14 Delicious Things To Do With All That Zucchini

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Author of What to Eat When You’re Broke and Bloom Where You’re Planted online course

If you are a vegetable gardener, chances are that you’re currently experiencing such an abundance of zucchini so great that even a ravenous family of squash lovers could never keep up with it.  Right now, your garden is probably bursting with these prolific veggies.  And if you’re not a gardener, this is the ideal time of year to pick up baskets full of them at a great price at your local market.

As a bonus, beautiful yellow summer squash is likewise producing in massive quantities right now, and all of the recipes below will work equally well with the yellow squashes as well.

First, some zucchini trivia

Here’s everything you ever want to know about zucchini but never even thought to ask.

  • Biologically, zucchinis are closely related to cucumbers and watermelons.
  • Zucchini is technically a fruit and not a vegetable.
  • They have been consumed in Central and South America, as well as Italy, for thousands of years, but only became popular in North America over the past 50 years, perhaps when gardeners realized what a bounty they could receive in a tiny amount of garden space.
  • Zucchini is part of what is known by the Native Americans as the “Three Sisters” – three plants that grow well together – corn, summer squash, and beans.

The health benefits of zucchini

Zucchini is chock full of nutrients!

  • A huge 1-cup serving of zucchini, including the skin, contains 20 calories, 1.5 grams of protein, 4.2 grams of carbohydrates, and 1.4 grams of fiber.
  • Zucchini was proven in studies to be a top food source of antioxidants such as lutein, zeaxanthin, beta-cryptoxanthin, alpha-carotene, and beta-carotene.
  • Zucchini is extremely high in natural pectin, which provides protection against diabetes and can help regulate insulin and blood sugar levels.
  • Zucchini contains Vitamins C, B6, B2, A, and K
  • Zucchini is bursting with minerals such as manganese, potassium, magnesium, folate, and phosphorus.

Growing Zucchini

Zucchini is not just easy to grow – it can actually take over your garden if you’re not careful!  Some people plant zucchini away from other parts of the garden for this reason.  You should allow plenty of room for the vines to spread. If you are using the square foot gardening method, thin to one plant per square foot.

Ways to prepare or preserve fresh zucchini

Zucchini is one of those multi-purpose harvests that can be used in a variety of ways.  Whether you prefer it sweet or savory, there’s a place for zucchini in your kitchen.

  1. If you end up with one of the baseball bat zucchinis hiding under the leaves in your garden, cut out the center and remove the seeds.  Very large zucchini can become woody and flavorless.  Try using over-large zucchini in recipes that call for shredded zucchini – this helps to mask the texture.
  2. Use shredded zucchini in place of recipes that call for shredded potatoes, or if you aren’t ready for that level of lower carb commitment, you can also mix shredded zucchini half and half with shredded potatoes to make hash browns or potato patties.
  3. Slice a zucchini in half and fill it with all manner of sweet or savory fillings to make baked zucchini boats.
  4. Uncooked zucchini spears are great for dipping and make a tasty addition to a veggie tray.  If the zucchini is a small, tender fruit, you can leave the peel on for an extra hit of fiber.  For a bigger zucchini, it’s best to peel it for use raw, because the skin will be tough and unpleasant in texture.
  5. Make zoodles (zucchini noodles) for a low carb pasta substitute. The best way to make them is with an inexpensive spiralizer device. (This is the kind that we have.)  If you don’t have a spiralizer, you can make long, thin ribbons using a carrot peeler. Here’s my recipe for zoodles with fresh alfredo sauce.
  6. Zucchini can be dehydrated either in thin slices or shredded.  Either way, prep your zucchini, then mix well with salt.  Place the salted zucchini in a colander over a bowl and put it in the refrigerator for a minimum of two hours but preferably overnight.  This will remove a great deal of the moisture. Put a thin layer of zucchini on the shelves of your dehydrator and dry overnight on low, or until the zucchini is completely dry.  When you’re ready to use it, reconstitute it by covering it in boiling water for 15 minutes.  Drain and use as you would fresh zucchini.
  7. You can also freeze zucchini. Unlike most vegetables, there is no need to blanch zucchini before freezing it.  Simply shred it, drain it (don’t add salt in case you want to use it in sweet dishes like zucchini bread or muffins) and then place it on a cookie sheet in a single layer.  Put this in the freezer for two hours, then relocate the frozen shreds into large freezer bags.
  8. To can zucchini, swap it out for cucumbers in your favorite pickle or relish recipes. Zucchini really doesn’t take to canning well. The large zucchinis that are a little bit tougher work better for zucchini pickles because they hold their firmness.
  9. Grill it. My favorite way to grill zucchini couldn’t be easier. Simply slice it in half long way, brush the whole thing with olive oil, then sprinkle it with salt, pepper, and the spices of your choice. Put it directly on the grill so it can soak up the smoky flavor.

