27 Refreshing Cucumber Recipes
These light, fresh, and (mostly) healthy dishes will have you feeling as cool as a cucumber all summer long. From bright and colorful salads to smooth and refreshing cocktails, you'll come back to these delicious cucumber recipes again and again.
Watermelon, Cucumber, and Feta Salad
Cucumbers add a welcome crunch to this refreshing summer salad of cubed watermelon, fresh herbs, and crumbled feta cheese. You can replace the fresh mint with basil if you prefer, or use a combination of both herbs. A personal-sized seedless watermelon is just the right size for this salad, but you can also use pre-cut melon or a portion of a larger watermelon. Be sure to dress the salad right before serving it to prevent the melon and cucumbers from watering down the vinaigrette
Any cucumber will do in this salad, but we love the thin-skinned English variety—no peeling or seeding is required.
Chicken and Cucumber Salad With Parsley Pesto
This hearty supper salad is a lean-protein powerhouse thanks to chicken, chickpeas, and edamame; the parsley pesto delivers bone-boosting vitamin K. Pick up frozen shelled edamame to make this meal extra speedy.
Spicy Tomato-Cucumber Salad
This elegantly simple salad is summer in a bowl. Sunshine-yellow and ruby-red wedges of juicy tomato anchor this dish with a hefty dose of lycopene, a heart-helping, cancer-fighting antioxidant. Cucumber and bell pepper bring their crunch to the party, while lemon and chile keep things lively with heat and zing. Remember—summer tomatoes are extra juicy, so plan to serve this salad soon after making it for the most concentrated flavor.
Beef Kebabs with Cucumber-Mint Salad
The beauty of the melting pot that is American cuisine is that we are surrounded by opportunities to taste dishes from all over the world. Basically a hamburger on a stick, these kebabs cook faster and have more surface contact with the grill, resulting in more crispy, juicy bites than your average bun-topped burger. The assertively spiced beef is perfectly balanced by the cooling cucumber salad, which gets even better with an extra dollop of creamy low-fat Greek yogurt.
Spicy, zingy fermented cukes deliver plenty of probiotics. The double-sealed water bag helps keep them submerged so they ferment thoroughly.
Strawberry and Cucumber Tabbouleh
Cook and refrigerate the bulgur up to 3 days ahead and toss together just before serving. Or make the whole salad up to 2 days in advance and pack it for lunch or an early-season picnic. Serve topped with feta, grilled chicken, or lamb. Look for petite, nearly seedless Persian cucumbers sold in packs of 5 or 6. No need to peel their very thin skin. Or, use chopped English cucumber in its place–skin and all.
Pea and Cucumber Cooler
Celebrate spring’s sweetest vegetable in a refreshing cocktail that delivers more than 15% of your daily vitamin C goal—and bonus points for the vibrant green color. Anise notes from the tarragon balance the sweetness of the elderflower liqueur. Club soda adds an effervescent finish.
Watermelon, Cucumber, and Burrata Salad
This cooling salad is perfect for the summer months. Watermelon is nearly 92 percent water (hence its name), so it’s great for hydrating in hot weather.
Creamy Watercress-Cucumber Soup
Cool, creamy, and loaded with fresh flavor, this is just about the most perfect summer soup we could imagine. Plus, it’s a great no-cook recipe for when the heat of summer hits and you want to keep your kitchen cool. While a large blender helps here, you could certainly prepare the soup in two batches and stir them together at the end. Serve as a light lunch or appetizer with crusty bread—or for a more substantial meal, this chilled watercress-cucumber soup is a delicious partner to our Ultimate Grilled Tomato Sandwich. In order to get sour cream that “swirls” into the soup (instead of sinking to the bottom), you’ll need to thin it out with a bit of water. In a small bowl, simply whisk together a 2-to-1 ratio of sour cream and water, and you’ll be good to go.
Seared Halloumi with Cucumbers, Apricots, and Honey
The key to this multi-textured meze plate is halloumi, a salty Cyprus grilling cheese, that works wonderfully with ripe figs, summer melon, and all manner of stone fruits.
