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Apple cucumber salad is vibrant, crunchy, delicious, and nutritious – combining crisp apple and crunchy cucumber in a bright, tangy lemon-based dressing. A quick & simple summery salad ready in minutes!

completed Apple Cucumber Salad in a bowl
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Fresh and Crunchy Apple Cucumber Salad

Looking for a quick, easy, healthy, and delicious salad you can whip up in no time at all this summer? Look no further than this light and refreshing apple and cucumber salad. It’s crisp and crunchy and can be thrown together with just a handful of ingredients in 10 minutes.

Combining hydrating cucumber and apple in a bright citrus and herb dressing, this cold cucumber salad not only tastes great but is naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, and Whole30. It’s perfect as an appetizer or side at Summer-to-Fall BBQs, picnics, potlucks, and other gatherings.

While simple, this salad is loaded with fiber, several vitamins and minerals (like vitamin C and vitamin A), and antioxidants. Plus, you can boost this versatile cucumber apple salad even more with other veggies and ingredients in your kitchen (keep reading for all the best add-ins).

Looking for more simple side salads? You might also like spicy cucumber salad, radish cucumber salad, marinated cucumber dill salad, or green bean salad.

The Ingredients and Substitutes

ingredients for Apple Cucumber Salad measured out

You could also make apple cider vinegar cucumber salad with 100% vinegar or a mix of vinegar and lemon juice.

Optional add-ins & Recipe Variations

Simple cucumber and apple salad recipe is incredibly adaptable, including with:

  • Sweetener: You can balance the acidity of the lemon with sugar, agave, maple syrup, vegan honey, or a sugar alternative.
  • Olive oil: Add a spoonful or two of extra-virgin olive oil for a silkier mouthfeel.
  • Creamy cucumber salad: Swap out some or all water with vegan Greek yogurt.
  • Dijon mustard: Just a little for tangy depth and a touch of heat.
  • Other fruit: Add color, texture, and flavor with blueberries, mango, and/or pomegranate.
  • Avocado: Dice and coat the avocado in the lemon dressing to avoid browning, and add heart-healthy fats, creaminess, and plenty of antioxidants. Check out this avocado guide to learn more!
  • Other vegetables: Add extra texture, color, and nutrients with:
    • Carrot (shredded or matchsticks)
    • Radish (thinly sliced)
    • Fennel (thinly sliced – for crunch and anise flavor)
    • Onion (finely sliced half-moons – red, white, yellow, or shallot)
    • Lettuce (iceberg or romaine lettuce)
  • Grains: Make a heartier, more filling chopped cucumber salad with cooked quinoa (guide to quinoa), couscous, bulgur, wild rice, etc.
  • Nuts/seeds: Add extra crunch to this simple apple cucumber recipe with raw or toasted walnuts, almonds, pepitas, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, etc.

How to Make Apple and Cucumber Salad

process shot showing cutting apples on cutting board
process shot showing adding lemon juice to apples

Step 1: First, use a sharp knife (or mandoline) to slice then dice the cucumber into bite-sized pieces. Then, core and dice the apple, too.

Step 2: Add the diced apples to a medium, lidded container and add the lemon juice, giving it a good mix or shake to thoroughly coat the apple (this prevents browning). Add the cucumber, mix, and set it aside in the refrigerator for now.

ingredients in a bowl
process shot of adding dressing ingredients to bowl

Step 3: Meanwhile, combine the water, lemon zest, mint (minced), and salt in a small, lidded jar.

Step 4: Add the dressing to the salad and give it a gentle stir/shake to mx.

process shot of mixing ingredients together in bowl

Step 5: Return the apple cucumber salad to the refrigerator for at least an hour (or overnight for even better flavor) to marinate. Enjoy!

Enjoy this refreshing salad as an appetizer, starter, or side alongside your favorite vegan proteins, vegan burgers, plant-based pizza, pasta, and more.

FAQs

Do I need to peel the cucumbers?

I like to keep the cucumber peel on as it adds extra crunch. However, peel the cucumbers if preferred.

Can I make cucumber apple salad in advance?

Cold cucumber salad isn’t great to make too far in advance since it becomes watery, and the apples brown. However, it’s best to prepare it at least an hour (or even overnight) in advance to allow the flavors to meld.

To avoid sogginess, store the lemon-coated apples and chopped cucumber separately for up to 2 days, then combine the ingredients with the dressing an hour before serving.

Pro Recipe Tips

  • If your cucumber is very seedy: Slice it in half and scoop out the seeds with a spoon, then continue to slice and dice the cucumber.
  • Adjust the texture: To produce different texture, dice, slice, julienne, or ribbon the ingredients.
  • To avoid browning apples: Make sure to thoroughly coat the chopped apple with the lemon juice.
  • Leave it to marinate: That way, the flavors have time to meld.
completed Apple Cucumber Salad in a bowl

Storage Instructions

Once prepared, store the apple cucumber salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, though it’s freshest and crunchiest within the first two days.

For extra freshness, add a few extra fresh slices of cucumber before serving.

Apple Cucumber Salad in storage container

Apple Cucumber Salad

Prep: 10 minutes
Total: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 2 -4
Apple cucumber salad is vibrant, crunchy, delicious, and nutritious – combining crisp apple and crunchy cucumber in a bright, tangy lemon-based dressing. A quick & simple summery salad ready in minutes!

Ingredients 

  • 2 large apples of your choice, cored and diced
  • 3 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 1 English cucumber, diced
  • 2 ½ tablespoons of water
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh mint, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon zest
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt, plus more to taste

Instructions 

  • To a medium-sized airtight container with a lid, add the diced apples and the lemon juice. Cover with the lid and give it a good shake to coat all of the apples with the lemon juice. This will prevent the apples from browning. Add the cucumbers and set aside in the refrigerator.
  • In a small jar with a lid, add the water, mint, lemon zest, and salt. Add the dressing to the salad. Cover the salad with the lid and give it a few gentle shakes to mix in the dressing.
  • Place the salad in the refrigerator for at least one hour or overnight for an even more flavorful and refreshing salad.

Notes

  • If your cucumber is very seedy: Slice it in half and scoop out the seeds with a spoon, then continue to slice and dice the cucumber.
  • Adjust the texture: To produce different texture, dice, slice, julienne, or ribbon the ingredients.
  • To avoid browning apples: Make sure to thoroughly coat the chopped apple with the lemon juice.
  • Leave it to marinate: That way, the flavors have time to meld.

Nutrition

Calories: 147kcalCarbohydrates: 39gProtein: 2gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0.1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.2gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.03gSodium: 298mgPotassium: 506mgFiber: 7gSugar: 26gVitamin A: 390IUVitamin C: 28mgCalcium: 51mgIron: 1mg

Disclaimer: Although plantbasedonabudget.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, kindly note that these are only estimates. Nutritional information may be affected based on the product type, the brand that was purchased, and in other unforeseeable ways. Plantbasedonabudget.com will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information. If you need to follow a specific caloric regimen, please consult your doctor first.

Additional Info

Author: Toni Okamoto
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Method: No cook
Diet: Vegan
Tried this recipe?Please tag us at @PlantBasedOnABudget! 🙂
About

Toni Okamoto

“They say you are what you eat, so I strive to be healthy.
My goal in life is not to be rich or wealthy,
‘Cause true wealth comes from good health and wise ways…
we got to start taking better care of ourselves ” – Dead Prez

More about Toni Okamoto

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