111 Ways to Use Zucchini and Yellow Squash
Broiled Zucchini and Radishes
This broiled zucchini side dish stars baby zucchini, a pint-sized, more tender version of zucchini. Find baby zucchini at the farmer's market or in the produce section of Whole Foods. Flashing the vegetables under the broiler for a few minutes adds a touch of char to the zucchini and mellows the bite of the radishes. Serve this speedy side dish alongside roasted chicken, pork tenderloin, or pan-seared fish.
10 Ways to Use Zucchini and Yellow Squash
Extra-Crispy Veggie-Packed Pizza
Our taste testers loved this pizza’s crunchy crust and zingy zucchini salad, but the real hero was the halloumi—a dry, salty cheese similar to feta.
Spicy Zucchini Salad
This late-summer salad uses zucchini ribbons, which you can make with a Y-shaped vegetable peeler. Buttery Bibb lettuce adds adds flavor, but you can also substitute chopped romaine or a spinach-arugula mix. Fiber- and protein-packed chickpeas bulk up the salad while roasted pepitas add crunch.
Creamy Zucchini-Lime Dressing
A no-cook sauce with huge flavor? Yes, please! All you need is a blender, zucchini, and some pantry staples, and this super-versatile sauce comes together with the touch of a button. Nutty tahini adds rich flavor and creaminess, which gets a lovely lift from the hit of lime juice. Pick up fresh zucchini from the farmers market if you can—local varieties are flavor champs compared to those you’ll find at the grocery store. Try it with grilled eggplant or chicken for a hint of Persian flavor.
Why should eggplant have all the fun? Zucchini is also quite delicious when breaded, crisped up, and baked with layers of marinara sauce and two kinds of cheese. We slather on the sauce and cheese down the middle of the zucchini, leaving the edges uncovered so that they stay wonderfully crunchy after baking. When shopping for zucchini, look for ones that are roughly 8 inches long so they’ll fit the baking dish once trimmed.
Crispy, salty zucchini fritters make for an excellent appetizer or side dish. Best served fresh out of the pan, this recipe is a great way to use up a bumper crop of fresh summer zucchini.
Zucchini Salad With Farro and Tahini-Lemon Dressing
The toothy farro soaks up the nutty, creamy dressing, and the fresh veggies provide welcome color and texture in this satisfying lunch bowl. Farro is available in microwaveable quick-cooking packets, like Uncle Ben’s and Simply Balanced, that are ready in 90 seconds. You can also make it from dried farro: Bring water to a boil in a saucepan, add the farro, boil 10 minutes, and drain.
Seared Salmon With Zucchini Noodles
If you like crisp salmon skin, this cooking method is for you. Just be sure when you place the salmon, skin side down in the pan that you don’t touch it for the full 6 minutes while it cooks—that’s the key for the crispiest browned skin around. After turning the fish, cook it to your preferred degree of doneness. The barely warmed vegetables are still crunchy and flavorful. Serve with lemon wedges, if you like.
Zucchini Stuffed With Lamb and Lentils
If you think lamb’s too gamey, these retro-inspired zucchini boats will win you over. The addition of ground beef and creamy lentils combined with fragrant cinnamon and allspice make this taste exotic and comforting at the same time. If you’re still on the fence, ground sirloin is an equally tasty substitute. Though you might be tempted to drain the pan before stirring in the lentils, don’t—the juices add rich flavor to the finished dish. A drizzle of the yogurt sauce ties it all together; serve with whole wheat couscous for a little extra fiber.
Zucchini and Shrimp Cakes With Snap Pea Relish
These shrimp and zucchini patties are a delicious expression of warmer weather—and best of all, you can have them ready in under 30 minutes.These patties cook quickly, just 3 minutes on each side.
Sautéed Baby Zucchini With Pecans and Mint
Sautéed zucchini gets a sprinkle of turmeric (pair it with black pepper for maximum health perks) for an extra nutrition boost, but you can keep this dish kid-friendly by omitting it. A simple saute of zucchini with butter and salt is just as tasty. The mint will turn brown quickly; for the prettiest presentation, stir it in just before serving.
Charred Squash Salad
A bumper crop of squash can challenge the inventiveness of the most dedicated cook. Use these tasty summer veggies in pasta dishes, soup recipes, and more.
