20 Crisp and Cool Cucumber Recipes for Summer

Article posted in: Diet & Nutrition
Fresh and Healthy Tomato Cucumber Salad

Fresh cucumber salad is a hallmark of summer picnics and backyard barbecues for many of us. Just-picked, thinly sliced cukes marinated with onions in a vinegar dressing sounds as delicious as it is nutritious! With warm weather and sunshine season upon us, cucumber recipes are a low-cal, refreshing and surprisingly healthy way to get in your daily veggie servings.

Powerhouses of Nutrients, Electrolytes, and Hydration

Did you know that cucumbers are about 96 percent water? Of course, with all that water they’re definitely hydrating! Keeping up your fluid intake is essential for health and weight loss, particularly during the heat of the summer. Water also keeps your joints lubricated and gives you energy.

However, cucumbers are more than just crunchy water. With cukes, you also get nutrients like magnesium, potassium and vitamins C and K. If you don’t peel and seed them, you also get fiber and beta-carotene. According to one study, cucumber seeds are loaded with calcium.

Bonus: Cukes contain two plant chemicals, lignans and cucurbitacins, that may guard against certain cancers.

Surprising Fun Fact: Cucumbers, like tomatoes, are actually a fruit!

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Easy Cucumber Recipes For Fresh Summer Meals

Time to add some more cucumber recipes to your repertoire, particularly if you have a surplus from your backyard garden! Here are 20 easy cucumber recipes you’re going to enjoy guilt-free all summer long.

1. Greek Orzo Summer Salad

Greek Orzo Summer Salad

Whole wheat orzo—a rice-shaped pasta—makes the perfect base for healthy pasta salad recipes when paired with fresh summer veggies like cucumber. In this version, we add cucumbers, tomatoes and onions for a totally refreshing summer salad that will make you pass up mayonnaise-y potato salad every time. It’s dressed with a piquant lemon dressing made of lemon juice, zest, olive oil and black pepper.  The longest step of this recipe is waiting for the orzo to cook. One serving is 276 calories and counts as one Smart Carb, half of a PowerFuel, one Extra and one Vegetable serving.

Get the Greek Orzo Summer Salad recipe.

2. Blackened Tilapia with Cucumber Avocado Topping

Blackened Tilapia with Cucumber Avocado Topping

Cucumbers shine in the creamy avocado salsa that tops this light, flaky fish dinner. Tilapia is coated in a dry-rub seasoning made from paprika, cayenne, thyme, oregano, garlic, onion powder and black pepper. Sautéed in light butter, it’s capped with the refreshing salsa that combines chopped cucumber, red onions, avocado and lime juice. The recipe makes four servings at 210 calories each. One serving counts as one PowerFuel and two Extras.

Get the Blackened Tilapia with Cucumber Avocado Topping recipe.

3. 4-Ingredient Deli Cucumber Sandwich

4-Ingredient Deli Cucumber Sandwich

Cucumber takes the place of bread so you can have two whole deli sandwiches for lunch! Spread with a wedge of cheese and topped with deli meat, it’s a low-carb and low-calorie lunch that you’ll want to make every day. One serving is only 108 calories and counts as one PowerFuel, one Extra and one Vegetable. You can also feel free to get creative with this one and make different types of cucumber sandwich recipes with different toppings.

Get the Deli Cucumber Sandwich recipe.

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4. Sushi Tuna Tower

Sushi Tuna Tower

Restaurant and store-bought sushi can hide loads of calories. Making your own keeps it light and healthy. This creative take on sushi turns it into a tower with all of your favorite ingredients. Tower construction is easy: Start with a sweet and savory mango-cuke mixture, followed by chopped sushi-grade tuna, avocado and spicy brown rice. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before flipping it over and serving with a sprinkling of black sesame seeds. This dish for sophisticated palates can be served over veggie noodles, a salad or eaten as is for only 295 calories. On Nutrisystem it counts as one SmartCarb, one PowerFuel and two Extras.

Get the Sushi Tuna Tower recipe.

5. 3-Ingredient Spicy Cucumber Snack Sticks

3-Ingredient Spicy Cucumber Snacks

Did we have you at “3-Ingredient?” This may be one of the easiest cucumber snack recipes for weight loss! Partially peel a cucumber, slice it into sticks and dust each one with chili lime seasoning and Pink Himalayan salt. Eat. It’s that simple and delish! One serving is only 40 calories and counts as one unlimited Vegetable on Nutrisystem.

