Plus, how to freeze zucchini (the best way).

Zucchini, one of our favorite summer squashes, is notoriously hard to store. Make the most out of zucchini season by storing it the right way—and keeping it fresh for as long as possible:

How Long Does Zucchini Last?

Cornbread-Stuffed Zucchini
Credit: Greg DuPree; Prop Styling: Mindi Shapiro Levine; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Stored properly, zucchini will last 5-7 days.

How to Pick Zucchini

Whole zucchini Getty 6/22/20
Credit: Aniko Hobel/Getty Images

Aniko Hobel/Getty Images

Look for zucchini on the small-to-medium side. Larger ones tend to be pulpier and, since they have more moisture, will spoil more quickly.

The best zucchini should be no more than 6 inches long, with a diameter of about 1 to 2 inches.

Look for vibrant green skin that is free of wrinkles.

If the zucchini still has a bit of the stem attached, that’s a good sign—it’ll last longer than those that don’t.

How to Store Zucchini

Zucchini in fridge Getty 6/22/20
Credit: RoniMeshulamAbramovitz/Getty Images

RoniMeshulamAbramovitz/Getty Images

Store zucchini in the refrigerator. The secret to keeping zucchini fresh for longer is to make sure it stays as dry as possible. This means you shouldn’t wash the squash until right before you plan to eat it.

If you want to go a step further, pat the zucchini down with a paper towel to get absorb every last bit of moisture.

Then, put it in a ventilated plastic bag (you can either poke some holes in a sealed bag or leave the top open) and stick the whole thing in the crisper drawer.

Can You Freeze Zucchini?

Frozen zucchini Getty 6/22/20
Credit: Qwart/Getty Images

Qwart/Getty Images

Absolutely! And if you don’t plan to use it in the next week or so, you should freeze zucchini.

How to Freeze Zucchini

  1. Cut. Chop the zucchini into 1-inch pieces.
  2. Blanch. Boil the chopped zucchini for about 1 minute, then immediately drain and transfer to an ice water bath. This will keep it firm and prevent discoloring.
  3. Dry. Once the pieces have cooled, drain and dry them completely. Remember: Moisture is not your friend when it comes to preserving zucchini.
  4. First freeze. Spread dried pieces in an even layer on a sheet pan lined with a paper towel. Cover with plastic wrap and then freeze overnight.
  5. Second freeze. Transfer frozen zucchini to an airtight storage container or zip-top bag. Label with the date and freeze up to three months.

Freezing zucchini changes its texture, so this storage method won’t work well for dishes that call for fresh or grilled squash (like ratatouille). Instead, use frozen zucchini for sauces, soups or stews, and baked goods (like this easy zucchini bread).

Zucchini Recipes

If you’re ready to use fresh or frozen zucchini, here are some of our favorite tried-and-true recipes:

Find more delicious zucchini recipes here.