65 Delicious Zucchini Recipes
When zucchini season rolls around, you can easily find yourself with more than you know what to do with. The good news is, zucchini is one of the most versatile summer vegetables on the block. We're spiralizing it into zoodles, slicing it into zucchini chips, grating it into zucchini breads and cakes, and even layering it into quiche and lasagna. This infinitely adaptable veggie is the star of summer, so here are 65 of our best zucchini recipes to make the most of it.
Baked Rigatoni with Zucchini and Mozzarella
If you’re in the mood for a cheesy lasagna but want something a little less labor-intensive, try this Baked Rigatoni. Fresh mozzarella, which is sold in water, has a short shelf life and should be used within a few days of purchase for the best flavor. If you can’t find ciliegini, you can tear a standard-size ball of fresh mozzarella into small pieces. Give this baked pasta an impressive look by using a springform pan.
Keep it easy: Roll the dough out on parchment paper, and place the paper right on the hot pizza stone.
Tuscan Pignoli-Orange Zucchini Bread
Got a boatload of zucchini? A loaf of so-simple quick bread is a delightful, kid-friendly way to put it to use. With bright citrusy notes, toasty pine nuts, and a delightful texture delivered by the blend of semolina and almond flours, this Italian-inspired uptake on your typical zucchini bread is sure to impress.
Three cheeses and thin, woven strips of zucchini make this one-pan classic a crowd-pleaser, whether you’re cooking Sunday supper or planning for the family reunion. Use a mandoline slicer, not a vegetable peeler, to cut the thinnest zucchini strips. Once you’ve sliced the squash, the lasagna is a snap to put together—just layer the ingredients and bake.
Put your bounty of summer squash to good use with these perfectly tangy-sweet zucchini pickles. They’re an excellent addition to any summer cookout spread.
Spicy Zucchini Salad
Fiber- and protein-packed chickpeas bulk up this late-summer salad.
Charred Zucchini Salad
Erik Anderson uses lardo for part of the fat in the dressing. It's seasoned and cured pork fat somewhat similar to bacon. Find it at specialty markets or at almagourmet.com. Or substitute an equal amount of rendered bacon fat (16 ounces chopped bacon will yield the 3.5 ounces needed for this recipe). Anderson also uses sweet and sour teardrop chiles, which are a cross between a jalapeño and a cherry pepper. If you can't find them, substitute mild pickled peppadews. This salad is easily doubled. To do so, use 2 large skillets to simultaneously cook zucchini batches so the dish is done in the same amount of time.
Grilled Hanger Steak with Zucchini Salsa
We love this low-cost cut for its big, beefy flavor, but feel free to substitute flank or skirt steak in a pinch. Slice medium-rare steak against the grain for melt-in-your-mouth bites. Tuck leftovers into a whole-wheat tortilla for a tasty lunch.
Zucchini-Squash Pickle Relish
Put all that zucchini to good use in this deliciously tangy-sweet pickled relish. It’s a delicious accouterment for any number of meat and veggie dishes, but we especially love it spooned right over a grilled hotdog.
Carrot and Zucchini Spaghetti
There's no need to cut out all pasta when dining on zoodles. This recipe combines spiralized zucchini and carrots with spaghetti for a perfect pasta dinner.
Sesame-Cashew Zucchini Bread
A loaf of so-simple quick bread is a delightful, kid-friendly way to put it to use. Incredibly rich in toasty flavor, this nutty twist on classic zucchini bread was a fast favorite in the test kitchen. If you don’t have cashew butter on hand, feel free to use peanut butter or almond butter for the creamy glaze instead—either would be equally delicious.
Chicken Parmesan over Zucchini Noodles
A julienne peeler creates lovely "zoodles," but may we suggest a spiralizer? It works like a pencil sharpener, turning veggies into noodles (look for them at kitchen stores and amazon.com).
In this riff on spaghetti pie, zucchini "noodles" stand in for pasta.
Stuffed Zucchini Boats with Tomato Salad
The microwave quickly steams the zucchini so that you only need to run the stuffed boats under the broiler for a minute or two at the end.
Squash and Green Chile Casserole
Filled with fresh zucchini and squash, this casserole doesn't require the oven.
Muffuletta Zucchini and Carrot Noodle Salad
A veg-forward take on a muffuletta pasta salad, this ultra-flavorful side dish is just as refreshing as it is filling. Hearty cubes of meat and cheese against the brininess of olives create a balanced, sandwich-inspired satisfaction. It can be served immediately, or left in the fridge for a couple hours or up to a couple of days to let the flavors meld further.
