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54 Cooling Cucumber Recipes

Cucumber salad sandwich
Cucumber salad sandwich - Feta Topalu/Mashed

With an estimated 95% water content, cucumbers are surely one of the most refreshing foods out there. Their slightly grassy, mildly sweet flavor makes them perfect for summer salads and breezy cocktails, while their crunchy texture makes them the ideal addition to sandwiches and dips. Aside from their cooling effect on hot days, they can suit almost any meal year-round, adding a refreshing element to a wide range of recipes. One of the vegetable's most distinctive qualities is the way it manages to be both subtle and distinctive. Add some chopped cucumber to a jug of water or bottle of juice and everyone will identify it despite the understated flavor.

Despite its transformative qualities, cucumber is often relegated to just a few uses. You might put it in salads and add it to cocktails, but even those who enjoy whipping up a batch of tzatziki or making pickles aren't using it to its full potential. But when you realize just how many ways you can use cucumbers, you'll purchase them as regularly as milk and bread.

So, let's give this hydrating veggie the spotlight it deserves and delve into all the ways you can incorporate it into your cooking. Whether you're thirsting for a cool drink on a hot day or want to shake up your salad routine, we have all the recipes you need to fully appreciate cucumber and its many uses.

Read more: Ingredients To Take Your Scrambled Eggs To The Next Level

Easy Cucumber Roll

Cucumber sushi roll
Cucumber sushi roll - Susan Olayinka/Mashed

Have you ever been to a sushi restaurant and marveled at the artistry and craft of the chefs who make the food? Us too. But you can, in fact, create your own sushi at home, and while it probably won't have the same precision as the restaurant kind, it can taste and look like the real deal.

This vegan cucumber roll recipe requires only a few ingredients and makes a refreshing and impressive appetizer or light meal. Just make sure you're using sushi rice to allow the roll to maintain its shape.

Recipe: Easy Cucumber Roll

Traditional Cucumber Sandwich

Cucumber sandwiches
Cucumber sandwiches - Ksenia Prints/Mashed

No afternoon tea is complete without cucumber sandwiches. These delicate, crustless creations are a cliché of British refinement at this point, but they deserve an equally storied reputation for their flavor.

Made with white bread, cream cheese, cucumber slices, and – in this recipe – thin shavings of purple onion, they are refreshing, flavorful, and light, the perfect accompaniment to milky tea and scones with clotted cream. They are just the thing for summer garden parties with plenty of other nibbles.

Recipe: Traditional Cucumber Sandwich

Cucumber Tomato Salad

Cucumber tomato salad
Cucumber tomato salad - Cecilia Ryu/Mashed

When exploring all the ways to make cucumbers shine, don't underestimate classic ingredient combinations. A simple salad of cucumbers, tomatoes, red onions, and homemade vinaigrette will never go out of style. Full of juicy, crunchy textures and bright flavors, it is the ultimate summer side dish.

This recipe also includes fresh basil, fresh parsley, and dried oregano, drawing out the subtleties of the vegetables and adding a fresh, spicy edge. For best results, use the freshest tomatoes and cucumbers you can find.

Recipe: Cucumber Tomato Salad

Smashed Cucumber Salad

Cucumber salad
Cucumber salad - Susan Olayinka/Mashed

This simple, flavorful salad was conceived in the Szechuan province of China to take the edge off hot weather. For a dish that looks like nothing but cucumbers, it's surprisingly powerful.

To make it, you'll need cucumbers (preferably a thin-skinned variety that's easy to smash), garlic, sugar, salt, red wine vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and chili flakes. Smashing the cucumber makes it absorb more of the dressing, creating a salad full of sweet and spicy flavor alongside the trademark freshness of the central ingredient.

Recipe: Smashed Cucumber Salad

Sweet And Sour Cucumber Salad

Sweet and sour cucumber salad
Sweet and sour cucumber salad - Hayley MacLean/Mashed

When you're craving pickles but only have cucumbers, this recipe provides all the flavor you're wishing for, and then some. It's vinegary, salty, and sweet, with a dash of heat, sesame oil, and lime juice for good measure.

Here, the cucumber is sliced into long, thin ribbons with a peeler rather than being cut into chunks or rounds, giving the vegetable more surface area to absorb the flavor-packed dressing.

