58 Ways to Use Cucumbers

The summertime often means a glut of cucumbers, or at least it does for me and my weekly vegetable basket. If you are in the same cucumber boat and in a bit of a rut with them, I have compiled this list of recipes and ideas for you and me to draw from.

As always with these lists, I am grateful to my inspired readers on Twitter and Facebook who contributed their own favorites!

Choose smaller cucumbers, smooth and evenly colored, that feel firm throughout — when they get older, they go soft at the tips so that’s a good thing to check. I find that the varieties I get from my grower or from the organic store don’t have a hint of bitterness, so I always keep the peel on, but that’s up to you — peeling in alternate stripes is a pretty compromise.

And if the varieties you have access to are indeed bitter, some people recommend cutting off the stem end of the cucumber and rubbing the cut surfaces together vigorously until a slimy froth comes out: wipe it away and, supposedly, all bitterness is gone.

Cucumber pairings

– Cucumber + tomato
– Cucumber + feta cheese
– Cucumber + red onion
– Cucumber + vinegar
– Cucumber + herbs (esp. mint, dill, basil, chervil, chives, cilantro)
– Cucumber + garlic
– Cucumber + sesame
– Cucumber + seaweed
– Cucumber + yogurt or cream
– Cucumber + avocado
– Cucumber + fish and shellfish (esp. crab, tuna, and anchovies)

Cucumber salads

– Bite-size cucumbers and tomatoes with red onion and feta, sprinkled with balsamic vinegar.
– With baby spinach, strawberries, and cubed feta coated with Herbes de Provence.
Panzanella (Italian bread salad).
– Peel and dice cucumbers about 2 cm (1/2 inch), add diced tomato, avocado and slivered red onion. Serve with fresh greens and a light dressing.
Greek salad.
– Salade niçoise (though some say that’s out of the question).
– Tzaziki.
– Cucumbers and sour cream, the Polish version of tzatziki.
Sweet and sour cucumbers with fresh dill.
– Thinly sliced with a lemony vinaigrette, sprinkled with poppy or sesame seeds.
– Thinly shaved slices of cucumber and red radish, with vinegar mixed with half a teaspoon of brown sugar and fresh red chilies.
– Toss with still-warm roasted fennel and a dressing made with mashed roasted garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and plenty of parsley.
– Ottolenghi’s cucumber salad with smashed garlic and ginger, or the one with chili, sugar, rapeseed oil and poppy seeds.
Crab and cucumber salad.
– With lime and Tajin, Mexican-style.

Asian-style cucumber salads

– Thinly sliced or match-stick-sliced cucumbers with seaweed flakes, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and toasted sesame (pictured below).
– Chopped cucumbers tossed with shredded shiso leaves, pitted and chopped umeboshi (sour plums), and a dressing made with soy sauce and juice of a citrus like yuzu.
– Malay cucumber and pineapple salad, with vinegar, sugar, and chilies.
– Use a vegetable peeler to slice the cucumber into long ribbons, then toss lightly with a simple dressing of rice vinegar and neutral-flavored oil (3 to 1 or so), salt and pepper, and a dash of red pepper or garlic to give it a little kick. Prettier than the usual half-moons, and a great side for peppery or Asian-influenced grilled meats or fish.
– Spicy thai cucumber salad.
Oi-sobagi, or spicy stuffed cucumber kimchi.
– Raita.
– Lebanese Fattoush salad

Cucumber Salad with Sesame and Seaweed

Cucumber Salad with Sesame and Seaweed

Cucumber appetizers

– Use cucumber slices as a bread substitute for appetizer spreads.
Cut large slices and stuff with goat cheese and basil or any other yummy food.
– Cut into sticks and serve with Anchoïade (French anchovy dip).

Cucumber pickles

Asian pickles.
Lacto-fermented dilly cucumbers.
Bread and butter pickles.
Salted cucumbers.

Cucumber sandwiches

– Add to any sandwich for crunch and freshness.
– Cucumber sandwiches on sandwich bread with cream cheese.
– Cucumber and avocado quick nori rolls.