10-14. Here are five delicious zucchini recipes.

With the garden in full zucchini overload, we’ve been scrambling to figure out ways to use it that are just a little different than the usual sauteed or grilled versions.   Here are our top, kid-tested recipes.

10. Zucchini Fritters

There are both baked and fried options here.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of coarsely shredded zucchini
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup of whole wheat flour (if you are gluten or grain free, sub tapioca flour here)
  • 2 tsp of garlic powder
  • 2 tsp of onion powder
  • 2 tsp of MSG-free seasoning salt
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/8 cup of cooking oil

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, mix together flour and seasonings.
  2. Stir in zucchini and cheese, using your hands to combine well.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the cooking oil until it sizzles when a drop of water is added.
  4. Form the zucchini mixture into patties and place them in the hot oil, taking care not to splatter yourself.
  5. Fry on each side for about 3-4 minutes or until a dark golden brown.
  6. Drain the fritters on a paper towel.
  7. Serve with sour cream or yogurt garlic dip (see recipe below)

Baked variation:

  1. Form the zucchini fritters as instructed above.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400*F
  3. Lightly oil a cookie sheet.
  4. Place the fritters on the cookie sheet and brush them lightly with oil.
  5. Bake for approximately 10 minutes on each side or until dark golden brown.

Yogurt Garlic Dip

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of plain yogurt, drained until thick
  • 1 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp of dried rubbed dill weed

Directions:

  1. With a fork, mix seasoning into yogurt.
  2. Place in the refrigerator for at least one hour to allow flavor to develop.
  3. Serve with fresh veggies or zucchini fritters.

11. Zucchini-Carrot Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups of shredded zucchini
  • 1/2 cup of shredded carrot
  • 1/4 cup of milk
  • 1 tbsp of white vinegar
  • 1 1/2  cups of whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup of white flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp of nutmeg
  • dash of powdered clove
  • 2/3 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup muscovado sugar
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • turbinado sugar to taste

Directions:

  1. Grease muffin tin with butter or additional coconut oil.
  2. Preheat oven to 375*F.
  3. In a small bowl, add the vinegar to the milk and allow it to sit for 5 minutes.
  4. In a large bowl, mix together oil, sugar, and vanilla, then stir in the milk mixture, the carrots, and the zucchini.
  5. In another bowl mix together flours, spices, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
  6. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined – you will have a lumpy batter.
  7. Let the batter sit for 10 minutes to allow it to rise.
  8. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tin, sprinkle lightly with turbinado sugar, and then bake for 20 minutes or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

12. Zucchini Crisps

(This recipe is courtesy of Tess Pennington of Ready Nutrition)

Ingredients:

  • 1pound of zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp of  olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup of Panko bread crumbs
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450* F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with tinfoil, then lightly spray it with oil.
  3. Place the zucchini on the baking sheet then lightly brush with olive oil.
  4. In a bowl, mix together Parmesan, bread crumbs, salt, and pepper.
  5. Sprinkle the mixture on top of the zucchini slices.
  6. Bake until the zucchini is browned and crisp, about 25 minutes.
  7. Serve immediately.

13. Dehydrator Zucchini Chips

Ingredients:

  • Zucchini
  • Salt
  • Seasoning of choice

Directions:

  1. Slice zucchini into thin rounds. (Leave on the peel.)
  2. Use the method above to salt and drain the slices overnight.
  3. The next day, toss the slices with some olive oil, lemon juice, and your favorite seasonings. We like black pepper, garlic salt, and onion powder, but you can experiment and duplicate your favorite potato chip flavors.
  4. Place the slices in single layers in your dehydrator. Dry at 125 degrees for up to 24 hours or until the chips have reached their desired crispness. Store in a mason jar. These are not a long-term food storage item due to the olive oil.

