Cukes are pretty cheap at the store (English and Persian varieties might run a little more), but if you like to grow your own, of all the vine vegetables you can cultivate this summer, your garden wouldn’t be complete without a healthy haul of cucumbers. Assuming you keep the ground fairly moist, cucumbers are also one of the easier veggies to grow—they’re pretty much the Ronco Rotisserie of veggies; just set it and forget it.
So when your garden comes to full harvest, or when you just feel like picking up a bunch of cucumbers at the market, there are countless options on how to use your haul. Naturally, they make fantastic pickles, but to keep things interesting, check out these 18 summer cucumber recipes.
Adapted from a Rachael Ray recipe, our crisp summer salad combines cucumbers, tomato, and onion with a smoky, simple vinaigrette for a cool summer side dish. The salad can be served along with any of your favorite summertime main dishes and works as a slaw too. Get our Smoky Cucumber, Tomato, and Onion Salad recipe.
Related Reading: 12 Chunky Summer Salads That Skip the Lettuce
In this salad adapted from Epicurious, shrimp, cucumber, and mango are combined with dill and a lightened-up mayo dressing for a heatless mid-week meal perfect for when it’s too hot cook. We recommend making some extra, as the shrimp salad also makes a great lunch. Get our Easy Shrimp Salad with Cucumber and Mango recipe.
Despite how impressive these look, they’re actually pretty easy to put together since you use leftover cooked chicken (or a rotisserie bird). Thin cucumber slices bring a cool crunch to the banh mi-inspired filling. Pack these on a picnic, to the office, or for eating at the beach. Get our Five Spice Chicken Summer Rolls recipe.
The traditional mignonette—made with minced shallots, cracked pepper, and vinegar—benefits greatly with the addition of cucumber in this funky adaption. The mignonette can be served along with fresh-shucked oysters, steamed crab legs, or shrimp. Get our Cucumber Mignonette recipe.
This tzatziki-like condiment is great on all of the summer staples; grilled chicken, burgers, and veggies. For an especially creamy (and slightly healthier) version, follow the recommendations and go with Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. Get our Cucumber and Cumin Yogurt Relish recipe.
Related Reading: Non-Traditional Burger Recipes to Liven Up Your BBQ
For a cool twist on the classic margarita, blended (and strained) cucumber puree adds some depth and a refreshing taste that pairs nicely with the tartness of lime juice and bite of blanco tequila. Get our Cucumber Margaritas recipe.
Who said that a simple cucumber and lettuce salad has to be boring? When combined with our creamy horseradish vinaigrette, of course, this salad is easy to make but full on flavor. Get our Cucumber and Bibb Lettuce Salad with Creamy Horseradish Vinaigrette recipe.
Are you after something a little more substantial? This crisp mixed greens and cucumber salad with shredded rotisserie chicken is an ideal no-cook meal, and the nutty tahini dressing is fantastic on everything. Get our Chicken and Greens Salad with Tahini Dressing recipe.
Planning on an afternoon tea party this summer? Our cucumber sandwiches offer a simple tweak to the classic preparation with the addition of hummus and thinly sliced lemon. Get our Cucumber, Hummus, and Lemon Tea Sandwiches recipe.
Related Reading: Easy Homemade Hummus Hacks for the Smoothest Results
Sounds strange, maybe, until you remember how much else is great grilled (grilled watermelon, grilled romaine, grilled fruit…). Like other veggies, grilling cucumbers can add a char and unique texture that can’t be found with traditional preps. The grilled cukes are served along with pickled feta in this recipe from She Likes Food. Get the Grilled Cucumber recipe.
The perfect hot weather dish, this soup is reminiscent of a classic gazpacho but brings creamy avocado and probiotic-packed kefir into the mix. It’s a snap to make and highly adaptable, so will quickly become a summertime staple. Get the Chilled Avocado, Cucumber, and Kefir Soup recipe.
Make your guac more interesting—and refreshing—by keeping it chunky and adding juicy pineapple and crunchy cucumber. Serve it at your next BBQ or just eat the whole bowl by yourself for dinner. Get our Pineapple and Cucumber Guacamole recipe.
Craving something smoother? Our Benedictine dip (inspired by a traditional Kentucky Derby sandwich spread) blends cool cucumber with cream cheese and sour cream and swaps the usual green food coloring for a little jalapeño hot sauce. Get our Benedictine Dip recipe.
Ceviche is a no-cook summer classic and this meaty halibut version is extra seasonal with cucumbers and watermelon in the mix. Use heirloom tomatoes if you’ve got ’em. Get our Halibut Ceviche with Watermelon and Cucumber recipe.
If you’re planning on breaking out the grill, switch things up and throw some swordfish steaks over the coals, then top them off your sea steaks with an ultra-refreshing melon cucumber salsa. Get our Grilled Swordfish with Cucumber Melon Salsa recipe.
Sometimes simple is best, and this time-tested cucumber salad is a creamy crowd-pleaser for any summer get-together—or a quick and easy lunch or dinner when you want to keep things light but not totally austere. Throw a piece of grilled salmon or chicken on the side if you’re a little hungrier. Get our Creamy Cucumber Salad recipe.
And proving that any flavor of ice cream is good—except rum raisin, yuck—cucumber ice cream is a refreshing summertime option that isn’t as crazy as it sounds. It’s light, with a subtle flavor—just what you want on a hot summer’s night. Get the Cucumber Ice Cream recipe.