First up, Raleigh chef Ashley Christensen shares her Charred Squash Salad. "Fresh squash has great snap and a little bit of funkiness that I really appreciate. I also love how it changes when cooked. This salad lets you have it both ways in one bite," Christensen says.
She adds "I love this salad over sliced tomatoes with burrata or crumbled Valbreso feta, or as a complement to any protein. The herbs can be swapped for any herbs of your choice. Rotating the squash on the grill before turning allows for a little more char."
Basil, Squash, and Tomato Pasta Toss
Summer Squash and Zucchini Salsa
Spin fresh zucchini into a savory summer veggie “salsa” that’s delicious alongside sauteed chicken breasts or fish. We've thrown chopped walnuts, grated lemon rind and chopped tarragon into the mix to create a bold appetizer that's perfect for summer entertaining.
Sea Salt and Vinegar Zucchini Chips
Light, crisp, and just as good as their junk-food counterparts, these veggie chips are a revelation. Malt vinegar is made from fermented ale and is mildly sweet. If you prefer a sharper flavor, substitute cider vinegar or white vinegar. The best way to get uniform slices? Use a mandoline.
Zucchini Pesto With Crudités
Serve this summery zucchini pesto on a platter with colorful veggies. The cooked zucchini is delicious on its own (try it as a spread) and even better blended with almonds, fresh herbs, and cheese. Garnish with a little extra cheese, if desired.
Quick Summer Squash and Bell Pepper Gratin
You could also layer sliced tomatoes in between the onion mixture and the squash and bake a few minutes longer. We like the look of a baking dish, but you could use an ovenproof or cast-iron skillet: Sauté the peppers and build the gratin in the pan, and transfer to the oven.
Erik Anderson's Charred Zucchini Salad
Fresh, local produce needs little more than a punch of heat or a salty-sweet dressing to transform into a compelling side dish. Choose dishes that work cold or warm and can stand up to summer heat.
For this zucchini salad, Erik Anderson (chef of Brut) uses lardo for part of the fat in the dressing. It's seasoned and cured pork fat somewhat similar to bacon. Find it at specialty markets or at almagourmet.com. Or substitute an equal amount of rendered bacon (16 ounces chopped bacon will yield 3.5 ounces needed for this recipe).
Anderson also uses sweet and sour teardrop chiles, which are a cross between a jalapeño and a cherry pepper. If you can't find them, substitute mild pickled peppadews.
Grilled Zucchini With Sea Salt
For more tender zucchini, leave slices in the pan an extra 1 minute on each side. When the flesh starts to look translucent, the zucchini is done.
Starter Dish: Zucchini-Ricotta Pizza
Ribbons of zucchini and bright cherries bursting with flavors are the perfect pair for this creamy ricotta base.
Summer Squash and Chicken Chowder
This silky, veggie-forward soup is a fantastic way to use up a load of fresh summer squash. This would also work well with zucchini.
Corn, Squash, and Green Onion Flatbreads
If you think this vibrant flatbread won't be filling enough for a whole meal, combine it with a simple mixed-greens salad for a delicious all-veggie dinner.
Shrimp, Squash, and Bacon Salad
If you're in the mood for a light, yet filling meal, this mix of bountiful greens adds up to just 400 calories. But beware, a little of our dressing goes a long way. Start with 1 tablespoon; toss well. If the greens still seem dry, add 1 tablespoon more at a time.
Silky Pappardelle With Zucchini Ribbons
Baby zucchini and cherry tomatoes add fresh flavor to this creamy pappardelle dish.
Sautéed Escarole, Corn, and White Bean Salad
Though often used as a salad green, escarole benefits greatly from a quick sauté in this light main-dish salad. With white beans for body (and a big nutritional punch), pancetta for meaty flavor, and zucchini and corn for freshness, this dish makes a great choice for a home-cooked dinner on a busy night.
Sautéed Baby Squash With Basil and Feta
This six-minute side is amazingly versatile: Try red onion or shallot in place of leek, and any tender, quick-cooking vegetable―broccoli, bell pepper, green beans, or whatever's on hand―for the squash. The tangy feta makes a good contrast with any light-bodied main course, such as these superfast recipes for halibut and salmon.
