisp English cucumber to bite size for the perfect forkful. Marinate in the fridge for an hour for the perfect flavor.
- Whisk together dressing ingredients in a mixing bowl until combined.
- Toss vegetables in dressing until well combined and evenly coated.
- Adjust seasoning to taste.
- Chill in the fridge for 1 hour. Serve chilled or room temperature.
- There’s no “cooking” in this recipe, so our very best tip is to source the freshest, best quality ingredients for best flavor!
- Use extra virgin olive oil, not regular cooking olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil is less refined with a fruit-forward, robust flavor – it’s perfect in salads.
- Halve the tomatoes and olives for smaller, manageable bites.
- Be sure to use English or Persian cucumbers! American cucumbers have tough skins and bitter seeds. If using American cucumbers, peel and seed them first.
- Give the salad an hour or so to marinate before serving to allow the flavors to meld.
- Red wine vinegar can be substituted for the white wine vinegar called for in the recipe card.
Can I Use Dried Herbs Instead of Fresh?
Dried herbs aren’t ideal, and fresh are strongly preferred both for their flavor and texture. If you can’t find fresh mint, try doubling the parsley or swapping the mint for another earthy green herb like dill.
Can I Replace the Kalamata Olives?
First let’s talk about why we love Kalamata olives so much! Named for the city in Greece where they’re cultivated, Kalamata are a deep shade of aubergine and have a velvety, almost-meaty texture. We love their complex flavor – they’re at once briny (salty), rich, and slightly fruity.
That being said, Kalamata olives have a pronounced flavor that isn’t universally loved. If you don’t love them as much as we do, swap them for black or green olives – just make sure they’re pitted! Dig into everything you want to know (and didn’t even know you wanted to know!) about olives and the mediterranean diet.
Make It Your Way
- Add Plant-Based Protein: add 1 can of drained and rinsed chickpeas
- Add Cheese: add 4 ounces of crumbled feta cheese or 8 ounces of fresh mozzarella pearls
- Make it a Meal: Stuff into a whole wheat pita pocket and top with a dollop of greek yogurt to go from salad to hearty sandwich.
How Long Does Cucumber Salad Last?
Mediterranean cucumber salad will remain fresh in a sealed container in the fridge for about 2 days; by day three it will start to lose its crunch.
This cucumber recipe easily halves (and doubles!) so feel free to adjust the serving size to suit your needs.
Did you make this mediterranean cucumber salad? I’d love to know how it turned out! Leave a comment and a rating below.
15-Minute Mediterranean Cucumber SaladPrint Recipe Rate this Recipe Pin Recipe
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
- ¼ c finely chopped mint
- ¼ c finely chopped parsley
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp ground pepper
- 2 english/seedless cucumbers, quartered and sliced to ½”
- 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 c halved kalamata olives
- 1 c finely diced red onion, about half a large onion
- Combine the olive oil, white wine vinegar, mint, parsley, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl. Whisk until the dressing is combined.
- Add the cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, and red onion. Toss until the ingredients are well combined and evenly coated with the dressing.
- Taste for seasoning and adjust the vinegar, salt, or pepper until the flavor sings. Transfer to the fridge and chill for 1 hour to allow the flavors to meld. Serve chilled or room temperature, and enjoy!