An easy, creamy keto cucumber salad is a refreshing complement to grilled meats & vegetables as well as Indian & Mediterranean dishes. It’s a snap to make, graciously accepts substitutions and can be made ahead. A keto sugar substitute keeps it sugar free making it the perfect throw-together summer side.
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What Do Cucumbers Taste Like?
Cucumbers have a light, mildly sweet, green-melon-and-grass flavor. Thanks to its high water content, cucumbers taste refreshing and cool.
Their lush and delicate flavor is great in summer salads like this Mediterranean cucumber salad or Thai cucumber salad. They also serve as the refreshing component to dips and sauces (think tzatziki sauce).
TIP: Peeling the cucumber also reduces the amount of carbs per serving, which is good for those on low carb keto diets.
Creamy Cucumber Salad or German Cucumber Salad?
I collect cookbooks. I have a German cookbook from 1953 which includes a cucumber salad recipe. It calls for cucumbers, sour cream (or oil), vinegar, sweetener and dill. This German cucumber salad is a great basic recipe which provides a solid base to experimenting.
Here are the ingredients I think are essential:
Creamy Cucumber Salad Ingredients
- CUCUMBER: English (hothouse, burp-less), Garden variety cucumbers
- ONIONS: Red onion, White onion or Scallions (note: soak onions in cold water for 10 minutes to remove their bite.)
- CREAMY BASE: Plain yogurt, Sour cream, Buttermilk or Heavy cream
- ACID: Lemon juice or White vinegar
- SWEETENER: Keto sweetener to balance flavors.
- FRESH HERBS: Dill, Chives, Basil, or Mint
NOTE: Thin-down thick yogurt (or sour cream) with a little water, heavy cream or buttermilk. Alternately, sub buttermilk for the sour cream and acid for a fresh-tangy flavor. Fresh herbs taste the best, but try dried dill or mint in a pinch.
To Make Dairy Free
To make this keto cucumber salad dairy free, omit the creamy base and use a few tablespoons of light flavored oil instead. The rule for a standard oil/vinegar ratio for vinaigrette dressing is 2 parts oil to 1 part acid. Add a little water to help tone down the acid if it is very strong and balance with sweetener to taste. I would start with 1/4 cup light olive oil, 2 tablespoons white vinegar or lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon keto sweetener. Then, adjust per your taste.
To Make Ahead
For best results, make the cucumber salad up to 4 hours before serving and refrigerate. This gives the flavors time to blend without the cucumber becoming soggy or watery.
To make 1 day in advance, slice the cucumber, cover and refrigerate. Blend the dressing and herbs together, adjust flavor and refrigerate. Mix the dressing and cucumbers together up to 4 hours before serving. Refrigerate.
Do I Have To Wait Four Hours Before Serving?
While any cucumber salad benefits from marinating for 20 minutes to up to 4 hours, it tastes great served immediately, too. In fact, when it’s just my family, I don’t wait! I mix and serve.
Keto Cucumber Salad
- 3 cups English cucumber rounds peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 1/4 cup Red onion (thinly sliced half or quarter-rounds)
- 1/2 cup Sour cream
- 2 tbsp Heavy cream or water (to thin dressing)
- 2 tbsp White vinegar (or lemon juice)
- 2 tsp Swerve Granulated (Lakanto Monk Fruit or Besti)
- 1/2 tsp Grated, fresh garlic (or very fine mince)
- 2 tbsp Chopped, fresh dill (or 1 tsp dried)
- 1 tsp Snipped, fresh chives
- 1 tsp Chopped, fresh mint (optional)
*Variation: Sub 1/2 cup buttermilk for the sour cream, heavy cream and vinegar.
- Measure and mix the ingredients for the creamy dressing in order. Let sit while you prepare the cucumbers and onions.
- Peel and slice the cucumbers into 1/4 inch rounds and place into a mixing bowl or serving dish. (Peeling cucumbers lowers the carbs.)
- Slice the purple onion and add to the mixing bowl or serving dish.
- Mix dressing into cucumbers and onions and serve immediately or refrigerate up to 4 hours for a better flavor.
To Make Ahead:
- Peel and slice the cucumbers and onions and store them in the refrigerator in separate containers. In a separate bowl, mix the dressing. Refrigerate and cover. Store up to 24 hours before use. Mix the cucumber salad ingredients together up to 4 hours before serving.