30 Cool Cucumber Recipes You'll Want to Make All Summer Long
Cool, crisp, and crunchy, cucumbers are a light and delicious vegetable. And while they're available year-round, they peak during the warmer months, positioning them as ideal ingredients for refreshing cocktails, soups, salads, and even desserts. Ahead, we're showing you how to cool off this summer with some of our favorite cucumber recipes. They're more revitalizing than you'd imagine!
First, it's important to distinguish the different types of cucumbers available to you, as certain dishes require a specific variety. The common cucumber, or pole cucumber, is about eight inches long and often comes coated in wax—be sure to peel or scrub them prior to use—while the English variety can be twice that size. English cucumbers are grown in greenhouses, which is why they're also called hothouse cucumbers; they're virtually seedless and are usually sold wrapped in plastic to protect their thin skin. If you're looking to make your own pickles, we recommend Kirby cucumbers, which make snappy pickles but are also great when enjoyed fresh. Choose cucumbers that feel heavy for their size and have dark green skin free of the soft spots that indicate spoilage. Once you buy your cucumbers, you can refrigerate them, loosely wrapped in plastic, for up to five days.
Looking for something that will help you cool off after a long day by the pool? Make our Cucumber Cooler, which features fresh mint leaves, lime, club soda, and agave nectar for a sweet and light beverage. Pair the drink with an appetizer that's sure to delight—our Cucumber-Feta Toasts are simply delicious. Toasted bread is adorned with feta and sliced cucumbers for an easy and quick recipe. Another starter that uses the vegetable is Cucumber Buttermilk Soup. It only takes 10 minutes of prep and is chilled to a cool temperature.
As for dinner, you can't go wrong with our Scallop, Orange, and Cucumber Kebabs, which serves as a bright, flavorful main. Even better, they only take 20 minutes to make. Juicy oranges and crunchy cucumbers taste wonderful when paired with briny scallops. Ahead, we're sharing more enticing recipes that will help you to cool off during those hot summer days.
Salty feta and thinly sliced cucumber transform baguette toasts into a light yet satisfying appetizer.
Smoked Trout and Cucumber
Canned Sour Pickles
Kirby cucumbers are brined in a vinegar solution and a homemade pickling spice made with black peppercorns, yellow mustard seeds, allspice, and cinnamon. The result is the most delicious sour pickle you've ever tasted.
Nothing says summer quite like this fresher-than-fresh, verdant take on lemonade.
Chilled Melon, Cucumber, and Mint Soup
Smears of Greek yogurt on each serving bowl add extra oomph to this sweet-and-savory no-cook soup.
Roasted Cucumbers with Cream and Horseradish
Cucumbers feel the heat in this out-of-the-ordinary side dish—they're roasted with butter and cream and finished with fresh horseradish, lemon zest, and dill.
Cucumber, Celery, and Gin Sorbet
We love the pale-green hue and refreshing flavor of this savory, slightly boozy sorbet.
Avocado, Cucumber, and Apple Smoothie Bowl
Fresh ginger adds just the right amount of heat to this smoothie bowl, which is made with puréed apple, mini cucumbers, fennel, and avocado. Top with more cucumbers and avocado and a handful of pepitas for crunch.
Shaved Cucumber Salad
Ribbons of cucumbers and thinly sliced celery and onion are tossed with mayonnaise, champagne vinegar, and fresh cilantro in this lively side dish.
Yogurt with Cucumber and Mint
Grated cucumber and fresh mint add a refreshing note to rich whole-milk yogurt in this raita. Spiced with just a touch of cumin and cayenne, it makes an ideal accompaniment for all kinds of Indian dishes.
Cool cucumber, sweet pineapple, and fresh mint make this sparkling concoction a contender for the most refreshing drink of the summer. Try spiking it with pisco for happy hour.
Cucumber-Mint Buttermilk Soup
You can make this creamy chilled soup up to a day in advance. Top with cracked black pepper, a drizzle of olive oil, and fresh mint leaves just before serving.
Fast Homemade Pickles
Mustard seed, celery seed, and fresh dill pack a flavorful punch in this versatile brine. Use it not only for cucumbers but also for green beans, pearl onions, fennel, carrots, cauliflower, and more.
Cucumber Salad with Herbs, Kumquats, and Sumac Dressing
This bright salad is as tasty as it is colorful. Kumquats provide a flavorful juxtaposition to the crispy cucumbers and herbs in this dish.
Scallop, Orange, and Cucumber Kebabs
Cucumbers and citrus shed their cool demeanor when threaded onto skewers with sliced ginger and scallops for a delectable grilled kebab main.
Melon, Mint, and Cucumber Smoothie
Rotelle with Onions, Cucumbers, and Herbs
Crisp cucumbers and fresh herbs perfectly offset the sweet caramelized Vidalia onions in this summer pasta dish.
Cucumber and Jicama Slaw
This refreshing Mexican-inspired slaw substitutes crunchy jicama and cucumber for the usual cabbage. Dress with honey, lime juice, and chili powder, then serve alongside fajitas or grilled-shrimp tacos.
Cucumber Cups with Vichyssoise
Appetizer-sized cucumber cups are the perfect vehicle for serving vichyssoise, a classic French potato-and-leek soup.
Cucumber and Celery Salad with Tuna
This crisp salad gets its summery flavor from a slightly sweet vinaigrette speckled with poppy seeds. It's delicious on its own or stuffed into a pita—and only takes 10 minutes to make. A healthy bonus: Cucumbers and celery add crunch without calories, while tuna contributes protein.
Cucumber Cape Codder
Cranberry and cucumber make a surprisingly delicious pairing in this invigorating sweet-tart cocktail.
Cucumber and Coconut Salad
This Indian-inspired salad takes the heat off spicy barbecue dishes and hot afternoons.
Asparagus and Cucumber Vinaigrette
Crisp-tender steamed asparagus and crunchy cucumber are tossed in a simple red-wine vinaigrette in this versatile summer side dish.
Pineapple, Basil, and Cucumber
Flame-kissed pineapple, fresh basil, and cooling cucumber make an extraordinary side dish for any cookout.
Cucumber and Mint Salad with Toasted Pitas
A light, lemony vinaigrette dresses this refreshing salad of green beans, cucumber, and mint. Toasted pita brushed with garlic and olive oil replaces the usual croutons for a delicious Middle Eastern twist.
Cucumber and Snap Pea Salad with Mint
Enjoy the freshness and crunch of this salad with grilled meats or your favorite picnic sandwiches.
Cucumber Salad with Sour Cream and Dill Dressing
It only takes one ingredient to lighten up this classic side dish: reduced-fat sour cream. Trust us, no one will notice the difference.
Grilled Chicken Breast with Cucumber Relish
A Thai-inspired cucumber relish sits atop a juicy grilled chicken breast in this recipe. It adds a cooling crunch for a delightful taste.