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Spicy Cucumber Salad: Easy BBQ Side Dish


It just occurred to me that most of the recipes I've been posting involve cilantro and spice. What can I say—I love spicy foods and I love recipes that feature cilantro!

Today I need to share yet another cilantro/spice favorite because it's the perfect side dish to add to your BBQ menu, whether you're grilling up hotdogs and hamburgers at home or heading to a neighborhood potluck.

My brother threw this spicy cucumber salad together when we were grilling last summer, and I could not stop eating it. Unlike a lot of things I cannot stop eating, this recipe is actually healthy!

The garlic, vinegar, and red pepper flakes make the cucumbers taste sort of like spicy pickles, but fresher and without all of the crazy sodium. Even better, this recipe only requires five simple ingredients and can be made in mere minutes.

The key to making this cucumber salad extra delicious is using an English cucumber (the really long kind that comes wrapped in plastic). They have a great crunch and don't need to be peeled, so they make this dish that much better AND faster.


More light summer salad recipes: Vegetable Ceviche

You simply toss the chopped cucumber together with the other ingredients and keep it in the fridge until you're ready to serve. You don't want to make it too far in advance or the cucumbers will start to get soggy, but if you make it an hour or two ahead, the flavors will have plenty of time to mingle, and the salad will come out cool, crunchy and delicious.

Spicy Cucumber Salad, ready to serve

If you're looking for more ideas for your next BBQ menu, be sure to check out my post on my favorite BBQ side dishes.

Spicy Cucumber Salad

The perfect easy side dish for BBQ season.
4.50 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 13kcal
Author: Kate


  • 1 English cucumber
  • 1 clove garlic finely minced
  • 1 ½ tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 handful cilantro chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes add a little more if you like things spicy
  • salt to taste


  • Slice the cucumber lengthwise and chop into 1/4" slices. Put the cucumber in a bowl and toss with the vinegar, garlic, cilantro, and red pepper flakes. Add salt to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve.


For best flavor, refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.


Calories: 13kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Sodium: 2mg | Potassium: 110mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 145IU | Vitamin C: 2.6mg | Calcium: 12mg | Iron: 0.2mg
Recipe Rating

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Sunday 18th of August 2019

Excellent dish, this is a keeper. Had family dinner and everyone loved it!

Shelley @ Timelesshomestead

Tuesday 30th of May 2017

That looks amazing! I am also a fan of cilantro and spice and can't wait to put your recipe to good use. My only problem will be saving enough cilantro for the cucumbers since I make fresh salsa.


Wednesday 31st of May 2017

Thanks, Shelley! I'm a huge cilantro fan, too. :)

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