The cucumber is so unassuming. It’s a simple green vegetable. Often served raw. And yet…
One look at this list of recipes, and it becomes apparent that cucumbers are kind of like the kid in high school who gets by without other students noticing her much, but at the 10-year reunion everyone’s eyes are opened and they say, “I had no idea what potential she had!”
The cucumber is a versatile veggie that plays a supporting character to dip on a crudité platter. But it can also be the star of a salad or a cocktail. It can be soup, the main ingredient in the ultimate tea sandwich, or playfully do the Cha-cha with other veggies and fruit in salsa. These 25 cucumber recipes will give you new respect for the vegetable and a whole lot of ideas for what to do with the abundance of summer cukes in your garden or at the market all year round.
Easy Cucumber, Peach, and Basil Salad
This salad says summer, summer, summer. Combine English cucumbers and fresh peaches then top with a vinaigrette full of fresh basil. It makes a great side for almost anything you can cook up on your grill such as cilantro lime chicken.
Spicy Cucumber and Jalapeño Salad
An easy and refreshing side for a summer meal, this salad has a sweet and sour tang. Slice up Persian cucumbers and jalapeños, and add cilantro, rice vinegar, agave, and some salt. You’re done!
Gin Cocktail With Cucumber and Basil
Muddle cucumber and basil in a cocktail shaker then fill the shaker with London dry gin, Lillet Blanc, celery bitters, simple syrup. Shake. Strain. Garnish with lemon. Cheers!
Noodles with Cucumbers and a Lot of Chili Crisp
Use ramen, rice, or soba noodles in this Persian cucumber salad dressed with an abundance of chili crisp, toasted sesame oil, sugar, sesame seeds, and garlic. The recipe is easy to double or triple for a crowd, and you can serve it warm or cold.
Fermented pickles are easy to make. Make a brine with garlic, peppercorns, chilies, and dill. Slice Kirby pickles or other small pickling cucumber. Cover the pickles in a canning jar with the brine. Refrigerate for up to one month. The pickles will be ready to eat in a day, but you may want to wait a few more days if you want them really sour and tangy.
Smashed Cucumber Salad with Dark Vinegar and Chili Crisp
Smack English or Chinese cucumbers with the flat side of a cleaver or wide knife or with a rolling pin to break up the vegetable’s fibers so that when you cut them into pieces, the pieces can absorb more sauce. Dress the cucs with a sauce that includes Chinkiang vinegar and chili crisp that bring tons of flavor to this Chinese-style cucumber salad.
Cucumber Frozen Margaritas
Plan at least 4 hours ahead for these refreshing cocktails. Freeze cucumber slices and the cocktail ingredients (tequila blanco, agave, orange liqueur, and lime juice) separately. Combine the frozen ingredients with ice in a blender to make 6 margaritas served in rocks glasses rimmed with mildly spicy Tajín or kosher salt.
Creamy Everything Bagel Cucumber Salad
Everything bagel seasoning isn’t for bagels only. It’s a mix of seasonings that tastes good on just about everything, including this cucumber salad made with Persian cucumbers, scallions, red onions, capers, and dill. Dress the salad with sour cream and lemon juice.
Tea time, light lunch, afternoon snack, brunch…there are many occasions to whip up light and refreshing cucumber sandwiches—little sandwiches made with crunchy, thinly sliced cucumbers inside slices of bread slathered in butter or softened cream cheese. So simple and always a treat.
Nimbu Soda with Cucumber (Cucumber Salted Lime Soda)
This cucumber salted lime soda is a drink that hails from Northern India. There, the Indians make and drink this refreshing beverage in the heat of the summer. Make it with muddled cucumber, lime juice, simple syrup, salt, and soda water over ice. You can batch the soda, too, by making a large amount of the base, and adding ice and soda water to each glass as needed.
Stone Fruit, Tomato and Cucumber Salad
Peaches, plums, and cherries pair beautifully with cherry tomatoes and crisp, crunchy cucumbers and celery in this summer salad. Serrano pepper brings a little heat to the simple olive oil and apple cider vinegar dressing. Want to take it up a decadent notch. Top each serving with creamy mozzarella or burrata.
