25+ Best Zucchini Side Dishes
When summer temps heat up, so does the zucchini harvest. Kissing cousins to yellow squash, zucchini is rich in vitamin A and a host of other nutrients, making it a colorful and healthy addition to the summer dinner table. Make the most of the versatility of zucchini with this collection of top-rated side dish recipes, including Crunchy Zucchini Chips, Charred Zucchini Salad, Zucchini Pie, and many more.
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.
Crunchy Zucchini Chips
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.
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 Zucchini with Sea Salt
Keep summer side dishes simple with this 4-ingredient grilled zucchini dish. The only ingredients you need to add are sea salt, pepper, and olive oil.
Grilled Zucchini Caprese Stacks
What a showcase for garden treasures! Tuck extra basil between layers for more flavor.
Shaved Zucchini and Parsley Salad
This riff on traditional pasta salad combines delicate zucchini ribbon "pasta" and thinly slivered onions for a fresh, healthy side item.
Zucchini-Farro Cakes with Herbed Goat Cheese and Slow-Roasted Tomatoes
If you're willing to heat things up in the kitchen, this side dish is completely worth it! The herbed goat cheese is a must make for this side dish.
Caprese "Salsa" Zucchini with Sea Salt
Serve grilled zucchini slices salad style along with fresh mozzarella, diced tomato and basil.
Sweet Corn and Zucchini
Combine two of summer’s most popular veggies in a colorful and tasty side dish.
Zucchini with Peppermint (Curcurica kin Menta)
Fresh mint adds a bright, fresh flavor to this zucchini and cheese side dish.
This crustless zucchini pie contains eggs and two types of cheese and can be served as either a side dish or a meatless main dish.
Zucchini Ribbons With Feta and Mint
Slice zucchini into thin, ribbon-like strips using a wide vegetable peeler and season with fresh mint, lemon juice, and feta.
Stuffed Zucchini with Cheesy Breadcrumbs
Fill zucchini halves with a hearty mixture of breadcrumbs, artichoke hearts, cheese and fresh herbs for a savory side dish.
Italian Grilled Zucchini and Red Onion
This simple side dish is tastiest at room temperature, so it's an ideal make-ahead. Any leftovers would be good the next day for lunch with couscous.
Sides don’t get much easier than this simple sautéed zucchini squash seasoned with salt, pepper, and fresh herbs.
Zucchini Oven Chips
Breaded, oven-fried zucchini slices make a healthy substitute for French fries or potato chips.
Zucchini With Citrus-Herb Dressing
Add bright, fresh flavor to sautéed zucchini by tossing the squash in a dressing of fresh orange juice, lemon juice, Dijon mustard and fresh herbs.
Parmigiano-Crumbed Zucchini with Sea Salt
This easy zucchini side dish is made by grilling zucchini slices and topping with fresh breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese.
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.
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.
Spicy Zucchini Salad
Fiber- and protein-packed chickpeas bulk up this late-summer salad.
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.
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.
Lemony Zucchini and Radishes
A few minutes under the broiler adds a just a touch of char to the baby zucchini, and mellows the bite of the radishes. For ease of application, we coat the vegetables with cooking spray. For the best flavor, use an olive oil or avocado oil spray. While the vegetables are under the broiler, you’ll have time to whisk together the lemony vinaigrette to bring the whole dish together. Fresh thyme tastes delicious with the vinaigrette and vegetables, but feel free to garnish with any fresh herbs you have on hand.
Baby Zucchini Ribbon Salad
Zucchini is tender enough to be enjoyed raw—especially baby zucchini. Pull out your handy vegetable peeler and shave each zucchini into thin, long strips to create pretty zucchini “ribbons” as the base of the Greek salad–inspired summer side. Turn this into a warm-weather main dish with the addition of chickpeas or oil-packed chunk-light tuna.
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.
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.
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.
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.