Thai Cucumber Collins
Muddle cucumber slices with mint and lemongrass in this garden-fresh, Thai-inspired Collins update. The result is cool as a…well, you know.
Smashed Cucumber Salad
Add flavor and punch to a simple cucumber salad with Sambal Oelek, a fiery chili paste found on the Asian foods aisle. Combine with nutty sesame oil and fresh green onions, this easy veggie salad is light and refreshing, yet packs a spicy, unexpected kick. Let stand to allow the flavors to mesh before consuming.
This effervescent, nonalcoholic mocktail refresher offers the perfect balance of floral, tangy, and sweet flavors. If you’d like to turn it into a tipple, try adding a splash of gin or vodka. While we call for dried lavender, if you have access to fresh, steep a few sprigs of it in place of the dried herb—and garnish each drink with a fresh sprig, too, for a lovely, fragrant touch. You can make the syrup and cucumber-lime mixture up to a day ahead; stir in club soda just before serving.
Pita Salad with Cucumber, Fennel, and Chicken
This pita salad recipe is a clever take on fattoush, a traditional Middle Eastern bread salad. Rotisserie chicken adds heartiness, while thinly sliced fennel, cucumber, and a tangy vinaigrette keep the flavors light and fresh.
Shaved Carrot, Cucumber, and Sweet Onion Salad
A 5-minute soak in the vinaigrette softens the carrots slightly and removes a bit of the pungent bite from the onion.
Cucumber Sandwiches for Fancy Times
Dawn Perry is helping us make the dainty, delicious cucumber sandwiches of our dreams. Serve a stack of them at your next Sunday brunch and get a rep as the coolest host ever.
Watermelon-Cucumber Gin and Tonic
A reinterpretation of the familiar gin and tonic, this cocktail includes fresh watermelon and cucumber juices for a refreshing taste.
Shaved Honeydew-and-Cucumber Salad
Use the remaining honeydew melon for smoothies, or try blending it with cucumber, mint, onion, and a seeded jalapeño for a green gazpacho.
Sesame Shrimp with Smashed Cucumber Salad
Gently smashing fresh cucumber slices helps them absorb more vinaigrette, almost as if they've been marinating overnight. Serve over hot cooked brown rice.
Cucumber, Onion, and Tomato Salad
This simple, refreshing combo will never go out of style. Soaking the sliced red onion in cold water mellows its pungent bite.
Pepper, Cucumber, and Chickpea Salad
A bright cumin-lemon dressing works well with any thin-skinned pepper. Try a rainbow of them, or focus on one palette, like yellow-orange. To turn the salad into dinner, add hard-cooked eggs and thin strips of salami.
Shaved Cucumber Salad with Pickled Blackberries
"This salad was inspired by a basket of onions, blackberries, cucumbers, and mint that showed up in the kitchen one day," says Sarah Steffan, executive chef of The Dogwood restaurant at Blackberry Farm. "Soak the onions in salted water and ice to crisp them up and mellow them out."
Cucumber Gazpacho with Blue Crab
This refreshing soup is perfect for serving on a hot summer day.
Cucumber Salad with Spicy Tahini Dressing
This simple veggie side salad incorporates the rich nutty flavor of tahini with toasted sesame oil, fish sauce, and fresh herbs for a flavor-packed dish. Serve it at a summer picnic or cookout, toss it into a bowl of greens for a heartier bite, or top it with a cooling dollop of Greek yogurt for added tang. Make a double (or triple) batch of the spicy tahini dressing and use it to amp up other dishes throughout the week.
Shaved Cucumber Greek Salad
Easy to make and absolutely stunning to look at, this fresh riff on a Greek salad offers beautiful flavor combinations. Mild Castelvetrano olives are meaty and buttery, green tomatoes are bright and acidic, green onions are pungent and savory, and feta cheese is creamy and salty. We love the subtlety of Champagne vinegar, but you can substitute white wine vinegar if you don’t have it. Likewise with green peppercorns—they offer a different sort of peppery kick and stick with our color palette, but black peppercorns would also be delicious.
Dilly Cucumber Salad with Yogurt
We give the classic cucumber, tomato, and red onion combo a hit of grassy dill for more vibrance.