Chicken Parmesan Over Zucchini Noodles
Italian Grilled Zucchini and Red Onion
This simple side dish is tastiest at room temperature, so it's an ideal make-ahead. Any leftovers would be good the next day for lunch with couscous.
Yogurt-Marinated Chicken and Zucchini Kebabs
Chicken tossed in lemon juice and Greek yogurt gives these kebabs a creamy, dreamy, zesty flavor the whole family will love.
Shaved Summer Squash Salad With Prosciutto Crisps
Summer squash is delicious raw when it's shaved and marinated with a bit of salt. Add salty prosciutto and you have the perfect side dish.
Parmesan Zucchini Sticks With Smoky Roasted Romesco Sauce
Crunchy, salty items are a must at any party, and these oven-fried zucchini sticks fit the bill. The Spanish-style sauce is great on anything from chips to sandwiches to grilled seafood. It's also an easy way to sneak healthful food onto your party menu, as one Cooking Light reader, named Lisa did: "Seriously―make the sauce," she told us. "It's easy and amazing. My husband ('not a veggie fan' is putting it mildly) ate an entire zucchini because he kept going back for more and dunking in the sauce, which is―surprise!―more veggies.
Grilled Zucchini Caprese Stacks
What a showcase for garden treasures! Rainbow layers of veggies benefit from extra basil tucked in between for more flavor. Grilling brings out earthy tones that are balanced out by the tangy-sweet balsamic glaze.
Grilled Zucchini Caprese Sandwiches
The classic Caprese salad of juicy tomatoes with fresh mozzarella and fragrant basil makes for a fantastic vegetarian sandwich. We've added grilled zucchini to up the game. Gooey mozzarella puts it over the top.
Huevos Rancheros With Zucchini and Green Pepper
Summery vegetables, protein-packed eggs, and melty cheese combine in this breakfast designed to sustain a hardworking rancher all morning. This recipe is hearty enough for dinner, and also makes an excellent brunch entrée, but still has less than 250 calories per serving.
Summer Squash Soup With Pasta and Parmesan
When in season, yellow squash and zucchini grow in such abundance they're hard to use up, and even in the winter they're tasty, readily available, and inexpensive. Take advantage with this simple, fresh soup. Fresh herbs, lemon juice, and pasta complement the squash, while a generous topping of Parmesan adds distinctive nutty and salty notes.
Summer Squash Pizza
You can use all zucchini or yellow squash for this grilled pie. Serve one slice as an appetizer or two with a salad for a simple supper.
Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread
This moist and cake-like chocolate chip zucchini bread is the perfect way to make sure you are eating your vegetables but still enjoying a sweet treat.
Chicken and Summer Vegetable Tostadas
Cumin is a key spice for authentic Mexican flavor, used here to flavor chicken, corn, and zucchini atop crisp broiled tortillas with Monterey Jack cheese. The recipe only takes about 15 minutes, but you can shave even more time by skipping the broiling step and serving as soft tacos instead. Serve with extra salsa and sour cream, and add your favorite variety of beans―black, pinto, or refried―as a side.
Stuffed Zucchini Boats With Tomato Salad
The microwave steams the zucchini halves in just a few minutes, giving you time to start the filling on the stovetop. Simply stuff the cooked zucchini, top with fresh mozzarella and homemade breadcrumbs, then flash under the broiler for melty-crispy bliss. If you have time, make the side tomato salad in advance to allow the flavors to develop.
Yellow Squash Ribbons With Red Onion and Parmesan
This dish looks gorgeous on the plate, but it's super-simple: Shave ribbons of squash with a vegetable peeler and sauté with onion and garlic for four minutes. The same ribbon technique will also work with zucchini or large carrots in this dish. If you have fresh herbs like parsley, oregano, or thyme, sprinkle a bit on top at the end for a fresh zing.
Summer Squash, Bacon, and Mozzarella Quiche
Fill this homemade pie crust with a mixture of summer squash, bacon and creamy mozzarella. It is hard to believe this decadent quiche recipe has less than 300 calories.
