Cucumber Avocado Salad

5 from 4 votes
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Cucumber Avocado Salad with sumac-marinated shallots, toasted sesame seeds, and fresh dill. This easy cucumber salad comes together in just 20 minutes and is both vegan and gluten free. Enjoy as a refreshing side dish for all your warmer weather meals.Cucumber and avocado salad topped with shallots, dill, and sesame seeds on a platter

Why You’ll Love this Cucumber Avocado Salad

Minimal ingredients + maximum payoff = summer cooking at its finest!

This cucumber salad is cooling, crunchy, and so refreshing. The ingredients couldn’t be simpler, yet they work together to create a spectacular side dish. I’m personally looking forward to enjoying this salad alongside my grilled favorites all summer. 

Cucumber salads are not always the first dish that comes to mind to bring to a cookout (Fiesta Avocado Corn Salad and Summer Squash and Corn Salad have a way of stealing my attention), however I can’t deny their value. Especially amongst a sea of creamy pasta and potato salads, and baked beans, cucumber salads are the palate cleansers we never knew we needed.

This recipe hits all the right notes with its streamlined ingredient lineup. It’s rich in heart-healthy fats, plus offers a decent dose of fiber. It’s the perfect accompaniment to anything hot off the grill, and may even appease the picky eaters at the table!

Recipe Ingredients and SubstitutionsRecipe ingredients in separate bowls on a white board with blue labels

  • Cucumber: This recipe works best with mini cucumbers, English/hot house, or Persian cucumbers. All of these varieties have thin skins, so you don’t need to peel them, and aren’t as watery as American cucumbers. 
  • Avocado: You need one medium ripe avocado for this cucumber avocado salad. You can either thinly slice the avocado, or cut it into the same size cubes as your cucumber.
  • Shallots: Shallots have a delicate and sweet flavor with a hint of sharpness. Alternatively, you can use thinly sliced red onion, which will be a little sharper in flavor, but still delightful. 
  • Sumac: Ah, my most beloved spice! Sumac is tart, lemony, tangy, with almost a tinge of vinegar. You can find sumac in health food stores, such as Whole Foods, or purchase it on Amazon
  • Rice Vinegar: Rice vinegar is a little more delicate than red wine or white wine vinegar. This quality makes it one of my favorite vinegars for dressing raw vegetable salads.
  • Sesame Seeds: It’s important to TOAST the sesame seeds prior to garnishing the salad. Toasting amplifies their rich, nutty flavor, which really elevates the salad.
  • Dill: Cucumber’s perfect partner, dill lends super-fresh flavor. If you’re not a fan of dill, feel free to use parsley or cilantro leaves instead. You can also toss in a handful of mint leaves.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Marinate Shallots

Combine shallots, rice vinegar, sumac, and salt in a small bowl. Massage sumac into shallots, and let sit for a minimum of 20 minutes, or up to 3 hours.Shallots marinating in rice vinegar and sumac in a small bowl

Step 2: Toast Sesame Seeds

Toast sesame seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes, or until lightly browned and aromatic. Stir often and watch closely to make sure they do not burn.

Step 3: Arrange Cucumber and Avocados

Arrange cucumber and avocado chunks on a large plate or serving platter. Season with salt, and lightly drizzle with olive oil.Cucumber and avocado slices arranged on a platter

Step 4: Top Cucumber Avocado Salad with Garnishes

Scatter shallots and residual rice vinegar over cucumber and avocado chunks, and top with sesame seeds and fresh dill. Cucumber avocado salad styled on a tan plate

FAQs and Expert Tips

While this salad is super simple, cucumbers can be a finicky ingredient. Here are the answers to all of your burning cucumber questions!

How do you Keep Cucumber Salad from Getting Watery?

Cucumber salad is best enjoyed fresh, so I suggest making it no more than 2 hours in advance. It’s also helpful to use LESS watery cucumbers, such as mini cucumbers, Persian, or English/Hot House cucumbers. 

Is it Good to Eat the Skin of a Cucumber?