Recipe: Sweet And Sour Cucumber Salad

Cooling Cucumber Salad Sandwiches

Cucumber salad sandwiches
Cucumber salad sandwiches - Feta Topalu/Mashed

If you love creamy cucumber salad and cucumber sandwiches, here is the perfect recipe. It's a combination of cooling dishes that is more than the sum of its delicious parts. You'll need cream cheese, mayonnaise, garlic, chives, fresh dill, lemon juice, cucumber, and soft sandwich bread.

As these ingredients suggest, this isn't your average English afternoon tea cucumber sandwich (though we still firmly believe that removing the crusts is non-negotiable). Be generous with the creamy filling and peel the cucumbers if you're using a variety with thick skin.

Recipe: Cooling Cucumber Salad Sandwiches

Fresh Asian Cucumber Salad

Asian cucumber salad
Asian cucumber salad - Miriam Hahn/Mashed

Cucumbers are delicious when they're pickled or mixed into a creamy dip, but their superpower is their fresh taste, and this recipe makes sure it's front and center. You'll need lime juice, olive oil, rice vinegar, garlic, maple syrup, salt, cucumbers, scallions, red onion, cilantro, mint, sesame seeds, and red pepper flakes. For an even more cooling flavor, add fresh mint.

Like most cucumber-based dishes, this salad will not make a complete meal, it's a perfect match for everything from grilled meat to pasta.

Recipe: Fresh Asian Cucumber Salad

Old-Fashioned Creamed Cucumber Slices

Creamed cucumber slices
Creamed cucumber slices - Kate Shungu/Mashed

Some old-fashioned recipes are best left in the past, but these creamed cucumber slices are timeless. Made with sour cream, cucumber, fresh dill, onion, and vinegar, they are like a more flavorful version of tzatziki or a cucumber-based alternative to potato salad.

Although this recipe is easy to make, you'll need to set aside a little extra time. One of the most important steps is salting the cucumbers and letting them sit in the refrigerator for an hour to become tender and deliciously seasoned, so you won't be able to make them last-minute.

Recipe: Old-Fashioned Creamed Cucumber Slices

TikTok-Inspired Cucumber Bell Pepper Salad

Cucumber bell pepper salad
Cucumber bell pepper salad - Erin Johnson/Mashed

This viral cucumber bell pepper salad wasn't just a fad. Nutritious and refreshing, it's the side dish that keeps on giving, and recipe developer Erin Johnson has created her own version to elevate it even further.

The ingredients are mostly the same as in the TikTok, but Johnson uses a jalapeño instead of chili crisp, and rather than slicing the peppers and cucumbers into rounds, she makes strips and ribbons for a more elegant appearance.

Recipe: TikTok-Inspired Cucumber Bell Pepper Salad

Corn And Jalapeño Fritters With Cooling Yogurt Dip

Fritters with yogurt dip
Fritters with yogurt dip - Annabelle Randles/Mashed

Cucumbers are second to none when it comes to taking the edge off heat, and when combined with dairy, they're like a dip in a swimming pool for your tastebuds.

This recipe provides both the heat and the relief. The jalapeño fritters bring on the burn, while the dip made from cucumber, Greek yogurt, lime juice, mint, garlic, and cumin provides soothing coolness.

Recipe: Corn And Jalapeño Fritters With Cooling Yogurt Dip

Authentic Sunomono

Sunomono
Sunomono - Miriam Hahn/Mashed

If you've ever enjoyed marinated cucumber that came with your meal at a Japanese restaurant, the object of your appreciation was likely sunomono, a salad made of cucumber, wakame (a type of seaweed), and a sweet and tangy dressing.

Luckily, you don't have to go to a restaurant to enjoy this flavorful side dish. This version is quick to make and tastes restaurant-worthy. Aside from thin-skinned cucumbers, you'll need sugar, rice vinegar, soy sauce, and toasted sesame seeds.

Recipe: Authentic Sunomono

5-Ingredient White Bean And Pesto Salad

White bean and pesto salad
White bean and pesto salad - Miriam Hahn/Mashed

Although pesto is often served with cooked food such as pasta and meat, it needs to be added to salads more often. With its bright, slightly spicy flavor and richness, it's the perfect dressing for all kinds of salads.

