Light and refreshing, this simple Mexican-style cilantro lime cucumber salad is perfect for summer. This healthy side dish is a great accompaniment to grilled salmon, chicken, and more. Naturally gluten-free, vegetarian, and keto-friendly.
Jessica Halverstadt is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
What you’ll love about this recipe
- It’s super simple! Aside from prepping the ingredients, this salad requires very little effort. And while it does take about 40-minutes to prepare, most of that time is hands-off.
- It’s perfect for summer! Like my everything bagel cucumber salad and pretty much all cucumber salads, this Mexican-style cucumber salad is great for scorching hot summer days. The light and refreshing cucumbers and the lime juice keep this salad feeling bright and fresh. It pairs great with grilled chicken and fish and is a great choice for cookouts and potlucks.
- It’s healthy! Minus the sour cream, this salad is prepared with fresh whole foods. With only 4 carbs per serving and 51 calories, it’s both low carb/keto-friendly and low in calories. Additionally, it is gluten-free and vegetarian.
Ingredients (+ notes & substitutions)
- English cucumbers: While you could certainly use another variety of cucumber, I do recommend English cucumbers for a couple of reasons. Firstly, they are thin-skinned, which means you don’t have to peel them. Secondly, the seeds are small and edible. Two decent-sized cucumbers should do the trick. To slice the cucumbers, I suggest you use a mandolin. Using a mandolin ensures the slices are thin and even. Personally, I like to slice them about 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch thick but you are welcome to slice them thicker if you prefer.
- Kosher salt: The use of salt helps draw out any excess moisture from the cucumbers so the dressing doesn’t become too watery and also seasons the salad.
- Sour cream: The base of the dressing. If you prefer, you could sub for Greek yogurt.
- Lime juice: Preferably freshly squeezed.
- Black pepper
- Cumin powder: Cumin adds warm, earthy notes to the salad balancing the tart, acidic lime juice.
- Red onion: While you could sub for white onion, red onion is preferable when it comes to serving them raw in a salad. They add a nice bit of crunch, mild spice, and a beautiful pop of contrasting color.
- Jalapeno: Although totally optional, for heat, I love to add sliced jalapeno to this salad. If you want to take the heat level up another notch, you could use a serrano instead.
How to make cilantro lime cucumber salad (+ tips)
1. In a colander over the sink toss the cucumbers with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Allow to rest for 30-minutes to an hour. The salt will draw out the excess moisture from the cucumbers which helps prevent the salad dressing from getting watery as it sits. If you’re in a rush and don’t intend to store the salad for long then you could certainly skip this step.
2. Gently rinse the cucumbers, then using your hands, press them down to squeeze out any excess moisture. Pat them dry using paper towels or a clean dishtowel.
3. In a medium bowl, prepare the dressing by combining the sour cream, cilantro, lime juice, black pepper, and cumin.
4. Add the cucumbers, onion, and jalapeno and stir to combine. Serve immediately or refrigerate for at least 30-minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to five days. Due to the use of sour cream, freezing is not recommended.
More Mexican (inspired) side dishes you may enjoy:
- Cilantro Lime Spinach Rice: This healthy spinach rice with Mexican flavors like lime and cilantro is a simple and delicious way to get in an extra serving of greens. It works great as a side or served up in a burrito or wrap. Naturally vegan and gluten-free.
- Cilantro Lime Sweet Potato Salad: This fresh and zesty Mexican-style cilantro lime sweet potato salad requires only a handful of ingredients, is super simple to make, and takes just 30-minutes. Naturally vegan and gluten-free.
- Chipotle Potato Salad: Creamy, smoky, and spicy, this Mexican-style chipotle potato salad with red bell peppers, poblanos, and corn is bursting with flavor. Naturally gluten-free and vegetarian.
- Creamy Poblano Rice: This creamy poblano rice with corn is a great side dish to serve alongside your next Mexican meal. It’s got just the right amount of heat with a touch of sweetness from the corn. Naturally gluten-free and vegetarian adaptable.
If you make this Mexican-style cilantro lime cucumber salad I’d love your feedback. Please leave a comment and/or a rating below as I greatly value your opinion. Or snap a pic and tag me on Instagram @taoofspiceblog. Love, light, and happy cooking ya’ll ♥
- 2 medium English cucumbers, thinly sliced - about 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 2 tablespoons lime juice, preferably freshly squeezed
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
- 1 medium-large jalapeno, halved, deseeded and thinly sliced
- In a colander over the sink toss the cucumbers with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Allow to rest for 30-minutes to an hour.
- Gently rinse the cucumbers, then using your hands, press them down to squeeze out any excess moisture. Pat them dry using paper towels or a clean dishtowel.
- In a medium bowl, prepare the dressing by combining the sour cream, cilantro, lime juice, black pepper, and cumin.
- Add the cucumbers, onion, and jalapeno and stir to combine. Serve immediately or refrigerate for at least 30-minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
Storage: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to five days. Due to the use of sour cream, freezing is not recommended.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 7 Serving Size: 1/2 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 51Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 187mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 1g
The nutritional information provided is computer generated. It is only an estimate and intended for informational purposes only. Nutrition details may vary depending on various factors such as origin, freshness of ingredients, etc