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This fresh cucumber salsa (cucumber pico de gallo) is perfect for warm days—it’s bright, crispy, super refreshing, and made in just 15 minutes with crisp cucumbers, zingy onion, spicy chili, zesty lime juice, and fresh herbs!

completed ingredients for Cucumber Salsa [Cucumber Pico de Gallo] added to bowl in a bowl against a white background

Fresh and Delicious 15-Minute Cucumber Salsa

We love dolloping out 5-minute blender salsa over practically everything and turning to classic Pico de Gallo when we want something a little ‘fresher.’ However, for the ultimate cooling, refreshing salsa, this cucumber salsa recipe is a must-try! It really makes the most of the cucumber’s crisp, crunchy texture and cooling abilities.

With familiar, simple, fresh, and inexpensive ingredients like chili, lime juice, chili, onion, and cilantro, this dish comes together in no time and tastes like cucumber Pico de Gallo (with or without tomatoes). It’s also a diet-friendly side dish—gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, paleo, and keto!

Once prepared, this simple cucumber salsa is perfect for serving as a snack with tortilla chips, tacos, grill days, potlucks, Cinco de Mayo, and as a side dish for practically any of your favorite Mexican and Tex-Mex dishes.

The Ingredients

You’ll need just six simple ingredients, plus salt and pepper, to assemble this simple cucumber salsa recipe.

ingredients for Cucumber Salsa [Cucumber Pico de Gallo] measured out against a white surface
  • Cucumber: Use a low-seed cucumber variety like Persian or English cucumber.
  • Red onion: We love the color and bright, sharp flavor of red onion, though yellow onion or shallots will also work.
  • Chile: Select the chile based on your desired heat level. I.e., (mildest to spiciest) poblano, jalapeño, chipotle, serrano, habanero. Alternatively, use red pepper flakes.
  • Olive oil: We prefer extra-virgin olive oil when possible, but a regular mild virgin olive oil will work, too.
  • Cilantro: If you aren’t a fan, flat-leaf parsley will work. You could also add green onion.
  • Lime juice: Use fresh lime juice (add some zest, too, for extra flavor). Lemon juice would also work.
  • Salt & black pepper: Season to taste.

Optional Recipe Add-ins

There are several ways to build up the flavor in this simple salsa recipe with cucumber.

  • Tomatoes: When in season, ripe tomatoes like Roma tomatoes or plum tomatoes (de-seeded and finely chopped) will make delicious cucumber tomato salsa.
  • Bell pepper: Finely diced to add extra crunch.
  • Cumin: Add a pinch and increase to taste for an earthy, savory flavor.
  • Garlic: Fresh minced garlic adds wonderful depth to this cucumber salsa recipe. Start with one clove and increase to taste.  
  • Mango: Check out our recipe for mango cucumber salsa here.
  • Pineapple: Add about ⅓-½ cup of chopped fruit for a delicious, sweet, savory pineapple cucumber salsa.  
  • Avocado: Add ½-1 small avocado to make cucumber avocado salsa with creaminess and heart-healthy fat.  

How to Make Cucumber Salsa?

There are just two steps to preparing this fresh cucumber Pico de Gallo salsa.

  • 1) First, peel and chop the onion, cucumber, and garlic, and de-seed, de-rib, and chop the chili. Also, roughly chop the cilantro.
  • 2) Transfer everything to a large serving bowl and season to taste.

For the best flavor, leave the cucumber salsa to rest for 30-60 minutes for the flavors to meld.

How to Make Ahead and Store?

Allowing the cucumber Pico de Gallo salsa time to meld is best for flavor, so prepare it several hours in advance if you have time.

Any leftovers will store in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days before becoming overly ‘soggy,’ and it won’t freeze well. The flavor will mellow over time, too, so top up lime juice/seasonings if needed.

Ways To Use Cucumber Salsa

We also love serving it at picnics and especially on grill days as a refreshing side.

completed ingredients for Cucumber Salsa [Cucumber Pico de Gallo] added to bowl in a bowl against a white background

Top Recipe Tips and Notes

  • If the cucumbers are seedy: Use a spoon to scoop out the pulpy, seedy center. Otherwise, the seediness can cause the salsa to become soggy too quickly.
  • Use gloves with chilies: Not only can the oils burn your skin, but they linger too. So it’s best to wear gloves and avoid touching your face.
  • For smoky flavor: You could grill/broil the pepper/s until lightly charred.
  • Peel vs. no peel: If you prefer a little more ‘bite,’ leave the cucumber un-peeled (as long as it isn’t a variety with a thick, bitter peel).
  • Adjust the heat: Change how much, if any, fresh chili you use.
  • Adjust the texture: How chunky vs. finely you dice the ingredients is up to you. A fairly fine dice is great for enjoying all the flavors in every bite.

More Vegan Salsa and Salad Recipes

Photos by Alfonso Revilla

Cucumber Salsa [Cucumber Pico de Gallo]

5 from 40 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 0 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
This fresh cucumber salsa (cucumber pico de gallo) is perfect for warm days—it's bright, crispy, super refreshing, and made in just 15 minutes with crisp cucumbers, zingy onion, spicy chili, zesty lime juice, and fresh herbs!

Ingredients 

  • 2 medium cucumbers peeled and diced
  • Juice of 1 lemon or 2 limes
  • ½ of a small red onion minced
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • A decent-sized handful of cilantro chopped
  • 1-2 chiles (jalapeños, serranos, etc. – just make sure you taste a little piece before you add it to check the heat level); or 3/4 teaspoon red chile flakes
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions 

  • Put everything in a bowl and mix together. Add salt and pepper to taste. It's best if you can let it sit for a little while – like half an hour – for everything to come together, but it's also just fine if you eat it right away.

Video

Notes

  • If the cucumbers are seedy: Use a spoon to scoop out the pulpy, seedy center. Otherwise, the seediness can cause the salsa to become soggy too quickly.
  • Use gloves with chilies: Not only can the oils burn your skin, but they linger too. So it’s best to wear gloves and avoid touching your face.
  • For smoky flavor: You could grill/broil the pepper/s until lightly charred.
  • Peel vs. no peel: If you prefer a little more ‘bite,’ leave the cucumber un-peeled (as long as it isn’t a variety with a thick, bitter peel).

Nutrition

Calories: 60kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 1gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gSodium: 10mgPotassium: 149mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 172IUVitamin C: 18mgCalcium: 15mgIron: 0.3mg

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: Stefan
Course: Dips and Sauces
Cuisine: American
Method: Mixing
Diet: Vegan
Keywords: appetizer, cucumber, cucumber salsa, dipping recipes, lemon, mexican recipes, refreshing salsa, salsa, vegan dips, vegan recipes, vegan sauces, vegetarian recipes
Tried this recipe?Please tag us at @PlantBasedOnABudget! 🙂

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Loving this cucumber salsa! I would have never thought to add cucumber but it’s so refreshing and delicious!

  2. 5 stars
    Fantastic salsa recipe, so fresh and vibrant. We have plenty of cheap delicious cucumbers in the season here, so this will be on repeat often this summer.

  3. 5 stars
    This cucumber salsa is so light and refreshing! It’s never occurred to me to use cucumber as the base for salsa, but it really works. This will be great to enjoy throughout the summer … thanks for the great recipe!