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Salads

Sweet and Spicy Cucumber Salad

This sweet and spicy cucumber salad has quite the kick, but it’s delicious and packed with flavor. This vinegar based cucumber salad is perfect for a summer side dish, and something you could easily bring to a barbecue or potluck. Makes 8 servings.

overhead view of a woman's hand reaching for a bowl of sweet and spicy cucumber salad, a small plate, striped napkin and two vintage forks surrounding the large gray bowl.

I grew up eating creamy, sour cream based cucumber salad. It was always a favorite of mine, and, if I’m being honest, it still is, but sour cream is off the table now.

Since I always to use natural dairy free alternatives when possible, I wanted to make this cucumber salad vinegar based.

What I love about this cucumber salad is that it’s so refreshing. The spiciness balances out the sweetness and the vinegar dressing pulls everything together.

More dairy free salad recipes: Mediterranean chickpea salad / apple fennel salad

closeup view of sweet and spicy cucumber salad in a large gray bowl (cucumbers are in half moon shapes and sprinkled with a vinegar based dressing and diced pieces of pickled red onions, seasoning with fresh cracked pepper

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Here’s what you’ll need to make this cucumber salad recipe:

spicy cucumber salad before being mixed in a clear glass bowl

How to make cucumber salad

Drain your cucumbers

For this recipe, you’ll want to drain the water from your cucumbers by salting them liberally and letting them sit for an hour in a colander or strainer in your sink. It’s not a hard process, but it does take a little bit of planning.

If you skip this step, you’ll end up with a really watery cucumber salad, that might be okay right away, but if it sits for any length of time the water will come out of the cucumbers and create a really watery, bland salad.

overhead view of sweet and spicy cucumber salad in a large gray bowl (cucumbers are in half moon shapes and sprinkled with a vinegar based dressing and diced pieces of pickled red onions, seasoning with fresh cracked pepper, striped napkin and small plate with a vintage for to the right

Make your cucumber salad vinegar dressing

While the cucumbers are draining, I like to make my dressing. Combine the remaining ingredients in a saucepan and heat over medium.

Allow the liquid to reduce to about 2/3 cup. Remove from heat and let the mixture cool until the cucumbers are ready.

Marinate the cucumbers.

Mix everything together in a large bowl and cover. Refrigerate your cucumber salad for at least 30 minutes before serving.

overhead shot of sweet and spicy cucumber salad in a large gray bowl on a light gray background, with a blue and cream striped linen napkin in the above it, a small plate with a vintage fork below it

This recipe would be a great side for:

More summer salad recipes:

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overhead view of sweet and spicy cucumber salad in a large gray bowl (cucumbers are in half moon shapes and sprinkled with a vinegar based dressing and diced pieces of pickled red onions, seasoning with fresh cracked pepper, striped napkin and small plate with a vintage for to the right

Sweet and Spicy Cucumber Salad


  • Author: Melissa Belanger
  • Prep Time: 1 hours 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hours 45 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x

Description

Sweet & Spicy Cucumber Salad – This easy vinegar based cucumber salad is a healthy vegan side dish recipe that’s perfect for spring and summer. #cucumber #vegan


Scale

Ingredients

  • 3 English cucumbers, halved and sliced
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion

Instructions

  1. In a large colander, sprinkle the cucumbers with salt.
  2. Allow the cucumbers to sit with the salt so that the juices drain.
  3. Meanwhile, simmer the remaining ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  4. Reduce the liquid to 2/3 cup and remove from heat.
  5. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Nutrition

  • Calories: 0
  • Sugar: 0 g
  • Sodium: 0 mg
  • Fat: 0 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0 g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 0 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

 

Recipe adapted from Our Best Bites.

Last Updated on

  • Reply
    Beth
    June 24, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    Do you have to use splenda?

    • Reply
      katie
      October 22, 2013 at 4:45 pm

      Please do not use Splenda. It is awful for you, and contains no natural substances. Regular sugar would be better.

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    ateaspoonofhappiness
    July 5, 2013 at 11:10 am

    No you don’t have to use Splenda, you would just need to use the equivalent of the 4 packets which is 8 teaspoons of sugar (you could also use other sugar substitutes as well). Sorry for the delayed response!

  • Reply
    Jennifer
    July 29, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    This was the best cucumber salad I’ve ever had! Thank you!

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  • Reply
    Melissa @ Bless this Mess
    August 26, 2013 at 10:39 pm

    This looks SO good. I’m adding it to a post I’m doing this week for cucumber sandwiches! Be on the look out for it 🙂

    • Reply
      ateaspoonofhappiness
      August 26, 2013 at 10:41 pm

      Perfect. Cucumber sandwiches sound great. I will definitely have to check it out!

  • Reply
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    August 26, 2013 at 10:52 pm

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  • Reply
    LLC
    June 6, 2017 at 9:02 pm

    Not to tread on Melissa’s recipe. I’ve actually not tried it yet, though I’ve got some cukes ready and waiting for something new, and this sounds like it fits the bill perfectly. Just wanted to add…..if you’re in a hurry for that occasion that suddenly popped up, or suddenly realized you totally forgot you’re supposed to take a “side” for that picnic tomorrow…..this recipe would be perfect. AND…..to make it even quicker and easier, you can just toss in a bottle of HENDRICKSON’S ORIGINAL SWEET OIL AND VINEGAR DRESSING….(found in the salad dressing aisle of most grocery stores. It also makes a great WILTED LETTUCE!!!! Thanks a bunch for the recipe Melissa. HUGS!!!!

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