This Cucumber Salad Recipe is loaded with fresh cucumbers, zesty pickles, and crunchy summer vegetables, perfect for upcoming summer salad recipes. A must-try recipe for cucumber salad with tangy bites of sweet pickle chips and crunchy fresh veggies. This homemade salad dressing will shock you!

zesty cucumber salad recipe with pickles

Cucumber salad recipes are one of the best ways to use up fresh cukes! Try some of our best salad recipes using cucumbers like this Creamy Cucumber Tomato Salad, or Tomato and Avocado Cucumber Salad with Vinegar. Other cucumber recipes to try are these Cucumber Sandwiches with deli meat!

Cucumber Salad

My sister Esther made this zesty cucumber side dish for a Plov dinner and it turned out to be a hit within the family! The secret to this cucumber salad is in the vinegar brine from the pickles that happens to be the base for this salad dressing! It’s like a zesty Italian salad recipe with a sweet and sour tang and then loaded with fresh cucumbers and veggies to balance everything out! You’ll love this flavorful dish!

This quickly became a favorite go-to salad recipe for my other sister too, who got raves after serving this zesty pickle salad! Someone has even commented, on how exotic it was! Inna has mentioned how you can make-head this salad the night before and toss it with the pickles and dressing the next day.

cucumber salad with pickles and fresh vegetables

This cucumber salad pairs perfectly with a Beef Rice Pilaf or Creamy Mashed Potatoes! It’s one of those easy salad recipes you can pull together in minutes and is one of those cucumber salad recipes to be a hit at gatherings or potlucks! It goes to almost any main dish (Grilled Chicken, Polish Dumplings, or Baked Fish) and can keep for days after making (kind of like a marinated salad.) However, it stays crunchiest made fresh.

Zesty Cucumber Salad Ingredients

Cucumber salad with pickles is loaded with fresh vegetables and tangy pickles (more cucumbers:) It’s naturally gluten-free and is best with fresh crisp cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, sweet mini bell peppers, green onions, and bread and butter pickles. My family insists it has to be Mt. Olive bread and butter chips because the brine is perfectly seasoned, as other brands can be too sweet.

ingredients for zesty cucumber salad

  • Pickles- this cucumber pickle salad is best with Mt. Olive, old-fashioned Sweet, bread, and butter chips. Some generic brands can be too sweet or not zesty enough. This jar of pickles is what the family goes by.
  • Mini Bell Peppers- thinly slice the mini bell peppers into rings about the thickness of the pickles, so, it doesn’t overpower the vegetables. My sister is not fond of bell peppers in salads but loves it here.
  • Fresh Cucumbers- use crunchy small cucumbers like a bag of Mini cukes or Persian cucumbers. They are best sliced to the thickness of the pickles.
  • Cherry Tomatoes- grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes should be halved.
  • Green Onions- Use one large bunch of fresh green onions for this cucumber salad.
  • Salad Dressing- the brine has most of the seasoning, you just need to dress it up with sunflower oil, fresh garlic, dried garlic, garlic salt, onion flakes, a touch of sugar, and black pepper for a robust salad dressing.

Cucumber Salad Dressing

The simple brine, salad oil, and garlic make this salad dressing robust and zesty along with dried seasonings. Make sure you strain the pickles from the brine first, then I like to pick off the whole mustard seeds, which only takes minutes to do. This cucumber salad dressing is so easy and flavorful you may want to sneak it into other salad recipes or even use it as a chicken marinade!

It’s a zesty cucumber dressing that requires a generous amount of garlic to make a robust and zesty dressing. You’ll need all the juice of the pickles (brine), fresh garlic, dried garlic, sunflower oil, and some simple spices including, sugar, black pepper, garlic salt, and onion flakes. My sisters also add fresh or dried dill.

How To Make Cucumber Salad:

For gatherings or dinner parties, arrange all of the salad ingredients except for the pickles and salad dressing onto a large platter or salad bowl. This makes a beautiful presentation and then you add the dressing and toss it together before serving. This keeps the salad crisp and crunchy.

  1. Drain the Pickles: and reserve the brine for the salad dressing. You can prep the pickles by removing the coarse mustard seeds and transferring them to a bowl.
  2. Prep Cucumbers and Veggies: chop and arrange into a salad bowl along with the pickles if you are serving right away.
  3. Make the Pickle and Cucumber Salad Dressing: by whisking together all of the salad dressing ingredients until emulsified. Drizzle over the salad and toss to combine.

What To Serve Pickle and Cucumber Salad With: 

Cucumbers or pickles are the perfect summer snack! What better way to dress it up with in-season veggies and a quick salad dressing that’s frugal and simple. Here are some creative ways to serve this fresh and tart cucumber salad!

Q&A

What Pickles Should I Use?

This cucumber pickle salad is best with Mt. Olive Old-fashioned bread and butter chips. The brine is perfectly sweet and tart to begin with and then seasoned to a Zesty and Robust salad dressing. We highly recommend this brand of pickles to start with as it has been tested and proven to be the best by the family.

Best Cucumbers for Cucumber Salad?

Crunchy cucumbers are the top choice for this salad. They are small and crunchy and result in a refreshing salad. You can find mini cucumbers in clear pouches at the grocery store and they sometimes go by Persian cucumbers or mini cukes.

How To Cut Cucumbers?

The key to cutting cucumbers is to use a sharp serrated tomato knife or table knife. This helps to easily grip the cucumbers and the sharp blade doesn’t slip on smooth veggies when slicing. Then slice across the cucumbers to make thin slices about 1/8″ slices.

Can I Make Ahead?

Whether you’re assembling this cucumber salad for a party or meal prep, you can easily arrange all the ingredients except for the pickles and dressing into a platter until needed. The dressing and pickles can then be added before serving. 

