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Crisp Sesame Cucumber Salad

This Sesame Cucumber Salad is the perfect no-cook side dish for any summer meals! Refreshing to eat and full of toasted sesame flavor, this simple side is ready in minutes and looks beautiful on any table. Easily vegan and gluten-free!

overhead shot of a bowl of spiraled sesame cucumber salad

Few vegetables are quite as refreshing as the cucumber, but with such a high water content can often, proper seasoning is essential. In this recipe, a creamy lemon tahini/yogurt sauce is a perfect pairing – it lends protein and a satisfyingly smooth texture to the crisp salad base.

Ingredients Needed for Sesame Cucumber Salad

  • 1/2 red onion
  • 4 Persian cucumbers
  • 2 tsp sumac (or sub lemon zest)
  • 3 TBS lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
  • 1 seeded and sliced jalapeño (optional)
  • 1 cup mixed tender herbs
  • Sesame seeds, to garnish

As mentioned, I like serving this recipe with a sesame dressing, which is made with tahini, yogurt, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.

Recipe FAQ

What kind of cucumbers are best for salad?

Persian cucumbers are better than English (hothouse) cucumbers for salad, as they are more narrow, have a thin skin and fewer seeds.

How long does cucumber salad last?

This Sesame Cucumber Salad will last four to five days in a covered container in the refrigerator. Keep in mind that the salt in the recipe will continue to pull water from the cucumbers over time, so I recommend storing the sauce separately and draining the cucumbers before serving if needed.

How do you cut spiraled cucumbers?

Place a thin Persian cucumber horizontally between two chopsticks (this will help prevent slicing all the way through. Starting at on site, slice your knife perpendicularly (at a 90 degree angle) along the cucumber at 1/4 inch intervals, almost all the way down. Once you get all the way across, flip the cucumber over to the uncut side and repeat the slicing process, but cut at a 45 degree angle instead of perpendicularly.

side view of sesame cucumber spiral salad

More Recipes with Cucumber

Cucumber Melon Gin Fizz

Lentil Salad

Watermelon, Cucumber, and Feta Salad

The Ultimate California Veggie Sandwich

Pesto Tomato Toast Tartine

Print
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overhead shot of a bowl of spiraled sesame cucumber salad

Crisp Sesame Cucumber Salad


  • Author: Emily
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This Sesame Cucumber Salad is the perfect no-cook side dish for any summer meals! Refreshing to eat and full of toasted sesame flavor, this simple side is ready in minutes and looks beautiful on any table. Easily vegan and gluten-free!


Ingredients

Units Scale

For salad:

  • 1/2 red onion, sliced thinly
  • 4 Persian cucumbers
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp sumac (or sub lemon zest)
  • 3 TBS lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 seeded jalapeño, sliced thinly (optional)
  • 1 cup mixed tender herbs (like cilantro and mint), roughly chopped
  • Sesame seeds, to garnish

For sauce:

  • 2 TBS tahini paste, runny
  • 1/4 cup non-dairy yogurt
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon (23 TBS)
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • A few pinches of salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Place the sliced red onion in a small bowl of water, which will help mellow the sharpness. Set aside.
  2. Slice cucumber into thin rounds and add to a large bowl. If you’d like to make spiraled cucumbers, see instructions in notes below. Add salt, stir, and let sit for 10 minutes – this will draw out some of the liquid which helps to avoid an overly watery end result. 
  3. Drain off water and sprinkle cucumbers with sumac and pepper. Stir to combine. Add lemon juice and sliced jalapeño, if using. 
  4. Drain red onion and add to cucumber mixture. Add fresh herbs and mix.
  5. Mix tahini, yogurt, lemon juice, olive oil, and salt and pepper in a small cup. Combine until smooth. 
  6. To serve, spread tahini sauce into a shallow bowl or plate and spoon salad onto it. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, to garnish. 

Notes

For cucumber spirals: Place a thin Persian cucumber horizontally between two chopsticks (this will help prevent slicing all the way through. Starting at on site, slice your knife perpendicularly (at a 90 degree angle) along the cucumber at 1/4 inch intervals, almost all the way down. Once you get all the way across, flip the cucumber over to the uncut side and repeat the slicing process, but cut at a 45 degree angle instead of perpendicularly. 

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Slicing
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: One fourth of recipe
  • Calories: 130 calories
  • Sugar: 2.7 grams
  • Sodium: 411 milligrams
  • Fat: 10.1 grams
  • Saturated Fat: 1.5 grams
  • Unsaturated Fat: 8.6 grams
  • Trans Fat: 0 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 8.9 grams
  • Fiber: 3.7 grams
  • Protein: 3.6 grams
  • Cholesterol: 0 milligrams

Keywords: cucumber, salad, no bake, summer, side, tahini

Portrait of Emily Meyers, founder of Garlic Head

About the Author

Emily (Frigon) Meyers is the founder of Garlic Head, a plant-based recipe website for all eaters who want to easily, affordably, and sustainably incorporate more vegetables into their diets while saving time and money. She is a lifelong vegetarian and 10+ year vegan. Garlic Head does not focus on labels - it focuses on creating food that everyone can enjoy.

Emily earned a certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from Cornell University along with degrees in Economics, Spanish, and Global Sustainability from the University of Pittsburgh. She has been featured on numerous podcasts and websites including The Food Institute, VegNews, Buzzfeed, and the Boston Globe.

Meet Emily here.

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Comments

  1. R says

    This was soo good and I liked the unique way of spiraling the cukes, its a pretty summer salad with lots of good flavor. Thank you!

    • Emily says

      Yay, thank you so much for trying it, AR! Fresh from the garden sounds amazing, I am really glad you liked it!

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