Ensalada de Pepino (Spanish Cucumber Salad) Recipe

Spanish cucumber salad

The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 10 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Yield: 6 cups
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
173 Calories
16g Fat
7g Carbs
1g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 173
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 16g 21%
Saturated Fat 2g 11%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 184mg 8%
Total Carbohydrate 7g 3%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 16mg 82%
Calcium 23mg 2%
Iron 1mg 3%
Potassium 358mg 8%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Whether you grow cucumbers in your garden or purchase them from the market, this refreshing vegetable is an ideal ingredient for a summer salad. This Spanish cucumber salad, called ensalada de pepino, combines cucumbers with tomatoes and red onion and dresses it simply with red wine vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, and salt.

The perfect last-minute recipe, all that is needed to prepare this salad is peeling and slicing the cucumber, cutting the tomatoes, and slicing the onion. A sprinkling of salt and a drizzle of vinegar and oil finishes it off. It is common to sprinkle cool water into the salad or to put ice cubes in the bowl if it is a very hot day. Either way, the cold water mixes with the oil and vinegar, making more dressing—great to dip bread in.

Although this Spanish salad doesn't need any embellishment, it is delicious with a handful of fresh cilantro or parsley or pitted manzanilla olives; you can also toss in some shaved manchego cheese. Serve ensalada de pepino with other Spanish dishes such as fried anchovies, Spanish beans and rice, paella, barbecued ribs, and chicken in paprika sauce.


  • 2 medium cucumbers

  • 2 medium tomatoes

  • 1/2 medium red onion

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

  • 6 to 7 tablespoons Spanish extra-virgin olive oil

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients to make Spanish cucumber salad

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  2. Peel the cucumbers with a vegetable peeler or knife. Slice into rounds about 1/8-inch wide.

    Thin slices of cucumber on a cutting board

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  3. Cut each tomato into 8 pieces.

    Wedges of tomato on a cutting board

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  4. Thinly slice the red onion into rings; then, cut the rings in half.

    Thin slices of onion on a cutting board

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  5. Place the vegetables in a serving bowl. Sprinkle approximately 1/2 teaspoon of salt over the top.

    A bowl of cucumber, tomatoes, and onions topped with salt

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  6. Pour 2 tablespoons of the vinegar and 6 tablespoons of olive oil over the vegetables. Toss the salad and taste; add more vinegar, oil, and salt if needed.

    A bowl of tossed Spanish cucumber salad

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

What type of cucumber is Best for this salad?

When using cucumbers in salads it is best to choose a variety that does not have a lot of seeds running through the middle. English (also called Hothouse) cucumbers are ideal because they are considered seedless; they are often sold in plastic wrapping and can be a little pricy. You can use American slicing cucumbers, but they do contain seeds and have a waxy exterior, which is why peeling is recommended.

Tomato Tips

This recipe is best when tomatoes are in season, so they are red and juicy with great texture. If you are making this salad in the colder months and can't find beautiful tomatoes, you can use grape or cherry and add them whole or halved.

Recipe Variations

Although this recipe is of Spanish origin, it does cross over many different cultures and cuisines, so you should feel free to add other ingredients such as feta cheese, Kalamata olives, avocado, fresh mint, and red pepper flakes.

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