Mexican cucumbers are one of the best summer snacks for picnics, beach days, or barbecues. They are made with crunchy cucumbers, spicy Tajin seasoning, and lime juice. And if you thought it couldn’t get any better, these healthy vegan snacks take less than 10 minutes to make!
This simple cucumber with lime and Tajin recipe is packed with delicious flavors and a refreshing overall taste. It is crunchy, juicy, and even leaves some juice you can gulp up in the end.
Why You Will Love This Recipe
Looking for a tasty, healthy snack that's also easy to prepare? Here's why the Pepinos con Chile recipe will become your new favorite:
- Healthy: Cucumbers are full of good nutrients and water. It's low in calories and high in health benefits compared to many other snacks.
- Quick to Make: You don't need a lot of time or many ingredients to make this. It's a quick snack you can make any time.
- Flexible: Add more chili for spice, or mix in other fruits for a different flavor.
- Good Any Time: This is a light snack, perfect for a quick bite in the afternoon or a late-night munch.
What Is Pepinos Con Chile?
"Pepinos Con Chile" is a popular snack from Mexico. It's made using cucumbers, which are called "pepinos" in Spanish. "Con chile" means "with chili."
So, the name tells us that this is a dish with cucumbers and chili. The only thing not mentioned is the addition of lime juice. In that case, these Mexican cucumbers are usually called “pepino con chile y limon.”
This is a healthy cucumber snack recipe that is usually made at family or social gatherings like picnics, or enjoyed as a street food. It’s especially popular during hot summer days where it makes an incredibly refreshing and flavor-packed snack.
In Mexico, people love the mix of fresh, tangy, and spicy flavors. It's common to add chili and lime to many dishes, not just cucumbers. So, "Pepinos Con Chile" is part of this bigger tradition.
This Mexican cucumber recipe is made by cutting up cucumbers, squeezing fresh lime juice over them, and then sprinkling them with chili powder. The result is a cool, tangy, and spicy snack that's both delicious and healthy. Plus, it's easy to make, so anyone can try it at home.
Ingredients & Substitutions
These Mexican cucumbers only require three ingredients. And luckily, each of these has a couple of substitutes.
You can use any type of cucumber that you can find. Garden cucumbers or English cucumbers work fine for this recipe. These cucumbers have a mild flavor and a lot of water content, which adds a refreshing crunch to the snack.
You can also use baby cucumbers instead and make thicker spears. They are easier to process, especially if you don’t peel them.
Lime juice adds a tangy flavor that contrasts with the mild cucumber. It's also what helps the chili powder stick to the cucumber slices.
If you can't find limes, you could use lemon juice instead. It's more acidic and less sweet, but it will give you the tanginess that the recipe needs.
Either way, it has to be freshly squeezed juice. This will give the Pepino cucumber mixture a zesty and fresh flavor.
Tajin Chili powder:
The best cucumber seasoning to use for this recipe is Tajin. This spice is a blend of chili powders, dehydrated lime juice, and salt, which adds a spicy and tangy flavor to the snack.
If you can't find Tajin, you could use alternative chili powders like Ancho chili powder, Morita powder, Guajillo, or Chipotle powder. Each of these chili powders has a unique flavor, but all can bring some heat to the dish.
To match Tajin's tanginess, add a bit more lime juice and a pinch of salt when using these alternatives.
If you don’t know where to buy specific types of chili powders, your best bet is to look online first. Then, you can visit a Latin American grocer if you have one in your neighborhood.
Although it won't be the traditional way of making this Mexican spicy cucumber recipe, you can add onions or grated garlic, corn and cilantro to turn it into a refreshing salad.
What Is Mexican Tajin Seasoning?
Tajin is a popular seasoning blend in Mexico, well-loved for its tangy, spicy, and slightly salty flavor profile. Cucumber and tajin make a great combination.
It is also used as a condiment on fresh fruits, vegetables, snacks, salads and even in drinks like a traditional Mexican beer-based cocktail called Michelada.
The main ingredients in Tajin are ground chili peppers (chiles de árbol, guajillo and pasilla), dehydrated lime juice, and salt. The chili gives it a spicy kick, the lime provides a tangy zest, and the salt enhances the overall flavor.
Making a Tajin Substitute at Home
While Tajin is now available in many supermarkets worldwide, if you can't find it or prefer to make your own homemade version, you can create a similar seasoning blend using common pantry ingredients.
