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Creamy Cucumber Salad (also called German Cucumber Salad) is a refreshing salad that's delicious on its own and the perfect balance to deeply flavored main dishes. Thin crisp cucumber slices are tossed in a creamy dressing that's herbaceous and snappy with fresh dill, chives and lemon juice.
It's a salad that you can prepare in less than 15 minutes and deserves a place in your normal rotation. Serve it with grilled meats and vegetables when the weather is warm and with your favorite comfort foods when it's chilly outside.
Though this salad has only a few ingredients, working with them is a sensory pleasure: fresh dill with it's feathery leaves and sweet aroma, chilly crisp cucumber whooshing across a mandonline's razor sharp blade. For the other components, I've tried this salad with raw onion (both red and white) and found the flavor too strong. In this Creamy Cucumber Salad recipe the subtle onion flavor of fresh chives compliments the flavors of dill and cucumber without overpowering them. And sour cream makes a lovely base, but plain Greek yogurt also works well. And though the salad tastes decadent, it's actually light at just under 100 calories per generous serving.
Make Ahead Tips
I often prepare this salad just before serving, but you can make it an hour or two in advance if you like. Just be sure to toss it just before you eat as the fresh cucumber slices will slowly release their liquid. And if you'd like to prep the salad more than a couple of hours before you plan to serve it, I recommend refrigerating the sliced cucumber and creamy dill dressing separately, ready to combine.
How to Thinly Slice Cucumbers
It's nice to have very thin slices of cucumber for this Creamy Cucumber Salad, ⅛" to ¼" thick. I used my trusty (and terrifying) mandoline, but a food processor fitted with the slicing blade or a very sharp knife will also work well.
I love to pair this salad with a bowl of Tomato Bisque, French Onion Soup or Winter Squash Soup. Or in the summer with Grilled Swordfish, Chicken Kabobs, or Grilled Lamb Chops. It's also a great side for heartier dishes like Turkey Meatloaf, Slow Roasted Salmon, or pastas like Lemon Garlic Shrimp Pasta.
And if you love cucumbers, don't miss this restaurant worthy Chinese Cucumber Salad.
How to Make Creamy Cucumber Salad
Step 1: Thinly slice cucumbers, ⅛" to ¼" thick.
Step 2: Whisk together creamy dill dressing ingredients in the bottom of a serving bowl: sour cream, fresh dill, chives, lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Step 3: Add cucumber slices to dressing in serving bowl and toss to coat. Serve.
Creamy Cucumber Salad
- 2 large English cucumbers about 2 pounds
- ½ cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice from about 1 lemon
- ¼ cup chopped fresh dill lightly packed
- ¼ cup minced fresh chives
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Slice the cucumbers into rounds, ⅛ to ¼-inch thick.
- In the bottom of a serving bowl combine sour cream, lemon juice, dill and chives; whisk to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Add cucumber slices to serving bowl with dressing and toss to coat evenly. Serve.
- A mandoline or food processor's slicing blade makes quick work of slicing the cucumbers very thin, but a sharp knife will also work well.
- I typically make the creamy dill dressing for this salad with sour cream, but Greek yogurt is also a tasty option.
- Making the dressing in the bottom of the bowl you plan to serve the salad in means one less bowl to clean!
- Refrigerate this salad for up to 2 hours before serving (tossing to coat just before you eat.) If it will be longer than 2 hours, refrigerate cucumber slices and dressing separately.
Love this recipe, Marissa -- especially for summertime. Cucumber is one of the few things all 4 in my house love in salads. Somehow I always seem to be providing sides of things to add to salads because of everyone's differing tastes. 😉 I'll be trying this one for sure. ~Valentina
This sounds so refreshing! Nothing beats a good cucumber dish!
So true! Thank you, Kevin!
Dawn - Girl Heart Food says
I can see why this is a lovely salad to make! Looks so creamy, Marissa, and I particularly appreciate that it's under 100 calories per serving. With all sorts of holidays coming up, I know there will be a little more eating involved so this salad is perfect. Yay for the fresh dill - love that stuff!
Fresh dill adds the best flavor! Thanks so much, Dawn!
Dorothy Dunton says
Hi Marissa! This is very similar to a salad I make, but I do add a little very thinly sliced red onion. This is such a refreshing side especially for barbecue! The dill just makes this!
Hi Dorothy! I bet you make a mean version of this! 🙂 And it's so true...fresh dill makes all the difference!
This salad always reminds me of my in-laws. My FIL swore he hated cucumbers until he finally tasted my MIL's cucumber salad and he was a convert! Perfect for this holiday weekend (though I haven't converted MY husband yet!).
haha, I love it Liz! Thank you so much!
Jeff the Chef says
The simplest pleasures are the best, aren't they?
Yes they are! Thank you, Jeff!
David @ Spiced says
Oh, this salad sounds like it's right up my alley! I love a good sour cream base instead of mayo, and you're right that plain Greek yogurt would work well here, too. This is the perfect side dish to accompany all of the BBQ dishes for the long weekend! Speaking of the long weekend, I hope you and the family have a great one. Cheers, my friend!
Yes! Perfect for the long weekend...hope you, Laura and Robbie have a wonderful weekend too!