Cucumber Sandwich

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Simple, yet flavorful Cucumber Sandwiches start with good white bread that has been slathered in seasoned cream cheese with loads of crisp cucumbers in between. These elegant finger sandwiches are a must-have at luncheons, tea times, brunch, parties, or showers — they’re incredibly refreshing and so tasty!

While these sandwiches are the perfect thing to share at a brunch, small tea party, or baby/wedding shower, they also make a great easy lunch — such a great alternative to peanut butter and jelly!

Cucumber Sandwiches

Cucumber Sandwich

Traditional Cucumber Sandwiches were thin slices of cucumber sandwiched between two thin slices of lightly buttered white bread. The sandwich originated in Europe as a way to serve something in the late afternoon to stave off hunger before late dinners. (Source.)

As they’ve evolved, cucumber sandwiches are now made many different ways — some with fresh herbs, cream cheese, salmon, or even using different types of bread (crusts on or off!).

They’re still typically served as a light snack or at afternoon tea — a more formal, but light meal usually a few hours before a larger meal.

They’re one of my absolute favorite things to serve at baby or bridal showers (especially when hosting for vegetarians!) and I love having them on a brunch table spread. Even though I’m obsessed with this recipe, I’m always a little surprised just how many people go crazy over these innocent-looking sandwiches and want the recipe for them — in fact, they’ll usually be gone quicker than some of the desserts that are being served!

Let’s Chat Bread

As much as I love a good hearty sourdough or whole-grain bread, this is not the recipe for that type of bread. We want the star of the show to be the cream cheese mixture and the cucumbers. With cucumber sandwiches, less is more. The fewer add-ons and the more subtle the bread, the better the flavor will be.

My absolute favorite bread to use in this recipe is Sara Lee’s® Artesano brioche bread (not sponsored). I actually first used this bread for these Honey and Banana Sandwiches and knew they’d be perfect for Cucumber Sandwiches! The crusts are so subtle with that bread, I don’t bother cutting them off, but you certainly can for a more “posh” looking sandwich.

Any good quality, thin, soft white bread will work great here.

And Next: Cucumbers

Persian (sometimes labeled as salad cucumbers) or English cucumbers work the best in cucumber sandwiches — they are, after all, the star of the show here. These varieties of cucumber are less bitter, have fewer seeds, and are more flavorful than regular cucumbers. They are also far crisper and less likely to water down the bread you’re eating.

Quick cucumber coins: To save time slicing cucumbers, you can use a mandoline slicer. If you don’t have a mandoline slicer, you can also use the slicer section of a box grater to cut thin slices of cucumber.

QUICK TIP

If you can’t find English/Persian/salad cucumbers, and have to use regular cucumbers, peel them first. Next, slice the cucumber in half lengthwise and scoop out all the seeds. Now, they can be thinly sliced for the sandwiches. We want to peel because the peel is too thick and flavorless and we remove the seeds to keep from watering down the bread.

Ingredients used for the filling in this Cucumber Sandwiches

Other Ingredients in Cucumber Sandwiches

Beyond the bread and cucumbers, there are three more essential ingredients in this recipe. With so few ingredients in the sandwich spread, the ingredients used really make a big difference. I’ll describe each below, along with my recommendations (none of the below brands are sponsors of this site or post):

  • Mayonnaise. Use good mayo. I highly recommend real, full-fat mayo for the best possible spread on these sandwiches. Hellmann’s/Best Foods® is hands-down my favorite brand.
  • Cream cheese.  For best results, use full-fat (reduced-fat cream cheese doesn’t taste as rich and isn’t as thick). I also recommend a good quality brand; We love Philadelphia Cream Cheese® best in this recipe.
  • Ranch seasoning mix. The secret for the small-but-flavorful ingredient list? A seasoning mix! We love Hidden Valley® ranch seasoning mix best.