Herb-Grilled Summer Squash
Grilled vegetables are as essential a part of the outdoor, open-flame cooking experience as any cut of meat. And few vegetables say summer quite like zucchini and yellow summer squash. Dressed in olive oil and an abundance of fresh herbs, this versatile grilled vegetable recipe is perfect for just about any occasion.
Choose squash that are uniform in shape so they will cook evenly. The best kind for this recipe are long, straight, and not too skinny.
Zoodles with Shrimp and Green Goddess Dressing
Using a blend of spiralized summer squash and zucchini “noodles,” this light and bright summer entree is as refreshing as they come. We absolutely love the fresh flavors this simple green goddess dressing packs into the dish; any leftover dressing would be great for dipping veggies into for an easy snack. Taking advantage of already steamed shrimp from the seafood counter of your favorite grocery store keeps this vibrant dish entirely no-cook and incredibly speedy. And to save a few extra minutes, you can grab containers of pre-spiralized vegetables from the produce section. In order to prevent sogginess, wait until it’s time to eat before assembling the components of your zoodle bowl.
Creamy Sausage and Zoodle Bake
It may be rich, it may be cheesy, but this vibrant twist on a traditional pasta casserole is also packed with veggies. Beyond swapping out pasta for zucchini noodles—which, no worries, do hold up well in this creamy bake—the casserole boasts roasted butternut squash, savory mushrooms, and caramelized onions. The veggie blend in this dish is a great balance to spicy Italian sausage and the luscious béchamel sauce, which we infuse with robust fall flavor by first steeping garlic and herbs in the milk later used for to make the sauce. Although this recipe isn’t an ideal choice for a last-minute throw-together meal, it is an excellent make-ahead option. Every component of the dish can be prepped ahead of time for a quick and easy assembly, making this veggie-centric casserole a delicious and impressive go-to for entertaining.
Grilled Zucchini with Lemon-Garlic Breadcrumbs
If you haven't made your own breadcrumbs yet, now is the time to give it a try. It's easy, makes use of any leftover bread, and tastes better than anything you can buy. Here, we have four different zucchini topping variations (from the top left, working clockwise): Grilled Zucchini with Lemon-Garlic Breadcrumbs, Grilled Zucchini with Herbed Butter, Grilled Zucchini with Chopped Tomato-Basil Salsa, and Sweet and Sour Zucchini.
Carrot-Zucchini Cake with Coconut-Cream Cheese Frosting
Zucchini makes a brilliant addition to carrot cake, adding a verdant note to the sweet carrot.
Summer Garden Chili Bowls
While the summer heat often makes us go for lighter foods, that doesn’t mean we don’t still want chili—so we made a lighter, brighter version. Equally perfect for a casual summer supper at home as it is for fueling a cookout or tailgate, these chili bowls are loaded up with vibrant veggies. To keep this tasty entree quick and simple, we use canned chili as a base, then dress it up with grilled corn and zucchini, black beans, fresh avocado slices, cilantro, queso fresco, and a handful of corn chips for good measure. Serve with lime wedges and you have a summer hit on your hands. While this recipes is especially convenient for when you want a tasty bowl chili, but don’t necessarily want to eat off of a huge batch of it for days, the recipe is easily multiplied to accommodate larger crowds.
Fried Mozzarella-Stuffed Zucchini
This mozzarella stick-meets-zucchini fries hybrid is an awesome way to change up your appetizer game; not to mention, it’s a great recipe for getting picky eaters to munch on some vegetables. And if you’re finding yourself a little worn out on summer’s abundance of zucchini, stuffing the veggie with cheese and then deep-frying gives it an incredibly tasty transformation.
Chicken Kofte with Zucchini
A hit under the broiler leaves zucchini perfectly tender.
Zucchini and Red Pepper Frittata
This recipe also uses another ingredient many gardeners have in abundance: zucchini.
We've given the veggie burger a serious upgrade, with browned mushrooms, nuts, and spices in the shredded zucchini patties, and raw zucchini ribbons on top for freshness.
Zucchini Stuffed with Lady Peas
Stuff zucchini shells with Lady Peas, onion, mushrooms, and tomato and top with bread crumbs and cheese for a colorful appetizer.
Zucchini Pesto with Crudites
The cooked zucchini is delicious on its own (try it as a spread) and even better blended with almonds, fresh herbs, and cheese. Garnish with a little extra cheese, if desired.
