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The Ultimate Smashed Cucumber Salad

May 8, 2024
Shanika | Orchids + Sweet Tea

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The Ultimate Smashed Cucumber Salad is loaded with ultra-crispy, crunchy cucumbers, bursting with refreshing goodness, topped off with a generous sprinkle of delicious Parmesan. It's the perfect side dish you didn't know you were missing out on!

The Ultimate Smashed Cucumber Salad

The Ultimate Smashed Cucumber Salad recipe---- It's all in the name! Fresh, crunchy cucumbers meet a drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkle of Parmesan, a squeeze of lemon, and a medley of seasonings and fresh herbs in this spring + summer favorite. It's the perfect side dish to elevate any meal with its vibrant flavors and refreshing crunch. Vegan + Dairy-free Option.

Up close shot of cucumber salad in a black bowl with a spoon.

Yep, you read it right! With The Ultimate Smashed Cucumber Salad, you're in for some fun smashing cucumbers. It's surprisingly enjoyable—I've even smashed a few other dishes like my Crispy Garlic Herb Smashed Potatoes and BBQ Ranch Turkey Smash Burger. But let me tell you, this salad is a winner. It's tasty, easy, and oh-so-refreshing. Plus, it's the perfect speedy salad, ready in just 10 minutes!

I'm all about salads for that satisfying crunch, especially when I'm digging into something heavier like pan-seared steak or indulging in a pasta bake. It's the perfect addition to my table spreads, especially those rich Southern feasts loaded with mac and cheese, crispy chicken, and a whole lot more deliciousness!

You're in for a treat with this cucumber salad recipe—it's crunchy, crispy, and refreshing, with a delightful kick from the Parmesan. Honestly, I whip it up a few times a week whenever I need a quick and easy side for a main dish. If you love fresh salads give my Roasted Cauliflower Green Goddess Salad and Easy Loaded Corn Salad a try next!

Jump to:

What Is Smashed Cucumber Salad?

So, Smashed Cucumber Salad actually comes from Chinese cuisine, where it's known as "pai huang gua." It's loved for its simple, fresh flavors, and that satisfying crunch. You'll often find it served as a refreshing side dish or appetizer, especially during the sweltering summer months—it's a real lifesaver in the heat! I've played around with it a bit, adding my own flair with different dressings + toppings to make it my own.

Ingredients on a white and black splatter table.

Why You Will LOVE The Ultimate Smashed Cucumber Salad

  • Quick + simple to make, no-fuss preparation.
  • Bursting with fun texture + flavor
  • Sure to impress at potlucks and gatherings
  • Uses simple, affordable ingredients.
  • Works as a main meal OR side
Cucumber and parsley chopped on a cutting board with a knife.

Ingredients For Smashed Cucumber Salad

Grab some fresh, crisp cucumbers and a block of Parmesan to grate yourself for the best flavors --- Quality with these ingredients makes all the difference!

SALAD:

  • Cucumbers. These form the base of the salad, providing a fresh and crunchy texture. Be sure to wash the outside well.
  • Extra virgin olive oil. Adds richness and helps to bind the flavors together.
  • Parmesan cheese. Freshly grated add the best burst of savory goodness.
  • Lemon. Freshly-squeezed.
  • Sea salt + black pepper. Enhances all the other flavors.
  • Garlic powder. Infuses a savory garlic flavor throughout.
  • Fresh parsley. Chopped.
  • Sesame seeds. For garnish (You can sub with pine nuts, pistachios, etc.)
Cucumbers being mashed in a black bowl with a wooden muller.

SHOP MY FAVORITE TOOLS FOR BAKING, ESPECIALLY FOR THIS SALAD!

Here, I’ve curated a list of baking + cooking essentials that I use to achieve my favorite dishes, especially with The Ultimate Smashed Cucumber Salad. Everything from my fave loaf pan, wooden spoons, parchment paper, and more. SEE THEM HERE!

