Summer heat got you down? Restore your appetite and your spirits with a crunchy cucumber salad. Cucumbers belong to the melon family and are more than 60 percent water, so they’re perfect for hot summer days. They’re also naturally low in calories. In fact, one cup of sliced cucumber has only 15 calories! They’re also packed with vitamin K, vitamin C and cancer-fighting flavonoids.
Here you’ll find a round-up of some of our favorite cucumber salads. Most of the salads below get their flavor from fresh herbs, vinegar and healthful oils. For creamy salads, substitute low-fat sour cream, mayonnaise or plain yogurt and use nuts and cheese sparingly. Just a little bit adds a punch of flavor.
Make cucumber salads in the morning and refrigerate them until dinner. Making them ahead gives the flavors time to meld and ensures that the salad is icy cold. For best flavor, choose thin-skinned or English cucumbers. Avoid cucumbers that are wrinkled or soft. Peel them so they absorb the most flavor.
Japanese Cucumber Salad (Eating Well)
At only 46 calories per serving, this salad is the perfect solution for a light lunch. Crunchy and refreshing, this salad gets its great flavor from a rice vinegar dressing and toasted sesame seeds. Delicious!
Ellie Krieger’s Cucumber Salad (Food Network)
This classic salad is topped with a dill vinaigrette. Serve it with grilled salmon and crusty bread for a light summer meal.
Quinoa Tabouli (Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures)
This healthful tabouli alternative is gluten-free. Make it with or without mint and refrigerate it for at least six hours before serving.
Cucumber, Basil and Peanut Salad (Fine Cooking)
Here’s another great Asian-inspired cucumber salad. Substitute cashews for the peanuts if you like.
Easy Greek Tomato and Cucumber Salad (Kraft Foods)
Whip up this simple Greek salad in minutes. The dish contains a small amount of Greek salad dressing to keep calories low.
Tomato Salad with Cucumbers, Avocado, Cilantro and Lime (Kalyn’s Kitchen)
This colorful salad has a southwestern vibe that makes it perfect as a side dish for tacos or fajitas. Rev up the flavors with a bit of cumin, chipotle pepper powder or chopped green chile.
Hungarian Cucumber Salad (Just a Taste)
Like many Scandinavian and Eastern European dishes, this recipe has a sweet and sour flavor boosted by vinegar and a bit of sour cream. Use light sour cream to keep calories in line.
Cucumber Pomegranate Salad (Good Housekeeping)
Winter produce—fennel, pomegranates and apples—make this a special dish for any time of the year.
Smoked Trout Salad with Creamy Cucumbers, Scallion and Dill (Fine Cooking)
Cool, creamy and delicious. Perfect for a picnic in the park. Substitute peeled shrimp for the trout. Use light sour cream or plain Greek yogurt if you can’t fine crème fraiche.
Indonesian Tofu, Bean Sprout and Cucumber Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing (Shiny Cooking)
The peanut dressing alone is to die for! Make this crunchy, sweet salad when you’re craving a taste of Asia without all the fat of deep-fried Asian dishes. Delicious!
Tuna Salad with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Cucumbers and Basil (Kalyn’s Kitchen)
The addition of tuna makes this colorful salad a one-dish meal. Substitute grilled chicken if you’re not a fan of fish.
Grilled Chicken and Potatoes with Tomato and Cucumber Salad (Fine Cooking)
Light, bright and lemony, this dish is perfect for a summer dinner. Mop up the juices with a crusty bread.
Peach-Cucumber-Barley Salad (Good Housekeeping)
Peaches add a delicious sweetness to this healthful salad. Serve immediately so the peaches don’t brown.
Cucumber Orzo Salad (Better Homes and Gardens)
At 165 calories per serving, this fresh pasta salad is a welcome addition to summer meals. Add grilled chicken or fish to make it a complete meal.
Mango-Cucumber Rice Salad (Food Network)
Lime, chilies and cilantro give this healthful salad a delicious south-of-the-border flavor. Serve it with grilled chicken or fish.
Oregon State University Extension: Cucumber Bitterness Explained
USDA: Cucumber Recipes
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