15 plus ways to use cucumbers.

I only had 3 cucumber plants this year. But even then I still found myself with what felt like an overwhelming abundance at times.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love to just eat sliced cucumbers as a snack. Maybe with a little salt. But nobody can eat 5 pounds of them! So I started looking for what I could do with an abundance of cucumbers.

Below you’ll find all the ideas I’ve compiled for the next time I have a whole pile of cucumbers to deal with. Hope this helps you, too!

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How to Store Cucumbers

If you’re not dealing with them as soon as you pick (or buy) them, you need to store your cucumbers properly so they don’t go bad on you.

You can keep cucumbers on the counter for a couple of days, but if you need to store them longer than that, you should put them in the fridge. Make sure they have good airflow and that they aren’t sitting in water.

If I’m planning on snacking on the slices over the next couple of days, I just cut them up and store them in an airtight container.

Raw Cucumber Recipes

There are plenty of ways to use cucumbers raw. And during the summer, that can be ideal since you probably want to avoid standing over a hot stove.

8 medium pickling cucumbers on a cutting board next to a bowl with even more cucumbers

Cucumber Salad: Dress up your cucumber slices with some salt, vinegar, and sugar. You can further customize this with sliced onion, diced tomatoes, or herbs.

Tzatziki: This is great to make if you’re firing up the grill. Mix grated cucumber with yogurt, garlic and dill for a great dip or sauce.

Cucumber Kimchi: Another great side dish for the summer! The flavors used in Korean cuisine make this an exciting option, especially if you like spicy food.

Cucumber sandwiches: If you’ve got a tea party around the corner, spread some cream cheese on bread, and top with thinly sliced cucumbers. Finish with a sprinkle of salt and pepper.

Cucumber gazpacho: Make this chilled cucumber soup in the blender to use up excess cucumbers. If you’ve got thicker skinned cukes, you’ll want to peel them first.

Cucumber Water: If you have trouble staying hydrated because plain water is boring, you should consider infused water. And cucumber is a popular one to start with!

Cucumber smoothie: Another refreshing drink for the summer heat. Just throw your cucumbers in a blender with milk, honey, yogurt, and maybe some lime juice.

Cucumber agua fresca: This recipe would be great for your next summer BBQ! No one has to know you were “using up” cucumbers when you decided to make this special beverage.

sliced cucumber in jars to make cucumber water

Ways to Cook Cucumbers

My brain is still wrapping itself around cooking a vegetable that I had only ever eaten raw. But, desperate times call for desperate measures, and if cooking them will help use up extra cucumbers, let’s do it!

Here’s some ideas I’ve found for cooking with cucumbers:

Stir-fried cucumbers: I found this recipe from one of my favorite Korean bloggers. This side dish (or banchan in Korean) is another great way to use all those cucumbers.

Grilled cucumbers: If you’re firing up the grill anyways, why not grill some cucumbers along with other veggies like squash, zucchini, or eggplant. This simple recipe will give you a good idea on how to get started.

Warm cucumber soup: If the nights are getting chilly, then a warm soup may be just the thing to use up a lot of cucumbers. This creamy version.

Cucumber Muffins: Think zucchini muffins, but this recipe purees the cucumbers. I liked the original recipe, but I really loved it after I added some cocoa powder and chocolate chips.

Cucumber Chips: Get your dehydrator and a mandolin out and make some alternatives to potato chips! This recipe has 5 different flavors to try: salt and pepper, BBQ, ranch, salt and vinegar, and sour cream & onion. 

Can and Pickle Excess Cucumbers

Of course, who can forget pickles! Either make some traditional fermented pickles, or fire up your canner and preserve some jars of pickles for the coming year (or as extra-special homemade gifts).

Here are some ways to make pickled cucumbers:

Fermented pickles: The original pickle uses lacto-fermentation to preserve your cucumbers. The process involves submerging your cucumbers in a brine and fermenting them at room temperature. This gives you a finished product lower in sugar and sodium than most canned commercial “equivalents.”

A person pouring pickling brine into a jar of cucumbers for refrigerator pickles

Canned pickles: Who doesn’t love opening a jar of pickles? It’s well-worth learning to can to be able to have jars of dill or bread and butter pickles on hand! My favorite canning book is the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving. Or you can find a USDA guide for canning recipes here–the pickle recipes are in Guide 06.

Refrigerator pickles: If you just want some quick pickles, then this is the way to go! You can make dill, sweet, or spicy refrigerator pickles. Check out my super simple sweet refrigerator pickle recipe to give you a place to start here.

I hope this has given you some ideas for using up your own abundance of cucumbers! 

Do you have a favorite cucumber recipe? Share it in the comments–I’d love to try it!

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