In this case, pair it with a protein-packed salad made of white beans, olives, cucumbers, and tomatoes. It's quick to pull together, full of nutrients, and filling enough to serve as a complete lunch or light dinner when you're in a rush or craving something healthy and flavorful.

Recipe: 5-Ingredient White Bean And Pesto Salad

Easy Spicy Freezer Pickles

Spicy freezer pickles
Spicy freezer pickles - Miriam Hahn/Mashed Staff

If you don't have time to make traditional pickles, here's a relatively quick alternative. All it takes is eight minutes of prep and 24 hours of resting and you'll have jars of sweet, tangy pickles that taste store-bought.

If you prefer pickles that are more tangy than sweet, leave out the sugar. If you don't love spiciness, leave out the jalapeños. Just don't completely fill the jars, since the brine expands as it freezes and may break the glass if it doesn't have enough room.

Recipe: Easy Spicy Freezer Pickles

Shepherd Salad

Shepherd salad
Shepherd salad - Cecilia Ryu/Mashed

You don't have to be a shepherd to enjoy this traditional Turkish salad, though a picnic on a hillside would probably make it even more delicious. Made with tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, scallions, parsley, and feta, it's perfect for a hot summer's day when all you want is something crunchy and full of hydrating ingredients.

This also includes a bright, tangy vinaigrette of lemon juice, red wine vinegar, and extra virgin olive oil to bring it all together. Full of nutrients and flavor, it's a win-win recipe that you'll want to make again.

Recipe: Shepherd Salad

Homemade Refrigerator Pickles

Refrigerator pickles
Refrigerator pickles - Kit Hondrum/Mashed

If you've only ever had store-bought pickles, homemade ones will knock your socks off. Bursting with flavor and surprisingly easy to make, they are such an upgrade that you'll want to have some in your fridge at all times.

This is a blueprint for pickles that have a balanced, punchy flavor. You'll need cucumbers, water, vinegar, whole peppercorns, fresh dill, sugar, garlic, mustard seeds, and red pepper flakes, but you can adapt the ingredients and their ratios depending on what you like.

Recipe: Homemade Refrigerator Pickles

Japanese-Style Potato Salad

Potato salad
Potato salad - Catherine Brookes/Mashed

Potato salad is ubiquitous at barbecue joints alongside coleslaw and beans -- and if we're being honest, it's usually the least interesting of the bunch. Bland and colorless, you might as well just go with white bread.

Japanese-style potato salad is a whole other ballgame. Its ingredients include ham, eggs, several veggies to add color, and rice wine vinegar for an added tang. The results are so delicious that you might promote this dish to entree rather than relegate it to side dish status.

Recipe: Japanese-Style Potato Salad

Vitamin-Loaded Green Juice

Green juice
Green juice - Ksenia Prints/Mashed

We get it. Green juice has reached the level of cringeworthy cliché, but hear us out on this one. A cold glass of nutrients and bright flavors is actually pretty delicious, no matter where you stand on buzzwords like superfood, clean eating, and wellness. For those who don't particularly enjoy eating their recommended amount of daily veggies, this juice is almost too good to be true.

Made with celery, kale, cucumbers, Granny Smith apples, and ginger, it's packed with enough vitamins to impress a nutritionist and also manages to taste delicious.

Recipe: Vitamin-Loaded Green Juice

Bread And Butter Pickles

Pickles
Pickles - Erin Johnson/Mashed

Pickles are the lynchpin of many a meal, whether you're enjoying a simple turkey sandwich or indulging in a cheeseburger. They may seem challenging to make, but with a little patience, you can create a batch with little fuss. Doing so is well worth your time because homemade pickles have even more flavor than the ones you buy at the store, and you can tailor them to suit your preferences.

Letting them sit in the fridge instead of canning them will save you the hassle of sterilizing your jars.

Recipe: Bread And Butter Pickles

Sourdough Panzanella

Panzanella
Panzanella - Susan Olayinka/Mashed

Panzanella is an Italian salad that may not be as popular internationally as caprese salad but is just as broadly appealing and refreshing. Made with stale bread and tomatoes, it is far more flavorful than it sounds, especially when it includes cucumber, onions, and a tangy dressing.

