Cucumber pico de gallo is so fresh, flavorful, and easy to make. Ready in under 10 minutes, it’s the perfect way to use up all of your garden-fresh tomatoes and cucumbers this summer.
Can I tell you how much I love salsa? Like, I seriously love salsa. It’s easily one of my favorite snacks.
However, when the summer months start to roll around and fresh, in-season vegetables are abundant, I prefer pico de gallo (a.k.a. salsa fresca).
Light, crunchy, and refreshing, cucumber pico de gallo is the perfect recipe for using up all of those fresh cucumbers and tomatoes from your garden. Even if you don’t have a garden, this recipe is still a fantastic way to enjoy all of the best produce summer has to offer.
Plus, this fun twist on the classic pico de gallo recipe is just as quick and simple to make!
So, if you’re looking for your new favorite snack this summer, keep reading to learn how to recreate this delicious, homemade cucumber pico de gallo for yourself.
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Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Garden-Fresh- Whether you grow your own tomatoes, cucumbers, and cilantro or you buy them at the farmers’ market or grocery store, cucumber pico de gallo tastes the best when it’s made with in-season vegetables. If you do grow your own vegetables, this pico de gallo recipe is a great way to use up some of them.
- Quick & Easy- All it takes is a little knife work and less than 10 minutes before you’re on your way to the freshest, most flavorful snack you’ll enjoy all summer long.
- Healthy- Cucumber pico de gallo is one snack you won’t have to feel guilty about this summer. Jam-packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, it’s practically begging you to eat the whole jar. One cup of cucumber pico de gallo is only 61 calories and has 4 grams of fiber.
Here are some notes on key ingredients. For a full list of ingredients, check out the recipe card below.
- Cucumber- I tend to prefer my cucumbers peeled so that’s what I usually do for this recipe. If you like cucumber skin, feel free to skip peeling it. Deseeding the cucumber is a must, however.
- Tomato- Roma tomatoes, plum tomatoes, beefsteak tomatoes, and tomatoes on the vine are all good choices. The key is removing the seeds to reduce the amount of liquid going into the pico de gallo.
- White Onion- Sharp and pungent, white onions bring a wonderful onion flavor to cucumber pico de gallo. I like to finely dice the onion so that I don’t end up with a huge bite of onion all at once.
- Jalapeno- A little spice is necessary for a good pico de gallo. However, removing the seeds and membrane from the jalapeño is always a good idea. This prevents the jalapeño flavor from overwhelming the rest of the ingredients.
- Cilantro- One of my favorite herbs, fresh cilantro brings a vibrant, fresh, citrusy flavor to the dish. It pairs well with the lime juice and jalapeño.
- Lime Juice- As an acid, the lime juice helps to preserve the pico de gallo and gives it a wonderful, refreshing bite.
Step by Step Instructions
Here is how to make this cucumber pico de gallo.
Step 1: Rinse and prepare vegetables. Clean and rinse the tomatoes, cucumber, jalapeño, and cilantro to remove any dirt, debris, and pesticides. Peel the cucumber, if desired. Deseed the tomatoes, cucumber, and jalapeño.
Step 2: Finely dice all ingredients. Dice the tomatoes, cucumber, onion, and jalapeño and add them to a large bowl. Then, finely chop the cilantro, squeeze in the lime juice, and sprinkle in the kosher salt. Stir well to combine. For best results, refrigerate for at least one hour prior to serving.
- Plan ahead. Cucumber pico de gallo is best after it’s had a little time to sit. Allowing some time between making and eating fresh pico de gallo means the vegetables have time to release some of their delicious juices and marry their flavors together.
- Strain the tomatoes. Pico de gallo is supposed to be similar to a chunky salsa, not overly wet and watery. If your tomatoes seem to have a lot of moisture, you can lightly salt and strain them before adding them to the pico de gallo. Otherwise, use a slotted spoon to strain any excess liquid before serving.
- Making cucumber salsa fresca for a crowd? This recipe is perfect for all of your summer cookouts, backyard barbecues, and parties because it can be doubled quite easily. In fact, you may even want to triple the recipe because pico de gallo and chips is usually a crowd pleaser.
Substitutions and Variations
- Tomatoes- Not a fan of tomatoes? Replace the tomatoes in this recipe with another cucumber, some red bell pepper, jicama, or even radishes! Don’t be afraid to get creative.
- Cucumber- You could try using jicama, celery, or zucchini squash in place of the cucumber.
- White Onion- If you want a more mild onion flavor, red onion is a good choice. You can even reach for green onions if you prefer a very mild onion flavor.
- Jalapeño- Depending on your tolerance for spicy foods, jalapeño may be too hot or too mild. On the spicier side, try using a serrano, cayenne, or habanero pepper. If you like a more mild salsa, opt for poblano or green bell peppers.
