Recipes

11 Ways to Creatively Cook Summer Zucchini

Zucchini is the gift that summer keeps giving. If you’re starting to get bored of the vegetable, these inventive recipes will keep you looking forward to eating the vegetable for months to come.

Come summer, zucchini is the garden gift that keeps on giving, the farmer’s market regular. Which means that by this point in August it can be a struggle to find new and interesting ways to cook the season’s bounty. But there really are myriad ways to cook this vegetable. Whether wilted with salt and tossed in a salad, pickled, or slipped into a gluten-free cake, this steadfast squash has plenty of surprises up its green sleeves. Here are 11 shots of delicious inspiration to snap you out of any zucchini rut.

Baked Zucchini Bread For Breakfast
oat-filled zucchini bread becomes something more thoroughly virtuous. The added grain lends a toothsome homespun texture.
(Image: Bon Appetit)

Grill It for Pizza
This five-ingredient pizza recipe is genius. Slather prepared hummus on a round of dough, then top with grilled zucchini. When each ingredient is working hard—and some even do double duty (like hummus crowned with a scoop of chopped garlic)—a dish so simple can be powerfully delicious.

Salt It For Lunch
red quinoa salad you’ll be excited to take to work everyday, studded with herbs and nuts.
(Image: Bon Appetit)

Put Zucchini In Pasta
summer pasta. A handful of summer staples (basil, zucchini, garlic) meet kitchen workhouses you already have on hand (ziti, parmesan, crushed red pepper) and, along with the best ricotta you find, they transform into something effortlessly special.
(Image: New York Times)

On Second Thought, Make Zucchini the Pasta
gluten-free and vegan version of summer pasta, the “pasta” is zucchini shredded into long strands and the “ricotta” is a puree of macadamia nuts and sunflower seeds. More or less the same ingredients, totally different interpretation. And you don’t need an expensive gadget to get the noodles right. A $10 julienne peeler will do the job just fine (and fit in your kitchen drawer).
(Image: Love and Lemons)

Slip Zucchini In Dessert
not zucchini season if the vegetable hasn’t snuck its way into a cake. Granted, there’s more getting a serving of vegetables on the sly—zucchini keeps baked goods moist, while its subtle flavor flies under-the-radar. This easy-to-mix stunner uses almond meal in place of all-purpose flour.
(Image: Martha Stewart)

Pickle Zucchini For Later
zucchini does double duty as a pickle imposter—and pulls off the role utterly convincingly, we might add. Fresno chilies add a welcome hit of heat.
(Image: Bon Appetit)

Fry It
If you’re willing to stand over a skillet, then you might as well make these zucchini fritters, which fry into a golden crisp before getting dunked in a soy-rice vinegar sauce.
(Image: Epicurious)

French-ify It
Alice Waters on this ratatouille (not least of all because it’s far less fussy).
(Image: Food52)

Cook Zucchini To Death
“cooked-to-death” result is something really rich and decadent.
(Image: Bon Appetit)

Actually, Don’t Cook It At All
zucchini carpaccio from Patricia Wells is almost as awe-inspiring as any rose window. Lemon zest sea salt, avocado, and buttery pistachios elevate the garden staple into something truly elegant.
(Image: Food52)