American cucumbers tend to have a waxy skin that is not as enjoyable to eat. While you certainly can still eat it, many people prefer those cucumber peeled.

Mini cucumbers, Persian, and English/Hot House cucumbers, on the other hand, have thinner skins that are easier and more enjoyable to eat. A serving spoon scooping up a portion of salad

What to Serve with Cucumber Salad:

Cucumber Avocado Salad is super versatile, and pairs well with anything hot off the grill. For example, burgers, hot dogs, ribs, chicken, or fish. Here are some of my other favorite pairings:

Make-Ahead and Storage Tips:

  • Make-Ahead: The shallots can be marinated up to 3 hours in advance. You can also chop the cucumbers a few hours ahead, and keep them refrigerated until ready to use.
  • Store: This salad does not hold up super well for leftovers, and is best eaten a few hours after making.

More Easy Summer Salad Recipes:

Fiesta Avocado Corn Salad

Summer Panzanella Salad

Broccoli Salad with Everything Bagel SpiceCucumber and avocado salad topped with sesame seeds and dill

If you give this easy cucumber salad recipe a try, snap a pic and tag #dishingouthealth on Instagram so I can see your beautiful creations. I also really appreciate readers taking the time to leave a rating and review! Lastly, follow along on Facebook and Pinterest for the latest recipe updates.

5 from 4 votes

Cucumber Avocado Salad

Cucumber Avocado Salad with sumac-marinated shallots, toasted sesame seeds, and fresh dill. This easy cucumber salad comes together in just 20 minutes and is both vegan and gluten free. Enjoy as a refreshing side dish for all your warmer weather meals.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6

Equipment

  • Small skillet
  • Mixing bowls

Ingredients  

  • 1 medium shallot, thinly sliced (about 1/3 cup)
  • 3 Tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp. ground sumac
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt, divided
  • 2 scant Tbsp. sesame seeds
  • 1 lb. cucumbers (English/Hot House or Persian, ideally), cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 1 medium ripe avocado, cut into small pieces, or thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup fresh dill, roughly chopped
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Instructions 

  • Combine shallots, rice vinegar, sumac, and 1/4 tsp. salt in a small bowl. Massage sumac into shallots, and let sit for a minimum of 20 minutes, or up to 3 hours.
  • Toast sesame seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes, or until lightly browned and aromatic. Stir often and watch closely to make sure they do not burn. Set aside.
  • Arrange cucumber and avocado chunks on a large plate or serving platter. Season with remaining 3/4 tsp. salt, and drizzle with olive oil. Scatter shallots and residual rice vinegar over cucumber and avocado chunks, and garnish with toasted sesame seeds and fresh dill. 

Notes

Make-Ahead: The shallots can be marinated up to 3 hours in advance. You can also chop the cucumbers a few hours ahead, and keep them refrigerated until ready to use.
Store: This salad does not hold up super well for leftovers, and is best eaten a few hours after making.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.6cup | Calories: 120kcal | Carbohydrates: 6.5g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 0.5g | Sodium: 390mg | Fiber: 2.5g | Sugar: 2g

I calculate these values by hand to ensure accuracy, however expect up to a 10% variable depending on food brands.

If you love this recipe, please leave a star rating and review below!
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Recipe Rating




6 Comments

  1. Katie Quinn says:

    5 stars
    Highly recommend this salad with grilled burgers! It’s the perfect refreshing, crunchy side dish. Absolutely love it.

    1. Jamie Vespa says:

      Sounds perfect, Katie! So thrilled you enjoyed this one. Thank you for leaving a rating and review!

  2. Megan Steiner says:

    5 stars
    Cool, creamy, refreshing – loved it!

    1. Jamie Vespa says:

      Woohoo! So glad you enjoyed this one, Megan! Thanks for taking the time to leave a rating & review!

  3. Danielle says:

    5 stars
    Made this today! Was a hit with my family!

    1. Jamie Vespa says:

      Hi Danielle- I’m so glad the salad was a hit! Thank you for taking the time to leave a review!