This Mexican cucumber recipe is easy, wholesome, and satisfying. It’s a refreshing and flavorful salad as wonderful as the popular Mexican cucumber snack of pepinos con chile, but turned into an easy side dish with the addition of tomatoes, red onion, and fresh herbs.
While I have been working on several new recipes recently, this simple cucumber salad has really stole my heart.
It is fast and light. A salad perfect for hot summer days but honestly great for winter too when we are all craving something cool and crunchy after indulging in the rich foods of the holidays.
In the summer months one of my favorite snacks I make for the kids on a hot day are slices of fresh cucumbers, sprinkled with a little salt and drenched in fresh lime juice and Tajin seasoning. Sometimes I mix in fresh fruit but usually the crunchy cucumbers are more than satisfying.
In Mexico they call this, pepino con chile y limon, which is Spanish for cucumbers with chile powder and lime. It is made to battle the summer heat and is a popular offering of street vendors.
This salad is inspired by that idea with added vegetables like thin slices of red onion, juicy tomatoes and crunchy, sweet red bell pepper. It makes it more of a meal.
I like to make a big bowl and keep it in the refrigerator to grab whenever I get hungry. Because this is a lettuce-free salad, I can make it ahead and it stays good for up to three days.
Why You’ll Love This Refreshing Cucumber Salad
- Wholesome and satisfying
- 100% one of the best healthy vegan snacks
- A great way to use up garden cucumbers in the summer
- Super refreshing with lots of zesty lime juice
- Low in calories, sodium and carbohydrates
- Goes great with any and all Mexican food
- A perfect side dish or appetizer
- Quick prep time and total time start to finish
These are optional, but I think you’ll enjoy the extra punch of flavor from the cheese on top. Instead of garlic, mix in a diced ripe avocado before serving. Boom! A creamy contrast that takes this salad to the next level. Make it your own!
- Persian or English cucumbers. I like these varieties because they have a thin peel and few seeds
- Red onion or thinly sliced white onion
- Roma tomatoes or any ripe tomato or sweet cherry tomatoes
- Fresh limes. Lemons and lemon juice will work in a pinch but have a different flavor
- Olive oil. Just a little to add richness
- Green onions for color and zip
- Kosher salt. I always use Morton kosher salt unless otherwise specified
- Ground chile de arbol or morita powder, guajillo powder, pasilla chile powder, ancho chili powder, chipotle powder, Tajín or even red pepper flakes in a pinch
- Red bell peppers or thin slices of jalapeño or serrano chile if you’d like more heat
- Dried Mexican oregano or regular Mediterranean oregano
- Fresh mint or parsley or cilantro
How To Make This Recipe (Step-by-Step Instructions with Pictures)
Score the cucumbers. Start by scoring the cucumbers. Run a fork down the sides of each cucumber creating a scratched surface. This is an optional step but a little trick I learned from my friend Sylvia and makes the dressing soak nicely into the cucumbers.
Salt the veggies. The next step is also optional but if you have the time, I highly recommend salting the veggies. This will draw out some of their water and intensify their flavor.
Thinly slice the cucumber and place in a large bowl. Add the red onion and tomato and toss everything with the salt. Let sit while you prepare the remaining salad ingredients (about 10-30 minutes).
Strain. Pour the vegetables into a colander and drain out any liquid. Do not rinse. Transfer to a large serving bowl.
Mix. Add remaining ingredients and toss. Taste and add a pinch of salt if needed or sprinkle with more chili powder if the spice level needs adjusted.
Serve. Spoon the Mexican cucumber recipe into small bowls and serve or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
What To Serve With This Mexican Cucumber Recipe
- Red Wine and Garlic Marinated London Broil
- Carne Picada (Slow Cooked Chopped Beef)
- Authentic Chile Relleno
- Shredded Beef Tacos
- Classic Grilled Steak Fajitas
- Cilantro Garlic Pork Chops
- Instant Pot Pork Carnitas
- Instant Pot Barbacoa
- Salsa Verde Chicken Tacos
- Mushroom and Cheese Enchiladas
- Authentic Cuban Ropa Vieja
Top 5 Most Popular Mexican Snack Recipes
- Mexican Cheese Board
- Tomatillo Avocado Salsa
- Mexican Chicharrones Chips
- Fruit with Chamoy Sauce
- Simple and Quick Champurrado
Fall In Love With This Mexican Cucumber Salad
The fresh, crunchy texture and savory flavors are simply irresistible! Let me know when you make it by snapping a pic and tagging me on Instagram @holajalapeno and #holajalapeno so I can see or leave me a comment below (don’t forget to leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ recipe rating) ! Also, sign up for my weekly newsletter, lots of good stuff there too!
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