Cucumber Sandwich Tips

  • Don’t skimp on the spread. The spread is vitally important for flavor and sandwich texture (it keeps the cucumbers from making the bread soggy). These are supposed to be decadent finger sandwiches!
  • Add some fresh herbs. While not at all necessary, fresh dill, chives, or flat-leaf Italian parsley are all nice additions.
  • If you love cucumbers and lemon, add a few squeezes of lemon juice or lemon zest to the spread to bring out a citrusy flavor.

Process shots-- creating the filling and assembling the Cucumber Sandwiches

How to make Cucumber Sandwiches

Cucumber sandwiches are so simple to make! 

  1. Start with the spread. Make sure the cream cheese is softened so it will mix into a smooth spread (not with unpleasant chunks and lumps!) See the “quick tip” box below. Then, we add some mayo and the ranch seasoning mix into the soft cream cheese and beat it to a luxuriously smooth spread.
  2. Prep cucumbers. Wash the cucumbers and then thoroughly dry them to keep them from being wet (which will cause soggy sandwiches). Thinly slice. No need to peel if you’re using Persian, English, or salad cucumbers.
  3. Assemble. Schmear a thick layer of spread on each slice of bread. Top half the bread slices with thinly sliced cucumbers. Sandwich together and slice in half. Gently compress sandwiches.
  4. Optional: Cut off the crusts!

QUICK TIP

To get cream cheese soft enough for this recipe: Set out the cream cheese to get to room temperature about 1 hour before making the sandwiches. To bring to room temp quicker: cut cream cheese into small cubes and spread out on a plate. Let sit in a warm place for about 15-20 minutes. Or, remove from packaging and microwave for 15 seconds, flip and microwave for another 15 seconds.

Serving at a party

Since these sandwiches dry out quickly, you’ll want to serve them in batches — refill serving platters as the supply dwindles.

When serving these for a party, we cut them in triangles. I like serving these sandwiches on a cake stand with a glass dome covering. This helps them from drying out overly quickly and it looks fancy! Any cake stand will work or a large white platter also looks nice. 

Cucumber Sandwiches

Cucumber Sandwich FAQs

1What Is a Cucumber Sandwich?

These simple sandwiches are made with thin white bread, cucumbers, and some type of spread on the bread — usually butter, cream cheese, or seasoned cream cheese.

They’re often called tea sandwiches since they originated as a tea-time snack in the U.K.

2Why are Cucumber Sandwiches posh?

One reason these sandwiches are seen as posh is because of their visual presentation. They’re typically cut into triangles and often crusts are cut off.

They’ve also come to gain “posh status” because they originated being served at “High Tea” time.

The delicacy of the cucumbers and flavor of the sandwich, the freshness of the sandwiches, and the circumstances in where they’re served are all contributing factors to why people consider them to be fancy or posh.

3How do you keep Cucumber Sandwiches from getting soggy?

Some tips to keep these sandwiches from getting soggy:

  • Use full-fat ingredients for the spread (full-fat mayo and full-fat cream cheese).
  • Spread a thick layer of the cream cheese spread on each piece of white bread (this acts as a protecting”wall” between the cucumbers and bread).
  • Use English or Persian, not regular cucumbers (which are much more watery).

4What can you do with cucumbers?

There are so many things to do with cucumbers if you happen to have some leftovers after making these cucumber sandwiches. Below are some of our favorite ways to use leftovers:

5Are cucumbers healthy?

Cucumbers are low in calories and high in important vitamins and minerals. They’re also high in water content!

6Are Cucumber Sandwiches British?

Cucumber sandwiches and tea are said to have originated in the United Kingdom.

