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Cucumber and Cream Cheese Sandwiches

These quick and easy Cucumber and Cream Cheese Sandwiches are a fresh, crisp and light classic finger food that’s perfect for brunch, afternoon tea, baby or bridal showers, and more!

But you don’t need a special occasion or gathering to make these delicious little cucumber sandwiches. They’re great anytime, and I often enjoy them for lunch or as a snack.

The earliest versions, which were of British origin, had buttered bread, thinly sliced cucumbers, a sprinkle of salt and a squirt of lemon juice. The crusts were removed, and they were most often served as a pre-dinner snack with the afternoon tea.

Many modern versions, particularly those made here in the United States, swap out the butter for cream cheese and often add other ingredients such as herbs or spices. And that’s the case with this recipe.

For more flavor, I use softened cream cheese mixed with just a bit of mayonnaise to make it easier to spread. Then I stir in chives, dill and seasoned salt, which gives it a subtle but super yummy ranch vibe.

I opt to leave the crusts on to avoid waste and keep them a little rustic (plus, I love crust!). But you can cut them off if you’d like or if you want a fancier presentation.

If you love cucumbers but never had cucumber finger sandwiches, I say give them a try. They’re quick and easy to prepare and are yet another example of a recipe where just a few simple ingredients are so good!

Ingredients You Need

Note: Ingredient amounts are in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

the ingredients needed to make cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches; each ingredient it labeled
  • English cucumber (these are best to use because they have fewer and smaller seeds, and the skin is thinner and usually not waxed; in the store, look for the longer, thinner cucumbers that are individually wrapped in plastic, sometimes called seedless or burpless cucumbers)
  • Cream cheese (block-style)
  • Mayonnaise (helps make the cream cheese mixture easier to spread)
  • Fresh chives (for a subtle oniony flavor; don’t substitute dried chives…they have hardly any flavor)
  • Dried dill (or fresh dill)
  • Seasoned salt (gives you more flavor than regular salt)
  • White bread (try to choose a softer bread that isn’t too thick)

How to Make Cucumber and Cream Cheese Sandwiches

Note: This is just a brief overview of the steps. For the full printable recipe with ingredient amounts and detailed instructions, please go to the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

image labeled as number one of a partially peeled cucumber with the peels and a vegetable peeler on the side

Partially peel or completely peel the cucumber (or you can leave the skin on).

image labeled as number 2 of sliced cucumbers on a cutting board with a knife

Slice the cucumber about ⅛ to ¼ inch thick.

image labeled as number 3 of the cream cheese mixture being stirred together in a bowl with a spoon

In a small bowl, mix together the cream cheese, mayonnaise, chives, dill, and seasoned salt.

image labeled as number 4 of 4 slices of bread spread with the cream cheese mixture on a cutting board

Spread an equal amount of the cream cheese mixture on one side of each piece of bread.

image labeled as number 5 of cucumber slices on 2 pieces of the bread on the cutting board

Evenly divide the cucumber slices between 2 of the bread slices.

image labeled as number 6 of the 2 finished assembled sandwiches on the cutting board

Top the sandwiches with the remaining 2 slices of bread (cream cheese side down).

image labeled as number 7 of the 2 sandwiches each cut into 4 pieces on the cutting board with a knife on the side

Cut each sandwich into 4 equally sized pieces.

image labeled as number 8 of a hand holding a cucumber and cream cheese sandwich with text that says enjoy

Serve immediately and enjoy!

Recipe Tips & Tidbits

  • I have never had a problem with soggy sandwiches using English cucumber, so I haven’t found it to be necessary to first salt the cucumbers to draw out some of the moisture.
    • If you’d like to do this, you can. Place the sliced cucumbers on a tray lined with paper towels and let them sit for about 15 minutes. Rinse off the salt and be sure to pat the cucumbers dry with paper towels to remove any excess water before making the sandwiches.
  • I wrote this recipe to use dried dill because I can’t always get fresh, and so that’s what I use most often (freeze-dried is my favorite). I always have it on hand and it has great flavor. You can use fresh dill if you have it.
    • When using fresh herbs, the general rule is to use 3 times the amount of fresh herbs as dried. That would be equal to ¾ teaspoon of fresh dill for this recipe. But add as little or as much as is needed for the flavor you prefer.
  • Feel free to adjust the amount of the chives, dill or seasoned salt to suit your own personal tastes.
  • Spread the cream cheese mixture all the way to the edges of the bread. This will help prevent the bread from becoming soggy if the cucumbers start to give up some of their moisture.
  • If you decide to cut off the crusts, you can save them to use for making homemade breadcrumbs or croutons!
  • I cut each sandwich in to 4 equal squares, but you can cut them into triangles (which is more traditional) or longer finger-like rectangles.
  • Food safety: since these sandwiches contain cream cheese and mayonnaise, don’t let them sit out at room temperature for longer than 2 hours (and even less than that if the temperature is very warm).
  • This recipe makes 8 finger sandwiches or 2 regular-sized sandwiches (there are only 2 of us in the house, and I didn’t want to be eating them for days!). But you can easily scale the recipe up or down to make as many sandwiches as you need.
4 cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches on a white plate with one on its side so you can see the filling

