These shrimp and avocado-stuffed cucumber boats are fresh and healthy for summertime, and fun to eat with your hands! Great for a healthy make-ahead lunch option.
These shrimp stuffed cucumber boats have summertime written all over them! I don't know what it is about the warm weather, but it always inspires me to start stuffing things, like tomatoes stuffed with quinoa and hummus, zucchini rolled with goat cheese and roasted peppers and grilled stuffed portobello mushrooms. Luckily, I'm typically inclined to stuff healthy ingredients inside of other healthy ingredients, which then makes it easier to stuff my body into a bathing suit.😉
When the temperatures really start to rise, the relationship with my oven becomes a little strained, and I seek out friendship from my grill and any ingredient that don't need to be cooked. Since cucumbers are coming into season this month (and well, available year-round in grocery stores), I tossed aside the idea of a traditional stuffed zucchini and came up with a filling that would match the freshness of the crisp cucumbers.
Shrimp, avocado and cucumbers pair together beautifully in everything from sandwiches to salads, like in one of my favorites, a 10-Minute Thai Shrimp, Cucumber & Avocado Salad.
The shrimp mixture is dressed with a simple cumin orange dressing, which is also brushed inside of the cucumber boats for an extra layer of flavor.
What you need for these stuffed cucumber boats:
These are the main components of this recipe (affiliate links included):
- Cucumber: Use two English cucumbers, which can be found in the produce section of any well-stocked grocery store. There’s no need to peel them.
- Shrimp: Either medium or large shrimp work in this recipe. Peel the shrimp, removing the tails, then roughly chop them.
- Bell pepper: You can use red, orange or yellow bell pepper, but I like red for the pop of color.
- Avocado: My favorites are California avocados, but any ripe avocado works.for this recipe.
- Dressing: Super easy ingredients list! All you need is a couple of tablespoons of fresh orange juice, extra virgin olive oil, cumin, salt and pepper.
How to make these this stuffed cucumber recipe:
Start by cutting each English cucumber have crosswise, then cut each section in half lengthwise. You should have 8 sections.
Using a teaspoon, scrape out and discard the seeds and some of the cucumber flesh to form “boats”.
In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients, then use about a tablespoon of the dressing to brush the inside of the cucumber boats. Extra flavor!
Next up – toss the shrimp with a little olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Heat a skillet over medium skillet and add the shrimp. Shrimp cooks really quickly and becomes rubbery when overcooked, so watch it carefully. Just a few minutes should do the trick.
Transfer the shrimp to a bowl along with the red bell pepper and avocado, then toss with the rest of the dressing.
Last step…divide the shrimp mixture amongst the cucumber boats. Serve them up!
HOW TO SERVE STUFFED CUCUMBERS:
While you may be tempted to eat these with a knife and fork, they’re even easier (and more fun!) to eat with your hands. If there are kids in the house, they’ll love that, too!
These shrimp cucumber boats makes for a fantastic light lunch, but if you’re looking for a more substantial meal, try serving them with a whole grain or bean salad like one of the following:
Frequently Asked Questions:
Can this be made ahead of time?
There’s nothing better than having a make-ahead light lunch on hand to take to the office or to enjoy at home. This recipe fits handily into that category.
With one caveat, this salad can be stored in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days, provided that it’s enclosed in a resealable container.
The caveat is the avocado. While the lime juice in the dressing slows down the browning process, the avocado tends to become mushy and starts to brown after a day. If you intend to eat the salad after one day, I recommend chopping and stirring in the avocado just before serving.
What could I use instead of shrimp?
Turn this from a shrimp salad into a chicken salad by swapping out the shrimp with chopped, poached chicken or shredded chicken.
Scallops are another good option. Cook small bay scallops to mix in with vegetables and dressing.
For a vegetarian option, try marinated tofu or grilled halloumi.
Shrimp Stuffed Cucumber Boats
- Cut each cucumber in half crosswise, then lengthwise, so that there are 8 pieces in all. Using a small spoon, scoop out the seeds and some of the flesh to form boats.
- Place the shrimp in a bowl. Add the olive oil, salt and pepper, and toss to coat the shrimp.
- Heat a large nonstick skillet set over medium heat. Cook until the shrimp is just cooked through, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Transfer the shrimp to a bowl, and stir in the red bell pepper and avocado. Toss with 3 tablespoons of the dressing.
- Brush the insides of the cucumber boats with the remaining 1 tablespoon of dressing.
- Divide the shrimp mixture evenly between the cucumber boats. Serve.
- Whisk together the orange juice, olive oil cumin, salt and pepper.
This post was first published on June 8, 2015 and updated on June 8, 2021.
Disclosure: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.