  • For a crisp salad toss the dressing with the veggies and pickles before serving. 
  • You can prep and refrigerate this salad 3 days in advance except for the pickles and dressing, which are best added fresh. 
  • To better marinate the salad dressing make the dressing in advance and store it in an air-tight container. You can keep the pickles stored separately from the salad until serving.  
  • Add the dressing before serving as the sweet and salty dressing can wilt the cucumbers quickly. 

What Salad Oil Can I Use For This Recipe?

My family and relatives go with sunflower oil, however, you can use any mildly flavored oil here. Sunflower oil is a healthy option and is rated the best for this fresh salad. You want a cooking oil that is not overpowering. Another healthy oil that I like to use is avocado oil which is very mild in fragrant.  

How To Store?

This cucumber salad can be stored prepped and ready to serve or when it’s leftover. To retain a crunchy cucumber salad keep the dressing separately from the veggies mixture and coat it in the dressing with the pickles before serving. Cucumber salad will not freeze well once tossed with the vinegar-based dressing.

This pickle and cucumber salad is best served fresh for a crunchy salad or keeps well after it’s been tossed in the dressing as a marinated salad. The only difference is that the cucumbers wilt however, it seems, to-get-better in flavor as it sits. 

More Salad Recipes To Try: 

Tips for Making Cucumber Salad:

  1. Thinly slicing the veggies is key to making this salad. Use a sharp serrated knife to get a good grip on your veggies and it makes slicing easier. I love tomato and table knives with a serrated blade they work the best for slicing veggies and it hardly slips.
  2. Use the pre-sliced bread and butter chips.
  3. Small cucumbers are the crunchiest! Use the small cukes, Persian cucumbers, pickling cucumbers, or cut a long English cucumber cut in half lengthwise.
  4. Using a mandoline slicer can help you save time for slicing all the veggies evenly.
  5. To make ahead salad, prep the pickles and dressing separately from the arranged veggies and keep it in the fridge until the next day. My sister likes to halve the grape or cherry tomatoes the day of, but that’s optional. 
  6. Garnish the salad with a handful of fresh dill or add a tablespoon of dried dill for superb flavor!
  7. Need fall salad recipes? This cucumber pickle salad has easily available ingredients all year round! 
  8. This recipe is best served right away if you want to retain the crunchy cucumbers, however, I like it way better marinated in the dressing (leftovers) days after. It’s almost like eating pickled cucumbers that have been marinated well and so full of flavor plus it’s super cold and refreshing for the hot summer days. 

More Cucumber Recipes: 

Check out these recipes for a cucumber salad!

How To Make Zesty Cucumber Salad: 

Zesty Cucumber Salad Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 12 cups
Author: Alyona Demyanchuk
This Cucumber Salad Recipe is loaded with fresh cucumbers, zesty pickles, and crunchy summer vegetables, perfect for upcoming summer salad recipes. A must-try recipe for cucumber salad with tangy bites of sweet pickle chips and crunchy fresh veggies. This homemade salad dressing will shock you!

Equipment

  • 1 large salad bowl or mixing bowl
  • 1 kitchen tongs
  • 1 2-cup measuring cup
  • 1 Wire Whisk

Ingredients

Cucumber Salad Ingredients:

  • 24 oz bread and butter chips (Mt.Olive brand with the pickle juice)
  • 16 oz mini cucumbers (sliced into rings)
  • 16 oz mini bell peppers (thinly sliced into rings)
  • 2 pints of cherry tomatoes (halved)
  • 1 bunch of green onions (sliced thinly)
  • 1 handful of fresh dill for garnish (or 1 Tbsp of dried dill)

Zesty Cucumber Salad Dressing:

  • 4 cloves of garlic (crushed)
  • 1 1/3 cups of the pickle juice from the jar (all the juice from the pickles)
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup sunflower oil
  • 2 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/2 Tbsp onion flakes

Instructions

Directions:

  • strain pickles from pickle juice
    Strain the juice from the pickles and set it aside. Brush off any mustard seeds from the pickles and arrange them in a salad bowl.
  • Prep the remaining salad ingredients into the bowl: sliced cucumbers, sliced mini bell peppers, halved cherry tomatoes, and sliced green onions.
  • Combine all the Cucumber salad ingredients into a large measuring cup and whisk to combine.
  • Pour all the dressing over the prepped salad ingredients and toss to combine. Serve.

Notes

  • Serving Size: This salad serves a crowd of 16 people or makes around 12 cups of salad. 
  • To Make-Ahead: prep and arrange all the salad ingredients into a large salad bowl except for the pickles and dressing. Keep refrigerated, covered until needed then toss with the dressing and pickles before serving.  

Nutrition per serving

Serving: 1cupSodium: 954mgCalcium: 52mgVitamin C: 70mgVitamin A: 1720IUSugar: 5gFiber: 2gPotassium: 388mgCalories: 94kcalMonounsaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gFat: 7gProtein: 2gCarbohydrates: 9gIron: 1mg

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6 comments

    • Thompson

    Awesome!

    • Anonymous

    Wow! This salad sounds delicious! I definitely have to try this and it looks so beautiful with all the pop of colors!

    • Anna

    This salad was unique with its first bite! Everyone was asking for the recipe when we were at your sisters house so this was a much awaited post! Thank you! Definitely will be using this when I have company or parties.

      • Alyona

      You’re very welcome:) Happy to share good recipes:)

    • Galina Molchanovich

    This Salad recipe is so so delicious!!! Crunchy Zesty Salad, Perfect for Summer or any Party!!!
    Will go with any dish!!! Pickles give a great zesty twist!!!
    I would highly recommend to try making it!!!

      • Alyona

      Thank you for the wonderful feedback, Galina!

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