This refreshing and flavorful Mexican Cucumber Salad Recipe is the perfect healthy snack or side dish to serve throughout the hot summer days. If Mexican food is your love language, this great salad is a love letter to your taste buds.
The ingredient list is short, but the flavor profile is off the charts. This Mexican Cucumber Salad has become one of my favorite summer recipes to serve as a healthy simple side for grilled seafood or as a potluck dish for all of the friends and family picnics throughout the year.
Let's make it happen!
What you'll need to make this Mexican cucumber snack:
English cucumber - this style of cucumbers holds less water and seeds, making it ideal for a simple salad.
Red onion - sharp and refreshing, red onion is the perfect balance to mild cucumbers. Substitute yellow onion, white onion or even scallions, if you prefer.
Fresh cilantro leaves - cilantro is perfect with the citrusy seasoning and salty corn nuts. If cilantro isn't your thing, fresh herbs like chives or even green onions will do.
Neutral oil - avocado oil is lovely here, but good old canola or sunflower will do just fine.
Tajin seasoning - this citrusy and savory chile-lime powder is the backbone of this flavor bomb. I use it in the salad and again for a topping. If you don't have Tajin, substitute ancho chili powder and fresh lime juice, then serve with a lime wedge.
Corn nuts - our childhood corn snack has found the perfect grown-up salad to call its own. The crunchy, salty corn nuts are crushed and tossed in the cucumbers then sit atop the salad for even more color and crunch. Another traditional Mexican dish called Pepinos Locos Recipe uses spicy rolled tortilla chips called Taki's in the cucumber dish. Taki's are aggressively seasoned, so I found corn nuts to be the perfect combination with cucumbers for the recipe.
Full measurements and directions included in the printable recipe card below.
Step by step instructions for this Mexican Cucumber Recipe:
Clean, dry and slice the cucumbers into half rounds. Slice the onion very thin. Dice your cilantro leaves.
In a medium bowl, combine cucumbers, onion, cilantro and 1 ½ tablespoons of neutral oil. Toss to combine.
Add 2 teaspoons of Tajin seasoning. Toss again. Taste and add the final teaspoon of Tajin, if needed.
Keep out 2 tablespoons of crispy corn nuts, then roughly chop or crush the remaining in a baggie. Add the small pieces of crunchy corn snacks to the cucumber salad and toss.
Serve immediately, topped with cilantro leaves, a sprinkle of whole corn nuts and a final sprinkle of Tajin.
FAQ's, serving suggestions and variations for this Mexican-style cucumber salad:
Ground cumin powder, garlic powder and a touch of Mexican oregano would add savory flavors to this cucumber dish. If you're not using Tajin, fresh limes will add the acid you need to balance the flavors. Tajin brings big lime flavor to the party, so I don't usually add fresh lime juice if I have Tajin.
Tajin is tangy, salty, a bit smokey with a tiny touch of heat. If you want to add more spiciness to the dish, a few pinches of ground cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes will do the trick.
Any Mexican-style meal would benefit from this easy side dish. I love serving it as a light side with Baja Fresh Fish Tacos and Mexican Street Corn Casserole. It would also add delicious flavor and crunch to a Baked Fish Taco dinner with Authentic Refried Beans and Mexican Red Rice.
Mexican cucumbers are best served the day they are made. The high water content in these veggies may leave a lot of water in the bottom of your bowl overnight, and the crunchy corn snacks will start to lose their crunch.
Check out some of our other recipes:
- Sweet and Spicy Korean Tofu
- One Pot Lemon Ricotta Pasta
- Seafood Ravioli Sauce Recipe (Hazelnut Brown Butter)