This panzanella recipe calls for fresh dill and parsley alongside a simple vinaigrette made with extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar. With such simple, raw ingredients, the results hinge on freshness, so make sure you're using high-quality produce.

Recipe: Sourdough Panzanella

Refreshing Corn Salad

Corn Salad
Corn Salad - Kristen Carli/Mashed

Corn is often used to add a burst of sweetness to dishes or to appease picky eaters who won't touch any other vegetables, but it is sadly under-utilized in salads. This recipe changes that, providing a salad centered around the sweet yellow veggie.

In addition to corn kernels, you'll use bell peppers, cucumbers, fresh basil, fresh mint, and fresh parsley. This salad comes together in just five minutes and provides a pop of color and refreshing flavor to any meal. Make sure you have extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar to make the dressing.

Recipe: Refreshing Corn Salad

Gazpacho

Gazpacho
Gazpacho - Maren Epstein/Mashed

You might hear the words "cold soup" and assume there's been a mistake in the kitchen, but gazpacho has always been served chilled. Made by blending raw vegetables, it's a traditional dish in the warm climates of Spain and Portugal, especially during the summer.

Our version soup is made with tomatoes, cucumbers, broiled bell peppers, lime juice, cilantro, olive oil, red wine vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and oregano. Despite the lengthy list of ingredients, it takes less than 20 minutes to make and is a refreshing warm weather entree.

Recipe: Gazpacho

Mild Aguachile

Aguachile
Aguachile - Stephanie Rapone/Mashed

Aguachile is a classic appetizer from Northern Mexico made with shrimp in a citrusy, spicy chili sauce. It's a sophisticated dish that complements hot summer days like a glass of rosé or a car ride with the windows down. This version eases back on the spiciness, but you can always add more.

Raw seafood always comes with an intimidation factor, but when it's combined with acid, like lime juice, it undergoes a similar process to cooking. As long as you follow the recipe carefully and use fresh ingredients, you shouldn't have to worry about food poisoning.

Recipe: Mild Aguachile

Easy Balela Salad

Balela Salad
Balela Salad - Miriam Hahn/Mashed

Some salads can just as easily work as main dishes rather than side dishes, and balela salad is just such an example. The traditional Middle Eastern dish requires no cooking as long as you use canned ingredients and is packed with nutrients.

The ingredient list is lengthy, but you may have everything in your pantry and fridge already. You'll need red onion, cucumber, red pepper, tomatoes, fresh basil and parsley, sun-dried tomatoes, Kalamata olives, chickpeas, and black beans. For the citrusy dressing, use olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic powder.

Recipe: Easy Balela Salad

Healthy Miso Ginger Salad

Miso ginger salad
Miso ginger salad - Maren Epstein/Mashed

Salad is a broad category that can contain just about any combination of cold or room-temperature ingredients. Sometimes, however, all you want is some lettuce, raw veggies, and a tasty dressing, and that's just what this recipe has to offer.

Spring mix and cucumber provide the refreshing foundation, but it's the miso ginger dressing that shines. Made with freshly squeezed ginger juice, sesame oil, vinegar, miso, and carrots, it has a warming, umami flavor and bright orange color that is perfect for making a simple salad the star of the meal.

Recipe: Healthy Miso Ginger Salad

15-Minute Deconstructed Sushi Bowl

Deconstructed sushi bowls
Deconstructed sushi bowls - Kristen Carli/Mashed

Deconstructed dishes are all the rage, and it turns out they can be pretty practical, too. This recipe allows you to enjoy all the flavors and ingredients of sushi without the hassle of having to roll seaweed or shape rice.

All you need is 15 minutes and a handful of ingredients to create these delicious and colorful vegetarian sushi bowls. Edamame and brown rice form the substance of the dish, while cucumber, carrots, and purple cabbage provide color and extra vitamins.

Recipe: 15-Minute Deconstructed Sushi Bowl

Mexican-Inspired Shrimp Cocktail

Shrimp cocktail
Shrimp cocktail - Catherine Brookes/Mashed

Anyone who sees this shrimp cocktail will probably assume it took hours of careful chopping, arranging, and cooking to produce, but this all comes together in just 15 minutes. If hosting a fancy dinner, this recipe will make a showstopping appetizer that all your guests will admire.

