Cucumber Sandwiches

July 18, 2023

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Classic Cucumber Sandwiches! Light, refreshing, and unbelievably easy to make, they’re a staple finger food for afternoon tea, baby showers, bridal showers, picnics, and every occasion in between! 

Close up photo of stack of cucumber sandwiches on a cake stand.

Where Did Cucumber Sandwiches Originate? 

Cucumber sandwiches are often thought of as an English tradition. So, you might be surprised to learn that they were originally created in India. From there, they spread to China, the Middle East, and Europe. 

It is said that the sandwiches were created by British colonists in India who were trying to find foods that would fill their bellies and relieve them from the intense heat. The sandwiches then made their way back to England and became a staple component of Victorian-era high teas. 

Today, they remain a popular recipe and are enjoyed all over the world. Quick, easy, and delicious, it’s not hard to see why they have been enjoyed for thousands of years. I’ll show you how to make them in minutes for the perfect snack, appetizer, or light lunch! 

Watch the Video!


Ingredients used to make cucumber sandwiches.

Cucumber Tea Sandwiches Ingredients

  • Cream cheese: Plain-flavored cream cheese forms the base of the sandwich filling. I recommend using a full-fat version for the richest taste and creamiest texture, but reduced-fat varieties will work fine. 
  • Mayonnaise: Either full-fat or reduced-fat can be used. 
  • Fresh herbs: Fresh chives, fresh parsley, and fresh dill create a vibrant flavor. 
  • Lemons: You’ll use both the juice and the zest for this recipe. I recommend zesting your lemons before you slice them to make the process easy! 
  • Garlic: Whole fresh garlic cloves taste best. 
  • Cucumber: I prefer to use English cucumbers (also known as burpless or European cucumbers) because they are less watery and have a thinner, less waxy skin that doesn’t need to be peeled. 
  • Bread: Use white, wheat, or multigrain sandwich bread. 

Mixing cream cheese with herbs and lemon. Spreading cream cheese filling on sandwiches.

What How to Make Cucumber Sandwiches with Cream Cheese

  1. Whip the cream cheese: Place the cream cheese in a medium mixing bowl, and use an electric hand mixer to whip it until it is fluffy. 
  2. Create the sandwich filling: Add the mayonnaise, herbs, lemon zest, lemon juice, and garlic to the bowl of cream cheese. Stir to combine, and season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste.  
  3. Form your cucumber sandwiches: Spread the cream cheese mixture on the tops of the bread slices. Arrange cucumbers on half of the slices, and top them with the remaining bread to form sandwiches. 
  4. Serve: Slightly press down on the sandwiches to seal the cream cheese together. Then, trim the crust edges, if desired, and cut the sandwiches. Enjoy right away! 

Toppings sandwiches with cucumbers and slicing.

Tips for Cutting Cucumber Sandwiches 

When it comes to cucumber sandwiches, the crust is optional. However, slicing them is an absolute must! 

  • Halves: Use a sharp knife to cut the sandwiches in half any way you’d like. 
  • Quarters/Triangles: Cut your sandwiches in half diagonally. Then, slice each half in half again. 
  • Circles: Use a biscuit cutter or glass to cut round shapes into the bread. 
  • Shapes: Use cookie cutters to make festive sandwiches for every occasion. 

Cucumber sandwiches stacked on a white scalloped cake platter.

Serving Suggestions

Cucumber sandwiches are an extremely versatile dish that can be served alongside all your favorite snacks, appetizers, and finger foods. For example, some of my favorite pairings include: 

Tea plate with cucumber sandwiches and tea served to the side.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use a different type of cucumber? 

If you can’t find English cucumbers, Persian cucumbers can be substituted. Both have fewer seeds and thinner skin than other cucumber varieties. 

Do I need to remove the cucumber skin? 

It’s up to you! I don’t find it necessary to peel the skin, but you can if that’s what you prefer. 

