Available in deep green, yellow or light green (sometimes called “grey”), glossy-skinned zucchini is incredibly versatile and at home in a variety of recipes. It’s also a great way to add moisture to baked goods and bakes up with subtle taste and tender texture — like in our favourite loaf, zucchini bread. Baked, grilled or eaten raw, there are plenty of ways to prep and enjoy this summer squash while it’s at its peak.
Shop & Storage
Contrary to popular belief, zucchini is a fruit! Look for smaller ones — as these tend to be less watery — that are free of dents or scratches. Place unwashed zucchini in a plastic bag and store in the refrigerator’s crisper section for no more than a week.
Zucchini is great any way you slice, dice or grate it. It’s also low in calories, with one small zucchini (118-g serving), sporting just twenty calories.
Thanks to its mild flavour, zucchini side dishes pair well with almost any meat, poultry and fish. Try Grilled Zucchini with Herbs & Parmesan — the recipe requires just four ingredients, and the squash’s mellowness is a great base for cheese and chives.
If you’ve never experimented with zucchini as part of the main event, Zucchini & Parmesan-Stuffed Roast Chicken is just the recipe you need. Shredded and flavoured with garlic, cheese and oregano, the squash hides under the chicken’s skin, keeping it moist as it roasts. Kids will love using their fingers to pick apart Chicken & Zucchini Kabobs with Tropical couscous, and rich Zucchini & Goat Cheese Tart has brunch winner written all over it (or, serve it as a side to the main protein when entertaining).
Fans of crunchy, salty snacks will enjoy zucchini “crisps” dunked into their fave dip or served alongside a burger. You’ll need a mandolin to thinly slice zucchini before drying the chips thoroughly with paper towels. Brush them with olive oil and bake in a single layer, low and slow (about two hours), at 225°F (110°C) until golden. Just season with salt and munch away.
Quick Zucchini Pickles cured in a simple brine add tang to sandwiches and wraps. Crunchy and tart, they add bite to potato salad, or toss with fresh dill, chili flakes or chopped garlic to change up the flavour.
Pasta night is where zucchini really shows its versatility. Tossed into Zucchini, Olive & Bacon Pasta, its delicate taste balances its briny-salty counterparts. Combined with Parmesan and pumpkin seeds in Zucchini & Spinach Pesto, it’s puréed into a delicious sauce that can be served over linguine, chicken or fish.
Zucchini is also a popular substitution for noodles. Our no-stove-required Creamy Zucchini “Pasta” with Tomato & Basil skips the heat for a fast and fresh meal that uses a vegetable grater to make zucchini ribbons. If you’ve caught on to the spiralizing trend, you can transform the squash into “zoodles” with a spiralizer and add it to soups, make it a base for salads and stir-fries or simply toss it with pasta sauce.
Once shredded, zucchini goes incognito in baked goods like bread and cake, helping to keep the finished treats moist and tender. Put a basket of peppery-cheesy Zucchini Jalapeño Muffins on the table for breakfast or brunch for a savoury, lightly spicy twist. Or serve Zucchini Loaf with Walnuts & Pumpkin Seeds, an update on the classic using ground flaxseed and yogourt.