This creamy dill cucumber salad recipe is easy, refreshing, and full of healthy ingredients like Greek yogurt, dill, and olive oil. It takes just 15-minutes to make and is the ideal side dish addition to a potluck, picnic, BBQ, or summer party.
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Here, I used Greek yogurt as a healthier substitute for sour cream or mayo in this recipe. It is very creamy, has less fat and more protein, and complements the freshness and crispiness of the cucumbers nicely.
Greek yogurt can be a bit tart, and many recipes add sour cream or mayo to cut down the sourness. However, adding salt to the yogurt can cut down this tart flavor.
I prefer to use English cucumbers for this recipe, also called hot-house cucumbers. They are large and thin with dark green skin. Their skin is more delicate than regular cucumbers, so you don’t have to peel them. Also, they are seedless, making them sweeter and with far less water. Cucumbers are naturally full of water, but the seeds contain the most liquid. So by choosing English cucumber, you will get a creamier, less watery salad.
If you can’t find English cucumbers, regular cucumbers will still work. However, you need to peel the waxy skin, cut them lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds with a spoon.
Dill and cucumber are a match made in heaven; they complement each other. The chopped dill adds a fresh, bright finish to the already fresh, crispy cucumbers, creating an aromatic and flavorful combination!
How to make the Dill Cucumber Salad
Ingredients to use for this recipe
- English cucumbers
- Red onion
- Greek yogurt
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
Slice the cucumbers into thin half rounds. Add a speck of salt, and transfer the slices into a colander. Place a plate under the colander and let it rest for 15-20 minutes. This will help drain excess water from the cucumbers, giving you a creamier salad.
Slice the onion into thin slices.
Finely chop one tablespoon of dill for the dressing, and then roughly chop the rest for the salad.
Add the cucumbers, shallots, and the roughly chopped dill into one large bowl.
Mix the ingredients for the dressing (Greek yogurt, finely chopped dill, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic powder, salt, and pepper) in a bowl.
Pour the dressing over the salad and mix to combine. Serve!
The more efficient tool for slicing the cucumber is to use a mandolin slicer — if you have it.
“Drain” or “sweat” the cucumbers
“Sweating” or “draining” a vegetable is the process of draining excess water from this vegetable. It simply means to salt the add some salt to it, place it in a colander and with a bowl or plate underneath, and set it aside ( to drain out any excess water. This process is used for other vegetables also, like eggplants and zucchinis.
And once the excess water has drained, give them a quick wipe to get rid of extra salt and proceed to make your salad.
This step is optional, but it is essential to drain the cucumber salad if you don’t plan to serve it right away.
Greek yogurt is strained, which gives a thicker, creamier texture than regular yogurt. Using strained Greek yogurt helps keep the salad creamy and not watery.
To peel or not to peel the cucumber?
It entirely depends on your personal preferences. Some cucumber varieties (like the regular cucumbers found in the US supermarkets) tend to have thick, sore skin. Therefore, peeling them for a better flavor and enjoyable texture is better. In any case, it is best to taste a slice first, and if the skin seems too thick or bitter, then it’s best to peel it.
Regular cucumbers have big seeds in the middle, making this salad watery – since this is the part of the cucumber that has the most water. So first, cut the cucumber lengthwise and scrape the seeds out with a small spoon. Then, slice each half as you usually do with the whole cucumber.
Another reason to avoid peeling the cucumber is that, like most vegetables and fruits, most of their nutrients are found in their skin. Therefore, peeling them reduces the amount of fiber and some vitamins and minerals.
If fresh dill is not available, you can use dry dill weed. The general rule is one teaspoon of dried herb for one tablespoon of the fresh herb. Start with 1 to 2 teaspoons of dry dill weed, adding more to your liking.
If you want to make it vegan, you can replace Greek yogurt with vegan yogurt.
Variations of this Cucumber Dill Salad
There are many variations you can try for this salad. Use your imagination and experiment. Some suggestions could be:
- Parsley, tarragon, celery, cilantro, mint, chives, or even a combination of herbs
- Sliced radishes
- Sliced olives
- Green onions instead of shallot
- Capers; they will add a sharp, briny note
- Sliced chilies; for the lovers of spicy food
Make-ahead tips and Storing leftovers
Cucumber salad is best served fresh. If you need to prepare ahead, you can slice up all the ingredients, but hold on mixing them with the dressing until you are ready to serve.
More Salad recipes
Creamy Cucumber Dill Salad
For the Dressing
- ⅔ cup Greek Yogurt Plain
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 ½ tbsp Lemon Juice Freshly Squeezed
- 1 tbsp Fresh Dill Finely Chopped
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- Salt and Pepper to taste
For the Salad
- 1 English cucumbers
- ½ Medium Onion Thinly Sliced
- 2 tbsp Fresh Dill Roughly Chopped
- Wash the cucumbers, and slice them into half rounds (tip: cut them lengthwise in half before slicing them).
- Add a speck of salt, and transfer the slices into a colander. Place a plate under the colander and let it rest for 10 minutes. This will help drain excess water from the cucumbers, giving you a creamier salad.
- Prepare the dressing by mixing all of the dressing ingredients in a medium bowl until combined. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. Set aside.
- Add the cucumber, red onion, and roughly chopped fresh dill to a large bowl.
- Pour the dressing on top and toss to combine.
- Serve immediately or chill for up to two hours before serving.
- Preparing the dressing in advance, when possible, gives the flavors more time to develop.
- If you prefer a thicker dressing, cut down on the amount of lemon juice in the dressing.
- Slice the cucumbers into thin half rounds. Add a speck of salt, and transfer the slices into a colander. Place a plate under the colander and let it rest for 15-20 minutes. This will help drain excess water from the cucumbers, giving you a creamier salad.
- English cucumbers are preferred to this recipe as they are seedless.
- You can also use Persian cucumbers instead of English cucumbers. In this case, you just sliced them in rounds. No need to cut them lengthwise as they are already skinny.
- Greek yogurt is strained, which gives a thicker, creamier texture than regular yogurt. Using strained Greek yogurt helps keep the salad creamy and not watery.
- To make it vegan, replace Greek yogurt with vegan yogurt.
This information is provided as a courtesy and for entertainment purposes only. This information comes from online calculators. Although eatmediterraneanfood.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.
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