Creamy Yogurt Cucumber Salad

4.34 from 6 votes
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Creamy Cucumber Salad is healthy with labneh or Greek yogurt, and the cucumbers hold their crunch with my easy method.

Cucumber salad with herbs in a blue bowl with a spoon
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I consider this crunchy, creamy cucumber salad one of the greatest in my summer’s easy side dish repertoire for three reasons: I always have the handful of ingredients–cucumbers, labneh, and herbs; it’s a healthy cucumber salad that doesn’t use sour cream or mayo; and, the salad goes with a huge variety of main dishes. It’s especially good as a cool counterpoint to spicy dishes.

Often the grill menu for summer cookouts needs just a little something more, and quickly, to round it out, feed the crowd, or add some oomph. The answer is here!

Pickling cucumbers in a gratin dish on the counter

Salad Ingredients

Cucumbers. They type of cuke is flexible. I prefer smaller, thinner cucumbers such as Persian cucumbers or, if you can find them, Lebanese cucumbers. Pickling cucumbers or seedless English cucumbers work well.

Labneh or Greek Yogurt. Whole milk yogurt or full-fat yogurt (always plain yogurt) will have the best flavor. Low-fat or non-fat labneh or Greek yogurt can be used here; add a squeeze of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar to the salad before serving to boost flavor. We aren’t after a cucumber yogurt sauce, which is what you’ll get with plain yogurt rather than thick plain Greek yogurt or labneh.

Fresh herbs, and lots of them! A variety is nice: try fresh mint, fresh dill, cilantro, basil, chives, finely chopped

Red onion. The color here is so pretty and the flavor adds great complexity to the salad.

Spices: Salt, black pepper, garlic powder (or minced fresh garlic), and dried mint or mint salt

Fresh herbs on a cutting board with a sharp knife
A blue and white bowl filled with labneh and herbs

How to Make Creamy Cucumber Salad

This cucumber salad is different from laban kiyhar, the classic, ubiquitous Lebanese salad. The star in this recipe is very much the crunchy cucumbers, which are given a little TLC to remove some of their water and keep the crisp taste of the cucumbers at its best.  The ratio of yogurt-to-cucumber is lower, with just a dollop of labneh (try homemade yogurt) rather than a deep bowl of yogurt.

Step 1. Slice the cucumbers. Cut the cucumbers lengthwise, then in 1/4-inch slices. The sliced cucumbers are key here, rather than shredded cucumbers or even chopped cucumbers, both of which give off a lot of water.

Step 2. Place the cucumbers in a colander and sprinkle them with the kosher salt, stirring to coat them well. Drain in the sink or over a large bowl for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, to reduce their water content.

Step 3. A great way to dry the cucumber slices is to lay them on paper towels in a single layer, with a layer of paper towel over top. Press to soak up the excess water.

Step 4. In a medium bowl or serving dish, stir to combine the labneh, chopped dill and other herbs, garlic powder, pepper and dried mint. Add the cucumbers and onion, and stir well to coat the cucumbers with the labneh. Taste and season with more salt if needed.

Chill for at least one hour and up to one day. Stir before serving, cold.

How To Avoid Mushy Cucumber Salad

Sliced cucumbers draining in a white colander in the sink
Slices of cucumber in a single layer on a paper towel

Keep the cucumbers crunchy by reducing their water content. Do this by draining the slices in advance. This will also prevent too much water from seeping into the creamy labneh dressing; a little of this may still happen, but just give the salad a quick stir before serving, cold. 

How to Serve this salad

Serve the salad cold, as a side dish. While it’s the summer salad for perfect for warm-weather eating, we love it any time of year. You can also add the salad to wraps and sandwiches of all kinds, for great flavor and texture.

How to Store leftover salad

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Tuck a folded paper towel set directly onto the top of the salad to absorb any excess liquid.

Cucumber salad with herbs in a blue and white bowl

More Cucumber Salad Recipes To Try

Tomato Cucumber Salad with Avocado and Feta

Lebanese Cucumber and Tomato Salad with Mint

Laban Khyar

Cucumber salad with herbs in a blue and white bowl
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4.34 from 6 votes

Creamy Cucumber Yogurt Salad Recipe

Keep the cucumbers crunchy by draining the slices in advance. This will also prevent too much water from seeping into the creamy labneh dressing; a little water may still seep, but just give the salad a quick stir before serving, cold. Low-fat or non-fat labneh or Greek yogurt can be used here; add a squeeze of lemon juice to the salad before serving to boost flavor.
Prep: 35 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients 

  • 5 pickling cucumbers
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup whole milk labneh or Greek Yogurt
  • 1 cup fresh herbs, such as mint, dill, cilantro, basil, chives, finely chopped
  • 1/2 small red onion, cut in small, thin half moons
  • Few grinds black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried mint or mint salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder or minced fresh garlic
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Instructions 

  • Cut the cucumbers lengthwise, then in 1/4-inch slices. Place them in a colander and sprinkle them with the kosher salt, stirring to coat them well. Drain for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Lay the cucumber slices on paper towels in a single layer, then lay paper towels over top and press to soak up the liquid.
  • In a medium bowl or serving dish, stir the labneh, chopped herbs, pepper, garlic powder, and dried mint. Add the cucumbers and onion, and stir well to coat the cucumbers with the labneh. Taste and add more salt, if needed.
  • Chill for at least one hour and up to one day. Stir before serving, cold.

Notes

Keep the cucumbers crunchy by draining the slices in advance. This will also prevent too much water from seeping into the creamy labneh dressing; a little water may still seep, but just give the salad a quick stir before serving, cold.
Low-fat or non-fat labneh or Greek yogurt can be used here; add a squeeze of lemon juice to the salad before serving to boost flavor.

Nutrition

Calories: 44kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 0.5g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.02g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Trans Fat: 0.001g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 889mg | Potassium: 350mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 596IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 70mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Author: Maureen Abood
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 44
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8 Comments

  1. Heide Marie Meier-Ross says:

    Love your recipes have tried a few and always looking for more from your and your Family.
    They are great and simple to follow.

    1. Maureen Abood says:

      Thanks so much Heide!

  2. Carol Logan says:

    Hello. Great sounding recipe.
    Do I use a cup each of those herbs ?
    Apologies for such a silly question ,
    Thank you
    Carol

    1. Maureen Abood says:

      Not a silly question! Use one cup in total of mixed herbs!

  3. Kathy says:

    This is really good. I just made it and couldn’t resist a spoonful. It’s now chilling in the fridge for our Father’s Day meal. GiIding the lily here—used full-fat Greek yogurt here.
    I love all the herbs in it…and it takes a lot of herbs (one cup) which makes it even better. (Used parsley, chives and mint, because that ‘s what I have right now). Call me silly, but I never would have thought of combining all the different varieties in the recipe. It works…and is delicious! And I am going to keep asking you to please have some cooking classes Up North. I summer in the Elk Rapids area and would gladly drive the hour or so to attend a class of yours in Harbor Springs.

    1. Maureen Abood says:

      Kathy, true, LOTS of herbs! And thank you for asking about cooking classes. I will be sure to keep all posted, no plans for the moment….

  4. Sharon says:

    Maureen: you never cease to amaze me. I look forward to all of your recipes, as well as your comfortable dialogue on your blog. It warms my heart. Thank you for teaching and sharing!

    1. Maureen Abood says:

      Thank you dear Sharon…