To make it, you'll need ketchup, lime juice, hot sauce, red onion, cucumber, celery, tomatoes, a jalapeño, cilantro, an avocado, and cooked shrimp. You may also want to add a small amount of water towards the end to help the ingredients mix better.

Recipe: Mexican-Inspired Shrimp Cocktail

Homemade Tzatziki Sauce

Tzatziki with crackers
Tzatziki with crackers - Kristen Carli/Mashed

Cooling, healthy, and versatile, tzatziki is the kind of dip you can add to just about anything. Dry salmon croquettes? Tzatziki will solve it. No salsa in the fridge? Tzatziki is delicious with corn chips, too.

Made with Greek yogurt, cucumbers, dill, garlic, salt, and lemon juice, it also happens to be much easier to make than hummus, which requires a tricky and oftentimes subjective balance of ingredients to get right.

Recipe: Homemade Tzatziki Sauce

TikTok-Inspired Green Goddess Salad

Green goddess salad
Green goddess salad - Catherine Brookes/Mashed

Avocado and walnuts give this recreation of the viral TikTok Green Goddess salad its creamy texture. They're joined by chives, basil, spinach, shallots, garlic, lemons, olive oil, nutritional yeast, and apple cider vinegar for a riot of flavor.

To allow the dressing to shine, use a duo of mild veggies – cabbage and cucumber – along with chopped green onions for extra flavor. This is the kind of salad that tastes just as delicious served on crackers and chips as it does as a standalone side dish.

Recipe: TikTok-Inspired Green Goddess Salad

Tabbouleh

Tabbouleh
Tabbouleh - Susan Olayinka/Mashed

Tabbouleh has a distinctive flavor and fresh texture that you might think requires expertise to master, but as long as you have high-quality ingredients and a good recipe, it's easy to make at home.

If you want tabbouleh that tastes authentic, find bulgur, which is texturally like a cross between rice and couscous and provides the texture and wheaty flavor associated with the salad. You'll also need lots of fresh mint and parsley. Serve this as a light lunch or side with grilled meat.

Recipe: Tabbouleh

Raw Cauliflower Tabbouleh

Cauliflower tabbouleh
Cauliflower tabbouleh - Miriam Hahn/Mashed

For a gluten-free, grain-free version of tabbouleh, cauliflower is the answer. If you want to pull together a quick lunch without having to fire up the oven or the stove, you're in luck, because this one requires no cooking.

To give the cruciferous veggie a similar texture to bulgur, pulse it in a food processor fitted with a grater blade. If you don't have a food processor, you can use a grater -- just make sure the pieces are roughly the size of bulgur grains.

Recipe: Raw Cauliflower Tabbouleh

Simple Ceviche

Ceviche
Ceviche - Maren Epstein/Mashed

Ceviche is one of the most refreshing dishes you can make that has meat or fish in it. It's an ideal appetizer for hot days when you want something filling but not heavy. The magic is in the combination of ingredients, so make sure you procure top-quality produce and fish.

The lime juice denatures the raw salmon, turning it from translucent to opaque in a process similar to cooking. As for flavor, your tastebuds will be in heaven. The coolness of cucumber is balanced by the sweetness of mango and orange, while soy sauce adds a savory note.

Recipe: Simple Ceviche

Copycat Panera Bread Mediterranean Bowl

Mediterranean bowl
Mediterranean bowl - Catherine Brookes/Mashed

For a chain that markets its sandwiches so heavily, Panera Bread is surprisingly proficient at salads. From its Green Goddess Cobb Salad to its Fuji Apple Salad, the chain has proven that it's much more than a sandwich joint. This recipe recreates its beloved Mediterranean Bowl, a filling, nutritionally balanced entree that might become your go-to lunch.

It contains everything from quinoa to hummus, along with chicken, feta cheese, Kalamata olives, raw veggies, and brown rice. For dressing, all you need is some lemon juice and a drizzle of tahini.

Recipe: Copycat Panera Bread Mediterranean Bowl

Easy Homemade Poke Bowl

Poke bowl
Poke bowl - Cindy Chou/Mashed

Poke bowls are a great meal to make when you want something healthy and beautiful to look at but don't have time to spend hours in the kitchen. With this recipe, you'll feel like you've been transported to the beaches of Hawaii in just 30 minutes.