Zucchini-Ribbon Pizza with Chicken
If we could make a crisp, fresh salad a mandatory pizza topper, we would. Use a vegetable peeler to ribbon zucchini. Ground coriander adds lemony flavor.
Tortellini Salad with Zucchini and Peas
'Tis the season for zucchini. Make the most of it in this light and summery salad where it's just barely wilted.
Zucchini and Spinach Chilaquiles
This verde version of a Mexican brunch classic is the perfect introduction to summer. If you have time, try switching out canned tomatillos for fresh: Remove the papery husks from 8 ounces fresh tomatillos, toss with 1 tablespoon oil on a baking sheet, and broil 6 minutes or until lightly charred. Cool before processing. Queso fresco has the texture of strained ricotta—it won’t quite melt under the broiler, but its mild flavor will be a welcome contrast to the heat in the tomatillo mixture. Add scrambled eggs to each serving for a little extra protein.
Zucchini Rice Gratin
Inspired by Julia Child's classic recipe for Tian de Courgettes au Riz (zucchini gratin), my version is comforting yet fresh and clean--it's not overloaded with heavy cream or cheese.
Zucchini Fried Rice
This single skillet dinner is a weeknight-friendly meal the whole family can get behind, not to mention—it’s a genius way to put a bulk of summer zucchini to good use. The grated zucchini helps to lighten and brighten this take-out favorite, and stealthily bulks up the nutritional value of pickier eaters’ plates. Plus, this budget-friendly dish is actually best made using day-old rice, so it’s a great meal to plan on for utilizing leftovers later in the week. You can definitely use whatever you have on hand, but smaller-sized zucchini tend to work best in this recipe, as you want to minimize the number of seeds. Feel free to eliminate the pork or replace it with tofu to make this meal vegetarian.
Basil, Squash, and Tomato Pasta Toss
Grated zucchini will cook as the pasta is tossed. If you don't have a grater, cut the zucchini like the yellow squash, and sauté both.
Zucchini and Shrimp Cakes with Snap Pea Relish
Just a little shrimp goes a long way in these spring-inspired cakes. If using frozen shrimp, make sure to thaw completely before peeling and chopping; otherwise the shrimp will fall apart. You can use fresh basil instead of tarragon.
Zucchini Noodles with Spicy Peanut Sauce
Precut produce helps this staff favorite come together in a flash. Spiralized zucchini and summer squash are in the prepared produce section of many supermarkets; you can also spiralize your own or make ribbons with a vegetable peeler. Squash takes the place of noodles in these bowls, so you'll need a hefty amount for each serving. The zucchini noodles don't require cooking—they'll add freshness and crunch to the finished dish. Make the sauce while the tofu cooks and have the other vegetables at the ready so you can toss and serve immediately.
Super-moist and super-easy, this quickbread gets a triple hit of coconut goodness from coconut sugar (you can sub light or dark brown sugar), canned coconut milk, and melted coconut oil—but the finished bread tastes deliciously subtly of the fuzzy nut. (No worries—it does not taste like tanning lotion!) For extra richness, you can stir in a teaspoon or two of vanilla extract, or top the batter with shredded unsweetened coconut before baking, but the simple loaf tastes pretty great as is.
Crunchy Zucchini Chips
Ann's kids fell in love with these chips, and you will, too. Besides the savory seasoning, the crispy zucchini rounds have a secret whole-grain weapon: amaranth in the breading. It makes them amazingly crunchy without overpowering the vegetable. Serve them with burgers, sandwiches, or grilled chicken.
Elote-Style Zucchini Noodles
Elote, corn dressed with chile and a creamy drizzle, joins spiralized zucchini "noodles" for an addictive summer salad.
Zucchini and Bean Burritos
The bean mixture acts as a barrier between the tortilla and the zucchini, so the burritos stay crisp.
Zucchini and Goat Cheese Quiche (Quiche de Courgettes au Chèvre)
This dish is a bit of a project, but once you have the pastry rolled and pressed into the tart pan, most of the work is done, and you can do that well in advance. Keep the dough in the freezer, ready to bake when you need it. (The crust is a lightened adaptation of Tanis' original crust. We reduced the amount of butter by 5 tablespoons and the cream cheese by 2 ounces, and doubled the amount of yogurt.)
Hummus-Zucchini English Muffin
The Savings: 30g added sugar
The Usual: White-flour bagel, cream cheese, and strawberry jam
Orzo Salad with Zucchini and Feta
Zucchini and feta pair well with orzo in this light summer side dish.
Summer Veggie Pasta
No-cook veggies make this easy dish a weeknight favorite. Peeling zucchini and squash into ribbons makes them fun to eat for kids.
