Maybe the box from your CSA was loaded with zucchini this week, maybe a neighbor gave you some of their gigantic prize-winning squash, or maybe you just bought too much at the local farmers market — sometimes you just need a few fresh ideas about how to use up the zucchini you have on hand. You can only eat so many zucchini muffins, so what do you do with the leftover? We have some ideas.
Click here to see the 9 Great Zucchini Recipes (Slideshow)
Zucchini is available year-round in most American supermarkets but it's in season during the summer months. Buying in-season means you'll receive maximum flavor and nutrients. Take advantage of zucchini's natural goodness (like fiber, vitamin A, and vitamin C) by eating it raw. You can cut it into sticks perfect for dipping, layer it with slices of tomato and mozzarella for a nontraditional caprese salad, or cut it on a spiral slicer to make zucchini "noodles" to replace pasta. If you have a vegetable peeler you can also cut long, thin ribbons of squash to add to salads or sandwiches. Like any fruit or vegetable, if you plan to eat your zucchini raw, be sure to wash the skin thoroughly even if you're planning to remove it.
If you don't want to use your zucchini in a raw preparation, there are plenty of ways to cook it as well — no need to grate it all into muffins or bread. Fried zucchini is one of my summertime favorites; cut sticks or coins from the zucchini, dredge the squash in flour, dip it in egg wash, and then coat it in crunchy Panko breadcrumbs. Once the breaded zucchini is fried golden brown, drain the excess oil, sprinkle with salt, and enjoy on top of pasta or dipped in a homemade tzatziki sauce. Even if you're cooking for picky eaters, this one is sure to be a hit.
Looking for more ways to use up your stock of zucchini? We've rounded up a few recipes to get you started.
Cucumber and Zucchini Panzanella Recipe
(Credit: Flickr/Quentin Bacon)
Here's a refreshing and healthy salad from Mario Batali. You can use a mandolin to achieve the paper-thin slices of cucumber and zucchini called for in this recipe, but make sure you don't get distracted.
Click here to see the Cucumber and Zucchini Panzanella Recipe
Fresh Corn and Zucchini Cakes Recipe
(Credit: Whole Foods Market)
These moist, tender little cakes are an easy and flavorful side dish to serve with simple grilled foods. They're excellent at room temperature, so consider making them ahead and packing them along in your cooler on your next picnic.
Click here to see the Fresh Corn and Zucchini Cakes Recipe
Click here to see more great zucchini recipes
Kristie Collado is The Daily Meal's Cook Editor. Follow her on Twitter @KColladoCook.
65 Best Recipes to Help Use Up That Zucchini
There are oodles of ways to to turn this healthy veggie into a meal.
If, like most folks, you want your family to have healthy dinner recipes on the table, then you're probably looking for ways to add more fresh vegetables on their plates. And in the summer, especially, there's one vegetable in particular worth turning to over and over: zucchini. Zucchini is inexpensive, nutritious, and its mild taste and creamy texture make it incredibly versatile.
Whether you want to make zucchini the centerpiece of a show-stopping quick, easy dinner recipe, give it a turn with your grilling recipes, serve it as a side, or sneak in into kid-friendly meals (see desserts, like these sweet apple muffins), we have a feeling you'll find at least one recipe on our list that'll fill the bill.
Haven't spent much time cooking with zucchini before? You're in for a treat. This supercharged summer staple can be cooked and enjoyed in a ton of different ways, and it's bound to change your summer produce game for the better. From classic recipes like zucchini fritters with chili lime mayo to more newfangled options (zucchini cookies with brown butter cream cheese frosting, anyone?), you'll be surprised by the variety you can elicit from this one magical vegetable. And if you're trying to make use of leftover produce, we've also included some easy pasta recipes that will use up lots of veggies in your fridge. We're sure that these healthy zucchini recipes are ones your family won't get tired of any time soon!
We are in love with this easy recipe. There’s fresh zucchini, tomatoes, basil, parmesan, and lots of garlic. The best part? It only takes 20 minutes to make. It’s low on calories and carbs, while having maximum flavor!
This is such a quick and easy recipe. It’s adaptable, too. We love this with 100% zucchini noodles (basically, spaghetti made from zucchini), but a combination of real spaghetti or pasta and zucchini is great.
This pasta recipe is all about fresh ingredients. The zucchini should be firm and the tomatoes sweet. If you have a hard time finding good, flavorful tomatoes, it is better to use canned. We love canned San Marzano tomatoes as well as the options from Muir Glen.
