Easy Vegan Creamy Cucumber Salad uses budget-friendly ingredients, and is quick to make. The whole family will love this delicious salad.
This 15-minute, year-round salad is a cooling and refreshing side dish. It's also the perfect summer salad to serve alongside burgers, or other protein mains.
Plant-based yogurt makes this salad vegan, and is widely available. Typically, you'll find a variety of nondairy yogurts at most supermarkets. The creamy dressing is tangy, slightly sweet, and very versatile. Use it to dress potato, bean, or lentil salads.
- Unsweetened nondairy yogurt
- Dijon mustard
- Apple cider vinegar
- Lemon juice
- Red onion
- Maple syrup (optional)
- Salt & freshly ground black pepper
- Fresh dill
See recipe card for quantities.
Thinly slice the cucumber using a mandolin or sharp knife. (A mandolin produces the best results, but I prefer using a knife.) Set the sliced cucumber aside, and prepare the dressing.
The creamy dressing requires only four pantry-friendly ingredients, plus garlic and red onion. I prefer to grate the garlic directly into the dressing to add more flavor. Finely dice the red onion so it doesn't overwhelm the dish.
Fold in the sliced cucumber and chopped dill just before serving. The longer the cucumber remains in the dressing, the mushier it becomes.
- Cucumber - Instead of cucumber, you can use cooked beans or lentils to transform this into a high-protein salad. Use about 2 cups of your desired plant-based protein in place of the cucumber. Or, substitute for cooked potatoes to make a delicious potato salad.
- Nondairy yogurt - Unsweetened yogurt works best for this tangy dressing, but if you are only able to find sweetened nondairy yogurt, that will work too. The dressing will be slightly sweet, so you won't need to add any maple syrup. I used cashew yogurt but almond and coconut would both be equally good choices.
Use this dressing in more of your favorite salads. For example, this Vegan Potato Salad with Beans on my website!
A microplane grater is a kitchen essential, in my opinion. I use it often for grating garlic, ginger, and lemon and lime zest.
Many home cooks like using a mandolin for slicing, and find them very useful. After a few accidents involving stitches, I am now terrified of slicing my fingers and prefer using a knife.
This salad is best eaten fresh. It does not store well as the cucumber becomes mushy if left too long in the dressing.
💡 Top tips
- Grate the garlic directly into the dressing. This adds more flavor than using minced garlic.
- Soak the chopped red onion for 5 minutes before adding it to the salad to tone down the sharpness of the onion.
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Cucumbers are rich in insoluble fiber, which helps foods move through your digestive system, keeping you regular and helping prevent constipation. They are also low in calories, and high in vitamin K and antioxidants.
Cucumbers are made up of 95 percent water, helping to keep you hydrated. Which is why this is an especially fabulous summer salad.
The skin contains lots of the fiber and nutrients, but there are a few situations where it would be best to peel it:
- If the cucumber is not organically grown, it's best to peel it. Cucumbers are on the Environmental Working Group's 'Dirty Dozen' list. This means if it's not grown organically, the peel may contain high amounts of pesticides. Try to purchase organic cucumbers when possible.
- When the skin has a bitter taste it's best to peel it so it doesn't overwhelm the flavors in the dish.