This refreshing Mexican cucumber snack (pepinos con chile) offer a combination of cool and crunchy cucumbers with tangy, spicy, and savory flavors to create a mouthwatering taste experience that is both refreshing and satisfying!
Pepinos con chile is a popular Mexican cucumber snack or street food that translates to “cucumbers with chili”. It is a simple yet delicious dish made with sliced cucumbers seasoned with chili powder, lime juice, and salt.
In Mexico is pretty common to find vendors offering refreshing snacks on the streets. From elote en vaso to fresh fruit cups to pepinos con chile. These snacks can be enjoyed by people of all ages, making it a family-friendly option.
Pepinos con chile is incredibly simple and quick to make. It requires minimal preparation, and you can have a tasty snack ready within minutes that can be served as a refreshing appetizer or snack at parties, barbecues, or any social gathering. It’s sure to be a hit among your guests!
- Cucumbers (pepinos): Choose firm and crisp cucumbers without any soft spots. You can use regular cucumbers or English cucumbers.
- Chili powder: Popular choices for this Mexican cucumber snack include Tajín or any chili powder blend that includes a combination of chili, salt, and lime.
- Hot sauce: There are plenty of options! From store-bought hot sauces like salsa Valentina, Huichol, or Tapatio sauce, to homemade Chamoy.
- Limes: Use freshly squeezed lime juice. Stay away from bottled lime juice as it may lack the same freshness and flavor.
- Salt: Any type of salt you prefer will work for seasoning your Mexican cucumber snack.
How To Make Mexican Cucumber Snack
Wash thoroughly the cucumbers. Peel them and cut them into thick slices, sticks, or any other format you like.
TOP TIP: Normally the cucumbers are cut into sticks if you want to serve them in a cup, or they can also be sliced or cut into chunks if you prefer serving them on a plate.
Place the cucumbers on a serving platter or arrange the sticks standing into cups.
Squeeze fresh lime juice over the cucumber and sprinkle a generous amount of chili powder or chili-lime Tajin seasoning over the cucumbers.
Nicely drizzle them with Valentina salsa or your preferred hot salsa.
Tip: The amount of sauce and chili powder can vary based on your spice tolerance and preference. Start with a few drops of sauce and a pinch of chili powder then adjust to taste.
Add a pinch of salt to enhance the flavors, but pay attention not to add too much salt, especially if your chili powder or seasoning already contains salt.
Your pepinos con chile are ready. Enjoy this refreshing Mexican cucumber snack right away!
Tips & Recipe Notes
- Do not toss. Pepinos con chile is not a salad, tossing them will create excessive moisture and make the cucumbers soft. Instead, you should just drizzle them with sauce and lime juice, then evenly sparkle them with chili powder and salt, so you have the seasonings on each bite.
- Peeling the fresh cucumbers: It is your choice. You can either peel them or eat them with the skin. Either way, the flavor is on the spot. Some people enjoy the added texture and nutrients from the cucumber skin, while others prefer the smoothness of peeled cucumbers.
- Adjust Spice Level: Customize the spice level to suit your taste. If you prefer a milder snack, use less chili powder or choose a mild chili-lime seasoning. Or, if you love spice, feel free to add more!
- Experiment: Don’t be afraid to get creative and experiment with other types of chile powder. You can try adding ancho chili powder (or guajillo), morita powder, hot paprika, chile de árbol pepper, chile piquín, or chili flakes. Any of those can bring out the natural flavors of cucumbers and make them taste better!
Ways To Serve Pepinos con Chile
Mexican cucumber snack pepinos con chile is one of the most popular recipes for your Cinco de Mayo potluck, parties, or picnics — especially during hot summer days!
I love serving them at party and setting up a snack station with everything ready for my guests to personally prepare and customize the snack to their preferences.
- I arrange the cucumber slices and lime wedges on a platter, neatly in rows, or creating a visually appealing pattern.
- Then I place a few squeeze bottles with different types of hot sauces and a few small bowls with different options of chili powder (from mild to spicy).
- Last, I dispose of some cups and toothpicks for serving and enjoying the snack, and make sure to place napkins nearby for my guests to use.
How To Store Mexican Cucumbers
Since this recipe is so quick and easy to make, I strongly recommend preparing only the amount you intend to consume to enjoy them at their freshest.
Cucumbers tend to release moisture over time, which can make the snack less crunchy as they sit in the refrigerator. However, if you have some leftovers you can place them in an airtight container and store them in the fridge for 2-3 days.
Though, you can make this Mexican cucumber snack ahead! Here’s what you should do:
- Peel and cut the cucumbers and pat them dry with a clean kitchen towel or paper towels to remove excess moisture. Drying them helps prevent them from becoming too soggy while in storage.
- Take a few layers of paper towels and wrap the peeled cucumbers in them. The paper towels will help absorb any remaining moisture and keep the cucumbers nicely dry.
- Put the wrapped cucumbers into a container with a tight lid or a resealable plastic bag.
- Place the cucumbers in the refrigerator. Store them on a shelf where they won’t be crushed or squashed by heavier items. They will last up to 5-6 days!
- When ready to enjoy this flavorful Mexican cucumber snack, just place the cucumbers on a plate, add sauce and seasonings, and enjoy!
How do you eat cucumbers as a snack?
To enjoy cucumbers as a nutritious and light snack you can simply peel them and cut them into chunks, sprinkle them with salt, and add a squeeze of lime.
Is this cucumber snack healthy?
Yes, this Mexican cucumber snack is a healthy treat option for satisfying your hunger between meals.
Cucumbers are nutritious and hydrating vegetables, containing essential vitamins and minerals. By adding chili and lime, the snack becomes not only tasty but also potentially beneficial for digestion and metabolism.
Besides, this healthy snack is also vegan!
More Mexican Snacks
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Mexican Cucumber Snack (pepinos con chile)
- 6 cups (optional, for serving)
- 4 medium cucumbers
- ½ teaspoon Tajín chili powder (or any chili powder you prefer)
- 2 teaspoons chamoy salsa (or your favorite Mexican hot sauce)
- 2 limes (juice)
- salt (optional)
- Wash the cucumbers. Peel them and cut them into thick slices, sticks, or any other format you like.
- Place them in a serving platter or arrange the sticks on cups.
- Squeeze fresh lime juice over the cucumbers and sprinkle with tajin seasoning or chili powder.
- Drizzle them with Chamoy, or Valentina salsa, or your preferred hot salsa.
- Add a pinch of salt and serve.
- You can either peel the cucumbers or eat them with the skin. Some people enjoy the added texture and nutrients from the cucumber skin, while others prefer the smoothness of peeled cucumbers.
- The amount of sauce and chili powder can vary based on your preference. Start with a few drops of sauce and a pinch of chili powder then adjust to taste.
Maricruz Avalos Flores is a Mexican cook and photographer living in Italy where she shares authentic Mexican & Italian recipes that can be easily made at home using easy-to-find ingredients.