This creamy cucumber salad is fresh, tasty, low carb, and is a great side dish to BBQ or other grilled summer meals or picnics.
Here in the South, the summer days are long, hot, and humid. We look for ways to refresh ourselves and eat more lightly than in the winter…well, mostly anyway. Summer is the time to enjoy delicious veggie, meat, pasta, and fruit salads of all kinds and flavors.
Taking fresh garden vegetables and incorporating them into tasty salads is a given in my “neck of the woods”. Cucumbers are one of the veggies that is a shoe-in for an appetizing, fresh salad that is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.
Combine the fresh goodness of garden cucumbers with a creamy, smooth dressing and you have a salad that will “beat the heat” and deliver on taste.
How to make a cream cucumber salad that’s low carb to boot!
Who says you can’t eat well and maintain a diet?? Well, maybe a lot of Southerners would find that difficult with all the caloric and hearty meals prepared down this way. But….you can actually have your dressing and eat your salad too with this salad!
This recipe is “keto” and “low carb” friendly. Most of the ingredients have no or are low in carbs. So while eaten for its mouthwatering taste, you can enjoy it and not worry about an overload of carbs. A win-win!!
Does it matter if the dill is fresh or dried?
This recipe calls for fresh dill because it adds an aromatic flavor to the salad. Most people would agree that it isn’t best to substitute dried dill for fresh. Fresh dill weed is far more flavorful and easily available year round in most supermarkets.
In the summer, you could easily use dill from your own herb garden or purchase from a fresh market. Either way, most foodies prefer fresh over dried. If you have other herbs on hand, you could substitute tarragon or fennel fronds, which look a lot like dill.
In a pinch, you could use dried dill using a conversion ration of 3 teaspoons of fresh to 1 teaspoon of dried. This is a general rule of thumb and will depend how long you have stored your dill or how long it might have been open.
Should you peel the skin off the cucumbers?
The dark green color of the skins add to the overall look of the salad. The darker green plays well with the vibrant colors of the red peppers and tomatoes.
The skin of English cucumbers are thinner than slicing cucumbers and therefore don’t need to be peeled. So unless you prefer, leave the peeling on for more taste and nutritional value.
The skin of a regular cucumber is slightly tough and a little bitter, but is fine to eat. If you prefer not to eat the skin, use a vegetable peeler to slice the skin off in long, shallow horizontal strips.
A side benefit of making the salad with the peel on is that it is one of the most nutrient-dense parts of the cucumber, along with the seeds. Great for fiber and beta-carotene. Cucumber also do not have cholesterol…another plus!
While peeling the cucumbers will lower the calories and decrease some of the carbs and protein, you will lose out on some of the vitamin and mineral content.
What are the possible substitutions for this cucumber salad?
If you are really super conscious of your calorie and carb count, you can substitute sugar-free mayo for the richer, fattier regular mayonnaise. You could also use 1 teaspoon powdered erythritol in place of the sugar or select another sugar substitute. You might have to play with the amounts to get the taste you desire.
This recipe calls for English cucumbers. They are long, narrow and are sold wrapped in plastic to protect their thinner skin. English cucumbers have seeds but they’re just smaller and thinner than regular cucumber seeds. So you can chew right through them.
If you can’t locate English cucumbers who can substitute a common cucumber. The English variety is typically sweeter than the regular cucumber which has large seeds, giving it a more bitter flavor.
- 2 English cucumbers, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 2 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
- ½ small red onion, diced
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons white vinegar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon freshly snipped dill
- In a small bowl or jar, whisk (or shake) together the ingredients for the dressing until its well mixed. Set aside to be poured into salad later.
- In a large mixing bowl, toss together all the vegetables until they are well mixed.
- Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss to coat and spread evenly.
- Serve immediately or refrigerate overnight.
Creamy Cucumber Salad
- 2 each English cucumbers diced
- 1 each red bell pepper seeded and diced
- 2 each plum tomatoes seeded and diced
- 1/2 each small red onion diced
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 tsp white vinegar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp dill freshly snipped
- In a bowl or jar, whisk (or shake) together the ingredients for the dressing. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, toss together the vegetables.
- Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss to coat.
- Serve immediately or refrigerate overnight.