How to Make Zucchini Noodles With and Without a Spiralizer
Zucchini noodles are spaghetti-like strands of zucchini. You can make them a variety of ways. Here’s how to make them:
- The easiest way to make zucchini noodles is to use a spiralizer. They make long, curly noodles in minutes. This is a great tool to add to your kitchen. We purchased ours on Amazon for less than $30. There are a variety of brands and price points to choose from. Some food processors come with a spiralizer attachment now, too.
- No spiralizer, no problem! You can also use a julienne vegetable peeler. These come in at under $10 and might even be hiding in your kitchen gadget drawer right now.
- Most mandoline slicers will make noodles, too.
- You can also use a standard vegetable peeler and make wide noodles.
Depending on where you shop, you might even find that you can buy previously spiralized zucchini. I’ve seen them for sale in Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and even some Safeway stores.
Once you’ve got noodles, you’re ready to cook them.
Our Best Tips for Cooking Zoodles So That They Are Delicious and Not Soggy
Zucchini is mostly made up of water so cooking it can be tricky. Here are our tips for cooking it well and making sure it’s not soggy.
- Don’t peel the zucchini. Peeled zucchini noodles are mushy and have little crunch. Plus, it adds a step and we’re looking for dinner on the table fast.
- Don’t salt the zucchini ahead or time or while it cooks in the pan. Salt draws out water from the zucchini. This will make it less crunchy when it’s cooked. Since salt makes things taste good, we prefer to salt the sauce and not the zucchini.
- Don’t overcook. The noodles should be cooked to al dente (just like pasta). This means they will look wilted, but still have a crunch.
Since zucchini has a tendency to become watery, we do our best to reduce this as much as possible in our recipe. Even so, you will still find some water left at the bottom of the serving bowl. This is okay with us. The liquid mixes with tomato, garlic, cheese, and olive oil, so it’s delicious. By the way, if you are looking for more ways to use up zucchini, here’s our parmesan basil zucchini chips recipe for you. They are addictive.
What Our Readers Are Saying
If you don’t believe that our recipe helps you achieve perfect zucchini noodles pasta at home, take a look at what our readers are saying about the recipe! More reviews are in the comments section below.
“Wow! It’s delicious. This recipe is at the top of the favorites list!” – Pam
“I was surprised how delicious this actually was!! I followed recipe exactly and it turned out perfect.” – Marissa
“Oh. My. Goodness! Its amazing! What a super way to introduce the family to disguised healthy eating with flavor that is the embodiment of summer. This year I planted even more zucchini and Zoodles will be part of our lives forever!” – Shannon
How To Fry Zucchini? How Long To Fry Zucchini?
In a pot, wok, or frying pan, pour some vegetable oil and bring it to 350 degrees Fahrenheit on medium heat. Delicately, to avoid any splash, place the coated zucchini in the oil away from you and deep fry for 2-3 minutes or until it is golden brown.
Sprinkle with sea salt or Parmesan and enjoy when hot!
Zucchini Spice Cake
Y’all know I love my zucchini recipes. I grow zucchini every summer and coming up with new recipes to use that zucchini in is one of my favorite summer activities. Over the years I’ve shared so many amazing zucchini cake recipes, each one a personal favorite of mine.
Today, I think I’ve outdone myself. I took inspiration from my Nana’s to-die for carrot cake and ended up with an incredibly delicious and moist zucchini cake with enough spices to make your mouth go WOW. No oil. No butter. Applesauce does it all and trust me, you won’t miss the oil one bit.
As you well know, it takes a seriously special occasion to get me to make a layered cake and this past week was not one of them lol! I went with a snack cake made in a 9-inch baking dish which perfectly served our sweet tooth while still allowing me to use up some of that zucchini.
I added some toasted walnuts and coconut to the mix because, well, I love them and they pair so beautifully with zucchini. If you are not a fan of one or the other (or both!) you can leave them out, no problem.
I used Almond Breeze Unsweetened Vanilla almondmilk to get the perfect texture in this zucchini spice cake. Using almondmilk instead of water in this cake recipe really adds a lot of delicious flavor and since I keep several cartons on hand for smoothies, it’s an easy option. I used the unsweetened vanilla because I was planning on icing the cake but if you’re not, the regular vanilla would be a good option as well. In fact, the Almondmilk Coconutmilk Blend would be PERFECT here too! Almond Breeze Almondmilk is available in both refrigerated and shelf stable so you can keep it on hand in the pantry.
One thing I have failed to mention is the crazy delicious aroma wafting from your oven as this cake is baking. You guys. It was so hard to wait for this baby to cool down… If I hadn’t already set out the cream cheese and butter to soften, I think I would have waited about 30 minutes and just sprinkled the cake with powdered sugar – yum!