Honey-Dijon Chicken Paillards with Zucchini Slaw
"Paillard" is a French term for any cut of meat that's been sliced or pounded thin, a brilliant shortcutting technique for plump chicken breasts.
Zucchini's mild flavor concentrates into something much richer when you cook it until most of its liquid evaporates.
Spiralized Squash and Caramelized Onion Galette
This savory summer galette is a most delicious way to showcase your bounty of peak season zucchini and yellow squash. Spiralizing summer squash for the filling gives this rustic tart a super fun look—it’s sure to be a stand out addition to any potluck or cookout spread. Accented with savory-sweet caramelized onions and cherry tomatoes, this “zoodle” filled galette is like a slightly more elegant, veggie-forward take on “spaghetti pie.” One spiralizer pro-tip for keeping excess moisture to a minimum: Once you’ve spiralized the zucchini and yellow squash, place the strands into a clean kitchen towel and give it a good squeeze, and then dump them into a colander placed over a large bowl while you prep the rest of your ingredients.
Honey-Dijon Glazed Salmon with Flash-Cooked Zucchini
Preheating the pan allows the skin side of the salmon fillets to crisp while the broiler quickly cooks the flesh side. The honey-Dijon glaze locks in moisture and caramelizes nicely in the hot oven. No pastry brush? Use a spoon to divide the sticky glaze evenly over fillets, and then use the back of the spoon to spread. While the broiler preheats, prepare the honey mixture and cook the zucchini while the salmon cooks in the oven.
Zucchini and Corn Lasagna
In this vegetable-centric (and gluten-free) dish, zucchini takes the place of the usual pasta. You can use green or yellow squash, or both. A handheld slicer makes quick work of cutting the squash.
Pellet Grill Summer Vegetables with Burrata
Our salty, tangy take on grilled vegetables is your perfect summer side dish. The eggplant and squash are cooked without being squishy—think al dente—while the mushrooms are earthy and tender. The flavor from the vinaigrette and basil, and the creaminess from burrata round this dish out and make it scream summer. Try to keep the lid closed while the tomatoes are on the grill to ensure they cook properly within the allotted amount of time. These veggies pair magnificently with any source of protein—steak, chicken, salmon, tofu, you name it—and a glass of white wine. Chop up leftovers and reincorporate them into a grain bowl or fried rice.
Spicy Sausage Tacos with Zucchini and Poblanos
If you’ve never made your own tortillas, prepare to feel accomplished. Corn tortillas aren’t difficult to make, but fresh and warm out of the pan… there’s nothing store-bought that can compare. Of course, this sausage and veggie filling is sure to make any tortilla look and taste its best.
Blueberry Zucchini Bread
Our Blueberry Zucchini Bread is perfectly balanced: The whole wheat flour and zucchini give the loaf texture and nuttiness that makes it feel like it could almost be good for you. Meanwhile, the blueberries provide jammy bursts of sweetness. The bread ends up feeling comforting and indulgent without being too sweet, and the loaf feels more like a bread than a cake. To add a little flavor contrast, try it lightly toasted with cream cheese or yogurt spread on top. Serve with tea or coffee for breakfast or a mid-afternoon pick-me-up.
There comes a certain point every summer when the amount of zucchini you seem to constantly have on hand far outweighs you desire for zucchini. You’ve grilled it, you’ve shaved it into a raw summer salad, you’ve sautéed it, folded it into pasta, stuffed it, and zoodled it—at this point, when it feels like you’ve exhausted all appetizing zucchini options, it’s high time you enter dessert territory and make a zucchini cake. Luckily, we’ve crafted the perfect, no-fuss recipe for a classic, vanilla zucchini cake for just that purpose. Though flecked with specks of pale green, you’d never guess vegetables were hiding in this incredibly tender sheet cake. The recipe calls for 3 cups of the grated green veggie, which is roughly one large or two smaller zucchini—no need to peel them, just be sure to wash the zucchini thoroughly before grating. Because zucchini is serving as the primary source of moisture for this cake (as you’ll notice, you do not add milk, buttermilk, sour cream, etc. to the batter), there’s no need to squeeze the liquid from the grated zucchini, as some recipes for zucchini baked goods may advise. A small amount of corn starch paired with the all-purpose flour makes the cake’s crumb exceptionally soft and airy. Topped with a decadent brown butter-pecan frosting, this veggie-loaded cake feels special enough to serve as the centerpiece dessert for any occasion.
