Cucumber Pasta Salad Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time
Prep: 20 min. + chilling
This refreshing cucumber pasta salad works as a summertime lunch or light dinner, and it comes together with only five ingredients.

Updated: Jun. 26, 2024

When it’s cucumber season, anyone who eats at my house will find the crisp produce in pretty much everything I make, including pasta salad. Thankfully, this cucumber pasta salad is as easy as it gets. It’s a great way to use an abundance of cucumbers.

Like other cool cucumber recipes, this pasta salad with cucumber makes an easy potluck dish. If you don’t need to whip up something for a party, use it as a quick summer dinner to feed your family. It’s one of those pasta salad recipes that doesn’t take much effort and has a short ingredient list—a win-win!

Cucumber Pasta Salad Ingredients

  • Pasta shells: Little pasta shells catch all the goodies in this recipe, but if you can’t find those, you can use other small pasta shapes like elbow macaroni or spiral pasta.
  • Cucumber: Aside from pickling cucumbers, all cucumber varieties are wonderful in this dish. Smaller, thin-skinned cucumbers like divas or slicers go especially great in a cucumber pasta salad.
  • Frozen peas: Frozen peas are an easy addition to salads, but if you prefer fresh peas, you can use those instead.
  • Red onion: I love a little bit of spicy red onion in my pasta salads. Just make sure to dice it up small so it’s not overwhelming.
  • Ranch salad dressing: Ranch dressing makes everything, including this pasta salad with cucumbers, better. Use store-bought, or make our homemade dilly ranch dressing.

Directions

Step 1: Cook the pasta

Add the pasta to a large pot of boiling water and cook according to the package directions. Drain immediately and rinse in cold water.

Step 2: Mix all the ingredients

Once the pasta has cooled down, add it to a large bowl. Mix in the peas, cucumber and onion. Add the ranch dressing, and toss to coat. Cover and chill for at least two hours before serving.

Recipe Variations

  • Try different pasta shapes: If you want to try a different pasta, any small pasta with some nooks and crannies will do. You can try orecchiette, spiral pasta or little elbows.
  • Use a different dressing: Instead of a creamy ranch dressing, try dressing your cucumber pasta salad in Italian dressing or even a simple lemon vinaigrette. Or, make this homemade dressing: Mix 1-1/2 cups sugar, 1 cup water, 3/4 cup white vinegar, 1 tablespoon prepared mustard, 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper and 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt.
  • Add other veggies: The beauty of this simple pasta salad with cucumbers is that there’s plenty of room for tossing in more ingredients. Mix in any other fresh veggies you have, like corn, edamame, diced carrots and sliced radish.

How to Store Cucumber Pasta Salad

Since cucumbers don’t last forever once they’re diced, you’ll want to eat this cucumber pasta salad sooner than later. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.

Cucumber Pasta Salad Tips

What mistakes should you avoid when making pasta salad?

Make sure to let the pasta cool down before mixing it with all the other ingredients or else the cucumbers will lose their crispness. You’ll also want to cook the pasta to al dente, not any further, and then make sure to rinse it well with cold water to avoid overcooking it.

How do you keep cucumber pasta salad from getting soggy?

The best way to prevent soggy pasta salad with cucumbers is to use smaller, thin-skinned cucumbers that have fewer seeds and are less watery. If you use bigger cucumbers, just make sure to deseed them before chopping them up.

What can you serve with cucumber pasta salad?

This dish goes great with barbecue recipes like grilled ribs or barbecued chicken. Be sure some corn on the cob makes it on the table as well (if you haven’t added it to the salad already!).

Cucumber Pasta Salad

Prep Time 20 min
Yield 16 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 package (16 ounces) medium pasta shells
  • 1 package (16 ounces) frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 medium cucumber, halved and sliced
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 1 cup ranch salad dressing

Directions

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and rinse in cold water. In a large bowl, combine the pasta, peas, cucumber and onion. Add dressing; toss to coat. Cover and chill at least 2 hours before serving.

Nutrition Facts

3/4 cup: 187 calories, 7g fat (1g saturated fat), 2mg cholesterol, 177mg sodium, 26g carbohydrate (3g sugars, 3g fiber), 5g protein.

Ranch dressing is the mild coating for this pleasant pasta salad alive with the fresh flavors of crunchy cucumber, onion and green peas. Someone always seems to want the recipe! —Paula Ishii, Ralston, Nebraska
Recipe Creator