- Cilantro- Oh, the cilantro controversy. Some love it, some hate it. If you’re in the latter camp, you can use parsley, green onion, or a little lime zest instead.
- Lime Juice- Don’t have a lime on hand? Use lemon juice or a splash of apple cider vinegar.
- Nightshade-Free- Leave out the tomatoes and jalapeño and make this cucumber pico de gallo with just cucumbers and jicama. If you want to add a little more color, diced strawberries or mango would be delicious in a nightshade-free version of this recipe.
- Sweet- I love a good fruit salsa. My favorite fruits to add to this cucumber pico de gallo recipe include mango, pineapple, strawberries, and kiwi. Add a bit of lime zest to make it extra fruity and refreshing.
- Extra Spicy- If you’re like my fiancé and you just can’t get enough spice, there are a few ways to jazz up this pico de gallo. Of course, adding a spicier pepper in place of the jalapeño is the easiest way. However, you can also add a few shakes of cayenne or hot sauce to the dish as well.
- Seasoned- Looking for a bit of a different spin on pico de gallo? Try adding a few shakes of cumin, chili powder, or garlic powder.
What to Serve with Cucumber Pico de Gallo
Cucumber pico de gallo is a great condiment to have on hand, especially during the hot summer months. It goes fantastic with all sorts of grilled meats and vegetables. Of course, it’s also delicious with tacos, burritos, and other Mexican dishes. Here are a few suggestions for how you can use this mouthwateringly fresh cucumber salsa:
- Tequila Lime Shrimp Tacos
- Honey Chipotle Shrimp Tacos
- As a topping on a Turkey Smash Burger
- With tortilla chips
- Served over grilled chicken, steak, pork, or fish
- In a burrito bowl
- On top of enchiladas, quesadillas, and nachos
- Mixed with olive oil to make a dressing for a taco salad
- Add it to some scrambled eggs or an omelette
Storage and Canning
How to Store
- Refrigerator- Store in a glass mason jar or another airtight container for 5-7 days. Naturally, the fresher the ingredients are when you make the pico de gallo, the longer it will last in the refrigerator.
- Freezer- While you can technically freeze cucumber pico de gallo, I do not recommend it. Freezing will cause the cucumbers and tomatoes to become very mushy upon defrosting.
Yes, you can preserve your garden-fresh cucumber pico de gallo by using the water bath canning method. While it won’t remain as fresh and crunchy as when it’s first made, it still makes for an amazing salsa that you can proudly say you made straight from your own garden.
All you need to do is bring the cucumber pico de gallo to a simmer for 3-4 minutes to get it hot. Then, ladle the pico de gallo into sterilized, heated mason jars, making sure to remove any air bubbles. Don’t forget to leave ½-inch of headspace. Finally, simmer the sealed jars in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.
For more information on water bath canning, check out this guide.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! Cucumber pico de gallo is a delicious way to get your daily vegetables in. Especially if you use vegetables grown in your own garden. By eating pico de gallo, you’re getting a healthy dose of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
While pico de gallo is traditionally made using fresh, raw ingredients, salsa is typically made from primarily cooked ingredients. Also, salsa usually has a thinner consistency and is more blended together. Pico de gallo, on the other hand, is generally chunkier with every ingredient being clearly visible.
Yes, if you want a quick and easy way to whip up a big batch of pico de gallo, a food processor can come in handy. However, keep in mind that pico de gallo is supposed to be chunky. I recommend roughly cutting the vegetables first and only pulsing a few times in the food processor.
Pico de gallo is Spanish for “beak of the rooster.” Interestingly, pico de gallo has nothing at all to do with roosters or chickens in general.
Other Recipes You May Enjoy
Cucumber Pico de Gallo
- 3 medium ripe tomatoes deseeded, diced
- 1 large cucumber deseeded, peeled (if desired), diced
- ½ medium white onion finely diced
- 1 jalapeño deseeded, minced
- ½ cup fresh cilantro finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons (about 1 lime) lime juice
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Clean and rinse the tomatoes, cucumber, jalapeño, and cilantro to remove any dirt, debris, and pesticides. Peel the cucumber, if desired. Deseed the tomatoes, cucumber, and jalapeño.3 medium ripe tomatoes, 1 large cucumber, 1 jalapeño, ½ cup fresh cilantro
- Dice the tomatoes, cucumber, onion, and jalapeño and add them to a large mixing bowl. Then, finely chop the cilantro, squeeze in the lime juice, and sprinkle in the kosher salt. Stir well to combine. For best results, refrigerate for at least one hour prior to serving.3 medium ripe tomatoes, 1 large cucumber, ½ medium white onion, 1 jalapeño, ½ cup fresh cilantro, 2 tablespoons (about 1 lime) lime juice, ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Store in a mason jar or airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Did you try this recipe?
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