Have your go-to zucchini recipes ready to roll when that bumper crop comes in and you’ll be feasting on everything from zucchini bread to zucchini pie all summer long.
great zucchini recipes elevate a bland veggie
I don’t always appreciate plain zucchini, it’s sort of bland and boring when I steam it or sauté it ~ but boy does it cook up good when you add a little creativity into the mix. One of my least favorite side dish veggies has become one of my favorite ingredients for all sorts of recipes, from scones to meatballs. In fact I no longer dread the annual zucchini glut, I celebrate it!
zucchini bread 2.0 (next generation zucchini bread recipes)
A classic zucchini bread is definitely one of the great joys of summer, so it pays to have more than one zucchini bread recipe under your belt ~ in fact, the more the merrier. Check out my Baking Tips for Perfect Zucchini Bread for details on how to get the most out of yours.
zucchini bread recipes clockwise from top left:
- Lemon Poppy Seed Zucchini Bread
- Death by Chocolate Zucchini Bread
- Orange Glazed Zucchini Bread
- Ultimate One Bowl Zucchini Bread!
zucchini for dinner! (savory zucchini recipes)
Zucchini can be challenging to cook with, especially if you’re trying to wedge it into savory dishes. It’s watery (well over 90% of the darned things are water!) and doesn’t have a very assertive flavor. These recipes take advantage of zucchini’s mild, fresh sweetness in some satisfying summer dishes.
savory zucchini recipes clockwise from top left:
zucchini treats (decadent zucchini recipes)
Zucchini can enrich all kinds of baked goods, not just quick breads. Almost all of the time I’ll grate them for use in baking, and I always leave the skin on, it’s got great nutrition, fiber, and color. Grating changes the structure of the veg and releases water, which in turn makes my scones, blondies, or cakes nice and moist. Some of my recipes call for squeezing out the excess moisture first, but very often I don’t do that because the recipe is formulated to take that extra liquid into account.
zucchini dessert recipes clockwise from top left:
- Gluten Free Zucchini Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
- Blueberry Zucchini Snack Cake with Lemon Buttercream
- Caramel Frosted Zucchini Pecan Bars
- Moist Zucchini Brownies
how to choose the best zucchini
Sometimes you don’t have a choice, especially if you’re growing your own, but keep these tips in mind when shopping.
- Bigger isn’t better, don’t fall for the ginormous zucchini, it will be bland and watery.
- I always look for young slender zukes because they’re firmer, more nutritious, and the skin to flesh ratio is higher, giving the zucchini more flavor and substance in recipes.
- I like smaller zucchini because more peel means more green color in my recipes, which is a good thing.
- You may see yellow, pale green, or even speckled zucchini at your market, and you can use them as well.
to peel or not to peel?
- I never peel my zucchini, the peel adds flavor, fiber, and color, in fact, the peel’s the best part!
how to grate zucchini for cooking
- I use different methods of grating depending on what I’m cooking.
- The box grater yields a fine, wet, shred. These shreds will tend to disappear completely in baking.
- The fastest and driest method of grating zucchini is to use the grating attachment of a food processor. The shreds tend to be a little thicker and longer with this method, which helps them hold their shape and show up more in baked goods.
what are zucchini noodles (zoodles)
- Zoodles are popular with low carb eaters, and it just means zucchini that’s been cut into long thin ribbons that resemble pasta. This requires a little gadget called a Spiralizer.
- In my opinion zucchini noodles aren’t worth all the hype, or the bother to make them unless you need to eat low carb and you adore zucchini.
- They’re a fun one time experience, though, I tried them in my Zoodle Pad Thai Salad, but I don’t recommend buying special equipment to make them. My Spiralizer is currently gathering dust.
can you eat raw zucchini?
Yes, you can, but I find the texture and flavor of raw zucchini to be sub par. And raw zucchini can occasionally taste bitter due to compounds called cucurbitacins. You’ll sometimes encounter raw zucchini sticks on crudité platters, but generally speaking it’s best to cook your zucchini before eating for best flavor. Just keep in mind that zucchini is quick cooking, and can easily become mushy if over cooked!