The most crucial ingredient is raw tuna. Look for tuna that's labeled as sushi or sashimi grade. Since the guidelines for handling this type of fish vary by state, only purchase it from a vendor you trust.

Recipe: Easy Homemade Poke Bowl

Aguachile

Aguachile
Aguachile - Ksenia Prints/Mashed

Translated as "pepper water," this Sinaloan dish is a more geographically and culinarily specific version of ceviche that brings an added layer of heat. Although traditional aguachile is made with Sinaloan chiltepin peppers, this recipe calls for the more readily available combination of jalapeños and habaneros, or just jalapeños.

As with ceviche, aguachile involves soaking raw shellfish in citrus to mimic cooking. Use a non-reactive dish or it may counteract the effects of the acidic lime juice.

Recipe: Aguachile

Classic Gyro

Gyro
Gyro - Susan Olayinka/Mashed

The ingredients in a classic gyro are steak, tomatoes, and flatbread, but you can choose your sauce. Hummus, baba ganoush, and guacamole all taste delicious, or if you want to make things super simple, opt for sour cream.

Another set of ingredients that make this recipe tick is cucumbers and tzatziki. Their cooling effect ensures the wrap tastes light and fresh despite the beef. For truly mouthwatering gyros, marinate the meat in olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt, garlic, and oregano for at least 20 minutes.

Recipe: Classic Gyro

Bagels And Lox Cream Cheese Board

Bagels and lox cream cheese board
Bagels and lox cream cheese board - Ksenia Prints/Mashed

Cheese and butter boards may have reached their cultural peak, but that doesn't mean we have to stop enjoying them. Fat and carbs will never go out of style, and we're pretty sure this version will be a hit at your next dinner party or brunch, especially with fresh cucumbers.

Cream cheese is a better central ingredient than butter or hard cheese because it is spreadable and doesn't easily melt. Grab some bagels, lox, and fresh veggies, and prepare to be wowed by how delicious this board turns out.

Recipe: Bagels And Lox Cream Cheese Board

Grilled Salmon Greek Salad With Herb Dressing

Grilled salmon and Greek salad
Grilled salmon and Greek salad - Kate Shungu/Mashed

You could pair grilled salmon with just about anything savory and have a delicious meal on your hands, but take things to the next level with this Mediterranean-inspired meal. There's feta cheese, Kalamata olives, arugula, and a special homemade dressing to bring it all together.

Cucumbers and fresh tomatoes add a crunchy texture and fresh flavor. Whether you're looking for a healthy dinner or a gourmet lunch, this recipe will hit the spot.

Recipe: Grilled Salmon Greek Salad With Herb Dressing

Traditional Jajangmyeon

Jajangmyeon
Jajangmyeon - Tommy Leung//Mashed

In Korea, every April 14th is dedicated to single people, and the corresponding food is jajangmyeon, a dish comprised of noodles in a sauce made with black bean paste. You don't have to be single to eat this delicious concoction, however, nor does it have to be April 14th. It's so tasty that you'll probably find yourself making it regularly.

Aside from Korean wheat noodles and black bean paste, you'll need pork belly meat, fresh ginger, onion, cabbage, cucumber, corn starch, and soy sauce.

Recipe: Traditional Jajangmyeon

Greek Salad

Greek Salad
Greek Salad - Melissa Olivieri/Mashed

No roundup of cucumber recipes would be complete without a classic Greek salad. Beloved around the world for its salty crunch and juicy veggies, this Mediterranean staple manages to be indulgent despite its impressive nutritional profile. Serve it with everything from pizza to grilled fish, though it can just as easily serve as a main dish.

This recipe doesn't try to reinvent the wheel with unexpected ingredients or elaborate plating. All you need is lettuce, tomatoes, red onion, cucumber, Kalamata olives, feta, and a handful of pantry items and condiments for the dressing.

Recipe: Greek Salad

Seared Ahi Tuna Salad

Ahi tuna salad
Ahi tuna salad - Christina Musgrave/Mashed

With its vibrant pink interior and pale exterior, seared tuna is even more striking than a rare steak, and just as delicious. This recipe provides guidance not just for searing the tuna to perfection but also for creating a delicious vitamin-rich meal.

