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Cool and creamy cucumber radish salad is the perfect spring or summer side dish! You’ll love the combination of crisp cucumbers, zesty radishes, sweet shallots, and fresh herbs tossed in a simple buttermilk dressing.

Creamy cucumber radish salad with dill on a blue and white platter.
Table of Contents
  1. How to Dress a Cucumber Radish Salad
  2. Ingredients
  3. How to Cut Cucumbers for Salad
  4. How to Make Creamy Cucumber Radish Salad
  5. What to Serve with Radish Cucumber Salad
  6. Preparation and Storage
  7. A Tip for Crisp Cucumbers and radishes
  8. Recipe Variations
  9. Tips for the Best Cucumber Radish Salad Recipe
  10. Cucumber Radish Salad Recipe

Cucumbers and radishes are a match made in heaven! With their similar crisp, cool, crunchy textures, they blend nicely in a creamy salad. Add some delicate fresh dill and chives, and you’ve got a beautiful, colorful spring side dish that’s worthy of the Easter table!

The creamy buttermilk dressing is light, tangy, and a delicious contrast to the crisp vegetables. Best of all, it’s an easy side dish that comes together in about 15 minutes! Serve it alongside a holiday glazed ham, or offer it at a picnic or cookout with bbq chicken, burgerspulled pork, or grilled shrimp.

How to Dress a Cucumber Radish Salad

This light-yet-creamy buttermilk dressing is a lovely contrast to the crisp, cool, raw vegetables. If you prefer, you can use a simple vinegar dressing instead. Both options are delicious!

Cucumber and radishes on a vintage cutting board.

Ingredients

This is just a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for a cucumber and radish salad. As always, specific measurements and step-by-step instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Cucumbers: I like English cucumbers (or “hot house”) for this recipe because the skin is thin and the seeds are very small. Persian cucumber also works well.
  • Radishes: these have a crisp, cool, crunchy texture and a subtle spicy, zesty flavor.
  • Shallot: a sweet, mild onion flavor with a hint of sharpness. You can substitute with red onion or sweet Vidalia onion, or just omit this ingredient altogether.
  • Fresh dill and fresh chives: herbs that add so much fresh flavor to the salad. If you don’t have fresh chives available, try green onion as an adequate substitute.
  • Buttermilk: the base of the dressing. The thick texture and rich flavor of whole buttermilk yields the best results.
  • Mayonnaise: thickens the dressing and adds flavor. We prefer Duke’s brand mayo.
  • Sugar: just a hint of sweetness adds complexity and balances the tangy vinegar.
  • Distilled white vinegar: for a little acidic “bite” in the dressing. Sub with apple cider vinegar or lemon juice, if desired.
  • Salt and pepper: to enhance the other flavors in the dish.

Do you peel cucumbers for salad?

It depends! If you’re using English cucumbers (as shown here), you do not need to peel them for the salad because the skin is very thin. Other cucumbers with a thicker, tougher skin, should be peeled before slicing. It’s also just a matter of personal preference. You might like to partially-peel the cucumbers, leaving some of the peel intact in strips.

Process shot showing how to make cucumber radish salad.

How to Cut Cucumbers for Salad

You can use either a sharp knife or a mandoline slicer to cut the cucumbers for this salad. I like the mandoline because it’s fast, and it slices the cucumbers and radishes into perfectly even rounds. If you’re in the market for a new mandoline, definitely check out our recommendations for The 5 Best Mandoline Slicers!

Whisking together buttermilk dressing for cucumber radish salad.

How to Make Creamy Cucumber Radish Salad

This easy salad comes together in just minutes, with only a handful of simple ingredients. It’s truly the best side dish for those sunny days ahead! The detailed instructions are provided in the recipe card below, but here’s the quick version:

  • Combine the veggies and herbs in a medium or large bowl.
  • Whisk together the dressing.
  • Pour the dressing over the vegetables.
  • Cover and chill for 15-30 minutes, or up to 4 hours.
Overhead image of cucumber radish salad on a blue and white serving platter.

What to Serve with Radish Cucumber Salad

This creamy cucumber and radish salad is a refreshing side dish that goes well with almost any of your favorite entrees. Here are a few delicious options:

Close up shot of creamy cucumber radish dill salad on a wooden table.

Preparation and Storage

  • Make Ahead: You can make this salad up to 4 hours in advance. It’s best when it has about 15-30 minutes to chill in the fridge while the flavors come together, but you don’t want it to sit for too long or the cucumbers become soggy.
  • Storage: Leftover salad will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days; however, the cucumbers will not stay crisp and the dressing will become watery.
  • Do not freeze the salad.
Square overhead image of a cucumber radish salad.

A Tip for Crisp Cucumbers and radishes

If you need to prep ahead by more than about 4 hours and you want the cucumbers and radishes to stay crisp for a longer period of time, it helps to salt the sliced vegetables before adding them to the salad bowl.

To do so, place the cucumber slices and radish slices in a colander and sprinkle them with about 1 teaspoon of salt. Toss with your hands to make sure that all of the slices are salted. Place the colander in the sink and let it sit for about 30 minutes. The salt draws out some additional liquid from the vegetables.

