20+ Vegetarian and Vegan Zucchini Recipes

A list of seasonal zucchini recipes to put a dent in your summer squash supply. Find recipes for zucchini bread, simple sautéed zucchini, quick pickled zucchini and how to freeze zucchini.

20+ Vegetarian and Vegan Zucchini Recipes

A list of seasonal zucchini recipes for those of us with bumper crops of zucchini. For any of you who don’t often cook with this summertime star, I'm hoping this will give you a change of heart! Zucchini is an incredibly versatile ingredient in season throughout the summer, from June to late August.

The Many Ways to Use Zucchini

You can shave it into salads, puree it into delicious soups, and spiralize it into noodles. You can also bake it into cakes and breads, or grate it along with other ingredients into a slaw of sorts. It's perfect with pasta, wonderful grilled and is welcome in many soups and stews. Below you'll find 20 easy zucchini recipes I look to every summer. 

What Can I Do With A lot of Zucchini?

There are recipes that use up a zucchini or two. And there are recipes that use more than that. If you want to use a lot of it, try this Pasta with Smashed Zucchini Cream or the Grilled Zucchini & Bread Salad. Both of these recipes call for 2 pounds.

How to Store Zucchini

Any zucchini you aren't using immediately, can be preserved, pickled or frozen for later - instructions below. Because, unfortunately, the deal with zucchini is use it or lose it. When you're faced with a crop that produces a lot of squash at once, it can feel like a part-time job to use it. The good news is you have options.

Simple Sautéed Zucchini on a White Plate

Twenty Favorite Zucchini Recipes

If you’re looking for great zucchini recipes, you’re in the right place! These are some tried and true recipes we revisit often. The Pasta with Smashed Zucchini Cream and Zucchini Bread are especially popular.

Zucchini Salad Recipes

Summer salads and summer squash go hand in hand. We're going to kick off this list with a couple of those. When you use zucchini in salads it can be raw, cooked or grilled. It can be grated, shaved into ribbons, sliced into coins or crescents. 

1. Grilled Zucchini & Bread Salad

Put a 2-pound dent in your zucchini supply with this bread salad. The foundation is torn pieces of toasted multi-grain bread. To that you add grilled zucchini, chickpeas, and a simple, garlic-forward ponzu dressing. Grilling summer squash is the best.
Grilled Zucchini & Bread Salad on a Plate

2. Buttermilk Farro Salad

A buttermilk farro salad inspired by one I had at Clyde Common in Portland, Oregon. We're talking about farro with shaved radishes, zucchini, and fennel tossed with a tangy herbed buttermilk vinaigrette. It's really beautiful, hearty and delicious.
Buttermilk Farro Salad

3. Shaved Fennel Salad

A favorite zucchini recipe that is also a salad recipe. It is from Super Natural Every Day with shaved fennel, arugula, feta, toasted almonds and, most important, zucchini slices. It's a short list of ingredients that don't sound particularly exciting on the page, but come together into something more than the sum of their parts.

4. Quinoa with Currants, Dill, and Zucchini

Made from a quirky combination of quinoa, dill, shredded zucchini, and currants. This is a delicious quinoa salad from Maria Speck's book, Ancient Grains for Modern Meals.

Zucchini Pasta & Noodle Recipes

Easy pastas are key to keeping a summer kitchen cool. Zucchini and summer squash love teaming up with good pasta and it works with both short noodles and long. Use your favorite pasta and noodles here - wheat, chickpea, etc. 

5. Pasta with Smashed Zucchini Cream

A summer favorite. This simple, garlic-boosted pasta uses two pounds of zucchini and is endlessly adaptable. Once you have your smashed sauce and pasta as a foundation, you can take this in a lot of different directions. We like to finish it off with lots of halved cherry tomatoes. In addition, swap in garlic bread crumbs for the sliced almonds. The flavor pop of sweet from the tomatoes alongs with the crunchy crisp of the breadcrumbs is great. Alternately, you can also introduce other summer veggies. You can also boost the whole situation nutritionally by stirring in a few handfuls of thinly sliced kale that you've massaged with a bit of olive oil and lemon juice.
Pasta with Smashed Zucchini Cream in a Wide Bowl

6. Simple Sautéed Zucchini

A favorite simple zucchini recipe. Coins of zucchini are browned in a pan combined with toasted gold slivers of garlic. Lots of fresh dill or scallions deliver an herby touch. The flavor! Finish with a sprinkling of almonds for a bit of crunch. It's a single-skillet kind of thing. The prep takes five minutes, if that, and you can treat this as a side dish, or use it as a component of something else.
Simple Sautéed Zucchini on a White Platter

Zucchini Soup Recipes

Generally speaking, summer soups should be light. Nothing that weighs you down or is too heavy. Pureed soups served either cold or hot are often a go-to.

7. Buttermilk Summer Squash Soup

A pureed summer squash soup with a buttermilk twist. A pureed summer squash soup with a buttermilk twist. There's a hint of red pepper and rosemary for depth, some potato for body, garlic and shallots. Nothing too far beyond the usual suspects, but it comes together beautifully.

