Cuernavaca Style Cucumber Salad

Ensalada de Pepino Estilo Cuernavaca

This rustic Mexican cucumber salad, called ensalada de pepino in Spanish, is popular in the city of Cuernavaca, Morelos about 45 minutes south of Mexico City. Serve it as a side dish for carne asada or grilled fish.

In Cuernavaca, it is always paired with another dish although it’s great on its own too. It’s perfect on a warm summer afternoon.

Cuernavaca Style Cucumber Salad
Cuernavaca Style Cucumber Salad

This salad only has four ingredients, five if you count the salt: cucumber, white onion, Mexican oregano, and lime juice. You might think a four-ingredient salad sounds dull but it’s not.

It’s bright, fresh, and has a surprisingly bold flavor. The secret is Mexican oregano which has a sharper flavor than Mediterranean oregano.

The sharp flavor of the oregano is balanced nicely by the mild flavor of the cucumber. It only takes a few minutes to make.

Cucumber Salad Ingredients
Cucumber Salad Ingredients

A Quick Salad

This is a great salad to prepare if you are short on time. It only takes 10 minutes to make and you probably have all of the ingredients on hand.

Cuernavaca Style (Mexican) Cucumber Salad
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4.38 from 8 votes

Cuernavaca Style Cucumber Salad Recipe

Mexican cucumber salad – A rustic, fresh-tasting, easy to make 4 ingredient Mexican Salad. Very refreshing with a distinct flavor. Popular in Cuernavaca, Morelos.
Course Salad
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword cucumber, Mexican, oregano, salad
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 73kcal
Author Douglas Cullen


  • 3 cucumbers
  • 1 large white onion
  • 2 tsp. Mexican oregano
  • 4 Mexican limes
  • 1/2 tsp. salt + to taste


  • Scrub the cucumbers and peel.
  • Cut the onion into 1/4" rings then cut the rings in half to make long strips.
  • Slice the cucumber into 1/4" rounds.
  • Put the cucumber and onion into a large mixing bowl.
  • Sprinkle with the 2 teaspoons of Mexican oregano.
  • Squeeze the juice of the 2 limes onto the vegetables.
  • Sprinkle with salt to taste.
  • Gently toss the salad to evenly distribute the oregano, salt, and lime juice.
  • Cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • Serve chilled.


Preparation Notes
  • Serve chilled.
  • This is not a dainty salad. Be sure to cut cucumbers and onion are cut into substantial slices, about 1/4″ thick.
  • It’s is best served the same day that you make it but it will keep for a day in the refrigerator.
  • Use Mexican oregano if possible. It has a stronger, sharper taste compared to the taste of Mediterranean oregano. Look for it in the Mexican section of the grocery store. It shouldn’t be too difficult to find.
  • You can substitute 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar for the lime juice if you prefer.


Calories: 73kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 1g | Sodium: 300mg | Sugar: 12g

 More Mexican Salads

4 comments… add one
  • This sounds lovely. Going to give this a go. thanks for sharing this recipe.


  • SL

    The ingredients call for 4 limes, but the directions say squeeze the juice from the 2 limes. So, how many limes are needed? 2 or 4?

  • Diana

    Really good. Second time I made it. I think you can’t go wrong with this if you have lovely cukes in season.

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