Whether it’s a homemade pickle or an ice cold salad, all it takes is one bite to crown cucumbers the most refreshing vegetable (Note: It’s botanically a fruit, but you know what we mean) of all time. And since the temps are seemingly getting higher by the minute, we’ve had this juicy, crisp piece of produce on the brain. Here are 40 of the best cucumber recipes to cool down with this summer—heck, make it all year round.

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1. Butter-Baked Cucumber Tostadas

Who knew you could roast cukes just like a chicken? All it takes is a few brushes of melted butter, a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and a stint in the oven to turn them crisp and tender. Baking them also helps soften their bitterness.

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2. 15-Minute Cucumber-Avocado Blender Soup

Making soup from scratch only sounds like an all-day project. This cold soup comes together with just a few whirls in the blender. Pair it with an Asiago-encrusted baguette for dipping.

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3. Chilled Cucumber Salad

It doesn’t get easier than in-season produce, fresh herbs and a dash of vinegar. Top each bowl off with a dollop of sour cream if you’re feeling decadent.

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4. Wild Alaska Salmon and Smashed Cucumber Grain Bowls

The easiest way to enhance cucumbers’ flavor (and get them to soak up sauce and dressing like a charm) is smashing them. After smashing and slicing, sweat out some of their moisture by sprinkling them with salt and letting them drain for 30 minutes.

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5. Flank Steak Tacos with Cucumber Salsa

Refreshing, lime-kissed cukes are just the foil for fatty, rich steak. Might we suggest slathering the tortillas with a spoonful of roasted poblano and corn guacamole before topping them off?

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6. Easy Homemade Pickles

If you’re that person at the table who eyes everyone’s abandoned pickle spears, you *need* to try making a batch from scratch. They require minimal effort and can be jazzed up with whatever herbs and seasonings your heart desires.

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7. 5-Minute Heirloom Tomato and Cucumber Toast

Whether you serve it as a communal appetizer or devour it for breakfast solo, this simplistic meal is undeniably classy. (Plus, it makes the most of tomato season.)

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8. Cold Sesame Cucumber Noodles

This summer dish is begging to be eaten al fresco. It’ll also make you a believer in the magic of marinated tofu, but feel free to swap in grilled chicken or flaked salmon instead.

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9. Turmeric White Fish with Peanuts and Chili-Lime Cucumber

Use this Vietnamese-inspired dish to break out of your dinner rut (and salmon obsession). It’s super flexible, since it works with any firm white fish, like cod or hake.

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10. Falafel Pie with Cucumber Tomato Salad

Buttery phyllo crust + herb-heavy falafel filling + crisp produce = the tastiest Mediterranean meal ever. Serve it with plenty of crumbled feta and Greek yogurt.

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11. 15-Minute Gazpacho with Cucumber, Red Pepper and Basil

You’re only a few pulses away from this Spanish classic. Pair it with a few tapas (like pan con tomate or charcuterie) and wash it all down with a pitcher of sangria.

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12. Watermelon, Cucumber and Burrata Salad

Does it get more refreshing than sliced cukes alongside the juiciest summer melon on the planet? We think not. Feel free to serve the salad with toasted crostini for dipping into the cheese.

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13. Pork Milanese with Cucumber Yogurt

Warning: You’ll want to put the herby, garlicky yogurt on everything, from gyro to grilled chicken to pita chips. The trick to its intense flavor is using the stems of the dill instead of just the leaves.

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14. Roasted Peach and Arugula Salad

Honey-roasted peaches sweeten up peppery arugula just enough, while cukes and chopped almonds offer crunch. All that’s missing is a dash of EVOO and a spritz of lemon.

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15. The Ultimate Grilled Chicken Sandwich

Any sammy that’s crowned with a mountain of crispy frizzled onions is one after our own heart. Here, thin-sliced cucumbers add freshness to this enviable lunch.

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16. Juicy Green Pineapple Smoothie with Mint, Basil and Spirulina

Blended or puréed cucumber juice is slightly sweet, slightly bitter and so damn refreshing. Alongside magical spirulina (aka nutritious blue-green algae) and a whole fresh lime, it makes for an energizing green smoothie that you actually won’t mind drinking on the reg.

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17. Veggie Sushi

There’s no need to fuss with raw fish to get your sushi fix at home. This vegetarian version stars sushi rice, cukes, carrots, scallions and avocado. Feel free to add imitation crab or cooked shrimp if you’re feeling fancy.

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18. Thai Lettuce Wraps

Sure, they’re stuffed with savory cremini mushrooms and ground chicken. But the real star is the quick-pickled cucumbers, which add herbaceous tang to every bite.

