Crisp Cucumber Salsa Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Crisp Cucumber Salsa

Total Time
Prep/Total Time: 20 min.
This cucumber salsa is a fantastic way to use cucumbers, combining their crunchy texture and super fresh flavor with tomatoes, hot peppers, herbs and more, mixed up with a tasty dressing.

Updated: May 31, 2024

Who doesn’t love adding something a little fresh to a meal? Sure, pico de gallo is always a great go-to for its crisp, tangy, bright taste. But what if we swapped out the usual store-bought stuff and made a tasty cucumber salsa instead? Whether it’s topping grilled meat or fish, a plate of enchiladas or tacos that will knock your socks off, cucumber salsa will add zing.

Made with cucumbers, tomatoes, onion, hot peppers, garlic, herbs and a tasty dressing, this salsa is exactly what you’ll want to have on hand when you’re looking for something fresh to add to a meal. Simply mix it up, let it marinate in the fridge and you’ll have a tasty salsa ready to go in less than an hour. Just don’t forget the chips—we promise you’ll want to be snacking as soon as this salsa is on the table!

Cucumber Salsa Ingredients

  • Cucumber and tomatoes: Cucumbers and tomatoes are used as the main base for this salsa. Be sure to seed both before finely chopping them; the seeded centers would make the salad too watery. You can easily seed a cucumber or tomato by slicing it in half lengthwise and scooping out the centers with a spoon.
  • Red onion: Red onion is used as an aromatic for this cucumber salsa recipe, contrasting the cool vegetables with its potent flavor. If you don’t have a red onion, a white onion will also work.
  • Garlic: Minced garlic is used as another aromatic in this recipe, which pairs well with meat dishes like salmon, grilled meat and tacos. Don’t own a garlic mincer? Here are six ways to mince garlic with tools you might already have.
  • Fresh parsley and cilantro: These herbs are used to freshen up each bite. If you don’t have both, feel free to stick to only one in the recipe. Mint is another herb that contrasts nicely with the cucumber here.
  • Jalapeno pepper: A hot pepper will give your salsa some kick. (Remember to use gloves or clean your hands thoroughly after working with a hot pepper; the oils can burn your skin and face.)
  • Sour cream: Sour cream is used as the base for the dressing that will coat this cucumber salsa, while also muting some of the spice coming from the jalapeno. This recipe calls for reduced-fat sour cream, but if you don’t have any on hand, you could use one of these no-fail sour cream substitutes.
  • Lemon and lime juice: Citrus juice adds an acidic zing. This recipe calls for both lemon and lime juice, but using limes only should also work well.
  • Cumin and seasoned salt: To season this salsa, cumin and seasoned salt are added to finish off the dressing.

Directions

Step 1: Combine the vegetables and herbs

In a medium-size mixing bowl, add the finely chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion and jalapeno pepper in with the minced garlic clove, fresh parsley and fresh cilantro. Mix everything to combine.

Step 2: Whisk together the sauce

In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream, lemon juice, lime juice, ground cumin and seasoned salt.

Step 3: Pour over the cucumber mixture

Pour the creamy dressing over the cucumber mixture, then toss everything to combine. Let the salsa marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes so all the flavors blend before serving.

Cucumber Salsa Variations

  • Make it spicier: While jalapeno pepper is used to make this recipe spicy, you could kick the flavor up a notch by using an even hotter pepper such as a serrano or habanero. If you prefer a mild salsa, you can skip the pepper altogether, or use a milder pepper like a poblano.
  • Swap tomato with fruit: Looking for a sweeter salsa to top some of your favorite seafood dishes? Swap out the tomatoes for a fruit such as pineapple, honey dew, watermelon or Granny Smith green apples.
  • Go dairy-free: If you’d prefer your salsa to be dairy-free, swap the sour cream for olive oil, grapeseed or vegetable oil. Any of them will help to bind the dressing and spread those tasty flavors.
  • Roast the peppers: For something a little more gourmet, roast the hot peppers before adding them to your salsa.

How long does cucumber salsa last?

Because this salsa is made with lots of fresh ingredients, it won’t last too long. Be sure to store your tomato cucumber salsa in an airtight container and consume it within two days. The vegetables will still be crispy and fresh within this time frame, making for the perfect topping on your tacos and grilled meats. If you wait too long, the salsa can get watery and the texture won’t be pleasant.

Cucumber Salsa Tips

Can you use canned tomatoes in this salsa?

Although this recipe for cucumber salsa does call for fresh tomatoes, canned diced tomatoes can be an efficient way to make this recipe if you don’t have any fresh on hand. Some would argue that canned tomatoes are actually best for a homemade salsa.

Can you make cucumber salsa ahead of time?

For the best results, cucumber salsa should have at least 30 minutes to marinate in the fridge before serving. However, for peak freshness, be sure to consume the salsa within two days, or those vegetables will start to lose their snappy texture.

What can you serve cucumber salsa with?

While this tomato cucumber salsa is delicious with tortilla chips alone, it also works well as a topping on any dish that could use an additional fresh zing, or even to replace your go-to pico de gallo. Some of our favorite recipes to pair include summer garden fish tacos, Key West flank steak, grilled lemon-garlic salmon, chorizo burgers, skillet nachos and Tex-Mex grain bowls.

Watch how to Make Crisp Cucumber Salsa

Crisp Cucumber Salsa

Prep Time 20 min
Yield 2-1/2 cups.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups finely chopped cucumber, peeled and seeded
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped seeded tomato
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 4-1/2 teaspoons minced fresh cilantro
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • Baked tortilla chip scoops

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, combine the first 7 ingredients. In another bowl, combine the sour cream, lemon juice, lime juice, cumin and seasoned salt. Pour over cucumber mixture and toss gently to coat. Serve immediately with chips.

Nutrition Facts

1/4 cup: 16 calories, 1g fat (0 saturated fat), 2mg cholesterol, 44mg sodium, 2g carbohydrate (1g sugars, 0 fiber), 1g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1 free food.

Here's a fantastic way to use cucumbers. You'll love the creamy and crunchy texture and super fresh flavors. —Charlene Skjerven, Hoolpe, North Dakota