Because of its meatiness, ahi tuna does need to be served with filling carbohydrates. All you need is veggies. In this case, those are mixed greens, avocado slices, cucumber, and a sweet and savory ginger and soy sauce dressing.

Recipe: Seared Ahi Tuna Salad

Baked Salmon Sushi

Baked salmon sushi
Baked salmon sushi - Ksenia Prints/Mashed

One of the most intimidating aspects of making sushi at home is the raw seafood, which is why this baked fish and fresh veggies recipe is perfect for beginners. You won't be missing out on flavor by taking this route.

The most challenging part of the process is rolling the sushi, but recipe developer Ksenia Prints has provided detailed instructions, right down to cooling the rice and dabbing the edge of the nori with water to seal it.

Recipe: Baked Salmon Sushi

Shrimp Spring Roll

Shrimp spring roll
Shrimp spring roll - Stephanie Rapone/Mashed

Spring rolls look too delicate for the average home cook to produce with any success, but as you'll discover with this recipe, their fragile appearance has more to do with the nature of rice paper than the skill needed to assemble them.

Once you've gathered the ingredients and cooked the noodles, the process resembles that of making burritos. Layer the carrots, cucumber, lettuce, cooked shrimp, and noodles onto moistened rice paper and roll it into a tube. Set aside enough time to make the hoisin and peanut butter dipping sauce.

Recipe: Shrimp Spring Roll

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Mediterranean quinoa salad
Mediterranean quinoa salad - Kristen Carli/Mashed

If you're craving Greek salad but want something more substantial, look no further than this healthy vegan alternative. Made with quinoa and chickpeas, it's filling and full of protein, fiber, and nutrients. It takes about 20 minutes to put together and is an excellent option for making ahead. When stored in the fridge, it should stay fresh for four days.

In addition to the quinoa and garbanzo beans, the salad contains cucumbers, grape tomatoes, red onion, bell pepper, parsley, basil, and a lemony vinaigrette.

Recipe: Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Lentil Salad With Tons Of Fresh Herbs

Lentil salad
Lentil salad - Feta Topalu/Mashed

You might make lentil soup regularly or order daal every time you go to an Indian restaurant, but if you're not adding this legume to your salads, you're not enjoying it to its full potential. Like chickpeas, lentils provide a soft, starchy texture and a healthy dose of protein to salads. They also offer a nutty creaminess that chickpeas do not.

Filled with herbs and crunchy veggies, including crisp cucumbers, this recipe gives the lentils all they need to shine as a salad ingredient.

Recipe: Lentil Salad With Tons Of Fresh Herbs

Homemade Hot Dog Relish

Relish
Relish - Kristen Carli/Mashed

With this recipe, making your own relish is a cinch. Rather than being sickly sweet and containing food coloring like many store-bought relishes, this one is full of balanced flavors and healthy ingredients.

To start, coarsely blend cucumbers, bell peppers, and onions in a food processor before salting them and leaving the mix to rest overnight in the fridge. The next day, add sauce, which contains mustard seed, celery salt, turmeric, sugar, white wine vinegar, and water. This will wow you with its sweet and sour taste.

Recipe: Homemade Hot Dog Relish

Rachael Ray's Chicken Burger

Chicken burger
Chicken burger - Stephanie Rapone/Mashed

Chicken burgers hit the spot when you're trying to be healthy but can't get those burger cravings out of your head. In these moments, having a good recipe on hand will help make sure your burger isn't a tasteless disappointment. This is one just for this occasion, improving upon Rachael Ray's chicken burger recipe with a few twists.

Chief among the alterations is the inclusion of tzatziki, which contains a refreshing combination of cucumber and dill to make these burgers moist and full of flavor.

Recipe: Rachael Ray's Chicken Burger

Mediterranean-Inspired Israeli Couscous

Mediterranean Israeli Couscous
Mediterranean Israeli Couscous - Kate Shungu/Mashed

If you're bored of wheat and quinoa-based grain bowls, pearl couscous offers a welcome deviation. With a smooth, springy texture and mild flavor akin to pasta, it's the kind of addition that most will enjoy, including picky eaters.

Aside from the couscous, there are plenty of other ingredients in this salad to love, including cucumbers, feta cheese, fresh mint, and a honey and lemon dressing. Serve this on its own as a light lunch (with the addition of chickpeas to bulk it up) or as a side dish.

