It’s that time of year when zucchini plants are going crazy in our gardens and on local farms. Inevitably, those of us who grow it often end up with so much of it that we give it away—it comes up faster than we can deal with it.
Does this sound like your situation? Well, we’ve got 15 tried-and-true zucchini recipes to help you out.
THE BEST ZUCCHINI FOR COOKING
My ideal zucchini for weeknight dinners is about an inch or two in diameter and about 8 to 10 inches long. I find the symmetry of this makes it easier to slice thinly and sauté in a pan with some olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and salt and pepper. The taste of it remains slightly sweet and vegetal.
And the seeds aren’t so big that they require extraction. This shape is also ideal for quartering it tossing it into pasta, for example. You want zucchini that’s firm and not showing any bruises from excessive handling.
WHAT TO DO WITH ENORMOUS ZUCCHINI
Anything much larger than 8 to 10 inches and you’re looking at zucchini not for zucchini’s sake in its simplified state, but for what else it can provide for you. You need its moisture more than anything, and some of its taste—but you aren’t going to get a good-tasting one that is this big. They tend to get watery, seedy, and flavorless when they’re this oversize.
Put these medium-to-large zucchini—you know, the ones that verge on the size of baseball bats if they go unpicked for a few days— to good use. They are great candidates for turning into noodles; they also work well grated and used in quick breads.
We’re here to help you with that surfeit of zucchini—you can bake with it, pickle it, grate it, saute it, or even grill it!
What are your favorite recipes with zucchini?
This is what you do with that perfectly sized zucchini I mentioned—you slice into coins and sauté with dill and lemon zest.
When you’ve got some long, oversize zucchini, this is what you do with them. You make Nick’s taco-meat stuffed zucchini boats.
Oh, how pretty is this! This dish only looks fancy—it’s just all in how you slice and present it. It's akin to ratatouille, but baked with a bit of cheese on top.
I know, there’s patty pan squash in this dish, but you can use zucchini, too. And you might well want to. Egg noodles, prosciutto, Parm, basil, and lemon zest.
Zucchini has a fairly neutral flavor and when you grate it, like carrots, it adds a ton of moisture to quick breads. And this one is chocolate because, well, chocolate.
The herbs of summer—mint and cilantro—combine with jalapeño for a fresh, summery zucchini soup with a kick.
Call it a casserole, call it a strata—whatever you want to call it, grate up the zucchini and combine with ricotta, eggs, some leftover bread, and plum tomatoes.
Here’s an efficient way to put two pounds of zucchini from the garden to use—a gratin. Bacon, spinach, and Parmesan cheese add flavor to this dish, which loosely resemble a crustless quiche.
Cut them lengthwise, and roast in the oven with the usual suspects—olive oil, garlic, and black pepper, along with some summery Herbs de Provence.
With a title like that, you know it’s going to be delicious. It’s also an easy sheet cake with a cream cheese frosting. And cream cheese frosting is also always delicious.
Here’s where you take zucchini and a spiralizer and make veggie noodles, which get tossed with pesto and served with chicken.
The moisture from grated zucchini helps bind these turkey burgers. Sour cream and Greek yogurt come together for a sauce with lemon juice, garlic and olive oil. (Noticing a trend here?)
Think of these as tater tots but using zucchini. Imagine adding cheddar and fresh herbs, and you’ll have a pretty good idea of what these bites taste like.
Imagine a slice of this sweet and savory bread with afternoon tea. And then go make it.
Grate the zucchini, drain it of excess moisture, and combine it with some egg, herbs, and you’ve got some fritters for dinner after a quick pan fry. It’s great with a sour cream dipping sauce, and a side salad.