Substitutions & Variations

  • Regular cucumber can be used if you can’t find English cucumber. Since the skin is thicker and usually has a waxy coating, I would peel them completely. And if there are a lot of big seeds, I would scoop them out.
  • Whipped cream cheese can be used instead of block-style cream cheese.
  • Use any herbs or spices that you like in the cream cheese mixture. Or you can keep it super simple and not use any at all.
  • In a super hurry? Skip making the cream cheese mixture and use a flavored cream cheese instead, such as garlic and herb, chive and onion, or garden vegetable.
  • I like using a plain white bread to let the flavor of the herbed cream cheese and cucumbers shine through. But you can use any kind of bread you like…whole wheat, multi-grain, rye, pumpernickel, gluten-free, etc.
2 cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches stacked on a white plate with additional sandwiches in the background

Make Ahead & Storing Leftovers

Make Ahead

These cucumber sandwiches are best when served immediately, and that’s what I recommend. The cucumbers are crisp, the bread is nice and soft, and they’re just so fresh. Making them ahead of time poses the risk of them becoming soggy.

That being said, I have successfully made these sandwiches a few hours ahead of time and kept them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. I then took them out of the fridge about 15 minutes before serving to take the chill off the bread so it softens back up.

Another (and probably better) option is to slice the cucumbers and prepare the cream cheese mixture a few hours ahead of time, keep them stored separately in the fridge, and then assemble and cut the sandwiches right before serving.

Storing Leftovers

Store leftover sandwiches in an airtight container in the refrigerator. I can’t guarantee how long they will last, but it likely won’t be very long (I’ve had them still be quite good and not at all soggy even after 24 hours). So enjoy them sooner rather than later!

8 cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches on a clear tray with a stack of plates and napkins in the background

What to Serve With Cucumber and Cream Cheese Sandwiches

As lunch or a snack, cucumber sandwiches are great just on their own or served with a side like potato chips. You could also pair them with a salad or even some soup (a cold soup like Vichyssoise or Gazpacho would be awesome in the warm summer months!).

For a traditional-style afternoon tea, serve your cucumber sandwiches with other varieties of savory finger sandwiches, scones with jam and cream, and a selection of bite-sized sweet treats like pastries, cakes and cookies.

If you have one, these are classically all served on a three-tiered tray: sandwiches on the bottom, scones in the middle and sweets on the top. And, of course, don’t forget the tea!

I hope you try this Cucumber and Cream Cheese Sandwiches recipe and love it as much as I do. Thanks for visiting today!

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More Cucumber Recipes To Try

Looking for more sandwiches? Be sure to check out my Sandwich Recipes page!

If you make this recipe, I’d love to know how it went! Please leave a star rating and comment below. Thanks!

3 cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches stacked on a white plate with more sandwiches in the background

Cucumber and Cream Cheese Sandwiches

These quick and easy Cucumber and Cream Cheese Sandwiches are a fresh, crisp and light classic finger food that's perfect for brunch, afternoon tea, baby or bridal showers, and more!
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Author: Michelle / Now Cook This!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 8 finger sandwiches (or 2 full-sized sandwiches)
Estimated Calories: 76

Ingredients

  • ½ English cucumber, the half should be about 6 inches long
  • 2 ounces block-style cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives, or to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon dried dill, or to taste (fresh dill can also be used; see Notes below)
  • ¼ teaspoon seasoned salt, or to taste
  • 4 slices white bread, try to choose a softer bread that isn't too thick

Instructions

  • Partially peel or completely peel the cucumber half (or you can leave the skin on if you'd like).
    I partially peel mine, leaving alternating strips of peeled and unpeeled cucumber.
  • Slice the cucumber into rounds that are about ⅛ to ¼ inch thick.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the softened cream cheese, mayonnaise, chives, dill, and seasoned salt until well combined.
  • Evenly spread an equal amount of the cream cheese mixture on one side of each of the 4 slices of bread.
    Be sure to go all the way to the edges of the bread, as the cream cheese will help prevent the bread from becoming soggy if the cucumbers start to give up some of their moisture.
  • Evenly divide the cucumber slices between 2 of the bread slices, placing them on top of the cream cheese mixture; layer them as evenly as possible.
  • Top the sandwiches with the remaining 2 slices of bread (cream cheese side down).
  • Cut each sandwich into 4 equal square-shaped pieces.
  • Serve immediately and enjoy!

Notes

  • At the grocery store, English cucumbers are the longer, thinner cucumbers that are wrapped individually in plastic. They have fewer and smaller seeds and the skin is thinner and usually not waxed. They’re sometimes called seedless or burpless cucumbers.
  • I wrote this recipe to use dried dill (freeze-dried is my favorite) because I always have it on hand and I can’t always get fresh dill. You can absolutely use fresh dill if you have it.
    • When using fresh herbs, the general rule is to use 3 times the amount of fresh herbs as dried. That would be equal to ¾ teaspoon of fresh dill for this recipe. But add as little or as much as is needed for the flavor you prefer.
  • You can remove the crusts from the sandwiches if you prefer.
  • Instead of squares, you can cut the sandwiches into triangles or longer finger-like rectangles.
  • This recipe is easily scaled up or down to make as many sandwiches as you need.
  • Please refer to the post for additional tips, substitutions and variations, serving suggestions, and info on making ahead and storing leftovers.
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