Forget frosty beverages – this refreshing summer side will keep you cool as a cucumber. Strawberry Cucumber Salad is loaded with your freshest favorites. Crisp cucumbers, juicy strawberries, and zesty red onion with fresh herbs and honey-balsamic drizzle make for a harmonious hunger-busting salad that satisfies on its own, but is also ripe for add-ins.
We all knew when fast food chains start adding strawberries to their grab-and-go salads that this was no longer just a passing trend. And I’m not talking fruit salads (or even fruit-forward salads, like strawberry watermelon salad) – I’m talking straight up “healthy” dinner options from places like Wendy’s and Panera.
And they’re not wrong… Berries are one of the best ways to brighten up a savory salad. They’re the perfect blend of sweet and tart, plus they bring a hit of acid without having to rely on citrus. (But they do blend beautifully with citrus if you want to double-down. Try strawberry avocado salsa with fresh lime juice if you need to test that theory.)
Strawberries, in particular, enhance a host of veggies and proteins, as in our Strawberry Avocado Chicken Salad. They also complement other add-ins, including nuts and even cheeses, to create awesome flavor combinations. Case in point, Strawberry Kale Salad.
That all being said, these juicy little nuggets aren’t just “accessories.” Nobody puts berry in the corner – because balance is the name of the game.
Strawberries make this side salad a sweeter, tangier version of a tomato cucumber salad. Honey and balsamic vinegar elevate the sweet and the tang in equal measure, while crisp cucumbers and red onion add flavorful crunch in totally different ways.
Bottom line, this salad is an ideal antidote to a sticky summer evening when you want to justify ice pops for dinner but can’t.
How to Make Strawberry Cucumber Salad
Quick and refreshing, Strawberry Cucumber Salad comes together in mere minutes, and it’s as easy as it gets. Macerate red onions in balsamic vinegar to remove their bite, then toss with strawberries and cucumber. Fold in a little magic with fresh mint and basil, and you have the perfect summer side dish for just about anything!
- Whisk extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, and salt in a large mixing bowl until well combined.
- Add thinly sliced red onions and gently toss. Let sit 10 minutes to macerate – this will remove some of the bitter bite from the onions.
- Add the strawberries, cucumber, basil, and mint.
- Toss gently until well combined. Enjoy!
- Consistent, thin slices – berries, cukes, and onions – make for a better bite!
- Macerate the onions for at least 10 minutes to remove some of the bitterness.
- English cucumbers are sweeter, with delicate skins that don’t need to be peeled. We prefer them over American cucumbers for salads.
Make It Your Way
- Add thinly sliced avocado. Gently toss with the strawberries and cucumber.
- Go green! Add in leafy greens like arugula or tender baby spinach.
- Top or toss with grilled protein for a make-ahead lunch. We love this with sliced balsamic chicken thighs or grilled rosemary steak.
- Say cheese! Add fresh mozzarella, goat, or feta cheese.
- Turn it into a panzanella! Dice or 4 cups of day old crusty bread into 1″ pieces. Toast the bread in a 400°F oven until golden brown. Double the dressing, then add the bread along with four ounces of fresh mozzarella in step 3. Place in the fridge and marinate for about an hour.
How Long Will This Salad Keep?
Plan on one day in the fridge, max, or the fruit is going to wilt. It’s best enjoyed right away, so our best recommendation is to only make as much as you’ll eat in a single sitting. The upside? It’s so easy to make that single portion sizes are both easy and recommended.
Did you make this strawberry cucumber salad recipe? I’d love to know how it turned out! Leave a comment and a rating below.
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- 1 pint strawberries, hulled and thinly sliced
- 1 english cucumber, halved and thinly sliced
- ½ small red onion, thinly sliced
- ½ c chopped fresh basil
- ½ c chopped fresh mint
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tsp honey, or agave
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- Combine the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, and a pinch of salt in a large mixing bowl. Whisk until well combined.
- Add the onions to the dressing and gently toss. Let sit 10 minutes to macerate and remove some of the bitterness from the onions..
- Add the strawberries, cucumber, basil, and mint to the bowl. Toss gently until well combined. Serve immediately.