This creamy cucumber salad recipe with an easy dressing is full of healthy ingredients like Greek yogurt, miso paste, dill and olive oil. It's simple but very satisfying!
As far as I'm concerned this is one of the best cucumber salads! It's creamy, extra healthy and full of umami flavor. It's made with just a handful of ingredients like cucumbers, onion, yogurt, miso, olive oil and dill.
Yogurt is a healthier substitute for sour cream or mayo because it has much less fat and more protein and it pairs amazingly well with the freshness of the cucumbers. To add another level of taste, it is combined with some miso paste which gives character to the salad and also cuts down some of the tartness of the yogurt.
When you read the ingredient list at the end of this post, you'll see that this salad is suitable for anyone following a gluten-free or a low-carb or a keto diet. If you want to make it vegan, you can replace the Greek yogurt with a vegan yogurt or even make your own homemade vegan Greek yogurt (recipe from darngoodveggies.com). Just make sure to strain the vegan yogurt very well to make it thick and get rid off the excess moisture.
When I was younger I didn't really like the taste of yogurt because I found it tart. The only way I could eat it was if I added honey to it, something that later led me to make this yogurt cream with granola and poached mini apples and more recently this delicious Greek yogurt parfait with honey and fruits.
As I was trying to incorporate more Greek yogurt in my diet (because of the protein and the many health benefits from the probiotics) I found out that adding salt to it, can cut down its' sourness (probably, that's why I LOVE this homemade Labneh, a Mediterranean cream cheese made from yogurt and some salt). And the same goes with any other salty ingredient like miso paste.
How to make cucumber salad
- Slice the cucumbers, add a pinch of salt and transfer them to colander/strainer for 15-20 minutes to drain (this is optional but it helps to remove some of the moisture which can make your salad watery).
- Transfer the cucumbers and the rest of the ingredients to a salad bowl.
- Mix the ingredients for the yogurt and miso dressing in a small bowl.
- Add the dressing to the salad and mix to combine. Serve!
Why is your cucumber salad watery?
This happens because every vegetable releases its water content once it's cut. To prevent your salad from becoming watery you should remove as much liquid as possible from the cucumbers. The easy way to do it is by adding some salt to them and letting them strain in a colander or strainer for 15-20 minutes.
Using Greek strained yogurt (which is thicker than normal yogurt) also helps to keep the salad creamy and not watery.
Should you peel cucumbers for a salad?
This comes down to your personal preference. Some cucumber varieties tend to have a bitter skin (usually these are the larger varieties) so peeling the skin is preferred. The best advice I can give you is to taste a slice and if the skin seems too hard or bitter, then it’s best to peel it.
Also, if the cucumber is too thick and large it will probably have big seeds in the middle. If you don't like the seeds, cut it lengthwise and scrape them out with a small spoon. Then, slice each half as you would normally do with the whole cucumber.
Is it better to eat cucumbers with or without the skin? Like most of vegetables and fruits the majority of their nutrients are found in their skin. Peeling them reduces the amount of fiber, as well as certain vitamins and minerals. So, for an even healthier salad, leave the skin on!
How to mix miso paste with Greek yogurt for the dressing
Different miso varieties have different color, saltiness, taste and texture. Usually, darker varieties have stronger taste, they' re more salty and thicker. If you're not familiar with miso, start with a light colored variety because it's milder in taste.
Because miso it thicker than yogurt, if you add it to the whole amount of yogurt it will never be completely mixed and homogenized. Instead, you'll have to first mix it with just a small quantity of yogurt (about 1 tablespoon) and then gradually add the rest. Once everything is mixed and well-combined, taste and add more salt if needed.
For more information about miso you can read this article about miso types and usages.
What else you can add to this creamy cucumber salad
These are just some suggestions, feel free to use your taste and your imagination!
- Parsley, tarragon, celery, cilantro or even mint
- Sliced olives
- Green onions or chives
- Sliced radishes
- Sesame seeds
- Sliced chilies
Creamy cucumber salad (yogurt + miso dressing)
For the salad:
- 3-4 Persian cucumbers (a little more than 1 pound / 500 grams)
- ½ -1 red onion, thinly sliced or chopped
- ½ cup chopped fresh dill
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
For the creamy Yogurt-miso dressing:
- ¾ cups Greek strained yogurt, 2% fat
- 1-2 tablespoons miso paste (see notes)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder, optional
- salt to taste
- Prepare the cucumbers: Slice the cucumbers, add a pinch of salt, mix and transfer them in a colander for 15-20 minutes to drain (this is optional but it removes some of the water that can make the salad watery).
- Mix the salad ingredients: Transfer the cucumbers, the onion, the dill and the oregano to a salad bowl.
- Make the dressing: In another bowl add the miso paste and one tablespoon of the yogurt. Mix well with a spoon until homogenized and smooth. Gradually, add the rest of the yogurt until well combined. Add the olive oil, the vinegar and the garlic powder (if using) and mix well. Taste and adjust the vinegar and the salt.
- Make the salad: Spoon the dressing over the salad and mix with a spoon. Serve.
- The quantity of the miso paste you'll need depends on the type of miso and your own taste. Different types have stronger or milder flavor and are more or less salty. Start with 1 tablespoon and add more after tasting it. If you're new to miso it's best to chose a white or red variety. Dark miso paste has stronger flavor.
- Not all miso paste is gluten-free. If you follow a gluten-free diet make sure you buy a suitable miso.
- Regular yogurt is not recommended here because the salad can turn out watery.
- You can read more about cucumber varieties in the easy cucumber salad recipe (you can find the link below).
This is a creamy cucumber salad web story
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Very refreshing! I will make it again soon 🙂
That's so nice 🙂
This was really, really tasty, Makos. I used the red wine vinegar ( I had both in my cupboard but I had an excess of red wine vinegar because we have it in Panzanella - - - [Idon't know if I spelt that right?]. I use miso mainly in soups and stews and the advice on the type to use was handy. I have found that red miso is not to everybody's taste. 🙂 Caz.
That's great Caz!
I happen to like the funky taste of red Miso, but still find the dark variety a little weird-tasting, especially if I use too much 🙂