If you grow zucchini, you know the harvests are prolific. They seem to keep coming and coming, long past your desire to eat any more of it. Last year, I watched my neighbor’s garden while they went on vacation, and they let me harvest all the zucchini I could while they were gone. So I had their zucchini AND my zucchini harvest to use up. I didn’t want to waste any of it, so I went on the hunt for zucchini recipes. Even after trying them all and adding dozens of jars to my pantry, my chickens still feasted on plenty of the leftovers. So technically, I converted my zucchini into eggs too. 😉
Here are some of my favorite zucchini recipes that I will continue to use again and again.
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1. Grilled Zucchini
This is one of the easiest and most delicious sides you can make at your next BBQ. For this zucchini recipe, slice up your zucchini, sprinkle it will lemon pepper and throw it on the grill until it is a little charred. So simple, but so delicious.
2. Roasted Zucchini
I love roasted summer vegetables, and zucchini is one of my stars. It is so easy to chop up zucchini, broccoli, tomatoes, potatoes, carrots…honestly, anything that is ready to harvest…and lay them on a cookie sheet. Then sprinkle some minced garlic, feta and sunflower seeds (or nuts) over the top, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, add a bit of salt and pepper, and then bake for about 30-35 minutes at 350 degrees F. Sometimes I even drizzle a bit of balsamic vinegar on top before roasting for an added kick. Our summer dinners usually include these roasted veggies, a salad, and some fresh salmon or steelhead by husband caught on the river. Nothing beats a homegrown, fresh-caught dinner. It’s the simple things that make up a great life.
3. Zucchini Bread
Who doesn’t love zucchini bread? It tastes like summer and is the perfect late night snack…or mid-day snack…or breakfast. But did you know zucchini bread will keep for about 3 months in the freezer, if not longer? I’ve eaten it 9 months later and it was still delicious. All I do is put my loaves in gallon size plastic freezer bags. It’s pretty nice to be able to taste a bit of summer during the cold winter months.
I found this delicious zucchini bread recipe online. The bread turned out moist, but not too moist. Sweet, but not too sweet. Plus it holds well in the freezer.
4. Chocolate Zucchini Cake
This zucchini recipe takes zucchini bread to the next level by turning it into chocolate cake. I’ll admit, I was skeptical, but it was absolutely delicious. I topped it with a homemade butter frosting and I almost ate the entire thing in one sitting…almost. Had to leave some for the husband.
5. Garlic Dill Zucchini Pickles
I love just about anything pickled. Must be my Polish roots. But I had never thought about pickling zucchini until I found this zucchini recipe online. Let me tell you, zucchini pickles definitely rival traditional cucumber pickles. You almost can’t tell the difference. And this brine is mouthwatering good. I want to pickle everything from eggs to cucumbers to to carrots in it. The only thing I changed about the recipe was that I added a grape leaf to each jar to keep the pickles crisper and I would probably use a little less salt next time.
My Kitchen Aid food processor had saved me so much time in the kitchen! It’s perfect for slicing up zucchinis for this pickle recipe.
6. Sweet Zucchini Relish
I’ve never been a big relish fan, but my husband loves it so I thought I would give this zucchini recipe a shot. This is hands down the best relish I’ve ever tasted. I’m hooked. It’s a mix of zucchini, green bell peppers, and onions, plus a bunch of spices. You can put it on sandwiches, burgers, hot dogs, or mix it in with some salsa for your chips. It’s a new staple in my pantry and will be in yours too.
7. Shred and Freeze Your Zucchini
The zucchini didn’t stop coming last year, so I tried shredding it with my Kitchen Aid food processer and freezing it to use in recipes like zucchini bread during winter. I divided it into 2 cup portions (because that’s how much my favorite zucchini bread recipe calls for) and put them in plastic freezer bags. Well, almost a year later, they still made delicious bread so I’m pretty happy with the results. And if you still have a bunch in the freezer by next summer, which you very well might, just feed it to your chickens before it goes bad. They’ll love a cool treat when it’s hot outside.
When I first started trying these recipes, I used a box grater to shred my zucchinis. Then my neighbors lent me their Kitchen Aid food processor and I was sold. It will shred zucchini in minutes and saves me so much time.
8. Dehydrated Zucchini
It’s very easy to dehydrate your zucchini. Slice them up and put them in your dehydrator for 6-12 hours on 135 degrees F until they are nice and crunchy. In the fall and winter, use your dehydrated zucchini in soups and casseroles to add a taste of summer to your dinner.
I use the Samson Silent Food Dehydrator and I love it. It is super quiet and easy to use.
9. Zucchini Saurkraut
Saurkraut doesn’t have to be made from cabbage. You can shred your zucchini and have your own homemade saurkraut in less than a week. This zucchni recipe is a good one. The only change I would make would be to use a fermenting weight to make sure you don’t expose the zucchini to oxygen during the process.
10. Sauteed Zucchini Flowers
One of the best perks of being a gardener is eating food that most people don’t have access to. Sauteed zucchini flowers is one of those dishes. The flowers don’t hold well, so you can’t buy them at the grocery store. One of my all time favorite internet chefs, Pasquale Sciarappa, has an incredible zucchini recipe where he stuffs the flowers with mozzarella and prosciutto. Plus, he is just a joy to watch and will inspire you to cook up all kinds of amazing Italian dishes in your kitchen.
I’ll admit, last year’s zucchini harvest burned me out on zucchini, so I only planted a couple plants this year hoping to harvest much less. That was a cute thought. Even with far fewer plants, I still have more than I can eat. Time to be stealthy and leave it on my neighbor’s porches!
Do you have a favorite way to cook or preserve zucchini? Please share your favorite recipes in the comments below!
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