Cucumber Sandwiches
Cucumber Sandwiches

Simple, light, and delicious, cucumber tea sandwiches satisfy that craving for a light lunch or afternoon snack. They’re also the perfect party food! Whip up a batch for Mother’s Day, Easter, bridal showers, or baby showers.

I come from a family with four children. When we were little and getting restless, my mom would sometimes distract us with “party sandwiches.” They could have been made with just about anything — peanut butter and jelly or tuna salad — but she created a festive vibe by separating the crust and then slicing it into triangles. Voila! Party sandwiches!

We’ve eaten them all with her, aided by her enthusiasm for these treats, and I’ll confess I’ve developed a taste for cucumber sandwiches. Rainy, boring days at home suddenly become brighter and funnier. I’m not sure if it’s from the memory, the sandwich, or both.

What is a cucumber tea sandwich?

These easy (as in really, really easy) little sandwiches of crunchy, thinly sliced ​​cucumbers in slices of bread and topped with butter or cream cheese are as tender as a spring breeze.

While they’re ideal as part of a Mother’s Day brunch, baby shower, or graduation party, you can make just a few and host your own private little tea party or quick and easy lunch.

The tradition of tea sandwiches began in the mid-18th century, when it became fashionable to serve something late in the afternoon to satisfy hunger before the long wait for an eight o’clock dinner. And there you have it. Scones and strawberries and jam-filled tarts soon followed, but cucumber sandwiches still dominate.

Best bread for cucumber sandwiches

The best bread for these sandwiches is soft, thinly sliced ​​white bread like Pepperidge Farm Very Thin White. As much as I love sourdough, strong wheat and rye breads, they would steal the show from the main attraction of butter or cream cheese and tender pickles, so the fewer flavor additives the better. In other words, when you make these sandwiches, daintily and subtle should be your guiding principles.

Best pickles for tea sandwiches

The best pickles for these sandwiches are English pickles, also known as burpless or European pickles. Long and thin, they were bred to create a cucumber with smaller seeds and thinner skin than the common cucumber. They are usually sealed in plastic to protect the skins from nicks.

Tradition dictates that cucumbers be peeled for these sandwiches, but you can certainly break that rule by using English cucumbers, which have tastier skins. Use a mandoline slicer to slice them into wafer-thin slices if you have one, or a knife to do the same thing gently. Then, after salting and draining, layer them on the bread slices already buttered or cream cheese.

If you can’t find English cucumbers, use regular cucumbers. If using regular cucumbers, which are larger and have thicker skins than English cucumbers, peel the tough outer skin and cut the cucumber in half lengthwise. Take a spoon and scoop out the seeds. This will prevent excess moisture from seeping into your finished product. Then slice the cucumber into thin crescents.

Swaps, substitutions and proposals

There are no hard and fast rules, but in this case, less is more. Pick one or two and add them to add a little variety to your selection.

  • Mint gives a summery freshness.
  • Watercress adds a sharp, peppery note.
  • A few drops of lemon juice or a squirt of zest add a citrusy edge.
  • Dill is one of the most common additions to cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches.
  • Flat leaf parsley or chives are also good additions.
  • Dairy-free butter is another option if you have vegan guests.
  • Mix up the vegetables. If you don’t have cucumbers, use radishes.

Make Ahead Finger Sandwiches

Since pickles are watery, the sandwiches are best prepared a few hours before serving to keep them from becoming soggy. But there are a few things you can do ahead of time, so don’t do everything last minute.

One day ahead:

  • Spread butter or cream cheese on the bread and stack between layers of cling film or parchment. Wrap the stack in plastic and refrigerate until ready to assemble.
  • Slice the cucumbers, season with salt and store tightly wrapped in plastic wrap on the baking sheet in the fridge.

The Tuesday:

  • Once assembled, cover with wax paper and then a damp paper towel and store in an airtight container until ready to serve.

How to serve cucumber sandwiches for a party

Arrange sandwiches on plates. If you’re serving them as part of a buffet, place them on a cake plate or fancy silver platter.

One catering trick is to arrange the buffet table with different sized cake stands so that the platters are at different heights. You can improvise your own cake stands by using pretty plates and placing them on inverted bowls. Since the bread dries out quickly, serve the sandwiches in portions and refill the plates as the number of sandwiches dwindles.

What to serve at a party with tea sandwiches

If you’re thinking of serving your pickle sandwiches for a party, you might want to serve them with one of the following, although you don’t have to make every offer. Be sure to pick some specialties from your favorite bakery.

  • lemon cake
  • Chocolate ring cake
  • Lime Icebox Cookies
  • Strawberry Mascarpone Tart
  • almond biscuits
  • mini quiches
  • bowls of berries
  • Mixed Nuts
  • chocolate truffle

Don’t forget drinks! Offer a variety of beverage options for your next brunch, bridal shower, or baby shower. Some of my favorites are Earl Gray Tea and Tonic or a floral Sparkling Strawberry Sangria, refreshing mint and lemon verbena tea, a glass of champagne or a crisp chilled white wine.

More great sandwich recipes

  • Pan Bagnat (French Tuna Sandwich)
  • Rocket, mozzarella and tomato on focaccia
  • The best tuna salad sandwich ever
  • ham salad
  • Tarragon Chicken Salad
  • Quick and easy egg salad sandwich

cucumber sandwiches

preparation time
10 mins

party preparation
30 minutes

total time
40 minutes

4 servings

If using cream cheese over butter, mix the cream cheese with a few tablespoons of mayonnaise to thin it out and make it easier to spread on the bread slices.


For four sandwiches

  • 1/2 English Cucumber, peeled and cut into thin slices

  • 1/8 teaspoon Salt, plus more as needed

  • 8th slices White bread, like Pepperidge Farm Very Thin White

  • 4 tablespoon unsalted butter or cream cheese, softened at room temperature

  • 1/8 teaspoon floor white or black pepper

  • Options: watercressMint leaves, lemon peel, dill, chives or parsley

For party sandwiches (about 80 mini sandwiches)

  • 2 English cucumberspeeled and cut into thin slices

  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt, plus more as needed

  • 40 slices White bread, like Pepperidge Farm Very Thin White

  • 2 sticks (8th ounces) unsalted butter or cream cheese, softened at room temperature (see recipe note)

  • 1/2 teaspoon floor white or black pepper

  • Options: watercressMint leaves, lemon peel, dill, chives or parsley


  1. Salt cucumbers:

    (NOTE: Skip this step if you’re only making 4 sandwiches for lunch; just sprinkle the pickles with salt.) Line a baking sheet with kitchen paper and spread the cucumbers on it. Salt lightly and leave on for 20 minutes. Pat them dry with more paper towels. Taste the slices and sprinkle more salt if they taste bland.

  2. Add spread:

    Place bread slices on a cutting board and generously brush one side of each slice with butter or cream cheese. Depending on the size of the bread slices, you need about 1-2 teaspoons per slice.

  3. Serve the cucumbers on the bread:

    Layer the cucumbers to cover the bread and place the cucumbers on top of half the bread slices. If the cucumbers are very thin, make 2 layers, if thick, make 1. The cucumber filling should be about 1/4 inch thick. Sprinkle cucumber slices with pepper. If you like, garnish the pickles with any of the optional ingredients. Cover with a second slice of bread.

  4. Cut into small sandwiches:

    Press down firmly, trim off the crusts, then cut into rectangles, triangles, or quarters. Keep it tidy!

  5. Surcharge:

    Arrange on platters (or your plate) and serve.

nutritional information (per serving)
271 calories
14g Fat
32g carbohydrates
6g protein
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Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!