14. Zucchini Pickles

If you don’t have a favorite pickle recipe, you can try putting up some jars of this spicy-sweet pickle.

Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds of zucchini
  • 1/2 cup of onion, thinly sliced
  • 6 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • 6 tsp of pickling salt (or another non-iodized salt)
  • 2 cups of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups of white vinegar
  • 2 cups of turbinado sugar
  • 1 tsp of mustard seeds
  • 1tsp of black peppercorns
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 6 dried chili peppers or 2 tsp of crushed chilis
  • 6 sprigs of fresh dill

Directions:

  1. Thinly slice your zucchini (about 1/4 inch or less in thickness).
  2. Salt the zucchini, add the onion slices, and place it in a colander over a bowl in the refrigerator for 2 hours to remove the liquid.
  3. Meanwhile, place into each sanitized jar: 1 tsp of salt, 1 red chili, 1 clove of garlic, and 1 sprig of dill.
  4. In a saucepan on the stove, combine sugar, vinegars, turmeric, mustard seeds, and peppercorns.  Bring to a boil.
  5. Making sure the jars are still warm from being sanitized, fill them with drained zucchini and onion mixture, allowing 1 inch of headspace.
  6. Pour the boiling liquid over the contents of the jar. Wipe the rims and cap your jars with snap lids and rings.
  7. Process in a water bath canner for 15 minutes (pints), making adjustments for your altitude.

How do you use up all that zucchini?

What’s your favorite way to eat zucchini? How do you preserve it to use at a later date? Do you end up with tons of it?

Please share your favorite zucchini recipes in the comments below.

About Daisy

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, adventure-seeking, globe-trotting blogger. She is the founder and publisher of three websites.  1) The Organic Prepper, which is about current events, preparedness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of liberty; 2)  The Frugalite, a website with thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances without feeling deprived; and 3) PreppersDailyNews.com, an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. Her work is widely republished across alternative media and she has appeared in many interviews.

Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books, 12 self-published books, and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses at SelfRelianceand Survival.com You can find her on FacebookPinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.

 

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, globe-trotting blogger. She is the founder and publisher of three websites.  1) The Organic Prepper, which is about current events, preparedness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, 2)  The Frugalite, a website with thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances without feeling deprived, and 3) PreppersDailyNews.com, an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. She is widely republished across alternative media and  Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses. You can find her on FacebookPinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.

Leave a Reply

  • So funny because I just cut up 2 massive zukes this week & I’m waiting for it to be cooler so I can make bread. Great recipes!

  • Our household favorite for zucchini is zucchini bread or muffins. These freeze well so I make them in bulk. I use puréed zucchini in my recipe so I pre measure it into freezer bags which works well if I don’t have time to bake it immediately. Grilled zucchini is great too. Another option I like to cook is oven roasted with yellow squash and grape tomatoes with a little olive oil and some Italian seasoning.

  • ZUCCHINI PIZZA
    4 zucchini, grated to make 4 cups
    2 eggs, slightly beaten
    1 c. grated cheddar cheese
    1 lb. lean ground turkey (or beef)
    1 medium onion, chopped
    Salt & Pepper to taste
    8 oz. tomato sauce
    1 tsp. dried oregano (1 Tblsp. fresh, chopped)
    1 c. grated Mozzarella cheese

    Mix together the grated zucchini, beaten eggs & grated cheddar. Pat this out onto a well-buttered cookie sheet or pizza pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, or until it’s no longer shiny; remove from oven.

    Pour 1 Tblsp. oil into skillet; add chopped onion to turkey/beef & saute lightly until meat loses its color. Pour off any grease. Salt & pepper to taste. Stir tomato sauce & oregano into meat mixture. Spread over baked squash mixture. Top all with Mozzarella. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

    This is my husband’s fav. It’s low on the glycemic index because of the carb-less crust & super easy to make. Enjoy!

  • I was surprised to see the instruction about salting the zucchini to release its fluids to facilitate drying. I tend to set my dehydrator a little lower than some to reduce deterioration of the nutrients. Am I incorrect in thinking that the fluid contains nutrients?

