When you harvest cucumbers in the growing season and suddenly realize you have way too many cucumbers to eat, it’s time to figure out how to use up excess cucumbers. Here are 13 tasty ideas of what to do with extra cucumbers.
Do you feel like you’re “drowning” in cucumbers?
Although cucumbers don’t have the reputation for growing truckloads of produce as your summer squash does, you can still harvest cucumbers in a much larger abundance than you know what to do with. In fact, it seems like that happens to me every year.
What’s more is that they don’t seem to be as easy to preserve as tomatoes or zucchini which can be eaten raw, cooked, or frozen for later.
But, don’t throw those cukes away! I have much better options for you.
If you’re overwhelmed by the number of cucumbers your summer garden has produced, try a few of these easy ideas to make the most of your summer crop.
Growing and Harvesting Cucumbers
Before we get into how to use up too many cucumbers, let’s do a very quick review on growing cucumbers. They’re a very easy vegetable to grow, which makes them perfect for beginners.
All they really need is sunlight, plenty of water, warm temperatures, and support as they grow (those cukes are heavy and can break your plant stems). Give them those things and they’ll do the “hard work”!
You’ll know it’s time to harvest cucumbers when they’re medium to dark green and firm when you touch them.
Wondering how to harvest cucumbers? That’s easy – just use garden shears to cut your cucumbers off of the stem!
What to do With Extra Cucumbers
When you have an excess of cucumbers, you may find yourself at a loss on how to use them. After all, you know you have too many now but won’t have any in just a few weeks.
I’ve gathered 13 different great ways to get the most out of those cukes. Check out these ideas for what to do with an abundance of cucumbers.
Eat Them Raw
If you like cucumbers, eat a bunch of them raw. They’re cool, refreshing, and have high water content to keep you hydrated. Here are a few ideas for eating them raw:
- Slice them and eat them (plain or sprinkled with dill)
- Cucumber sandwiches with toasted bread, cream cheese, cucumber slices, and dill
- Cucumber salad (lots of varieties you can make)
- Sliced cucumbers in a green salad
Who doesn’t love pickles? Ok, I do know a couple of people, but here in my house, we love them! You can enjoy them on sandwiches, as a side to sandwiches, on burgers, as a snack, and more.
Sweet pickles, bread and butter chips, or dill pickles – there’s something for everyone! Plus, pickling them extends their shelf life – by months (or maybe years in some cases).
If you love dill pickles, my crunchy dill pickle recipe can’t be beaten (seriously – it even converted my husband to loving dills). And, because it takes a lot of cucumbers to make a decent batch of pickles, you can definitely make a dent in your excess cucumber supply.
Don’t forget to make these rustic stackable storage bins to hold all your jars of pickles and other delicious canned goods!
Share Excess Cucumbers With Others
When you have too many cucumbers, a quick and easy way to reduce the supply is to share them with others.
Give some to:
- Local food bank
Have you ever added sliced cucumbers to your water? It’s amazing, almost like being at a spa. Not only does it add just a little flavor, but the cucumbers somehow make a simple glass of water even more refreshing. Plus, they add a dose of vitamins and nutrients.
You can even include some fruit with your cucumber for some fun flavor blends. Try making cucumber water with these additions:
- Fresh mint leaves
- Orange slices
- Strawberries, raspberries, or blackberries
If you’ve never made gazpacho before, you are seriously missing out. It’s a cold soup made from blended vegetables, and it’s a perfect way to use up excess cucumbers and cool down on a hot summer day.
Note: While gazpacho is most commonly known as a soup that’s served cold, you can also use it as a cold pasta sauce.
This Greek yogurt-based dip (or sauce) contains shredded cucumbers and is a Mediterranean staple. It’s delicious!
Use it as a dip for veggies and pita bread or add it to your burgers, sandwiches, pita wraps, or homemade gyros.
Make Fresh Salsa
Salsa is a delicious side dish or addition to almost any meal (don’t forget taco night!), and there are lots of different ways to make it. That said, if you make salsa with tomatoes and cucumbers, it’s a great way to use up some of your excesses.
Add Them to Frozen Treats
Believe it or not, cucumbers work really well in homemade popsicles and fruit sorbets. They’re natural crunch and juiciness blends in really well without adding a lot of flavor. This is also a great way to get your kids to eat cucumbers if they don’t like them!
Definitely a must! Their cool and refreshing texture as well as their mild taste makes them perfect for adding to your summertime smoothies! Plus, they’ll add that extra bit of water and nutrients to make your smoothies just that much more satisfying and good for you.
Fermented foods sometimes scare people off, but they’re easy to make and really good for your digestive system. Plus, fermenting extra cucumbers will not only a dent in your supply of too many cucumbers but also will extend the shelf life of those delicious fresh cukes.
Add Extra Cucumbers to a Stir Fry
Did you just do a double-take to make sure you read that right? Yep, many people only think of cucumbers as a food that can only be eaten cold and fresh. It turns out that cucumbers are delicious when cooked too! Make a stir fry and add them to see for yourself!
Roast Your Extra Cucumbers
Just like adding cukes to your stir fry is delicious, so is roasting them. They almost become a different vegetable with a tender, juicy texture that keeps the perfect amount of crunch.
To roast cucumbers:
- Slice them and toss with butter or olive oil, salt, and pepper.
- season them with parmesan cheese and any other seasonings you want (dill, parsley, scallions, basil, scallions, to name a few).
- Spread out on a baking sheet and roast at 375 degrees for 30-60 minutes or until soft, making sure to flip them at least once.
So easy – and so yummy!
Have you tried enjoying cucumbers in all these different ways? If not, which new way will you try first?
If you find your garden and your home becoming overrun with too many cucumbers when it’s harvest time, try these 13 ideas for using them without letting them spoil or having to throw them away and waste them.
More Garden Inspiration:
- Companion Planting Vegetables for Higher Yields and Healthier Gardens
- Vegetable Container Gardening: 15 Veggies to Grow in Pots
- 28 Vegetables That Grow in Shade For Gardens Without Sun
- Seed Saving Basics: How to Save Seeds From Your Garden
- 11 Easy Vegetables to Grow for Beginners That will Produce all Summer Long