Summer Squash Croquettes
A healthier version of a family dinner classic, these pan-fried croquettes will get the kids to eat squash. Make sure to drain the steamed squash well for cohesive patties.
Grilled Summer Squash
For a simple summer side, fire up your grill. Simple ingredients flavor these baby zucchini and squash for a satisfying accompaniment to your favorite grilled entrée.
Garden Salad With Citrus Vinaigrette
Fresh squeezed orange and lime juice, balanced with honey and red wine vinegar make a light and refreshing dressing for garden-fresh veggies. The vinaigrette would be good over salad greens.
Summer Squash and Corn Chowder
Enjoy soup in the summertime by making this satisfying chowder with the season's produce. Top with cheese and bacon for kid appeal.
Eight-Ball Zucchini Parmesan
Eight-ball zucchini is a round, softball-sized variety of summer squash. You can find it at farmers' markets, or purchase it from specialty produce purveyors. This recipe is equally delicious when made with the more commonly found long, slender zucchini squash.
Summer Squash and Ricotta Galette
Here's a fantastic crust that you can swap in for a standard butter-based one. You can make the dough in advance, and chill until ready to use.
Plank-Grilled Zucchini With Couscous, Spinach, and Feta Stuffing
Cedar planks lend this dish a pleasant smokiness. If you don't have planks, cook the zucchini halves directly on the grill. Use zucchini with some heft; if it's too thin, it may get too soft.
Zucchini Oven Chips
Breaded, oven-fried zucchini chips taste like they’re fried, yet they are baked and amazingly crispy. These chips make a healthy substitute for French fries or potato chips.
Summer Squash Ribbons With Oregano, Basil, and Lemon
You can also toss the ribbons with wide flat pasta, such as pappardelle, for a delicious entrée. While we recommend basil and oregano, use whatever fresh herbs you have on hand. Serve with a crisp sauvignon blanc and crusty bread.
Rotini, Summer Squash, and Prosciutto Salad With Rosemary Dressing
Using white balsamic vinegar helps maintains the salad dressing's pure golden color. Tip: Add the yellow squash and zucchini to the pasta during the last minute of cooking.
Grilled Zucchini and Summer Squash Salad With Citrus Splash Dressing
Make the most of the bounty of summer produce and cook summer squash on the grill. Marinate the squash and onion wedges in a mixture of orange and lime juices, olive oil, honey, and a dash of hot red pepper, then serve the veggies with a drizzle of the remaining marinade for over-the-top flavor.
Summer Squash and Corn Sauté
This makes a terrific side to just about any entrée–particularly roast chicken, grilled steak, or ham.
Baked Couscous With Summer Squash and Herbs
This side dish–good for a summer brunch or buffet–highlights delicious squash and kitchen herbs.
Potato Salad With Herbs and Grilled Summer Squash
A cornichon is the French version of a gherkin. You'll find these small, tart pickles in gourmet grocery stores; otherwise, gherkins will work just fine. Or, if you have capers on hand, you may substitute 1 tablespoon drained capers for the pickles. Make this potato salad recipe up to two hours ahead.
Stuffed Zucchini With Potatoes and Peas
The salty stuffing is offset by the subtly cool sweetness of the zucchini. If you're sensitive to spicy foods, seed the chile. A small amount of chickpea flour, also called besan or graham flour, acts as a binder and provides a delicate nutty flavor. Look for it in Indian or Asain markets, or substitute whole wheat flour.
Zucchini-Pineapple Quick Bread
This zucchini quick bread has a tropical twist to it—crushed pineapple! Cinnamon and vanilla tie the flavors together and make this a delicious treat for breakfast or a snack.
Spiedini of Chicken and Zucchini With Almond Salsa Verde
With a wonderfully complex and flavorful sauce like this, the chicken and zucchini need almost no seasoning―just salt, pepper, and the grill's flame. The salsa's combination of tangy, briny, herbal, and nutty flavors is perfect for chicken, pork, fish, or shrimp, especially if they're grilled. To save soaking the skewers for a half an hour, use metal ones instead of wood.
Tomato, Squash, and Red Pepper Gratin
Sometimes the best "steak" comes in the form of ripe, juicy beefsteak tomato slices, as in this easy gratin. Serve with a salad of fresh summer greens.