Cucumber Mint “Shrub” Soda
First, you make a mint shrub by boiling water, sugar, and vinegar then adding mint leaves to steep. When that shrub chills, build this refreshing soda by adding cucumbers, some of the shrub, ice, and soda water to a tall glass. Then go sit on the patio and enjoy.
Grilled Salmon With Cucumber Mango Salsa
Cucumber mango salsa balances the heat in this grilled salmon brushed with lime and chili pepper. The salsa is simple to make and comes together as the salmon sits in the fridge absorbing the lime and chili flavors before you grill it.
Cold Cucumber Soup
Homemade soup in 10 minutes with no cooking at all? That’s the beauty of delicious, refreshing cold cucumber soup. Throw all the ingredients in a blender—cucumbers, onion, buttermilk, sour cream, dill, rice vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper—puree and serve! A perfect first course to a hot summer’s night’s meal.
Smashed Cucumber Chicken Salad
Smashing cucumbers them gives a nice uneven surface for the sesame vinaigrette in this salad to cling to and also brings out the flavors and aromas in the cucumber itself. The shredded chicken brings some protein and turns this salad into a satisfying lunch or dinner.
Easy Cucumber Salad
You can make this with whatever herbs you have on hand, or even no herbs at all. With a dressing of slightly sweet seasoned rice vinegar, this is a quick one that just may become your go-to summer side dish.
When it’s too hot to cook but you have a lot of garden veggies to use up, gazpacho comes to the rescue. Puree tomatoes, red onion, cucumber, bell pepper, celery, and chopped fresh herbs with tomato, vinegar, olive oil, and lemon. Add some Tabasco and Worcestershire for a little kick. It’s best to make this a few hours before serving to allow the flavors to meld together.
Cucumber Salad with Grapes and Almonds
There are endless ways to make cucumbers the main ingredient in a salad. Here, grapes, garlic, and almonds join the crunchy vegetable for a balanced summer salad. It’s a bit like a deconstructed white gazpacho.
Cucumber Salad with Tahani Dressing
Quick and easy, this salad dresses cucumbers with a tahini dressing full of fresh herbs. Persian cucumbers work best, but you can use other thin-skinned varieties, too.
Sesame Cucumber Salad
By now, you’re seeing the versatility of cucumbers and the many ways they can shine in summer salads. This one calls upon the flavor of sesame for the dressing, in both toasted sesame seed form and dark sesame oil. How quick is this to make? Try just 7 minutes.
Tzatziki (Cucumber Yogurt Salad)
Serving something spicy like hot dogs with spicy kimchi sauce? Then serve this salad of peeled, sliced cucumbers, yogurt, dill, salt, and pepper alongside it. It takes just 5 minutes to prepare and you can serve it immediately.
Cucumber Lime Mint Agua Fresca
Agua frescas are refreshing Mexican fruit drinks that are cooling, sweet, and great alongside spicy food. Cucumber and mint together are particularly refreshing that you’ll want to drink all summer long. If you’re looking for a drink non-alcoholic cocktail vibe, this is the one.
Cucumber Mint Raita
Make this Indian condiment that pairs with hot and spicy dishes with yogurt, cumin, cucumber, and mint. It helps douse the heat when a meal is too spicy. Serve it alongside dishes like grilled shrimp with Konkan-inspired masala.
Bread and Butter Pickles
Super easy to make, you can store bread and butter pickles in the refrigerator or hot water bath can them for long-term storage. Start with fresh pickles, add onions and a syrup of pickling spices, cider and sugar. The hardest part will be the patience you need to let the flavors meld together before you can dig in.
Grandma’s Pineapple Cucumber Lime Jello Salad
When the topic of retro foods comes up, Jello salads are always in the conversation. Home cooks suspended a lot of various ingredients in Jello, and this version uses lime jello with pineapple, cucumber, and horseradish. You’re just going to have to trust us on this one. This unique combination is delicious.