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19. Falafel Salad with Spicy Yogurt Sauce

Who needs vinaigrette—let alone store-bought dressing—when you can mix a five-ingredient spicy yogurt sauce in 30 seconds?

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20. Chickpea, Broccoli Rabe, Tomato and Cucumber Salad

Wave goodbye to your sad desk lunches of the past. This beauty only takes about ten minutes from start to finish, thanks to handy canned chickpeas.

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21. Gaby’s Cucumber Salad

Cukes are the star of this zingy side dressed in garlicky balsamic vinaigrette. Buttery avocado makes the salad filling enough to be the main meal, if you’d prefer.

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22. Cucumber Basil Agua Fresca Cocktail

Not only is this sipper super light and refreshing, but it only calls for a modest amount of elderflower liqueur and bitters. You could make it stronger with a couple ounces of gin, tequila or vodka.

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23. Thai Peanut Chicken Noodles with Charred Corn and Lime Watermelon

Even your picky kids won’t have any complaints about this soul-warming meal. And the peanut sauce couldn’t be easier (we’re talking three pantry staples, people).

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24. Spicy Curry Shrimp Tacos

Cucumbers serve as the crisp, citrusy base for a cooling salsa that tames the heat and spice of the shrimp. Tame it even further with a drizzle of Mexican crema or sour cream.

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25. Australian Lamb Meatballs with Buttery Lemon Orzo and Tzatziki

Ground lamb makes for an earthy, gamier meatball than beef, but you can substitute one for the other no problem.

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26. Pesto Tuna Caprese Cucumber Bites

File this under Surprisingly Delicious Appetizers for a Crowd. The filling is as easy as combining canned tuna and store-bought pesto.

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27. Vegetable Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce

AKA our favorite way to taste the rainbow. Cukes are just one of five veggies called on to fill these rice paper-wrapped handhelds.

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28. Hushpuppy Panzanella Salad

Instead of traditional stale bread, this panzanella uses fresh hushpuppies, or cornmeal-buttermilk fritters. No offence to the O.G., but we might never have it the standard way again.

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29. Greek Roasted Cauliflower Burgers with Pan-Fried Feta and Tomato-Olive Salsa

Don’t look now, but even beef is jealous of this next-level veggie burger, held together with walnuts, quinoa and an egg.

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30. Salmon Poke Bowl with Spicy Mayo

Quick-pickled cucumbers, shelled edamame, shredded carrots and steamed asparagus compensate for the rich lemon-sriracha mayo.

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31. Crispy Peanut Chicken with Asian Salad

Peanut powder and chopped peanuts in the chicken breading boost this 40-minute weeknight wonder’s protein content big time.

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32. Steak Fajitas with Chimichurri and Cucumber Salsa

The salsa contains all the usual suspects, like lime, cilantro and jalapeño, plus one secret ingredient: diced mango.

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33. Broiled Salmon Gyro with Cucumber-Feta Yogurt Dip

The salmon is delicate and oh so tender, but the yogurt dip is what’ll keep you coming back for more. Use it on chicken, burgers, veggie skewers or pita chips.

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34. Prosciutto-Topped Cucumber Crostini

This low-carb take on crostini still checks all the boxes for a killer appetizer: salty meat, in-season produce and a few dollops of something creamy. (OK, we’ll tell: It’s crème fraiche.)

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35. Chilled Cucumber Avocado Raita Soup

For the uninitiated, raita is a South Asian condiment that’s popular in India. It’s made with dahi (a traditional fermented dairy product) and raw or cooked veggies. Here, it’s blended with cukes, onions, garlic, mint and spices.

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36. Honey-Lime Sriracha Salmon with Cold Sesame Cucumber Noodle Salad

Spiralized cucumbers are arguably the most refreshing pasta alternative of all time, even more than zoodles. (There, we said it.) If you don’t have a spiralizer, use a peeler or grater instead.

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37. Creamy Cucumber Salad

It’s mind-blowingly easy to make, since all it takes is chopping the cucumbers and tossing them in creamy, tangy dill dressing. The hardest part is waiting for it to chill before digging in.

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38. Spicy Cucumber Margarita

It’s no secret that cucumber and fresh lime juice pair beautifully together. Luckily, they’ll have no problem making room for tequila and ginger beer, too.

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39. Cucumber Avocado Ahi Ceviche

It’s a flavorful, impressive seafood dish that’s fancy enough to serve at a dinner party. Your guests will never guess that it was ready in 35 minutes flat.

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40. Homemade Tzatziki Sauce

Yup, we’ll put it on just about anything, including kebabs, gyros, burgers, salads, crudites and sandwiches. Go ahead, make a double batch.

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For even more great recipes, check out our first cookbook, Only the Good Stuff.

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