Once the cucumbers and radishes are ready, rinse them gently under cold water and then dry them really well with paper towels or a dishcloth. Place the vegetables in the bowl and use as directed.

Vintage serving spoon on a blue and white plate full of cucumber radish salad.

Recipe Variations

  • Swap out the mayonnaise for sour cream or plain Greek yogurt. The dressing will have a more tangy, slightly less salty flavor, but it will still be good.
  • If available, include additional fresh herbs in the salad. Parsley, basil, thyme, and oregano would all be delicious.
  • For a more mild taste, omit the shallot and just use the fresh chives.
  • To feed a larger group, double all of the ingredients.

Tips for the Best Cucumber Radish Salad Recipe

  • Why is my cucumber salad watery? As the salad sits, the vegetables release liquid and thin the dressing. That’s why it’s best to enjoy the salad shortly after stirring it together. If you need to prep ahead, see my tip above.
  • Use a mandoline slicer to quickly cut the cucumbers and radishes into equal rounds. Make sure that you use the wider setting on the mandoline so that your vegetables are not paper-thin. The thicker rounds stand up to the dressing and stay crisp for longer.
  • Use whole buttermilk rather than low-fat buttermilk, since the whole buttermilk has a much thicker, richer texture and flavor. Be sure to shake the bottle well before using it, too!
  • If time allows, let the cucumbers and radishes sit and marinate with the other ingredients for about 15-30 minutes before serving. Do not prepare the salad too far in advance, though. It’s best when enjoyed within about 4 hours so that the vegetables don’t get soggy.
Overhead shot of creamy cucumber radish salad in a blue and white dish.

More Easy Salad Recipes to Try

Square overhead image of a cucumber radish salad.

Cucumber Radish Salad

Prep: 15 minutes
Chilling Time 15 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 97 kcal
Cool and creamy cucumber radish salad is the perfect spring or summer side dish!

Ingredients
  

  • 1 English cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch radishes (about 9 ounces), thinly sliced
  • 1 medium shallot, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
  • ½ cup whole buttermilk, shaken
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

Instructions

  • In a medium bowl, combine cucumber, radishes, shallot, dill, and chives.
    Process shot showing how to make cucumber radish salad.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together buttermilk, mayonnaise, sugar, vinegar, salt, and pepper.
    Whisking together buttermilk dressing for cucumber radish salad.
  • Pour the dressing over the cucumber mixture and toss to combine.
    Pouring creamy dressing into a bowl.
  • Cover and refrigerate for about 15-30 minutes or up to 4 hours.
    Creamy cucumber radish salad with dill on a blue and white platter.

Notes

  • Why is my cucumber salad watery? As the salad sits, the vegetables release liquid and thin the dressing. That’s why it’s best to enjoy the salad shortly after stirring it together. If you need to prep ahead, see my tip above.
  • Use a mandoline slicer to quickly cut the cucumbers and radishes into equal rounds. Make sure that you use the wider setting on the mandoline so that your vegetables are not paper-thin. The thicker rounds stand up to the dressing and stay crisp for longer.
  • Use whole buttermilk rather than low-fat buttermilk, since the whole buttermilk has a much thicker, richer texture and flavor. Be sure to shake the bottle well before using it, too!
  • If time allows, let the cucumbers and radishes sit and marinate with the other ingredients for about 15-30 minutes before serving. Do not prepare the salad too far in advance, though. It’s best when enjoyed within about 4 hours so that the vegetables don’t get soggy.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/4 of the saladCalories: 97kcalCarbohydrates: 9gProtein: 2gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 6mgSodium: 249mgPotassium: 323mgFiber: 2gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 138IUVitamin C: 12mgCalcium: 66mgIron: 1mg
Keyword: creamy cucumber radish salad, cucumber and radish salad, cucumber radish salad, radish cucumber salad
Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Southern
Author: Blair Lonergan
blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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Comments

  1. You are so lucky to have access to whole milk buttermilk. I guess you get it from Yoder’s? I have never been able to find it in the stores, just 1 or 2 percent. I buy whole sweet milk but I’m guessing the old trick of souring the milk with vinegar would not taste good in this recipe. Is there a way to make the dressing richer while using the lower fat buttermilk?

    Also, sometimes radishes are too strong for me. I have read that peeling them or soaking them in cold water can make them milder. What would you suggest?

    1. Yes, I get whole buttermilk at Yoder’s. You might be able to sub some heavy cream for some of the buttermilk for added richness.

      I haven’t experimented with that radish suggestion, so I don’t know. Give it a try and let us know, though!

  2. I have no luck with using a mandoline slicer, unfortunately. I just cut myself, ow! Guess I’m clumsy. It seems for me, it has to be the knife or ‘nuthin, lol.

  3. I enjoy your recipes. You always want us to use whole milk buttermilk, but I can’t find it anywhere around here. You’d think living in California close to dairies I could find it if I asked. What do you suggest? I like to drink it, but not what they sell now.

    1. Hi, Linda! I’ve heard that from other readers, too. I’m sorry that you can’t get your hands on whole buttermilk. We have it in little country markets here, but also in our regular grocery store. It’s no problem, though — just sub with low-fat buttermilk. It will still work fine! The whole milk is my preference, but it’s certainly not mandatory. 🙂