All ingredients together in a black bowl with a spoon.

How To Smash Cucumbers

My go-to method is to add the cucumbers and then crush them using a fork or mulling tool until they're nicely smashed, but not completely broken. However, there are a few other techniques you can experiment with:

BEST WAY TO SMASH CUCUMBERS

  • Place the cucumbers in a plastic bag and lightly pound them with a rolling pin or the bottom of a heavy pan.
  • Press down firmly on the cucumbers with a potato masher until they reach the desired level of smashing. Alternatively, you could use the flat side of a meat tenderizer.

Let me know in the comments if you find any other simple ways to smash cucumbers!

Ingredients stirred together in a black bowl with a spoon.

What To Eat With Smashed Cucumber Salad

I love having Smashed Cucumber Salad with heavier meals to balance out the flavors, but honestly, it goes well with everything! Here are a few of my favorite dishes to enjoy it with:

Cucumber salad ingredients in a black bowl with a spoon and side of parmesan.

Smashed Cucumber Salad Recipe Q + A's

How to store?

Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3-5 days. 

Can i make this cucumber salad ahead of time?

This smashed cucumber salad can be made up to 1 day ahead and stored in the refrigerator. 

Can I make a larger batch for a party?

Yes, just multiply the ingredients accordingly and adjust the seasoning to taste.

Can I make a vegan version of this salad?

Yes, simply omit the Parmesan cheese or substitute it with a vegan alternative.

Cucumber salad in a black bowl with a spoon and a red napkin.

More Healthy Salad Recipes

Now that you've fallen in love with The Ultimate Smashed Cucumber Salad recipe, put to good use your remaining produce with these great salad recipes:

MADE OUR RECIPE(S)?

If you tried The Ultimate Smashed Cucumber Salad recipe or any other recipe on my website, please please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how you go in the 📝 comments below. And don't forget to tag @orchidsnsweettea_ on Instagram  and hashtag it #orchidsandsweettea! I love hearing from you!

Cucumber salad ingredients in a black bowl with a spoon and side of parmesan.

The Ultimate Smashed Cucumber Salad

May 8, 2024
5 from 1 vote
The Ultimate Smashed Cucumber Salad ---- It's all in the name! Fresh, crunchy cucumbers meet a drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkle of Parmesan, a squeeze of lemon, and a medley of seasonings and fresh herbs in this spring + summer favorite. It's the perfect side dish to elevate any meal with its vibrant flavors and refreshing crunch. Vegan + Dairy-free Option.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 4 servings

Ingredients

SALAD:

  • 2 medium organic cucumbers
  • 3 Tbsps Extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup freshly-grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 lemon, freshly-squeezed
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • sesame seeds, for garnish (You can sub with pine nuts, pistachios, etc.)

Instructions

PREP THE CUCUMBERS:

  • Begin by peeling and slicing the cucumbers about ½-inch thick. Then slice each slice in half. Repeat until all cucumber are sliced.

CRUSH THE CUCUMBERS:

  • In a bowl, add the cucumbers and using a fork or mulling tool, crush the cucumbers until they appear pretty smashed but not broken.

TO MAKE THE CUCUMBER SALAD:

  • In the bowl with the cucumbers, add the olive oil, parmesan cheese, lemon juice, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, chopped parsley, and sesame seeds, mixing everything together until combined.
  • To serve, add the smashed cucumber salad as a side to your favorite main meat or dish or atop tacos, sandwiches, etc.
  • Bon Appetit!

Tips & Tricks

  • STORAGE: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3-5 days. 
  • MAKE AHEAD: This smashed cucumber salad can be made up to 1 day ahead and stored in the refrigerator. 

Nutrition

Calories: 156kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 513mg | Potassium: 89mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 431IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 124mg | Iron: 1mg

DID YOU MAKE THIS recipe?

Tag @orchidsnsweettea_ on Instagram and hashtag it #orchidsandsweettea

Xx, Shanika in script writing

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