If you’re trying to decide what to do with overripe cucumbers, we have some ideas for you. When cucumbers are left on the vine, they will continue to grow. They can become very large and take on a yellow color. Yellow cucumbers are tougher than perfectly ripe cucumbers, but this doesn’t mean they have to be tossed away. There are still some great ways you can use them in your recipes.
First, know that most of us have been there at some time or another. You get busy in the summer, and you forget to check on your cucumbers. The next thing you know, there are a bunch of overripe ones hiding in the patch. All is not lost! You just need to know what to do with them.
What to do with too many cucumbers, even when they aren’t overripe?
What if My Cucumbers Grew Larger than they Were Supposed To?
Cucumbers are fun, delicious, and easy to grow! However, it’s also very easy to have an abundance of cucumbers and if you don’t pick them in time, they will continue to ripen (unlike many other fruits and vegetables that stop ripening when you pick them). This means it’s easy to end up with a bunch of large, overripe cucumbers. And when it comes to cucumbers, bigger isn’t better.
But don’t worry! If your cucumbers end up larger than they were supposed to be, they are still safe to eat. If your cucumbers are large, but not yet turned yellow, then look at this post on what to do with overgrown cucumbers to help you with ideas on how to use them.
These large, overripened cucumbers are great for using in recipes that require shredded or chopped cucumbers. Whether you missed a few when you were harvesting or went away for a while and didn’t tend to the cucumber patch in time, there are plenty of ways to salvage your overripe cucumbers, apart from just tossing them into the compost pile.
What to Do with Overripe Cucumbers
Now, if you’re finding yourself with an overabundance of overripe cucumbers, what can you do with them? Here are some of my favorite ideas.
1. Make cucumber salad
Cucumber salad is a summer classic, and those yellow cucumbers can be used for this. Chop them up and add them to your fresh salad or make the cucumber the main focus of the salad. I’ve also seen people use a food processor to chop the cucumbers up into smaller pieces for use in salads.
I love slicing my overripe cucumbers into thin ribbons like in the salad above and mixing them with red onion slivers for some color. Here’s a recipe for cucumber and onion salad you might like.
2. Cooked cucumbers
Perfect for those cucumbers that were left on the vine a bit too long, cooked cucumbers are easy to make and delicious. You can stir fry them with onions, garlic, and red peppers for a fresh, bright look, or you can bake them like this cooked cucumber recipe with butter and herbs, and topped off with parmesan cheese.
3. Make pickles
One of the first ideas that may come to mind for your overripe cucumbers is to make pickles. There are many different ways you can pickle them, but I love doing refrigerator bread and butter chunks. The chunks work better than cucumber slices with overripe cucumbers. A bit of pickling salt, some white vinegar, and your overripe cucumber plants and you’ll be on your way.
4. Make pickled relish
Pickled relish is another favorite since it involves chopping the cucumbers, which is the best way to use them when they are overripe. There are many different recipes for pickled relish, and you may even decide to try a couple of different ones and see which ones you like best. You can store this relish in your favorite canning jar or containers and keep it for a long time. Here’s a recipe you can try.
5. Make cucumber-yogurt soup
Making cold cucumber soup couldn’t be easier: just add cucumbers, garlic, yogurt, and herbs (dill, mint, or any other favorites), give it a whiz in the blender (I own and love this one!) and you’re ready to enjoy a refreshing treat. Here’s a recipe if you like following the exact instructions.
Overripe Cucumbers FAQ
As you can see, there are still many things you can do with yellow cucumbers. Here are some frequently asked questions about overripe cucumbers.
What if my cucumbers have turned yellow?
You can still eat cucumbers after they turn yellow, but they may taste more bitter, and they are best with the skin removed. Try our ideas above.
What if my cucumbers are bigger than they are supposed to be?
Cucumbers are best when picked at medium size but even if you end up with overgrown cukes, you can still eat them. You just may change up how you make them so that they taste better.
What if I have more overripe cucumbers than we can eat at once?
When you end up with a lot of overripe cucumbers, you may try some of the canning or pickling methods from this list, in order to save them for later. Or you might give some of your surpluses to friends and family and give them the link to this post, too.
Can I eat the skins of an overripe cucumber?
The skins on a cucumber become very tough once the cucumber overripens and they can also taste very bitter. While you can eat the skins, most people don’t want to, so they peel them first. If you do want to try eating the skins, be sure to wash them very well first.
Can I eat the seeds of an overripe cucumber?
Again, although you can, you probably don’t want to. They will be very large and hard to chew. Most people like to cut the cucumber open and remove the seeds when dealing with an overripe cucumber.
As anyone who has accidentally let a cucumber overripen knows, the once firm and pristine vegetable can quickly turn into a mushy, seeded mess. And while it may not look appetizing, overripe cucumbers are perfectly safe to eat – seeds and all. In fact, the seeds of an overripe cucumber are packed with nutrients like vitamins C and K, as well as fiber and antioxidants.
So, if you’ve got an overripe cucumber on your hands, don’t throw it out – give it a try! You can use any of these ideas to help you make it tastier. Who knows, you might just find a new favorite snack.