Cucumber Salsa


Who says salsa has to include tomatoes?

cucumber salsa
Photo: Photographer: Antonis Achilleos, Prop Stylist:Christine Keely Food Stylist: Chelsea Zimmer
Active Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
10 mins

Tomatoes get all of the love and attention when it comes to traditional salsa varieties, but other fruits, veggies, and even legumes make fantastic bases to the sweet, savory, and spicy dip that can be enjoyed year-round.

One of our favorite iterations casts cucumber in its leading role to create a refreshingly bright and citrusy recipe that is heavy on flavor and light on effort. You'll have a bowl of the healthy snack ready in literally 10 minutes or less, which means it's also the perfect last-minute appetizer for backyard barbecues, happy hours, picnics, and even formal dinner parties.

Summer is when cucumber really shines, but feel free to make this whenever you have a hankering for the nutritious gourd. And try experimenting with different ingredients to vary the flavor profile ever-so-slightly. You may just find a version that rivals this one, earning a well-deserved and permanent spot in your cooking repertoire.

Ingredients for Cucumber Salsa

This green salsa is formed on a foundation of finely chopped English cucumber. The cucumber is accented by tart Granny Smith apple, fresh cilantro, and lime juice. Red onion adds a nice pop of sharpness and purple color, and jalapeño brings a hint of heat. A touch of sugar and salt helps to round out and accentuate these flavors so that nothing is too overpowering.

Cucumber Salsa
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Stylist: Christine Keely; Food Stylist: Chelsea Zimmer

How to Make Cucumber Salsa

Most of the work in the 10-minute prep time, which involves chopping up all of your produce. From there, simply combine all the ingredients in your favorite serving bowl, and set it out to be enjoyed. It really is that easy.

cucumber salsa ingredients in a bowl
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Stylist: Christine Keely; Food Stylist: Chelsea Zimmer

How to Serve Cucumber Salsa

Serve this cucumber salsa with tortilla chips or plantain chips. You can also use it to top proteins like fish for an acidic departure from heavier sauces. It also makes a fantastic taco topper by incorporating sweet, salt, and an added crunch.

How to Store Cucumber Salsa

This simple salsa can be made in advance and stored in an airtight container in the fridge for about two days. The flavors will meld together and make the dish taste even better after just a few hours. Avoid freezing any leftovers (which you likely won't have), as cucumbers, apples, and onions will quickly turn into gritty, mealy mush upon thawing.

Cucumber Salsa in bowl
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Stylist: Christine Keely; Food Stylist: Chelsea Zimmer

Cucumber Salsa Alternatives

Making salsa is a great way to experiment with bold (and seasonal!) flavors in your kitchen and figure out what ingredients complement each other. If you're ditching tomatoes altogether, consider peaches, black beans, corn, pineapple, peppers, beets, and even plums as alternatives. These hearty foods, both in taste and texture, can stand up to big flavors like tang and spice that can notoriously take over a dish.

Editorial contributions by Joey Skladany.


  • 1 large (12 ounces) English cucumber, finely chopped (about 2½ cups)

  • 1 small (5 ounces) Granny Smith apple, finely chopped (about 1 cup)

  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro

  • ¼ cup finely chopped red onion (from 1 small [5 ounce] onion)

  • 1 small (1 ounce) jalapeño chile, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped (about ¼ cup)

  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 2 limes)

  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar

  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt


  1. Stir together all ingredients in a large bowl, and serve.

Updated by Joey Skladany
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