Cucumber Salsa

There is a bit of a running joke in the gardening community about zucchini. They are incredibly prolific, and no matter how much you eat and give away, there always seem to be more and more and MORE. Unless you are me. Then you can’t grow a zucchini to save your dang life.

Seriously. Zucchini are so easy-to-grow, so bountiful, that there is even a holiday to give them away to your neighbors. But I can count on one hand the number of zucchinis I’ve successfully grown over the years. What can I say, it’s a curse!

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Now cucumber? Friends, I can grow you some cucumbers.

Cucumber Salsa - Ingredients

I’ve never grown a cucumber plant that produced less than 457 cucumbers. And over the years, I’ve gotten quite skilled at using up all that crisp, cool, cucumber-y deliciousness. This crisp, cool, and spicy Cucumber Salsa is one of my new favorite ways to do so!

How is this different than regular salsa?

In this salsa, tomatoes play second-fiddle to the cool and crisp cucumbers. I chose red and yellow tomatoes for a bit of a fun burst of color, and I think they are so pretty against the simple background of the pale green cucumber chunks.

Tomatoes are a strong and acidic flavor and that makes standard salsa bold and a bit in-your-face. This salsa is mild and light, but still full of flavor. It is great paired with lighter fare, because the salsa won’t overpower other flavors. We had it on fish tacos! It was flavorful enough to make the taco delicious, but mild enough to let the whitefish flavor shine through. It’s equally as good piled high on a tortilla chip!

Cucumber Salsa

What is in this cucumber salsa?

To make this cucumber salsa recipe, you’ll need cucumbers (duh), red onion, and tomatoes for the bulk of the veggies. Mix those with some jalapeño, garlic, and cilantro, and you’re almost there!

To finish, you’ll mix some lime juice with cumin, red wine vinegar, and a little salt, and stir that into all the veggies. A little rest in the fridge and you’ve got salsa!

The key to any good salsa is an even chop. I’m a huge fan of the “roughly chop” school of culinary skills most of the time, but in the case of salsa, you want to get every piece of flavor in each bite. That requires an even chop. Take a little bit of time to cut your veggies well and you’ll be rewarded with a pretty salsa with a well-balanced flavor.

What else can I do with (too many!) cucumbers?

Some of my other favorite ways to use up a windfall of cukes:

Cucumber Salsa

Cucumber Salsa

Yield: 4 cups
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Use your bounty of cucumbers in this crisp, cool, and spicy Cucumber Salsa. It pairs perfectly with lighter fare!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups seeded and diced cucumber, about 2 medium (peeled, if desired)
  • 1 cup diced red onion, about 1 medium
  • 1 cup diced, seeded tomato, about 1 medium
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro, about half of one bunch
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 medium jalapeño, seeds and membrane removed, finely minced (see notes)
  • 1/4 cup lime juice, about 2 medium limes worth
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Salt, to taste
  • Tortilla chips, for serving

Instructions

  1. Combine cucumber, onion, tomato, cilantro, garlic, and jalapeño in a medium-sized bowl, set aside.
  2. In a smaller bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients.
  3. Pour dressing over veggies and toss to coat. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow flavors to meld.

Notes

Jalapeños can be tricky. Some can be mild as bell peppers and other are spicier than all get out—and there is no way to tell until you taste it. If you’re heat-adverse, put on gloves, and then go ahead and make sure to remove seeds and membranes from the jalapeño (these parts are really spicy), and mince finely. Add the jalapeño a little bit at a time until you reach the desired spice level.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1/2 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 32Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 79mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 1g

At Wholefully, we believe that good nutrition is about much more than just the numbers on the nutrition facts panel. Please use the above information as only a small part of what helps you decide what foods are nourishing for you.

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41 Comments

    1. We don’t recommend canning this recipe—it’s best eaten fresh! If you want a cucumber salsa for canning, we recommend finding a recipe that has been specifically developed and tested for canning. This one hasn’t been tested and likely wouldn’t have the acidity needed to keep it safe when canned.

    1. This recipe hasn’t been tested for canning safety, and probably isn’t acidic enough. It is best eaten fresh, and we wouldn’t recommend canning it.

  1. Ever since I was little, my raw vegetable of choice were cucumbers. That hasn’t changed much, so when I came across this yummy-looking recipe, I thought I’d give it a whirl. I only had a fourth of cucumber left, so I adjusted the ingredients down and had a small bowl of it. OH MY STARS, this stuff is better than guacamole!!! (wait, whoa…did I just say that?!) I finished my bowl of cucumber salsa way too quickly and an super excited the next time I go grocery shopping so I can make me a big bowl of this! Thank you, thank you!