Cucumber Sandwiches

Make ahead of time

Because cucumbers have such a high water content, these sandwiches are best made close to serving time. That said, here are a few make-ahead tips:

  • The spread can be made ahead of time (and even becomes more flavorful as it sits in the fridge). I like to make the spread 1 to 2 days in advance.
  • You can also cut cucumbers in advance and store them in the fridge. I would not cut the cucumbers more than 1 day in advance. Slice the cucumbers, add some salt, and store them in the fridge on a baking sheet in a single layer. Wrap the baking sheet tightly with plastic wrap.
  • About 30 minutes before you’re ready to assemble, pull the spread out of the fridge to soften slightly and then assemble the sandwiches.
  • Once assembled, cover the sandwiches with wax paper and then a damp paper towel. Store in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to serve.

More brunch recipes to love

Serve some of these recipes alongside these cucumber sandwiches at a party!

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Cucumber Sandwich

5 from 1 vote
Simple, yet flavorful Cucumber Sandwiches start with good white bread that has been slathered in seasoned cream cheese with loads of crisp cucumbers in between. These elegant finger sandwiches are a must-have at luncheons, tea times, brunch, parties, or showers -- they're incredibly refreshing and so tasty!
Print Recipe

Cucumber Sandwich

5 from 1 vote
Simple, yet flavorful Cucumber Sandwiches start with good white bread that has been slathered in seasoned cream cheese with loads of crisp cucumbers in between. These elegant finger sandwiches are a must-have at luncheons, tea times, brunch, parties, or showers -- they're incredibly refreshing and so tasty!
Course Brunch, lunch, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American, British, Vegetarian
Keyword Cucumber Sandwich, cucumber sandwiches
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 20 sandwiches
Calories 122kcal
Cost $8.12

Ingredients

  • 1 package (8 oz.; 226g) cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup good quality mayo (we love Best Foods/Hellmans)
  • 1 packet (1 ounce) Hidden Valley Original Ranch Salad Dressing & Seasoning Mix (don't prepare)
  • 1 package (1 lb., 4 oz.; 567g) good quality white bread Note 1
  • 2 cups English or Persian (Salad) cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • Optional: cracked pepper, fresh herbs (dill, parsley, or chives -- whichever you like best!)

Instructions

  • PREP -- SOFTEN CREAM CHEESE: Set out the cream cheese to get to room temperature about 1 hour before making the sandwiches. To bring to room temp quicker: cut cream cheese into small cubes and spread out on a plate. Let sit in a warm place for about 15-20 minutes. Or, remove the cream cheese from the packaging and microwave for 15 seconds, flip and microwave for another 15 seconds. It should be very soft to the touch.
  • SPREAD: In a large bowl, add the softened cream cheese, mayo, and packet of seasoning mix (don't prepare according to the packet directions). Use a hand mixer to beat the mixture until completely smooth and creamy. Tightly cover and refrigerate to firm up and allow flavors to meld-- about 20 minutes.
  • CUCUMBERS: Wash and thoroughly dry the cucumbers. Cut off and discard about 1 inch from each end of the cucumbers -- this part is very bitter. Then thinly slice cucumbers. (Use a mandolin for speed here!) I cut cucumbers 1/4-inch thick.
  • ASSEMBLY: Spread the cream cheese mixture on each slice of white bread -- be generous here! On half of the slices of coated bread, add cucumbers. Overlap to cover the bread fully. If cucumbers are super thin, add 2 layers of cucumbers. For thicker (1/4th-inch) cucumbers, one layer should do the trick. If desired, add a small sprinkle of cracked pepper. We find the seasoning mix has plenty of salt, but you can add a little here too if desired. Sandwich together and press gently yet firmly to combine the sandwich. If desired, cut off the crusts and then cut the sandwiches in half to form triangles. Alternatively, cut into quarters for smaller sandwiches. Layer on a platter and serve.
  • LEFTOVERS: You'll likely have some leftover spread. Store it in the fridge for up to a week and use as a dip for raw veggies -- yum!

Video

Recipe Notes

Note 1: My favorite bread to use in this recipe is Sara Lee's Artesano brioche bread (not sponsored). Any good quality, thin, and soft white bread will work great here.
 

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 122kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 252mg | Potassium: 49mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 167IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 52mg | Iron: 1mg

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.

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