  • When it comes to Zucchini, my wife has the Midas touch. She can plant one seed, and get so much Zucchini, it’s literally coming out our ears. Personally, I don’t care for it. The texture is unappealing no matter how its prepared. There’s a couple other squash family members I don’t care for because of that.
    One thing we did discover, is the chickens love it. Cooked or raw, sliced up or whole, they go nuts for it. It does make an excellent supplement to their regular feed (we also make our own feed, as our girls turn their noses (beaks) up at commercial feeds. So we took to making our own mash for them. Our local COOP mixes its own scratch grains, so we do buy those, and they are a better mix than the commercial mix. Not so heavy on cracked corn, more millet and sunflower seeds to their mix.
    So yes Zucchini is a useful addition to the larder.

  • This is timely! I have 3 huge zucchini plants and nobody who visits leaves without a parting gift. I harvested 13 on Friday! Thank you for the pizza recipe; I’ll try that for my diabetic man.

  • here is another way to use zucchini that will actually have you asking your neighbors for more and is excellent for using up the baseball bat size ones. zucchini makes excellent gummies in the dehydrator. there are recipes on line. basically you peel and seed a big one, then simmer in your choice of a strong fruit juice or kool aide mix then load the dehydrator. they don’t last long this way!

  • We’ve been making out of bigger zukes zucchini pancakes everybody enjoys:
    Grated zuke meat in a bowl. Get rid of extra juice.
    Add 2-3 dinner spoons of flower you prefer, an egg or two, lots of your favorite fresh herbs (parsley, dill, green onions or a mix of them) and grated garlic (optional.) Mix well. Add some salt and mix right before pouring the batter on the skillet.

  • Here in New Mexico most things that are bland end up in or with roasted peeled, green chili peppers.
    My neighbor makes a zucchini green chili stew. She dices zuchinni in 1″ chunks, adds coursly chopped onion, and diced, roasted, peeled, big Jim peppers, and smashed garlic to tasted. Simmer till tender. If you want it hearty add diced potato and browned, ground or diced beef, mutton, or chicken. When tender and cooked adjust salt to taste and simmer 10 minutes more. I add chopped cilantro to taste in the last 10 minutes.
    I like to cook course diced zuchinni, yellow squash, and onions with browned ground beef in a castiron frying pan. Add salt, garlic powder, and green chili to taste. Serve with slices fresh tomatoes and and a
    soft, warm, flour tortilla. The Spanish here call the squash, onion, meat mixture Calabasitas. I sometimes roast, peel, dehydrate, and break up or powder green chili to use year around in bland dishes. I often dice up whatever mixture of summer squash I have too much of. Bag in sandwich bags. Somewhat flatten them so when they are frozen they will stack nicely. The squash is then used in bread, muffins, stews, or calabasitas as desired. Any that isn’t used over winter goes to the chickens.
    My mother in law sliced summer squash, breaded it in corn meal, salted then fried the slices till lightly browned. Drain on paper towels. My boys liked them fried crispy and dipped them in ranch dressing. Husbands family just ate them fried golden but soft inside. They ate it quickly while very hot as a side vegetable.
    My mother baked sliced zuchini with sliced onions and halved cherry tomatoes with a sprinkle of course sea salt.
    I also make meatloaf and fill more mature zucchini boats and bake till done.
    Today it is Calabasitas with ground beef for dinner with fresh flour tortillas and sliced tomatoes. Poached pears and peanut butter cookies for desert.
    The rabbits ate every young squash plant in my garden. No worries, neighbors are watering and picking enough squash to stop most visitors until after frost arrives.

  • We make zucchini chocolate bread (like banana bread but with chocolate and zucchini). nummy nummy.

  • I made zoodles & meatballs with homemade dairy free pesto yesterday. Yum. Zoodles are better than garbage flour based grain noodles (which I can’t have anyway), it’s a great way to get nutrition in a meal.

    I’m obsessed with pesto lately. I’ll be growing more plants next year!

  • My two favorite ways to eat zucchini is in tomato sauce or make it into zucchini lazagna. I am one of those few people who can’t seem to grow zucchini or any squash or cucumber on my property. The squash bugs are overly plentiful here and they get the plants before I can. I can grow a heck of a lot of tomatoes, peppers, and green beans though!

  • I saute onion and garlic in a skillet. Add green peas and zucchini with a dash of salt and pepper.
    Add cooked pasta and stir a little to blend.
    Any vegetable is great–like cabbage with zucchini.

  • all of the above are great recipe’s. our favorite is to slice em in half long way’s, with some garlic, basil and oregano and butter on them. cooked on the grill or in the oven.
    we eat em when we have em almost every night.

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