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.
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.
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.
5. Flank Steak Tacos With Cucumber Salsa
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.
7. 5-minute Heirloom Tomato And Cucumber Toast
8. Cold Sesame Cucumber Noodles
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
14. Roasted Peach And Arugula Salad
15. The Ultimate Grilled Chicken Sandwich
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.
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.
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.
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?
20. Chickpea, Broccoli Rabe, Tomato And Cucumber Salad
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.
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.
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).
25. Australian Lamb Meatballs With Buttery Lemon Orzo And Tzatziki
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.
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.
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.
Get the recipe
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.
30. Salmon Poke Bowl With Spicy Mayo
Quick-pickled cucumbers, shelled edamame, shredded carrots and steamed asparagus compensate for the rich lemon-sriracha mayo.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
For even more great recipes, check out our first cookbook, Only the Good Stuff.