Get the Spicy Cucumber Snack Sticks recipe.

6. Sesame Soy Cucumber Salad

Sesame Soy Cucumber Salad

Invest in a low-cost spiralizer—you won’t be sorry! It makes veggie pasta swaps that are great if you’re trying to cut carbs or calories. Try making cucumber noodle recipes made with English cucumbers (no seeds). We did and combined them with red bell peppers and red onions for this easy salad. Top these veggies with a homemade dressing made from sesame oil, rice vinegar, reduced sodium soy sauce, red chili flakes and a couple of drops of stevia. A sprinkle of sesame seeds adorns this 49-calorie side dish that counts as one Vegetable and one Extra on Nutrisystem.

Get the Sesame Soy Cucumber Salad recipe.

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7. Tomato, Cucumber and Mint Mediterranean Salad

Tomato, Cucumber and Mint Mediterranean Salad

This cool-as-a-cucumber salad makes four servings. However, at 34 calories per serving, you could eat all four without sabotaging your weight loss! Plus, it’s so easy to make: toss together this mélange of sliced cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions and mint. Topped with a tasty homemade lemon dressing, one serving counts as one Vegetable on the Nutrisystem plan. It’s one of the best cucumber salad recipes!

Get the Mediterranean Salad recipe.

8. Asian Cashew and Farro Salad

Asian Cashew and Farro Salad

If you’ve never had it, farro is a nutty, chewy form of wheat that’s super versatile. Combined with deshelled cooked edamame, coleslaw mix, shredded purple cabbage, chopped green onion and cucumbers, it’s the perfect summer side dish. Dress it up with a mixture of soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, olive oil and garlic powder, then sprinkle with some cashews and black sesame seeds. It counts as one SmartCarb, one PowerFuel, one Vegetable and one Extra.

Get the Asian Cashew and Farro Salad recipe.

9. Quinoa Cucumber Salad

Quinoa Cucumber Salad

If you like tabbouleh—the Middle Eastern grain salad with cukes, lemon, parsley and mint—you’ll love this take that substitutes quinoa for the classic bulgur. Salad ingredients include diced cucumber, chilled cooked quinoa, red onion, mint and roughly chopped fresh parsley. It’s dressed lightly with a mixture of olive oil, apple cider vinegar, lime juice and black pepper. One serving is 262 calories and counts as one SmartCarb, one and a half Vegetables and two and a half Extras on Nutrisystem.

Get the Quinoa Cucumber Salad recipe.

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10. Deli Meat and Cheese Kabobs

Deli Meat Lunch Kebabs

This lunch recipe turns deli meat and other savory ingredients into simple skewers which are way more fun to eat than a plain old sandwich.  You can choose your favorite low-salt deli meats (chicken, turkey, ham or roast beef) and alter a few ingredients—add pickles if you don’t like black olives, for example—to suit your taste. The recipe starts with four slices of deli meat, which you thread on a skewer with cheese cubes, thick slices of romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes, black olives, cucumber slices and pieces of whole wheat pita bread. Your lunch (two skewers!) clocks in at only 253 calories and counts as one SmartCarb, two PowerFuels and one Extra.

Get the Deli Meat and Cheese Kabobs recipe.

11. Zesty Cucumber and Dill Salad

Zesty Cucumber and Dill Salad

This new take on the old picnic standard will become one of your go-tos. It’s so easy to make! A chopped seedless cucumber marinates for four hours in a dressing of white vinegar, fresh parsley, chopped fresh fill, minced garlic and salt. You’ll taste that zesty dressing in every bite. Minimal calories for one tasty Vegetable serving.

Get the Zesty Cucumber and Dill Salad recipe.

12. 5-Star Cucumber Dill Dip

5 Star Cucumber Dill Dip

If this reminds you of Greek tzatziki sauce, that’s because it has the same ingredients: plain Greek yogurt, chopped cucumber, dill, garlic and lemon juice. It makes a wonderful low-cal (73.5 calories per serving) dip for crackers or crudité, a spread for sandwiches or even a topping that turns a plain broiled chicken breast into something more delicious. One serving counts as half of a PowerFuel.

Get the Cucumber Dill Dip recipe.