Cucumber

Cucumber soups

– Cold yogurt and cucumber soup with a healthy dose of garlic and dill, and maybe a bit of green onion, blended till smooth.
Gazpacho, esp. with hot peppers.
– Chilled cucumber and avocado soup with mango salsa.

Cucumbers served warm

Baked cucumbers.
– Add to a stir-fry or stew.
– Dredge slices in cornmeal and fry.

Cucumber drinks and frozen treats

– Add a few slices to your iced water glass or jug.
– Muddle with basil, add gin and tonic.
– Sangria with white wine, cucumbers, mint, and green grapes.
– Make popsicles with lime juice and chili.
Cucumber sorbet.

Non-food uses for cucumbers

– Apply slices on puffy or tired eyes.
– Make cucumber facial masks.
– Use as shoe polish, WD-40 replacement, defogger, or pest control.

58 Ways To Use Cucumbers

Tagged:
  • Rachel Baddorf

    Thanks for putting this together! I’m swimming in cucumbers these days. I’ve started just randomly leaving them on my neighbors porches. It’s too much!

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com/ Clotilde Dusoulier

      “Swimming in cucumbers” — love that image! What kind(s) do you grow and what’s your favorite way to use them?

      • Rachel Baddorf

        I’ve planted Double Yield from Seedsavers.org the last two years. I think I’ll try a different variety next year, but I’ve enjoyed them so far. Mostly I just pickle them. Either a quick, refrigerator pickle my friend’s grandmother used to make or different varities that I save up for the long winter. I also make cucumber salads to take to potluck events. My favorite is with rice vinegar and cilantro.

        • http://chocolateandzucchini.com/ Clotilde Dusoulier

          I think the cucumber/cilantro pairing is delicious and underused!

  • HappyForks

    You make an amazing crib for all cucumber lovers and for those who doesn’t even try to make something with them. This low calories vegetable deserves to be a base of a snack or salad.

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com/ Clotilde Dusoulier

      Thanks, I’m glad you find the list useful!

  • LaCoccinelle

    Cucumber and Marmite sandwiches are delicious. I used to make a cucumber and egg mousse thing, it was good served in individual ramekin dishes for dinner party starters with toast melba. Unfortunately, I am not sure where the recipe is now.

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com/ Clotilde Dusoulier

      That is most unusual! Did you just purée the cucumbers in a blender together with the egg? Were there beaten egg whites involved? Was this something you baked in the oven? Color me intrigued. :)

      • LaCoccinelle

        I’ll look for the recipe. It’s back from the days before I stored them all on my PC, so may require some serious searching.

      • LaCoccinelle

        I can’t find my recipe, but I think it is very similar to this one http://www.cookitsimply.com/recipe-0010-014120l.html

        • http://chocolateandzucchini.com/ Clotilde Dusoulier

          Thank you, I’ll have to give it a try sometime!

  • http://www.RokcoRecipes.com/ Rok Jurca (ROKCO)

    I can not belive there are 58 ways to use cucumber woow. Cucumber is certanly not my favorite vegetable but if it is cooked in a tomato sauce and served with mashed potatoes on the side, than it’s ok. With this 58 options I think I will find one or two more dishes to my cucumber repertoar. Tnx for the ideas.

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com/ Clotilde Dusoulier

      Thanks for the additional recommendation!

  • Rifki Ali

    my folks usually mix a 50-100 gr of fresh chilli (crushed to rough pieces to make rough paste), some vinegar, salt and sugar and add a liter of water. then add thinly sliced cucumbers, thumb-sized cuts of pineapples (fresh not canned, so it’s not sweet but sour), and thinly sliced tuber roots of “bengkoang” (also known as jicama, mexican yam, mexican turnip, yam bean)

    keep in airtight container and place in refrigerator for at least 12 hour before eating it sparingly (due to the spicy and sour taste, so we dont get indigestion).
    This “batavian-style cold pickles” are perfect for hot summer days as side-snack and if you add thinly sliced carrots it can serve as a condiment for rice or bread.