8. Sopa Verde de Elote

Sweet corn, zucchini and peas are off-set by a spike of green chile, a finishing dollop of creme fraiche, and generous squeeze of lime.

9. Spinach and Zucchini Soup

In contrast to a lot of creamy textured soups, this vibrant green soup is light-and-healthy and still plenty tasty.

Let's Bake Zucchini!

If you're going to heat your oven in the summer, it should be for good reason. Good reason number one is the following recipe. 

10. Zucchini Bread Recipe

Once in a while a recipe really makes a mark. This is one of those instances. It's a single, beautiful loaf of walnut-studded, sugar crusted zucchini bread - popular every year! You can also bake this batter into brilliant zucchini muffins.
Zucchini Bread in a Loaf Pan

11. A Tasty Frittata

The prettiest, tastiest, frittata recipe. Made with potatoes, onions, zucchini and, most important, eggs drizzled with a cilantro chile sauce. if spicy isn't your thing, a simple drizzle of fresh herbs is a great alternative.

12. Summer Squash Gratin

A decadent, crunchy-topped summer squash gratin. It is made from thinly sliced summer squash combined with potatoes, oregano pesto and brown-buttered breadcrumbs.

13. Zucchini Ricotta Cheesecake

A savory, summertime ricotta cheesecake recipe made with dill, garlic, and Parmesan cheese. Overall, this is perfect picnic or brunch fare.

14. Lasagna Tart

A main-dish recipe that leans into the zucchini noodles / zucchini pasta trend. This is a noodle-free tender zucchini lasagna baked in a pie crust with ricotta, and tomato sauce. You could also use mozzarella, and of course the more fresh basil components the better.

More Recipes!

15. Quick Pickled Zucchini

Generally speaking, you can't go wrong here. These pickles are quick to make and great to have on hand. They're delicious on crusty, goat-cheese slathered grilled bread. That is to say, just about anything cheesy or crunchy. Also perfect in simple salads.
Quick Pickled Zucchini in a Jar

16. Zucchini Agrodolce

A pretty, summer-centric agrodolce, it has a number of wild cards. Shredded zucchini is doused with a garlic-infused agrodolce splash made of vinegar, honey, and olive oil. Then, everything is tossed with other tastes and textures pulled from my pantry. The toasted coconut and walnuts add crunch. The red onion shows up with bite and assertiveness. Lastly, a couple of chopped dates and tiny greens or herbs bring a big of unexpected flavor.

17. Summer Vegetable Cianfotta

This is peak summer. A vibrant, colorful Campagnian summer stew from the A16: Food + Wine cookbook. It features eggplant, cherry tomatoes, fennel and other ingredients braised in olive oil.

18. Quinoa and Grilled Zucchini

Quinoa and grilled zucchini is tossed with a pretty, pale green cilantro-flecked avocado dressing.

19. Quinoa with Currants, Dill, and Zucchini

A quinoa salad made from a quirky combination of quinoa, dill, shredded zucchini and currants.

20. Lemony Chickpea Stir-fry

An easy stir-fry featuring golden crusted, pan-fried chickpeas, chopped kale, summer squash, tofu, and a bit of lemon zest.

Can You Freeze Zucchini?

Lastly, let's cover freezing zucchini. The short answer is yes you can freeze it. Freezing is a great way to preserve just about any summer squash and I go into the details below. I prefer slicing skin-on zucchini versus grating it. The skin provides some structure and l shape leaves you open to a range of recipes and preparations. 

Now that you have some inspiration, experiment with different summer squash varietals! Ask your neighboring shoppers at local farmers' markets to share their favorite ways to cook it. Most of all, have fun taking these zucchini recipes for a spin.

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How to Freeze Zucchini

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5 from 3 votes

When you’ve used all the zucchini you can stand, and there’s still more coming, freezing is a quick and easy way to store it.

Ingredients
  • 2 pounds zucchini or summer squash
  • water
Instructions
  1. Start by slicing zucchini into 1/2 inch coins, or4-inch batons along the length. This way you maintain skin on each piece, which provide structure.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. While the water is coming to a boil, prepare a large ice bath - the bowl of a salad spinner works well for this. Line a baking sheet thick with paper towels or, even better, a clean dish towel.
  3. When the water boils, add the zucchini and cook for just a minute or so. The hold bright up but remain firm. Definitely avoid over-cooking.
  4. Use a strainer or slotted spoon to quickly transfer to the ice bath. Cool well, drain well, and then Arrange the zucchini in on the towel. Blot the tops to remove any residual water.
  5. Freeze until solid in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Transfer to freezer bags and keep for up to a few months.
  6. When you’re ready to use it, thaw your zucchini and proceed with your favorite recipe.
Notes

Makes 2 pounds.

Serves
8
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
2 mins
Total Time
7 mins
 
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Comments

I rather like making a courgette (I'm English, that's what I call them!) "hummus" - you puree a courgette or zucchini with garlic, lemon juice, tahini and olive oil - makes a lovely salad dressing. I still often use your recipe for rustic cabbage soup from many years ago, and also for tahini dressing!

Annabel

    Love this idea Annabel - thanks for sharing!

    Heidi Swanson

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