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13. Veggie Delight Bagel Breakfast Sandwich

Veggie Delight Bagel Breakfast Sandwich

Start your morning off right with this tasty sandwich chockfull of veggies. It’s made with a Nutrisystem Honey Wheat Bagel topped with fat-free cream cheese, sliced cucumbers and raw bell peppers. It has the right amount of chew, creaminess and crunch to satisfy every savory breakfast lover. One is only 184 calories and counts as one Nutrisystem Breakfast, half of a Vegetable serving and one Extra.

Get the Veggie Delight Bagel Breakfast Sandwich recipe.

14. Greek Shredded Chicken Nachos

Greek Shredded Chicken Nachos

Giving nachos the Greek treatment is perfection! You’ll make some pita chips from three pieces of whole wheat pita bread, which you’ll top with shredded cooked chicken and feta cheese. Just bake it to melt the cheese a little. Finally, top these tasty nachos with cherry tomatoes, diced cucumber, chopped red onion, fresh parsley, tzatziki dip and sliced black olives. The recipe makes six servings, each clocking in at 175 calories. It counts as one SmartCarb, on PowerFuel and one Extra.

Get the Greek Shredded Chicken Nachos recipe.

15. Cauliflower Rice Sushi Bowl

Cauliflower Rice Sushi Bowl

Use the seafood of your choice in this recipe (which calls for imitation crabmeat) but stick with the many crunchy veggies: This healthy dinner bowl contains Persian cucumbers, avocados, carrots, edamame and scallion over riced cauliflower. Dressed in a combo of light mayonnaise and sriracha, plus a sprinkling of sesame seeds, this is one satisfying meal which clocks in at 317 calories and counts as two PowerFuels, two Extras and two Vegetables.

Get the Cauliflower Rice Sushi Bowl recipe.

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16. Mediterranean Avocado Toast

Mediterranean Avocado Toast

World’s easiest brunch—for you and a friend or partner—or just an extra special breakfast, this take on avocado toast starts with two slices of whole wheat bread. Of course, you add a schmear of creamy avocado, but then you top with thin slices of cucumber, halved cherry tomatoes, chopped Kalamata olives, reduced fat feta cheese, dried oregano and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes if you want a little more bite to your breakfast. One slice is 205 calories and counts as one SmartCarb one PowerFuel and two Extras.

Get the Mediterranean Avocado Toast recipe.

17. Crab Stuffed Cucumber Cups

Crab Stuffed Cucumber Cups

Cucumber serves as the vessel for a delicious crab salad made from crab (of course!) mixed with lemon juice, light mayonnaise, minced cilantro and diced red onion. Place mixture into the scooped out center of one-inch cucumber slices. It contains 150 calories per serving, plus 17 grams of satisfying protein. This tasty lunch, dinner or party appetizer counts as one PowerFuel, two Vegetables and one Extra.

Get the Crab Stuffed Cucumber Cups recipe.

Check out these other delicious cucumber cup recipe ideas:

18. Easy Melon Prosciutto Skewers

Easy Melon Prosciutto Skewers

This warm weather appetizer is cute, colorful and creative. Easy Melon Prosciutto Skewers are simple to make and feature a unique sweet and salty flavor combo. Fresh melon cubes and slices of prosciutto are stacked onto toothpicks with cucumber slices, fresh basil and mozzarella balls for an easy no-bake appetizer.

Get the Melon Prosciutto Skewers recipe.

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19. Mediterranean Panzanella Salad

Mediterranean Panzanella Salad

Cucumbers are a staple for summer salad recipes, including this diet-friendly Panzanella Salad that packs in the nutrition and flavor. In addition to crunchy cukes, it also has artichoke hearts and shredded rotisserie chicken for plenty of fiber and protein. The homemade vinaigrette will definitely become a go-to staple for all of your side salads.

Get the Mediterranean Panzanella Salad recipe.

20. Mason Jar Greek Salad

Mason Jar Greek Salad

Summer meal prep is made easy and delicious with this perfect, refreshing and healthy lunch idea. Featuring crisp veggies like cucumbers, cherry tomatoes and onions, plus Greek salad staples like olives, chickpeas and feta cheese, this Mason Jar Greek Salad is made for grabbing and going on the way out the door.

Get the Mason Jar Greek Salad recipe.

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