Recipe: Mediterranean-Inspired Israeli Couscous

Easy California Roll

California roll
California roll - Molly Madigan Pisula/Mashed

Go to any sushi chain in the U.S. and you'll likely find a California roll at the top of the menu. This wildly popular creation is made with seaweed inside and rice on the outside. It also contains a mild trio of crab meat, avocado, and cucumber.

This recipe doesn't stray from that formula, but its success is all in the details. Use two types of sesame seeds, black and toasted, for extra crunch and nuttiness.

Recipe: Easy California Roll

Peanut Soba Noodle Salad

Peanut soba noodle salad
Peanut soba noodle salad - Alexandra Shytsman/Mashed

Peanut butter has so much more to offer than a humble PB&J. This recipe is a prime example. Made with buckwheat noodles (often labeled as soba noodles) and packed with veggies, this salad is covered in a peanut butter dressing containing soy sauce, fresh ginger, garlic, sesame oil, and rice wine vinegar.

The whole recipe takes only 20 minutes to produce and will make you see peanut butter in a whole new way. Make extra and store it in the fridge for up to four days.

Recipe: Peanut Soba Noodle Salad

Mediterranean Pasta Salad

Mediterranean pasta salad
Mediterranean pasta salad - Ksenia Prints/Mashed

Pasta salad comes in many variations that are easily tailored to fit any cuisine, flavor preference, or nutritional requirement. Here, we're going for a classic formula: Greek salad with pasta instead of lettuce.

You'll need cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, and feta, as well as a deliciously sweet and tangy vinaigrette. Serve this pasta salad as a side dish at a summer barbecue and people will flock to you for seconds.

Recipe: Mediterranean Pasta Salad

Chicken Souvlaki And Orzo

Chicken souvlaki
Chicken souvlaki - Patterson Watkins/Mashed

Chicken souvlaki is a Greek street food that is a deliciously seasoned version of grilled chicken skewers. You can serve it in pita bread with tzatziki, but why not also enjoy souvlaki with a tangy orzo salad? This may sound like two distinct dishes, but this recipe makes things easier by having the salad dressing double as a marinade.

To go along with the Greek orzo salad and charred pieces of fragrant chicken, make a creamy yogurt sauce, similar to tzatziki.

Recipe: Chicken Souvlaki And Orzo

Crispy Pumpkin Falafel In Pita

Pumpkin falafel
Pumpkin falafel - Patterson Watkins/Mashed

If you're exhausted by the seasonal obsession with pumpkin, we hear you, but don't let it stop you from making this ridiculously tasty pumpkin falafel. Most of us think of the Middle Eastern staple as chickpea-based, but the orange gourd steals the show in this recipe, providing an earthy, nutty flavor that will almost certainly win over any pumpkin skeptics.

Aside from this addition, the recipe follows the same general formula as any traditional falafel recipe. Just make sure to have cucumbers, tomatoes, pita bread, tzatziki, and tahini for serving.

Recipe: Crispy Pumpkin Falafel In Pita

15 Minute Greek Farro Salad

Greek farro salad
Greek farro salad - Miriam Hahn/ Mashed

Often, the simplest recipes are the ones you keep returning to, not just because they're relatively easy to tackle, but because they satisfy our cravings for fresh, wholesome food and familiar flavors.

This Greek salad is made with farro, a grain known for its nutty flavor and robust texture, and recipe developer Miriam Hahn says that she's made it 25 to 30 times because of its ease, versatility, and broad appeal. For someone who spends most of their time crafting new recipes, this is a ringing endorsement if ever there was one.

Recipe: 15 Minute Greek Farro Salad

Greek-Ish Salad With Marinated Cheese Curds

Greek salad with cheese curds
Greek salad with cheese curds - Ksenia Prints/Mashed

You can't go wrong with Greek salad. With its spare list of ingredients, one swap can change everything, which was exactly what recipe developer Ksenia Prints had in mind when she created this slightly altered version.

Instead of feta, she uses marinated cheese curds. This fresh, squeaky cheese provides a milky flavor and springy texture to the salad that makes the classic formula surprisingly new. Make sure to plan ahead, so that you can let the curds marinate overnight.

Recipe: Greek-Ish Salad With Marinated Cheese Curds

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