43 Ways to Use Up Zucchini (Besides Making Zucchini Bread)

Summer in the U.S. might be winding down, but farmer’s markets and grocery stores (and maybe even our home gardens) are still abundant with zucchini. That’s a good thing because this green summer squash is a quality source of vitamin A and C, and fiber, which makes it a healthy addition to any diet. Plus, its high water content and mild flavor turn zucchini an incredibly versatile ingredient that can be added to almost any dish. Let’s take a closer look.

How to Buy & Store Zucchini

If you planted it in the garden, you probably already know how and when to harvest zucchini. For the rest of us, we’ll find zucchini at farmer’s markets, produce stands and grocery stores. Did you know that zucchini can grow up to two inches in length every 24-hours? The longest zucchini in the world measured over eight feet long! But bigger doesn’t always mean tastier, however.

How to pick the perfect zucchini:

  • Size does matter. Bigger zucchini is often pulpy, watery and full of seeds. As a result, they’re flavorless. Instead, look for smaller vegetables no more than six inches long and one to two inches in diameter.
  • Looks count. Zucchini should be firm, with shiny, vibrantly colored and slightly prickly skin. Avoid skins with cuts and blemishes. Select squashes with part of the stem still attached, as this will help them last longer.

Once you bring home the zucchini, store it in a paper bag inside the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator. Avoid using plastic to store your vegetables because they trap too much moisture and the zucchini can go bad more quickly. Wash zucchini just before using, but don’t peel.

How to Cook Zucchini

Because of its mild flavor and surprising versatility, zucchini can be used in nearly infinite ways. So infinite in fact, I could never list them all in this article.

Instead, I found 43 creative zucchini-forward recipes to help inspire you into the kitchen. I’ve grouped them into sections to make it easier to browse. With so many zucchini-filled options available, you’re sure to find something you and your family will love.

Fritters, Waffles and Muffins

Zucchini Pancake - Care2Zucchini Dill Fritters with Cashew Aioli from Wholehearted Eats

More Recipes to Try:

Dips, Sauces and Crisps

Oil-Free Vegan Pesto - Care2Summer Zucchini Pesto (Oil Free) from Vegan Huggs

More Recipes to Try:

Stews, Soups and Savory Pies

Pizza Primavera - Care2Pizza Primavera with Zucchini, Asparagus, and Burst Cherry Tomatoes from The Curious Chickpea

More Recipes to Try:

Oodles of Zoodles

Zucchini Noodle Lasagna - Care2Zucchini Noodle Lasagna from My Darling Vegan

Zucchini noodles are often called “zoodles” and made using a spiralizer. Not everyone has access to a spiralizer though, so here are two ways to turn vegetables into noodles without using a spiralizer.

More Recipes to Try:

For Lunch or Dinner

Eggplant Parmesan Zucchini Casserole - Care2Eggplant Parmesan Zucchini Casserole from Contentedness Cooking

More Recipes to Try:

For Dessert

Chocolate Zucchini Cake - Care2Fudgy Zucchini Chocolate Cake from Loving it Vegan

More Recipes to Try:

It’s your turn! Is your garden overflowing with zucchini? How do you plan to use it all? Do you have a favorite recipe I didn’t share? Please share with me in the comments!

Related at Care2:

Photos via recipe authors. Used with written permission.


Marie W
Marie W1 months ago

thanks for sharing

Alice L
Alice L1 months ago

thanks for sharing

Maria P
Martha P7 months ago


hELEN hEARFIELD7 months ago


Christina C
Christina C8 months ago

The chocolate cake looks sooo good :) Thank you for sharing!

Elaine W
Elaine W8 months ago

I love using zucchini which I call the chameleon of ingredients from a thickener for spaghetti sauce to volume in scrambled eggs. Wash, microwave, whirr in blender and add to about anything!

Paulo R
Paulo R8 months ago


Teresa W
Teresa W8 months ago

very interesting, thank you

Val M
Val M8 months ago


Emma W
Past Member 8 months ago

Thanks very much