30 Creative Cucumber Recipes
These will keep you cool as a... well, you know 😉.
Ah, the humble cucumber. Too often relegated to an optional garnish or simple side salad, cucumbers can actually play a major role in a ton of creative summer BBQ salads, healthy dips, lunch sandwiches, and even cocktails. It adds much needed brightness and crunch to a variety of dishes, and we’re here to finally give it the praise it deserves. Check out our 30 cucumber recipes for ideas—we bet you’ll seek some out next time you hit the grocery store or farmer’s market.
For most recipes, you can use any variety of cucumber you can find, though there are a few recipes where we prefer one over the other. The 4 main types you’re likely to find in your grocery store are English cucumbers (long, dark green, and thin with a tougher skin), garden cucumbers (medium-sized, big seeds, waxed skin), Kirby cucumbers (smaller and fatter, with bumpy skin), and Persian cucumbers (usually the smallest, lighter green, very thin skin). If you’re making a recipe like our Greek cucumber cups or California cucumber bites, where you want the cucumbers to be extra sturdy, go for a English or garden cuke (feel free to peel the outside). If you’re just looking for refreshing crunch, go for a kirby (most commonly used for pickles), or a Persian (try them alongside falafel or in our crunch salad).
As we see it, cucumber is great both as the star of a dish, and as the supporting cast. Some of our favorite creamy and herby dips—like tzatziki, raita, and the Vietnamese nước chấm found in our bánh mì kebabs recipe—wouldn’t exist without cucumber. Our Chinese smashed cucumber salad or regular cucumber salad are all about the cuke too, and you can serve them alongside anything that needs a little extra oomph. You can even make cucumber noodles out of them, like in our Thai peanut cucumber noodles or our Greek cucumber noodle salad (just like zoodles, but unfortunately we don’t think “coodles” will catch on). Cucumbers also pair perfectly with other ingredients like watermelon, tomato, feta, and olives, like in our Mediterranean chickpea salad, our watermelon feta salad, or our avocado & tomato salad. Looking for something super easy to do with cucumbers? Simply slice them, and use them as garnish for everything from your breakfast bagels and lox to evening cocktails like our St. Germain spritz. They’ll add an extra fresh taste and crunch you’ll be glad for.
Want more veggie inspiration? Check out our favorite eggplant recipes, sweet corn recipes, and zucchini recipes too.
Known as horiatiki, this traditional Greek salad is made with cherry tomatoes, cucumber, kalamata olives, thinly sliced red onion, and feta. The easy dressing is a mixture of red wine vinegar, fresh lemon juice, dried oregano, and extra-virgin olive oil. Simply said, it's the best.
Get the Greek Salad recipe.
Here at Delish, we're OBSESSED with pickles. Lucky for us, they're ridiculously easy to make at home. Check out our tips and tricks for best results.
Get the Pickles recipe.
Bonus for this recipe: you get to smash out a little bit of pent-up anger in the process! The resulting uneven, craggy texture of split cucumbers is perfect for grabbing and holding on to that delicious, seasoned oil.
Get the Chili Oil Smashed Cucumbers recipe.
Though we'll always love a classic, tomato-baed gazpacho, the addition of watermelon gives the soup a delicious subtle sweetness we can't get enough of. Full of juicy, bright fruit and additional veggies like cucumbers and bell peppers, this no-cook soup is equal parts satisfying and refreshing.
Get the Watermelon Gazpacho recipe.
Our lemon-parsley vinaigrette is perfectly tart and fresh with a hint of spice and you can put it on everything. Not a fan of olives or bell peppers? Cherry tomatoes and diced ripe avocado will fill that flavor gap. Want to keep it dairy free? Sub in another form of protein in place of the feta, like a couple of hard-boiled eggs or a can of tuna, or a handful of chopped toasted nuts.
Get the Mediterranean Chickpea Salad recipe.
This South Asian yogurt-based condiment comes in infinite varieties, from cooling cucumber like this one, to sweet banana, to bright and crisp sliced onion. Though typically served with South Asian dishes like biryani, kebabs, and naan (along with countless other dishes), raita can improve pretty much anything—from hamburgers to falafel.
Get the Cucumber Raita recipe.
This crunchy cucumber snack is inspired by popular California roll sushi, without any of that pesky rolling. Got furikake? It'd be delicious sprinkled on top as the final garnish.
Get the California Sushi Bites recipe.
Watermelon + cucumbers is one of the most refreshing combos of all time. Throw in some mint, red onion, and feta and toss it all with a very simple vinaigrette (just olive oil + red wine vinegar), and you've got yourself a mean summer salad.
Get the Watermelon Feta Salad recipe.
We know what you’re thinking. Whiskey??? What in the world are you doing pairing whiskey and tonic? But before you judge us too much, we urge you to try this twist on the classic. The warm vanilla-y notes add a whole new dimension, especially when paired with classic G&T garnishes like cucumber and rosemary.
Get the Whiskey Tonic recipe.
Tzatziki is a big name for a simple sauce that goes well on chicken shawarma, served with more cucumbers and pita, and everything else you want it on. It's the condiment we always keep in our fridge—just in case.
Get the Authentic Tzatziki recipe.
Most bánh mì sandwiches include cilantro and cucumber, so we added those ingredients to a nước chấm to pair with these skewers. Nước chấm is a common Vietnamese dipping sauce that's served with a variety of dishes. Our version adds a wallop of freshness and herbaceousness to these kebabs, but you can truly pair it with anything.
