Our 31 Best Zucchini Recipes of All Time

June 14, 2019
Photo by Ty Mecham

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

For a modern take on a Caesar salad, swap out the romaine and bring in raw zucchini. A Genius substitute, if we do say so ourselves.

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).

Bread aka Cake

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.

What’s your favorite zucchini recipe? Tell us in the comments!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Emtinnie
  • Fairmount_market
Emma is the food editor at Food52. Before this, she worked a lot of odd jobs, all at the same time. Think: stir-frying noodles on the fly, baking dozens of pastries at 3 a.m., and writing about the history of pie in North Carolina. Now she lives in New Jersey with her husband and their cat, Butter. Stay tuned every Tuesday for Emma's award-winning column, Big Little Recipes (also the cookbook in November 2021!). And see what she's up to on Instagram at @emmalaperruque.


Emtinnie July 17, 2019
Hello, thank you for these recipe, I will definelly try some of these. Now I am thinking about zucchini bread, because usually I bake bread at home so maybe I can try it :) The last time I tried one recipe with zucchini (becouse I have a lot of them in my garden :D) - it was baked zucchini and it was absolutely amazing :) you can check it here https://youtu.be/hJrbi3z7ghg
Fairmount_market June 15, 2019
the zucchini and turkey burgers from Ottolenghi and Tamimi's Jerusalem