How do I prevent cucumber sandwiches from becoming soggy? 

As long as you use English or Persian cucumbers and coat both pieces of bread with cream cheese, you shouldn’t have a problem with soggy sandwiches. However, if you want to take extra precautions, slice the cucumbers, sprinkle them with salt, and set them aside for about 30 minutes before assembling your sandwiches. Just don’t forget to pat them dry! 

Can I make this recipe ahead of time? 

These cucumber sandwiches are best enjoyed right away and will last for a couple of hours. However, if you want to prepare in advance, you can create the cream cheese filling, and keep it stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days! 

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Close up photo of stack of cucumber sandwiches on a cake stand.
5 from 3 votes

Cucumber Sandwiches

Classic Cucumber Sandwiches! Light, refreshing, and unbelievably easy to make, they’re a staple finger food for afternoon tea, baby showers, bridal showers, picnics, and every occasion in between! 
Servings: 4
Prep20 minutes
Ready in: 20 minutes



  • In a medium mixing bowl using an electric hand mixer whip cream cheese on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  • Fold in mayonnaise, chives, parsley, dill, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Spread the cream cheese mixture over top side of bread slices. Top four of those slices with plenty of cucumbers then top each with another slice of bread, cream cheese covered side facing down over cucumbers.
  • Slightly press down on sandwich, if desired trim crust edges. Then cut into halves of quarters as desired. Serve right away.


*Traditionally these are made with a light and fluffy bread but to hold up to all of that filling and abundance of cucumbers I recommend a heartier bread for this recipe. It also cuts better too.
Nutrition Facts
Cucumber Sandwiches
Amount Per Serving
Calories 483 Calories from Fat 252
% Daily Value*
Fat 28g43%
Saturated Fat 13g81%
Trans Fat 0.01g
Polyunsaturated Fat 5g
Monounsaturated Fat 7g
Cholesterol 60mg20%
Sodium 616mg27%
Potassium 522mg15%
Carbohydrates 44g15%
Fiber 6g25%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 10g20%
Vitamin A 2363IU47%
Vitamin C 24mg29%
Calcium 241mg24%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition values are estimates only. See full disclaimer here.

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    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      You can just stir for a few minutes by hand with a spatula to whip it up and incorporate some air into it. Hope you enjoy these!

  • Marti

    I wish I’d had this yesterday. I took cuke sands to a pool party but didn’t know I needed a shot of lemon and stack several cukes per sandwich. Oh, well. I have it now. Love this recipe.

  • Jess

    WHY do I always forget about cucumber sandwiches?!! Thank you, they’re perfect! And of course yours are beautiful!!
    Speaking of cucumbers. Question.
    I only have a very select few childhood memories and one is of some kind of cucumber – – I want to say – – ‘cucumber bread.’
    I’m pretty sure we were camping, or at least spending a day at a park and my friends/er cousins’ (?) parents had I think a fire ring.
    And I don’t recall how the cucumber was exactly, except that it was shredded and slathered over a piece of I-also-want-to-say – – like – – greasy-grilled-over-the-fire Italian bread. I feel like it was definitely an artery clogger; bc of whatever the ‘grease’ was. Maybe onion mixed in (couldn’t have been much bc I defy did not like onions), but essentially (as I recall) grilled open-face cucumber grease bread. Ha! Sounds awful, Ik. But I SWEAR it was oh-so-delicious.
    Unless I was THAT hungry lol.
    By ANY chance do you have ANY idea what the heck that was (what? you’re not a time traveler? For another person yet to?!), or have ever heard of such a thing?!? If it helps at all, I’m pretty sure we would’ve been in Michigan.
    Either way, THANK YOU for THIS cucumber better-for-you sandwich!!

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      I haven’t heard of this but it sounds tasty! I would like the onion addition. If you track it down let us know!

  • 2pots2cook

    This is great idea for office lunch or week dinner for super hot weather we have over here! Thank you so much and enjoy your day!