Smashed Cucumber Salad with Feta-Dill Dressing

5 from 17 votes
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Smashed Cucumber Salad with Feta-Dill Dressing and Pistachios leans on minimal ingredients with big flavor. This fresh, simple side dish is delicious served with burgers, sandwiches, or anything hot off the grill.Smashed cucumber salad with feta dressing and pistachios in a wooden serving bowl

Crisp, fresh, and flavorful: the trifecta of summer salads.

Cucumbers often take a supporting role in salads, such as in this Avocado and Cucumber Salad with Sumac Shallots. However, this recipe proves that they have some serious star role potential.

Smashing cucumbers helps break down their flesh, creating little nooks and crannies for the dressing to steep into. It’s a genius way to elevate classic cucumber salads and really enhance their flavor.

Plus, since the flavor of cucumbers is so mild, they pair well with an array of dishes, like these Salmon Burgers or these Greek Shrimp Skewers.

No matter what else ends up on the table, this smashed cucumber salad will be right on trend.

How to Make a Smashed Cucumber Salad

With six ingredients and only basic kitchen equipment needed to prepare this dish, this smashed cucumber salad is the perfect potluck recipe.

It’s also the ideal salad to prepare as a last minute side for easy weekday meals.

The IngredientsRecipe ingredients in separate bowls on a work surface

  • Cucumbers: You can use any type of cucumber in this salad, however I prefer English or Persian because they’re seedless. English are also called hot-house cucumbers, and they’re long and thin with dark green skin.
    • If you use garden cucumbers, it’s best to remove the seeds.
  • Feta Cheese: I prefer using a block of feta cheese over crumbled because it’s easier to mash. If you’re not a fan of feta cheese, you can use cottage cheese or Greek yogurt instead. 
  • Lemon Juice: Fresh lemon juice cuts through the richness of the cheese and adds brightness to the dressing.
  • Olive Oil: Use a good quality extra-virgin olive oil here. Ideally one that’s not too grassy and bitter.
  • Dill: I love pairing fresh cucumbers and dill for classic dill pickle flavor. If you’re not a fan of the herb, you can swap it for chives, parsley, or a mix of the two with fresh tarragon.
  • Pistachios: Look for roasted, salted pistachios for richer, bolder flavor. Alternatively, you can use toasted pine nuts.

Smashed cucumbers, feta dressing, herbs, and pistachios in a wooden serving bowl

The Directions

Step 1: Smash the Cucumbers

  1. Slice the cucumbers crosswise into 4-inch long pieces. Cut each piece in half lengthwise.
  2. Place each piece of cucumber cut side-down on a work surface.
  3. Lay the blade of a chef’s knife flat on top of the cucumber and lightly smash down using your fist or the palm of your hand. The skin will begin to crack, and the flesh will break down.
  4. Break or slice diagonally into bite-size pieces, and transfer to a bowl.
  5. Season cucumbers with salt.

Step 2: Prepare Feta-Dill Dressing

Place feta in a separate bowl and use a fork to thoroughly mash. Mix in extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice, and cracked black pepper.Feta cheese, olive oil, and lemon juice being mixed in a bowl

Step 3: Combine all Ingredients

Add feta dressing to the bowl with cucumbers, along with pistachios and fresh dill. Toss to combine, and garnish with extra herbs, cracked black pepper, and/or a drizzle of olive oil, if desired. Serve immediately.Cucumbers being mixed with feta dressing, dill, and pistachios

FAQs and Expert Tips

Why Do You Smash Cucumber?

Smashing cucumber helps break open the fresh, creating little nooks and crannies for dressing to steep into. This helps create a more flavorful, texturally-pleasing cucumber salad.

What Goes with Smashed Cucumber Salad?

Smashed cucumber salad is best served with burgers, sandwiches, or anything hot off the grill. Here are a few of my favorie pairings:

Make-Ahead and Storage Tips:

  • Make-Ahead: You can smash, slice, and salt the cucumbers up to 1 hour ahead. Just make sure to drain them before mixing in the dressing, as they will expel water.
  • Store: This salad is best enjoyed fresh, however if you plan on making it advance, take the time to salt and drain the cucumbers first. This will help prevent the salad from becoming too watery.

A serving spoon taking a portion of smashed cucumber salad

More Cucumber Salad Recipes to Try:

Cucumber Avocado Salad

Cucumber Sesame Salad with Garlic-Chili Oil

If you give this recipe a try, be sure to snap a pic and tag #dishingouthealth on Instagram so I can see your creations. Also, follow along on Facebook and Pinterest for the latest recipe updates!

5 from 17 votes

Smashed Cucumber Salad with Feta-Dill Dressing and Pistachios

Smashed Cucumber Salad with Feta-Dill Dressing and Pistachios leans on minimal ingredients with big flavor. This fresh, simple side dish is delicious served with burgers, sandwiches, or anything hot off the grill.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4

Equipment

  • Chef's knife
  • Mixing bowls

Ingredients  

  • 1 lb. English cucumbers
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 4 oz. feta cheese
  • 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for garnish
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped roasted pistachios (sub pine nuts)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh dill
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Instructions 

  • Slice the cucumbers crosswise into 4-inch long pieces. Cut each piece in half lengthwise. Place each piece of cucumber cut side-down on a work surface. Lay the blade of a chef's knife flat on top of the cucumber and lightly smash down using your fist or the palm of your hand. The skin will begin to crack, and the flesh will break down. Break or slice diagonally into bite-size pieces, and transfer to a bowl. Season cucumbers with salt.
  • Place feta in a separate bowl and use a fork to thoroughly mash. Mix in extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice, and cracked black pepper.
  • Add feta dressing to the bowl with cucumbers, along with pistachios and fresh dill. Toss to combine, and garnish with extra dill, cracked black pepper, and/or a drizzle of olive oil, if desired. Serve immediately.

Notes

  • Make-Ahead: You can smash, slice, and salt the cucumbers up to 1 hour ahead. Just make sure to drain them before mixing in the dressing, as they will expel water.
  • Store: This salad is best enjoyed fresh, however if you plan on making it advance, take the time to salt and drain the cucumbers first. This will help prevent the salad from becoming too watery.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.25cups | Calories: 220kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 17.5g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 610mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g

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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20 Comments

  1. Sarah Good says:

    5 stars
    We love this salad. I use basil because I do not have Dill.

  2. Jessa says:

    5 stars
    Wow! This achieved instant favorite status for myself and my husband. Already planning on making it again later this week.

  3. Antonia says:

    5 stars
    It’s supposed to be in the 90s already this week, so I was looking for a no cook easy lunch. I used your recipe as a base, but added thinly sliced red onion & drained & rinsed chickpeas just to give it a little more to turn into a meal. It’s so good! Will definitely be a summer staple.