Lemon cucumbers are a yellow heritage cucumber cultivar and are about the size of a tennis ball. Despite what their name suggests and their resemblance to lemons, lemon cucumbers do not taste citrusy. They have a thin, tender skin, and their flavor is significantly milder than regular cucumbers.
Commonly served raw in salads, lemon cucumbers are also delicious when pickled and served with basil pesto or can be used to make refreshing drinks. If you’ve managed to grab a bag of lemon cucumbers from your grocery store, try these lemon cucumber recipes to unlock a whole new category of meals.
#1. Asian Pear & Lemon Cucumber Salad with Rosemary Molasses Tempeh Bits
Crisp Asian pears with a slight hint of tartness, subtly sweet lemon cucumbers, tart cherries, creamy avocado, and a few other ingredients go into this salad. Topped with sweet and smoky tempeh to add protein, this is a satisfying and delicious meal. You can also use baked tofu or chickpeas as your protein source — feel free to switch things up.
#2. Easy Lemon Cucumber Pickles
If you’re a fan of pickles, you have to try this take on the classic cucumber pickle by swapping out regular cucumbers in favor of lemon cucumbers. Pickle them with bell pepper, onion, garlic, pickling spice, and a few other seasonings to infuse them with delicate flavors. Place in a lidded container and let it chill in the refrigerator. It’s perfect to serve with sandwiches or soups.
#3. Easy Lemon Cucumber Pickles
Here’s another pickle recipe that uses minimal ingredients to make a refreshing, zesty pickle. This recipe adds a dash of lemon juice to give the pickles a flavor boost along with basil leaves for herbaceous notes and champagne vinegar to add some brightness. This recipe ensures that the pickled lemon cucumbers retain their crunch and texture. You can refrigerate them for up to a month to enjoy them with your meals!
#4. Lebanese Lemon Cucumber Salad
This summer salad is the right balance of salty, creamy, and crunchy. To make, place thinly-cut lemon cucumber and onion slices along with chiffonade-cut mint leaves in a bowl. Top with yogurt, add lemon and seasonings, and give it a good mix. Serve it garnished with mint and chili paste — it goes great with grilled chicken!
#5. Lemon Cucumber & Pesto
This fun and refreshing lemon cucumber recipe will be a welcome addition to your menu. To prepare the pesto, combine basil leaves, garlic, lemon juice, almonds, parmesan, and seasonings in a blender, then layer it on top of sliced or chopped lemon cucumbers. If you like some heat, sprinkle some red chili flakes on top.
#6. Lemon Cucumber Cocktail
Looking for a refreshingly delicious cocktail to accompany your summer meals? This gin cocktail recipe is for you! It uses just 5 ingredients — Bombay Sapphire, lemon juice, Canada dry tonic, lemon cucumber, and lemon verbena — to produce a fresh summer cocktail. It’s so delicious that you’ll want to make it whenever you have lemon cucumbers on hand.
#7. Lemon Cucumber Greek Salad
This bright and fresh Greek salad is so good that it’ll make you fall in love with lemon cucumbers! Combine chopped lemon cucumbers, veggies, and parsley with a dressing made of garlic, Greek yogurt, lemon juice, olive oil, oregano, red wine vinegar, pepper, and salt. Top it off with feta and serve it with couscous, quinoa, or in a wrap to enjoy.
#8. Lemon Cucumber Pickles
Another pickle recipe? You bet! This one is super simple but offers a unique kick of spice with the slight sweetness of lemon cucumbers. Simply combine chopped lemon cucumbers and red onion with chili pepper and minced ginger for a spicy kick, and add fresh lemon juice for tang. Eat it as-is or in tuna salads to enjoy a wonderful marriage of flavors in every bite.
#9. Lemon Cucumber Salad
Light, refreshing, and juicy, this lemon cucumber salad is the perfect dish to serve as a snack or a side. In it, lemon cucumbers, red onions, almonds, and fresh mint are combined with a simple dressing for a quick flavor boost. The salad also comes with variations you can try to complement everyone’s food palate.
#10. Lemon Cucumber Tofu Salad
This delicious tofu salad is super easy to whip up. Just marinate cool lemon cucumbers and chopped fresh dill in fresh lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil for about 20 minutes. Then, toss with firm, golden, and bouncy tofu, toasted and crunchy pine nuts, and creamy avocado. Serve it on its own or over rice, greens, or noodles!
#11. Lemon Cucumber Vodka Gimlet
Give a twist to the delicious sweet lime-flavored vodka gimlets by adding fresh lemon cucumber to the mix. To create, squeeze lime juice into a martini shaker/jar, add lemon cucumber slices and agave nectar, then add vodka and ice. Muddle everything together with a dowel or wooden spoon handle, strain, then serve in your favorite glass to enjoy.
#12. Mâche with Summer Lemon Cucumbers and Lychee
This salad combines the unique flavors of lychees, fresh lemon cucumber, and enoki mushrooms to create a summertime staple! To make, combine mache lettuce, cherry tomatoes, English cucumber, lemon cucumbers, and mushrooms with a homemade dressing made of rice wine vinegar, lemon juice, sugar, and seasonings. Top it with chopped lychees to give the dish a strong floral flavor, and serve!
#13. Market Monday: Lemon Cucumber and Macadamia Nut Salad
This salad is light and refreshing, and it’s packed with vegetables — good for your palate and your health! It includes cherry tomatoes, lemon cucumbers, red onion, zucchini, and macadamia nuts combined with cooked quinoa. Toss in a salad dressing, mix well, then serve!
#14. Wasted Time and Minted Zucchini, Pea and Lemon Cucumber Salad
In this recipe, lemon cucumber, mint, peas, and zucchini slices are tossed in a dressing made of lemon juice, olive oil, pepper, salt, vinegar, and zest. Arrange it on a serving plate, sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts and cheese, and season with salt and pepper before serving!