This Mediterranean cucumber salad is refreshing and light made with cucumber, tomato, parsley, and mint. Vegan, gluten-free, and paleo-friendly, this salad is excellent to bring as a dish to pass at a picnic or as a complimentary side dish to a heavier main course.
The other evening I invited my best friend and her family to come out to our pool for a picnic and swim. Her kids are older than mine, both in middle school, but my boys absolutely adore them.
They look up to her kids as if they were their very own big brother and big sister. I wanted it to be a fun and delicious night for all of us!
Her kids have a slightly more sophisticated palette now that they’re older. My friend offered to bring chicken and lamb skewers to the grill. I was thrilled that she was taking the grilling pressure off of me!
I’m never offended when other people want to eat meat around me. I was pleased that she was bringing something that she and her family would enjoy.
Just like when I go to a picnic or party, I always bring a plant-based dish that I know I will enjoy.
Since my friend was bringing chicken and lamb skewers to grill, I decided to make a Mediterranean-inspired vegan salad recipe to go with it, along with a black bean quinoa salad, fresh fruit, and a light dessert.
This Mediterranean salad recipe was the perfect complement to the chicken and lamb skewers. I also knew it would travel easily.
The Mediterranean flavors come from fresh herbs and lemon that make a simple oil-free dressing.
This Mediterranean cucumber tomato salad is chock full of fresh and seasonal produce with crisp cucumber, juicy tomatoes, and refreshing herbs! Easy recipes like these are perfect for nearly every occasion!
My only concern was the onions. I know the adults are all big fans of onions, but my kids, however, like simple salads without onions or dressing.
My remedy was to set aside some of the cucumbers, tomatoes, and herbs to the side, and make a kid-friendly version that was onion-free. Without the onions, my kids had no problem taking this salad down. They also love bell pepper, so I added some chopped red pepper to their portions.
Why This Salad Works
- Easy Salad Recipe
- Chock Full of Fresh Ingredients
- Cool and refreshing
- Oil free
- Dairy free
- Vegetarian and Vegan
- Gluten Free
- Low calories and fat
- High in vitamins and nutrients
- Simple ingredients
- Quick and easy to make
- Perfect for picnics and BBQs
Tools and Equipment
As you’re getting ready to prepare this salad, here is the equipment you’ll need.
Ingredients and Notes
As you’re preparing to make this salad in your kitchen, here is a list of ingredients you’ll need to gather. Scroll to the bottom of the post for a free printable recipe card with measurements and step-by-step instructions.
Cucumber-I used an English cucumber. English cucumbers have fewer seeds, so this saved me the step of removing the seeds from an American cucumber. Be sure to use fresh cucumbers with a crisp finish.
Tomatoes-Organic hothouse tomatoes are large and juicy! Alternatively, you could use grape tomatoes.
Fresh Mint-Gives this salad a refreshing twist.
Fresh Parsley-Adds texture and brightness to the salad.
Lemon-Used to make the marinade or dressing.
Onion-I used one small yellow onion, but you could also use a red onion.
Vinegar-Used to marinate the chopped onion.
Salt and Black Pepper-Added to the lemon juice for seasoning. Adjust to your taste preference.
Should I use organic produce?
The Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen list, is a list of fruits and vegetables that have the highest amount of pesticide residue vs. the lowest amounts of pesticide residue to help shoppers determine which produce is best to buy organic.
If you have the opportunity I would buy organic cucumbers, mint, parsley, or lemons, but wouldn’t be too concerned since they do not fall on the Dirty Dozen list.
Onions are on the clean fifteen list, so you can purchase non-organic onions without concern.
Tomatoes, however, do rank #10 on the EWG’s Dirty dozen list, which means it’s recommended that you buy organic.
Instructions for Making Mediterranean Cucumber Salad
Dice one small onion. In a small bowl soak the onions in white vinegar to quickly pickle. When the rest of the ingredients are chopped, drain the onions, and discard the vinegar.
Dice the English cucumber and tomatoes, and finely chop the mint and parsley.
In a small bowl whisk together the lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
In a medium bowl gently fold together the pickled onions, cucumber, tomatoes, mint, and parsley.
Pour lemon dressing over the vegetables. Stir to combine. Let marinate for an hour or so before serving.
Variations and Substitutions
For Picky Kids-If you have children who do not like raw onion, fold the cucumber, tomatoes, mint, and parsley together first. Set a portion aside for the kids before folding in the onion. My kids also don’t like dressing, so I left the dressing off their salad.
Additions-You could add chickpeas, and kalamata olives to make this a hearty main dish. Chickpeas add protein, while the olives add healthy fats. You could also add vegan feta cheese!
Different Fresh Herbs-If you don’t have mint or parsley. You can swap out the herbs, using dill instead of mint, or cilantro in place of parsley.
How to Store and Keep
Allow the salad to marinate for an hour before serving for the best flavor. Keep in an airtight container for up to 1 day.
This salad is best when consumed the day it is prepared. Chopped cucumber can get soggy if left overnight, especially if it is dressed.
Preparing in Advance-Leave the dressing off, and dress the salad before serving.
Serving a Large Crowd-If you have a larger crowd, or you’re bringing this salad as a dish to pass at a picnic or party, you can double the amounts to serve up to 12 people.
Check out these other refreshing salad recipes!
- Farro Salad
- Summer Berry Salad
- Mango Cucumber Salad
- Vegan Broccoli Salad
- Italian Tomato Salad
- Blood Orange Salad
If you’ve tried my Mediterranean Cucumber Salad recipe, please rate it and let me know how it turned out. You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest for more plant-based family recipes your whole family will enjoy!
Mediterranean Cucumber Salad
- 1 small white onion
- ½ cup white vinegar
- 1 English Cucumber
- 2 large tomatoes
- ¼ cup fresh mint finely chopped
- 1 cup flat leaf parsley roughly chopped
- ¼ cup lemon juice about 1 lemon juiced
- salt and pepper to taste
- Dice onion, and allow to soak in white vinegar for a minimum of 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- Dice the cucumber, and tomatoes. Chop the mint and the parsley. Gently fold the ingredients together in a medium bowl.
- Whisk together the lemon juice, and salt and pepper in a small bowl.
- Pour dressing over vegetables. Refrigerate and allow to marinate for an hour before serving.