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.
The 40 Best Cucumber Recipes for Cooling Down on a Hot Day
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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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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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.