If you have a zucchini, then you could have a lot of things. An on-the-go breakfast loaf. Or a stackable pancake. Or a batchable pasta. Or a veggie burger. Or a BBQ-ready side salad. Or a sweet-savory relish. Or a brand-new car. Okay, not that—but zucchinis are about as flexible as a vegetable can get.
Here are 31 of our very favorite ways to use them.
1. Marinated Zucchini, Kalamata Olive & Mozzarella Salad
This recipe contest winner knows exactly what it’s doing. Lemony dressing? Check. Creamy mozz? Check. Salty olives? You know it.
2. Zucchini Caesar With Cheese Crisps
3. Zucchini Carpaccio With Avocado & Pistachios
Carpaccio often refers to raw beef, but in this case, it’s all about zucchini. A lemony marinade, plus avocado and pistachios, make it irresistible.
4. Smacked Zucchini Salad
A zucchini take on a Chinese smacked cucumber salad. Its dressing, with chile oil and black vinegar, comes together in an eyeblink—and hitting vegetables with a rolling pin is pretty fun, too.
5. Easy Summer Pasta
This ratatouille-esque pasta features, yes, zucchini, but also cherry tomatoes, eggplant, and mozzarella cheese. Cookbook author Izy Hossack likes whole-wheat penne here, but feel free to swap in white.
6. Vegan Lasagna With Roasted Vegetables
Vegan lasagna? It’s a thing, thanks to Gena Hamshaw’s superpowers—and tofu and nutritional yeast.
7. Orecchiette With Zucchini, Tomato & Ricotta
A fresh-as-can-be recipe that comes together in the time it takes to boil pasta. Don’t be shy with the basil or milky ricotta to dollop on top.
8. Spaghetti alla Nerano
“This legendary pasta made of spaghetti and fried zucchini was apparently invented in 1952 by Maria Grazia, who owned a restaurant in Nerano that bears her name,” writes our contributor Emiko. “So many have tried to recreate this seemingly humble dish of pasta and local summer zucchini that it has become known as Spaghetti alla Nerano to distinguish it from any other spaghetti with zucchini.”
9. Zucchini Pasta With Marinara
Is this technically pasta? Well, no. Is it totally worth making? Of course. If you don’t have a spiralizer, just use a vegetable peeler to create long, pappardelle-like noodles.
10. Zucchini Quinoa Burgers
This veggie burger isn’t trying to be just like meat. It’s trying to be like zucchini and quinoa—and chickpeas and pumpkin seeds! And we think that’s a very good thing.
11. Grilled Cheese With Zucchini, Basil & Gruyere
Who knew that, all this time, our grilled cheese sandwiches had been longing for zucchini? We didn’t. But thank goodness they’re together now—and so happy, look at them!
12. Curried Red Lentil Zucchini Soup
This spiced lentil soup features zucchini two ways—first, pureed into the soup broth, and second, sprinkled on top as an oh-so-pretty garnish.
13. Persian Zucchini Stew With Chicken Khoresh Kadoo
“Khoresh kadoo, or Persian zucchini stew, is a delicious summer stew made with fresh zucchini and tomatoes,” writes recipe developer Shadi Hasanzadenemati. Serve it with lots of hot white rice.
14. Zucchini With Basil, Mint & Honey
“If you pamper this little garden diva,” writes our co-founder Amanda Hesser, “zucchini will return the favor and make a dish to remember.” This dish—with basil, mint, and honey—does just that.
15. Canal House’s Marinated Zucchini
First, zucchini gets charred in an extra-hot skillet and then, gleefully, gets doused in a basil-laden vinaigrette. This is wonderful next to any grilled meat or fish.
16. Meatballs With Tomato & Zucchini
Wait, where’s the zucchini? In the meatballs. “You soften onion, garlic, tomato, and zucchini in olive oil,” writes our co-founder Merrill Stubbs, “then fold it into the meat for meatballs that are tender and juicy enough to eat all on their own.”
17. Sautéed Zucchini With Mint, Basil & Walnuts
If it isn’t obvious yet: Zucchini loves herbs. Here, it hangs out with its old friends mint and basil—and invites another reliable buddy, walnuts, to the party.
18. Zucchini With Spicy Anchovy Butter
If any recipe will make you love boiled zucchini (yes, boiled!), it’s this one—with lots of butter, dialed up with salty anchovies and spicy pepper flakes.
19. Mom’s Famous Zucchini Gratin
This zucchini gratin is full of good stuff: garlic, scallions, shallot, crème fraîche, and not one, but two cheeses.
20. Tian de Courgettes au Riz
The foundation of this Julia Child recipe is two pounds of zucchini, which get grated, salted, and squeezed into oblivion. Add some rice, onions, and cheese, and you have yourself a new favorite.
21. Zucchini Verde Vegan Enchiladas
“These have no cheese and are packed with a triple threat of green things: zucchini, poblano, and tomatillos,” writes Love and Lemons. “There’s tofu in the filling...and instead of cheese on top, a lime cashew cream gets drizzled on.”
22. Stuffed Zucchini With Freekeh Pilaf & Currants
When a person is stuffed, it’s uncomfortable. But when a zucchini is stuffed, it’s delicious. These zucchinis are loaded up with a spiced freekeh pilaf, though you can substitute any similar grain, like bulgur, quinoa, or couscous.
23. Waffled Zucchini Parmesan Fritters
If the answer to Can you waffle it? is yes, then the answer to Should you waffle it? is also yes. Case in point: these waffled zucchini fritters with a crispy-cheesy crust.
24. Roman Zucchini Fritters With Parmigiano Cheese
Zucchini coins get dipped in a garlicky, herby, Parmesan-y batter, then fried until golden-brown. Sprinkle more cheese on top for good measure and serve as an app or side dish.
25. Zucchini Pancakes
If you like potato pancakes, then you’ll love these zucchini ones—with parsley, lemon zest, and an optional spoonful of thick yogurt. Bonus points if you spoon more yogurt on top.
26. Zucchini Pickles
Any place you’d put cucumber pickles, try zucchini pickles instead. We’re talking: cheeseburgers, tuna salad sandwiches, chickpea salad sandwiches, salads…
27. Zucchini Butter
All you need for this slather-it-on-everything spread is a boatload of zucchini and a modest amount of olive oil (or butter) and shallots.
28. Maple Zucchini Relish
Don’t be deterred by the two cups of maple syrup. This is a unique, but extremely smart, way to use the ingredient (and your pancakes will understand).
29. New Favorite Zucchini Bread
Looks like a classic zucchini bread on the outside, is actually filled with olive oil, orange zest, and fresh rosemary on the inside.
30. Morning Person Zucchini Bread
So many zucchini recipes are as sweet and sticky as cake. This one is not. Made with all whole-wheat flour, oats, walnuts, and golden raisins, we think it’s the perfect breakfast.
31. Dark Chocolate & Walnut Zucchini Bread
Chocolate and zucchini sound like odd bedfellows, but they really love each other. This loaf gets its extra-deep flavor from both cocoa powder and chopped bittersweet chocolate.