Get the Bánh Mì Kebabs recipe.
Don't confuse this colorful salad with guac—there's way more depth of flavor and variety of texture, which makes it one of our favorite summer sides of all time. But the real beauty? You're totally welcome to still eat it with tortilla chips. (Just know it also tastes amazing alongside pretty much anything.)
Get the Avocado & Tomato Salad recipe.
Good rule of thumb (you know, in life): the simpler, the better. These flavor-packed lettuce wraps are as simple as it gets for a weeknight dinner, thanks in particular to some delicious cucumber quick pickles that add crunch and flavor, but not a ton of prep time.
This is one of those classic summer salads that we weren't sure about until we took a bite for ourselves. Now we're hooked on the cucumber slices in a lemon juice, Greek yogurt, and dill dressing. Your BBQ guests will thank you.
Get the Cucumber Salad recipe.
This bright, satisfying summer salad comes together in 10 minutes tops—once you've got it down, feel free to riff on the ingredients, adding different veggies, fruits, and beans. Just don't skip that cucumber! It adds the perfect crunch.
Get the Tomato Cucumber Feta Salad recipe.
Although nothing's faster than picking up a sandwich from your favorite falafel joint, we promise that making these falafel balls at home is a cinch. What will make it taste just as good as takeout? Yep, the crunch of an easy cucumber salad (plus some tzatziki and hummus).
Get the Homemade Falafel recipe.
Water is so much more fun with flavor! Cucumber and mint is the OG option, but we've included peach-ginger and strawberry-lime here too—feel free to get creative!
Get the Glow Water recipe.
Loaded with cucumbers, tomatoes, and feta, this dip was inspired by our Greek salad. (Though it's missing the olives, onion, and oregano.) For a smoother, fluffy consistency, we added yogurt and cream cheese. Full disclaimer: This recipe makes a LOT of dip. We've never had a problem demolishing it, but it's easily halved if you're having a smaller get-together.
Get the Greek Feta Dip recipe.
These homemade summer rolls (aka shrimp rolls) make the perfect light appetizer or lunch, especially when dipped in a peanut dipping sauce. For our recipe, we rolled shrimp, rice noodles, crunchy vegetables like cucumbers, and herbs into rice paper sheets, but the dish is highly adaptable.
If you're a fan of refreshing, low-alcohol drinks like the ever-popular Aperol Spritz, you're going to love this sweet and floral cocktail. True, the cucumber is an optional garnish, but it adds an extra refreshing note we don't recommend skipping.
Get the St. Germain Spritz recipe.
Though you can almost always find scallion cream cheese, we included a mini recipe that adds extra herbaceous-ness thanks to fresh dill, which we all know pairs beautifully with salmon. We love this topped with capers, cucumbers, and red onion for crunch, but you do you.
Get the Bagel and Lox recipe.
These are as good for a healthy midday work snack as they are for a party appetizer. You don't have to peel stripes into your cucumber, but we think it looks extra cute (and eliminates some of that tough cucumber skin).
Get the Greek Cucumber Cups recipe.
This version of potato salad is very dill-forward, nicely lemony and bright with yogurt, crunchy cucumber—both fresh and pickled—and creamy boiled baby red potatoes. Add in a bit of zesty red onions and a pinch of MSG, and you’ve got a refreshing, extra tasty summer side dish.
Get the Tzatziki Potato Salad recipe.
Zucchini noodles (aka zoodles) aren't the only low-carb noodle alternative. Cucumbers and carrots are strong options that should go into your rotation more often too. Speaking of, you're going to want to put this peanut sauce on EVERYTHING, so we highly recommend making extra.
Get the Thai Peanut Cucumber Noodles recipe.
Skip the potato chip aisle and make your own at home! These low-carb "chips" are the perfect snack and replacement to your favorite potato chips. Want more veggie chip ideas? Try our cool ranch zucchini chips next.
Get the Salt & Vinegar Cucumber Chips recipe.
Whether it comes from a crispy lettuce such as iceberg, or the snap of a cucumber, salads are infinitely more enjoyable when they have some bite. Every ingredient here has been chosen to amplify that crunchy texture while also adding bold flavors. We included green apple, roasted peanuts, and cabbage too, but go ahead and add any ingredient with crunch.
Get the Crunch Salad recipe.
Consider these the healthier version of our shrimp tostada bites. Honestly, we could eat just the cucumbers and guac, but the seasoning on the shrimp is 🙌. Don't skip it!
Get the Shrimp Cucumber Bites recipe.
Turn Persian cucumbers into low-carb subs with this simple hack—we used hummus, deli-sliced turkey, and mozzarella here, but take inspiration from your favorite lunch sandwich for the filling. Just don't forget the toothpick to keep it all together!
Get the Greek Cucumber Subs recipe.
We know it's not real sushi but we love it just the same. Plus, no finicky rolling! Sprinkle these with sesame seeds and serve with our spicy mayo dipping sauce for an easy low-carb snack or appetizer.
Get the Cucumber Sushi recipe.
We're calling it: Cucumber noodles are the new zoodles. We love them even more because they're super refreshing and you don't have to cook them at all. And don't worry if you don't have a zoodler—we actually recommend using a julienne peeler to make these spaghetti-like noodles.
Get the Greek Cucumber Noodle Salad recipe.