That being said, I opted for a quick cream cheese icing to give the zucchini cake a little added sweetness. The icing is super simple: cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar and enough Almond Breeze Unsweetened Vanilla almondmilk to get the perfect consistency. Start with a couple tablespoons and add more as needed.
The 9 Best Summer Squash and Zucchini Recipes
We love zucchini's mild flavor, melt-in-your mouth texture, and amazing versatility. But by summer's end, we all get a little weary of it, and the thought of throwing one more zucchini plank on the grill becomes something exciting no longer. Still, we gotta appreciate August's bounty, even when it's a little too bountiful. Look no further for tasty and creative ways to use up the rest of your summer squash yield.
1. Zucchini Scallion Cakes. Applying the grater is a transformative experience for a couple zucchini and scallions, on their way to becoming these latke-like bites.
2. Zucchini & Rice Gratin. The cheese, breadcrumbs, egg, and rice in this delicious baked side (or vegetarian main) do much to disguise a big portion of zucchini.
3. Parsley Zucchini. A simple sauté is taken up a notch by the use of both butter and olive, plus a big handful of fresh herbs.
4. Orzo Ratatouille. The classic tomato-eggplant-zucchini combination gets a makeover with the addition of orzo and cheese, plus some time in the oven.
5. Summer Squash Angel Hair. Again with the grater! Here, we slowly sauté grated squash until it's rich and saucy then toss it with quick-cooking angel hair and lots of cheese.
6. Squash Chips with Basil and Balsamic Drizzle. Roasting thinly slicked squash makes "chips" that are slightly crispy, dense, and intensely flavored.
7. Oversized Mozzarella Arepas with Summer Veggies. A quick sauté of summer veggies, including zucchini, top these crispy, cheesy arepas to make a gluten-free, vegetarian supper.
8. Zucchini Tofu Croquettes. Another bite-sized delight, the addition of tofu to these croquettes makes them simultaneously light and filling.
9. Zucchini-Fennel Slaw with Preserved Lemons and Cilantro. Our favorite summer salad, slaw, is redone with zucchini and fennel instead of regular old cabbage.
9 Scrumptious Low Carb Zucchini Recipes You’ll Love
Zucchini is a fantastic low-carb vegetable. It’s one of the best ones for a low-carb or keto diet plan! Full of Vitamins and Minerals and Many Health Benefits! Check out this 9 Scrumptious Low Carb Zucchini Recipes. Hope you enjoy!
Baked Zucchini Fries (Gluten-Free, Low-Carb)
These baked zucchini fries are ultra cheesy and flavorful with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and Italian spices. Watch the video above to see how easy they are to make!
Low carb and keto friendly, this easy zucchini lasagna with ground meat is a healthy alternative to your typical lasagna. This casserole is so good that you won’t miss the noodles.
Low Carb Zucchini Tots
This Zucchini Tot recipe is adapted for Phase 1 of the South Beach Diet! And yes, they are delicious!
These cheesy breadsticks are so tasty, you won’t miss the carbs. Zucchini is transformed into bread and baked with cheese for a low-carb and keto-friendly alternative to traditional breadsticks.
Zucchini Noodles “Mac & Cheese”
Zucchini Noodles “Mac & Cheese” is zucchini noodles with cheese sauce, a healthier, low carb version of macaroni and cheese, replacing macaroni pasta with zucchini noodles.
Drunken Zucchini Noodles
Drunken Zucchini Noodles is a lighter, low carb version of the popular Thai dish using zoodles instead of rice noodles. It’s quick, easy and delicious.
Taco Stuffed Zucchini Boats
Taco Stuffed Zucchini Boats are a low carb and healthier alternative for taco night. Lean ground beef with homemade taco seasoning is stuffed into hollowed out zucchini and topped with melted cheese.
Low Carb Zucchini Fries Recipe – Gluten Free
There are plenty of vegetables other than potatoes to make fries. Discover how easy it is to make your own gluten free zucchini fries with this simple recipe.
Low Carb Zucchini “Tortillas”
Healthy Zucchini Tortillas Recipe is for healthy low carb tacos and or burritos. Mexican food can be lighter and less carbs!
20 Zucchini Recipes
This low-carb dish definitely doesn&apost compromise on flavor.
Zucchini Fritter Cakes
Transform zucchini into mini cakes and serve them as appetizers at a cocktail party!
Zucchini Pesto with Linguine
Softened zucchini makes an excellent addition to nutty pesto -- it&aposs an easy way to sneak veggies into your dinner!
Sausage, Zucchini & Potato Stoup
This 30-Minute Meal is great for a fall evening.
A triple-green guacamole is smooth and crunchy, savory and sweet.
