This creamy cucumber salad is made with yogurt, which makes it lighter and healthier than salads with mayonnaise-based dressings. There's nothing difficult about this recipe: it's ready in just 10 minutes and uses common pantry samples.
The classic combination of cucumber and yogurt is a classic in the Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines. From classic Persian mast-o-khiar and Turkish cacik to tzatziki, you can find dishes featuring this delicious combo all around the Middle East and the Mediterranean. Today's recipe is a Turkish cucumber salad recipe that's creamy, simple and ready in no time.
Table Of Contents:
Turkish Style Creamy Cucumber Salad
Yogurt based salads are very common in Turkish cuisine and this cucumber salad is one you can find on the menu in many Turkish households. Here is why you should try this salad:
- Simple ingredients: You only need a handful of ingredients to make this creamy cucumber salad and I bet you already have them on hand.
- So fresh: The yogurt and cucumber combination is so cooling and fresh, perfect for warm days.
- Easy: As easy and chop, mix and serve! This cucumber salad is ready in 10 minutes which makes it perfect for any time of the day.
- Crowd pleaser: This salad is perfect for gatherings, picnics, potlucks and parties. The flavor is on point and everyone loves it.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Cucumber: I recommend using Persian cucumbers for this recipe because of their crispiness and size. If not available, English cucumber would work, too.
- Red onion: Adds extra crunch and, of course, flavor. If the red onion you're using is too strong, soak them in ice water for 10 minutes then pat dry them completely before adding to the salad.
- Dill: It compliments the flavors of yogurt and cucumber really well. You can also use mint if desired.
- Yogurt: Whole milk yogurt works best for this recipe because it's creamy and has the right consistency. However, low fat yogurt would work too. If looking for a dairy-free option, try unsweetened dairy-free yogurt.
- Garlic: You only need 2 cloves of garlic for this recipe and it's best to grate them using a microplane.
- White vinegar: To add a bit of a kick to the salad. Red wine vinegar or a splash of apple cider vinegar would work too.
- Olive oil: As always, use extra virgin olive oil if possible.
- Toppings: I used Aleppo pepper and dried mint. They're both optional but add a lot of flavor.
How To Make Creamy Cucumber Salad With Yogurt
- Slice the cucumber and onion. Place them in a large bowl.
- Mix in the chopped dill, garlic and vinegar.
- Add the yogurt, salt and pepper. Stir to combine and make sure all cucumber slices are coated with yogurt.
- Transfer to a platter and top with olive oil, Aleppo pepper and dried mint.
Tips For The Perfect Cucumber Salad
- Choose the right cucumber: The cucumbers should be fresh and crisp. Don't use the cucumbers that feel soft or are too seedy.
- Onions: If the onions are too strong, soak them in cold water for 10 minutes, drain and pat dry them completely, then add them to the salad.
- Taste: Taste the salad before serving and add more salt and pepper if needed.
- Serve immediately: Cucumbers tend to release water with time which will make the salad soggy if too much time passes. It's best to serve this salad ahead of time or simply mix the cucumbers and onions with the dressing right before serving.
This creamy cucumber salad is a great side for sharing at picnics and parties. We love serving it with beef shish kabob, chicken kebabs and, of course, our famous grilled spatchcock chicken.
Regardless of the time of year, this Turkish style cucumber salad goes perfectly with dishes such as kofta kebab, chicken kofta, tomato rice or Middle Eastern chicken and rice.
Can I Prepare it in Advance?
Yes! You can keep this cucumber salad in the fridge for up to 2 days. The cucumbers might release some water after a few hours. To serve, add a couple tablespoons of yogurt and 1 freshly sliced cucumber (if available). Season with salt and pepper and give it a good stir.
Frequently Asked Questions
Persian cucumbers work very well in salads because they're crispy and not too large. However, English cucumbers would also work.
Yes, you can use sour cream instead of yogurt in this recipe.
No, since Persian cucumbers and English cucumbers both have thin skin there is no need to peel them.
This salad is best served immediately when the cucumbers are crisp and fresh. If you're planning to make it further ahead, slice the cucumber and onion then mix it with the rest of the ingredients right before serving.
More Delicious Salad Recipes
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Creamy Cucumber Salad With Yogurt
- 6 Persian cucumbers
- 1 medium red onion
- 1 cup fresh dill chopped
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tbsp white vinegar
- ½ cup whole milk yogurt
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp Aleppo pepper optional
- 2 tsp dried mint optional
- Slice the cucumbers and red onion thinly and place them in a bowl. Grate the garlic using a microplane or minced it.
- Stir in the dill, garlic and white vinegar.
- Mix in the yogurt followed by salt and pepper. Make sure all is well combined.
- Transfer to a platter and top with olive oil, Aleppo pepper and dried mint. Serve immediately.
- You can use English cucumber as well. Make sure the cucumbers are fresh and crisp.
- If the onion is too strong, soak the onion slices in ice water for 10 minutes, drain and pat dry then use in the salad.
- If looking for a dairy-free alternative, use unsweetened dairy-free yogurt.
- It's best to serve this creamy cucumber salad immediately. However, if you want to make it ahead of time, mix the sliced cucumber and onion with the dressing right before serving.
- Store the leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 days. To serve, add a bit more yogurt and 1 sliced cucumber to freshen the salad.
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