Pesto Chickpea Salad with Summer Squash
Stop searching, because we’ve got the best 15-minute summer side dish right here. The fresh aroma of basil, the nutty flavors from raw squash and pungent red onion all combine for a taste that perfectly reflects the season. The chickpeas offer a little more substance, making it hearty enough to leave you satisfied, which the light, lemony dressing and Parmesan make your taste buds happy. Bonus points if you can pick your own basil and squash from your garden.
Oven-Fried Zucchini Sticks
Serve these crispy zucchini fries to kick off a meal or as part of a fun appetizer spread, along with cured meats, cheeses, and olives. Any jarred marinara sauce will work for dipping, but our test kitchen prefers Rao’s brand. If you’re not a fan of marinara, substitute Alfredo sauce or pesto.
One of the most popular vegetables of the summer is zucchini, turning up as cheesy casseroles, fried appetizers, and warm breads. Go one step further and make this chocolate cake, guaranteed to become your go-to recipe for birthday celebrations, potlucks, and simple weeknight desserts. This impressive yet easy-to-make cake got rave reviews in our Test Kitchen and quickly developed a cult following. It’s packed with plenty of green stuff (two medium zucchini), but your family will be too distracted by the chocolate flavor and the nutty brown butter frosting to notice that they are eating vegetables. For optimal texture, shred the zucchini on the large holes of a box grater. A tasty frosting is the crowning touch on a cake, and this Brown Butter-Pistachio Frosting has just the right sweet-salty balance to partner with the deep chocolate cake. Browning butter is a French cooking technique that, when used, can take a recipe from good to fabulous.
Grilled Pizza with Summer Veggies and Smoked Chicken
Make a grilled pizza just once, and you will fall in love with the ease and versatility of this easy dinner choice. Whether you have leftover baked chicken, a little bit of last night’s shredded bbq pork, or a surplus of garden vegetables, with a little imagination you can create a fabulous grilled pizza. Think outside the box to combine your favorite herbs, cheeses and fresh fruit into a one-of-a-kind grilled pizza.
Tilapia and Summer Squash Tacos
Summer squash adds a fresh seasonal element that makes for a sumptuous fish taco filling. Use Fresno chiles instead of chipotles for less heat.
Zucchini Stuffed with Lamb and Lentils
If you think lamb’s too gamey, these retro-inspired zucchini boats will win you over. The addition of ground beef and creamy lentils combined with fragrant cinnamon and allspice make this taste exotic and comforting at the same time. If you’re still on the fence, ground sirloin is an equally tasty substitute. Though you might be tempted to drain the pan before stirring in the lentils, don’t—the juices add rich flavor to the finished dish. A drizzle of the yogurt sauce ties it all together; serve with whole wheat couscous for a little extra fiber.
Squash-Ribbon Salad with Herbs
Ethereal squash ribbons plus a simple vinaigrette combine for a salad that takes the edge off soaring summer temperatures. Customize this no-cook side with a generous handful of your favorite herbs—we love the combination here, but sneaking in some cilantro or tarragon would add a flavorful twist. If you’re lucky enough to have leftovers, toss the squash mixture with some cooked whole wheat penne for a summery pasta supper.
Ratatouille Zucchini "Bruschetta"
In this lighter version of bruschetta, crisp zucchini stands in for bread. The ratatouille is delicious left over (even cold), so go ahead and make a double batch to enjoy on pizza or pasta.
Creamy Zucchini-Lime Dressing
A no-cook sauce with huge flavor? Yes, please! All you need is a blender, zucchini, and some pantry staples, and this super-versatile sauce comes together with the touch of a button. Nutty tahini adds rich flavor and creaminess, which gets a lovely lift from the hit of lime juice. Pick up fresh zucchini from the farmers market if you can—local varieties are flavor champs compared to those you’ll find at the grocery store. Try it with grilled eggplant or chicken for a hint of Persian flavor.
Sautéed Baby Zucchini with Pecans and Mint
Cutting the baby zucchini diagonally into 1-inch pieces adds fun to the finished vegetables. To keep this dish ultra-simple and kid-friendly, you can omit the turmeric and sauté the zucchini just with butter and salt. For a more forward flavored dish with a pretty golden hue, be sure to add the turmeric. The mint will turn brown quickly; for the prettiest presentation, stir it in just before serving.
Zucchini-Mushroom Caprese Bowl
This deconstructed zucchini “noodle” version of lasagna satisfies your craving for Italian at a fraction of the calories. Creamy dollops of cheese up the yummy factor; toss in a handful of yellow cherry tomatoes for an extra helping of vegetables.