Here's a simple way to make a homemade Tajin substitute:
Combine 1 tablespoon of chili powder, ½ teaspoon of sea salt, and ½ teaspoon of dried or fresh lime zest. Make sure to blend them well so you get an even flavor.
That's it. Your homemade Tajin seasoning is ready.
These Mexican cucumbers are incredibly easy to make and take less than 10 minutes. They are wonderfully refreshing and crunchy appetizers for hot summer days.
Here's a simple guide to make this Pepinos con Chile:
- Prepare the Cucumber: Wash the cucumber well. Use a knife to cut off both ends. Slice the cucumber into round pieces or long sticks, whichever you like.
- Season the Cucumber: Put the cucumber slices or sticks into a big bowl. Cut a lime in half and squeeze its juice all over the cucumber pieces. Make sure every piece gets some lime juice on it.
- Add the Spices: Sprinkle Tajin seasoning (or your chile powder mix) over the cucumber pieces. Make sure every piece gets some spice on it. If you're not using Tajin, remember to add a little salt for flavor. Just a pinch should be good.
- Mix Everything: Use your hands or a spoon to gently mix everything together. This way, the cucumber pieces get coated with the lime juice and spices properly. Enjoy right away!
These Mexican-style cucumbers are best served with more chili powder and lime wedges on the side. This way, your guests can add more seasonings if they’d like to.
You can also place them in small bowls or cups so they are pre-portioned for your guests.
For a richer flavor profile, serving Pepinos con Chile with iconic Mexican salsas like Chamoy or Valentina can elevate the dish.
Both salsas bring their unique blend of tang, heat, and savory flavors, complementing the crispness of the cucumbers.
Simply drizzle or dip your seasoned cucumbers into either salsa just before serving. This makes the tangy and spicy profile of this appetizer even more appealing to those who love bold flavors and a little extra kick.
Is This A Healthy Snack?
This simple Mexican cucumber salad with chili powder is definitely a healthy snack.
On average, a large cucumber (11 ounces) will contain about 45 calories. Virtually nothing!
Furthermore, cucumbers are high in vitamins C and K, magnesium, potassium, and manganese. You can read up on their health benefits here.
Limes are a good source of vitamin C, an antioxidant that can help protect your body from free radicals. Vitamin C also supports skin health and immune function.
Chili powder is a source of antioxidants and has various health benefits, including metabolism boost and inflammation reduction. However, it's essential to consume it in moderation.
So these cucumbers with chili and lime can be considered a healthy snack, especially when compared to many processed or high-calorie alternatives.
They pair well with salsas like Chamoy or Valentina and can be added to sandwiches and wraps for a refreshing crunch.
Absolutely! While cucumbers are traditional, you can also season jicama, radishes, mango, pineapple, melon or watermelon with the same chili-lime mixture for a different flavor and texture.
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They're best consumed within a day or two to maintain freshness.
As always: If you make this recipe, let us know what you think by rating it and leaving a comment below. And post a pic on Instagram too—tag @give_recipe so we can see!
Mexican Cucumber Snack - Pepinos Con Chile
Pepinos con Chile is a classic Mexican snack that effortlessly balances refreshing, spicy, and tangy flavors. Crunchy cucumber slices are flavored with a vibrant blend of lime juice and chili powder, offering a delightful burst of zest with every bite. Perfect for hot summer days!
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 0 minutes
- Total Time: 5 minutes
- Yield: 2 1x
- Category: Salad
- Method: Mixing
- Cuisine: Mexican
- Diet: Vegan
- 1 large cucumber
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 teaspoon Tajin chili powder (or any chili powder you have)
- A pinch of salt, optional (might be needed if you don’t use Tajin)
- Wash the cucumber well. Peel it and cut into thick slices or spears.
- Transfer them in a bowl. Pour the fresh lime juice over them and sprinkle with Tajin chili powder.
- Serve immediately.
- You can leave the skin on the cucumber if you want.
- While Tajin is a popular choice, any chili powder will work. Some alternatives include Ancho, Chipotle, or even cayenne for those who like it extra spicy. Remember, some chili powders might not contain salt, so adjust seasoning accordingly.
- Always serve this snack with more chili powder and lime wedges on the side so that everyone can add more of these if they want.
- Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They're best consumed within a day or two to maintain freshness.
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 51
- Sugar: 5.3 g
- Sodium: 626.2 mg
- Fat: 0.5 g
- Carbohydrates: 12.2 g
- Protein: 2.2 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: mexican cucumbers