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com/ Clotilde Dusoulier

      That sounds really interesting and I’d love to give it a taste. Where are your folks from?

      • Rifki Ali

        batavia, Jakarta, Indonesia, South East Asia.

        • http://chocolateandzucchini.com/ Clotilde Dusoulier

          A rich mix indeed!

  • http://www.kikucorner.com/ Meinhilde

    Both the German and Japanese sides of my family love cucumber dressed in a light vinegar-sugar dressing. Delish!

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com/ Clotilde Dusoulier

      Funny their tastes should coincide on this particular preparation!

  • Joanne

    Cucumbers lightly sauteed in butter with fresh dill – great with grilled fish, especially salmon. Or thinly sliced, salted, drained and squeezed dry and tossed in a dressing of cream, lemon juice and dill.

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com/ Clotilde Dusoulier

      Thanks for these ideas, Joanne!

  • http://www.bulleetblog.com Anne-LiessePersehaye

    I LOVE cucumbers. My fave summer salad this year is cucumber + cantaloupe + spring onion + feta cheese all cut into dices with a splash of olive oil + lemon juice. I just can’t get enough !

    I love the list – and the idea of it, too !

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com/ Clotilde Dusoulier

      Oh I love the idea of adding cantaloupe, that sounds so lovely!

  • http://www.jonasbrandon.com Jonas

    To mellow tequila, drop some cucumber slices in a tequila bottle in the freezer and give it a week or so.

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com/ Clotilde Dusoulier

      Cool trick, thank you Jonas!

  • LaCoccinelle

    Of course in England, the taste of summer is a Pimm’s cocktail and you can’t have Pimm’s without cucumber.

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com/ Clotilde Dusoulier

      You know, I don’t think I’ve ever had one, so this may be just the occasion I needed!

      • LaCoccinelle

        Living in La France profonde, Pimms is difficult to come by, so I was very pleased to find that a homemade recipe works just as well.
        two parts 40% gin
        two parts red vermouth
        one part orange Curacao
        4 dashes Angostura bitters

        I bottle will make 2 or 3 jugs of Pimm’s

        Fill one third of a large pitcher with ice. Pour in the Pimm’s and top up with lemonade or ginger ale — use 2-3 times the quantity of the spirits. Garnish with cucumber, mint, orange & lemon slices and borage flowers. To serve, use a tall tumbler and put in 2 or 3 ice cubes. Pour over the Pimm’s, making sure each glass has a slice of each fruit, a mint leaf and a borage flower. Warning: take care, it’s powerful stuff.

        • http://chocolateandzucchini.com/ Clotilde Dusoulier

          Thanks, that sounds most refreshing!

  • Annabel Smyth
    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com/ Clotilde Dusoulier

      That sounds so refreshing, thank you for the link!

  • saschmidt8

    … cucumber slices, cherry or grape sized tomatoes, feta cheese and lemon white wine vinaigrette …

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com/ Clotilde Dusoulier

      Simple and lovely!

  • http://chocolatecartoons.com/ Donna Barstow Draws

    I just wanted to add that canaries love cucumbers – it’s like a popsicle to them. My bird will eat the entire inside of a slice, leaving a limp bitter skin by the end. :)

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com/ Clotilde Dusoulier

      How fun, who knew?

  • Leon Benedens

    Great Article. I was just looking for some inspiration what to do with my cucumbers at home before I leave for a 2 week holiday. now i got an idea :-) I might post a recipe on http://www.paleolifestyle.de . Love your Blog, thanks!

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com/ Clotilde Dusoulier

      Thank you Leon!

  • http://lifeinbetween.me Jodi

    very timely! thank you!

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com/ Clotilde Dusoulier

      Thanks Jodi, I’m glad it can be of use!

Get the newsletter

Receive a free monthly email with a digest of recent entries, plus exclusive inspiration and special announcements. You can also choose to be notified of every new post.