Grilled Curry Zucchini, Red Bell Pepper and Arugula Salad with Yogurt Dressing
This bountiful salad has so much flavor, you won&apost need any protein.
Ratatouille-Stuffed Zucchini Pizzas
French bread pizza -- hold the bread! Crunchy zucchini makes an excellent replacement.
Potato-Zucchini Latkes with Basil
Even potato pancakes can prove it&aposs easy being green.
Zucchini & Fennel Soup with Garlic Croutons
Get ready to devour this bowl of springtime deliciousness.
Zucchini-Carrot Mini Muffins
These muffins aren&apost too sweet, so you can serve &aposem for breakfast, snack time or even as a side on the dinner table.
Tagliatelle with Zucchini and Mint Pesto
The shape of the zucchini mimics the shape of the pasta. You may even swap out the pasta altogether!
As an entree, serve over quick-cooking polenta. As a starter, serve cold or warm on toasted baguette rounds.
Thinly sliced raw zucchini is light and refreshing.
Zucchini Fritters with Roasted Red Pepper Dip
These crunchy finger snacks are a great way to eat up zucchini at the end of the season.
Zucchini Spaghetti with Saffron Sauce
Heat things up with this hearty dish.
Zucchini is just one of the many hearty veggies found in these Italian-inspired wraps.
Shaved Zucchini-and-Parmesan Salad
This simple salad can be served up at the most casual to the most elegant of dinners.
Zucchini Ribbons and Peppers
Tossing the zucchini ribbons with salt will remove the excess water, guaranteeing a fresh and crunchy side dish!
50+ Zucchini Recipes That Are Easy, Healthy and Delicious
Repeat after me: There is no such thing as too much zucchini! Well, that's almost true &mdash if you've ever grown zucchini in your yard's veggie patch, you know that a single zucchini can grow up to an inch each day. That one plant can give you more than enough to share among family and neighbors alike. It's a good thing that there are so many different ways to use up this luscious summer favorite whether in an al-fresco dinner salad, charred on the grill, or stuffed into a sumptuous loaf of our favorite zucchini bread. Like many other fresh vegetables, zucchini is a great addition to any meal, snack, or dessert to keep heavy carbs off the plate.
Even if you don't grow this hearty vegetable in your garden, you'll find that zucchini is extremely budget-friendly and one of the freshest grabs in your supermarket's produce section. It's in season all summer long, from June to September, right before more fall-forward options are served on your Thanksgiving table. Zucchini can be prepared in many different ways, used in just about any dish you have in mind: Fried zucchini fries, zoodles in a fresh pasta salad, grilled atop a crunchy flatbread.
This water-packed summer squash is also quite good for you, too: 1 cup of zucchini packs in 1g of much-needed dietary fiber at less than 20 calories. Jaclyn London, MS, RD, CDN, says zucchini is also loaded with potassium and vitamin C (about 30% of your daily intake's worth). "You can fill up on a ton for very few calories &mdash a sneaky weight-loss ally!"
To get you started, we present 10 delicious recipes and interesting ways you can cook up this veggie and delight your family and friends -
1. Zucchini Parmigiana
In this recipe, layers of zucchini, ricotta and tomato basil sauce are baked to succulent perfection. Neatly arrange the stack and top it with extra Parmesan for a scrumptious treat.
2. Zucchini Loaf
A soft and airy bread loaf made with zucchini, cinnamon and chopped walnuts. Serve it with gravies or pasta of your choice.
3. Zucchini and Cream Cheese Rolls
Here, zucchini slices are stuffed with the freshness of carrots, celery, cream and cheese. This recipe makes for a perfect snack.
4. Zucchini Hummus
Who would have thought that hummus could be made without chickpeas? This delicious dip will get you hooked. Serve it with bread sticks for a cocktail party at home.
5. Stuffed Zucchini Boats
Slit the zucchini lengthwise and stuff it with lamb, paneer and cheddar cheese mixture. It makes for a meal on its own.
6. Spaghetti with Zucchini
Cook up a simple and speedy spaghetti with the goodness of zucchini and flavours of parsley, chillies and garlic.
7. Turnip and Zucchini Soup
A very healthy soup with turnips, zucchini and spinach. A great de-toxifying meal!
8. Zucchini Wrapped Sole
A healthy and soulful combination of zucchini, sole, fresh herbs with the kick of garlic and mustard.
9. Roasted Vegetables
A melange of potatoes, yellow zucchini, green zucchini and garlic drizzled with olive oil. Toss it up for a light dinner or to serve as a side to mains.
10. Zucchini Chutney
Nothing like some interesting chutneys to spruce up regular meals. This recipe is a delicious mix of zucchini and neem leaves, along with a mix of spices.