  2. I am cooking lover, I love to make new recipes. Cooking is my passion and I always make your healthy recipes in my home in daily routin because i love it and my husband always eats and gave the best compiment to me. Thanks for sharing latest and yummy recipes.

  3. I am brand spanking new to cookings, but I love raw foods! I love the colors, the crunch, and the refreshing, hydrating finish…however…why do you “seed” the cucumber and tomato? And how do you even do that?

    1. You seed the cucumbers just because the seeds kinda get in the way and don’t have a great texture. You seed the tomatoes, because the seed goo and juice is pretty watery, and no one likes a watery salsa—ha!

      To seed cucumbers, slice them in half longways, and then take a spoon and just scoop/scrape out as much of the seeds as you can—no need to be intense about it.

      To seed a tomato, cut it into quarters, then use a knife or spoon to scoop out the seeds, juice, and goo. 🙂

  4. We made this to be served alongside pulled pork sandwiches on a hot summer day and it was perfect. A nice cool, refreshing side! It’s even better the next day 🙂

  5. Thank you for the Insta story yesterday. It definitely helps to hear the changes explained in greater detail. When you said that you were going to be focusing on food, I didn’t initially realize that it meant no more homesteading, chicken, gardens, etc. Now that I know that’s the case, it’s definitely easier to accept the changes and appreciate what you want this space to become. Thank you for taking the time to respond!

    1. You’re welcome, Vicky! I really wanted to “talk” to everyone, and I felt like that was the best way to do it. It can be so hard to get across how you feel online sometimes. 🙂 Thank you so much for being so understanding and taking the time to chime in—it really means a ton to me.

  6. I have been an avid reader and fan of your blog for years, so first I just want to say thank you so much for all of your hard work and dedication. I wanted to chime in since some of the other comments are really resonating with me. I understand you are trying to strike a balance but your recent posts have felt colder and more corporate, like its someone on your team doing the work rather than you. I am definitely missing you and your personality in the posts. It feels like we are getting less and less of you and more recipes with very shiny and glamorous pictures and videos but very little of you, your charm and your life behind it. I have been sticking around hoping things would level out some but it sounds like that won’t be happening.

    1. Thanks so much for your feedback, Lori (and for being a reader for so long <3). I definitely hear you! And I'm not gonna lie, striking the balance between what I'm comfortable with sharing and what you folks want to read is a constant battle for me—what I'm getting from you guys is that maybe I overcorrected a bit. I'll definitely keep it in mind going forward. 🙂

  7. I really echo the previous comments. I hope the blog is doing what it needs to for you! I don’t feel the same about the blog though. I guess the recipes are new to lots of other people and maybe that’s the focus right now, reader acquisition, but it feels like it’s at the cost of current readers. I notice you don’t snap or IG story anymore and it feels like this is becoming a more corporate blog than what it was. Totally your choice, but not my cup o’java.

    1. Thanks so much for your feedback! The charge to update older posts has little to do with reader acquisition and more to do with making sure every piece of content on Wholefully is extremely useful and high-quality.

      There are years and years worth of recipes on here —some of which aren’t up to my current high standards—that my team and I are working hard to make amazing. It’s really important to me that every piece of content with the Wholefully logo on it is a great as it can be.

      I understand this can be a little repetitive for folks who’ve been around and seen these recipes before (THANK YOU for being such a long-time reader), but these posts are basically brand new—they are completely rewritten, rephotographed, re-videoed (new word!) and the recipes are retested and rewritten.

      I’m sorry you feel like the personality has been stripped from Wholefully, but, I guess that’s an unfortunate consequence of my desire to protect my privacy more than I did in the “olden” days.

      I wish there was a way for me to share more of my day-to-day life and feel comfortable with it—but, honestly, I just haven’t figured that out. I love connecting with you all, but it’s vitally important to me that I keep a large part of my life sacred (and off the blog)—so I connect with you awesome people in the best way I feel comfortable—through the love language of food. I know that isn’t the answer you want to hear, and I totally understand if you need to unsubscribe.

      As I mentioned above, my personal IG account (@wholefullycass) and my email newsletter are a great place to get some more behind-the-scenes looks if that’s what you’re craving. Again, thanks so much for following along!