Summertime is the time to harvest all the spring crops. Some of the year’s most delicious fruits and vegetables are at their ripest during the summer months. All of the berries burst from their vines and color our palates with sweetness. The gorgeous stone fruits appear where once was only a blossom, yielding a juicy freshness. And in the vegetable realm, the summer squash and zucchini get to join the harvest party. The abundance of squash this time of year means that we often have a lot of zucchini to use up before it goes bad. To help with this challenge we have 15 of the best zucchini and squash recipes to use up your supply.
Parmesan zucchini fries
Most chain restaurants feature fried zucchini on their appetizer menus. Those crispy, deep fried strips of deliciousness are addicting — but are not the most healthy. Although it is a vegetable, can we still call it healthy if it’s deep fried? Well…probably not.
Therefore we are loving this recipe from Rasa Malaysia for parmesan zucchini fries. The zucchini is sliced into three-inch strips, about one-half inch wide. Beat a couple of eggs with some black pepper and set aside, and mix together the parmesan and panko bread crumbs. First dip the strips of zucchini into the eggs, then into the bread crumb/cheese, then place on a prepared baking sheet. Bake them at 425F for 20 minutes. That’s right: these zucchini fries are baked, not deep fried.
These can be frozen and reheated for an easy weeknight appetizer. The recipe can be doubled, even tripled depending on how much zucchini you have. This delicious and healthy way to eat zucchini will become your new favorite way to eat zucchini.
Baked cheesy zucchini bites
Zucchini is so great. Really, it is. It is versatile and can go with anything. Some may not love its texture, but we dare them to try this recipe. Opinions have been known to change when something is combined with cheese.
Case in point: these baked cheesy zucchini bites from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe. Shredded zucchini is made into uber-tasty fritters, perfect for dipping. Combine zucchini with cheddar cheese, a beaten egg, some bread crumbs and seasonings. Drop by tablespoons onto a prepared baking sheet and bake at 425F for 16-20 minutes.
They will be crispy and cheesy, and devoured within minutes of coming out of the oven.
One of the best qualities of zucchini is its ability to take on the flavor of whatever it is paired with. For instance, in brownies, zucchini is disguised like a zebra in the African Savanna; it might really be there — but then again, maybe not.
Zucchini plays a supporting role in this recipe for zucchini brownies from Crazy for Crust. In general, zucchini lends a moisture to baked goods that can’t be matched. The brown of the cocoa powder in the brownies even covers up the telltale bits of green of the veggie. If we can add vegetables to a dessert without anyone realizing it, we will. Oh, and there’s frosting, so you should definitely give this (relatively) healthy and rich brownie recipe a try.
Easy 10-minute Asian zucchini noodles
For a quick and simple side dish for dinner, we have this easy 10 minute Asian zucchini noodles from Gimme Delicious. Zucchini and summer squash are great vegetables to spiralize. Since the vegetables are tender enough to be processed through the blades, zucchini and squash can be prepared for cooking in just a few minutes. Spiralized zucchini can also be frozen and stored for later use.
In this recipe, spiralized zucchini is cooked with onions and garlic, and then coated in a super delicious umami-rich dressing of soy sauce, brown sugar and sriracha. The dish can go from the fridge to the table in about 10 minutes. The next time you’re craving take out noodles, spring for these Asian zucchini noodles instead.
Another great way to use up your zucchini is to swap it in for tortillas or pasta in your family’s favorite recipes. In this recipe for zucchini enchiladas from Delish, the zucchini is sliced thin and used as a substitute for corn or flour tortillas. You won’t even miss the tortilla with these bold and fantastic Mexican seasonings. To get the zucchini thin enough, you’ll need a Y-slicer or a vegetable peeler; a knife won’t be able to cut the zucchini tortilla thin (unless you’re a culinary school graduate). Once you taste it, you’ll never go back to a tortilla with this recipe. For those who are avoiding certain foods, like corn and wheat, these zucchini enchiladas are a great option.
Lemon zucchini bread
For an unorthodox pairing, give a try to this lemon zucchini bread from A Latte Food. She combined a moist and mouth-watering zucchini bread with a light lemon zest and lemon powdered sugar glaze. Traditional zucchini bread recipes can be overly sweet and heavy due to a high sugar and oil content, but this is not that. This recipe calls for a combination of oil and greek yogurt, making it not only lighter in calories, but also giving a light fluffy texture. Don’t worry about peeling the zucchini; it makes no difference. We like the look of the green flecks anyways.
If you find yourself short on time, instead of a loaf, pour the batter into a greased muffin pan. Muffins will cook in about one quarter of the time as a loaf and are a handy on-the-go snack. The muffins can then be glazed with the lemon glaze, and will look as good as they taste.
Garlic parmesan zucchini chips
Getting back to zucchini, you have to try this recipe for garlic parmesan zucchini chips from Joyful Healthy Eats. Super simple, the zucchini and squash is cut into half-dollar sized slices. The slices are tossed in a little bit of olive oil, minced garlic, salt and pepper, and then topped with parmesan cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes at 375F.
The smell of garlic and cheese will tease the household as the squash bakes. We promise these chips won’t last long. Consider doubling or tripling this recipe for a cookout — or just to have on hand for snacking. If you happen to have leftovers, you can chop them into a small dice and add to scrambled eggs the next morning. Sometimes it’s nice to have a lot of zucchini.
Kielbasa, zucchini and squash dinner
Zucchini and summer squash have many great qualities, two of which is the ability to take on the flavors whatever it is cooked with and the ease and quickness with which it cooks. This recipe for kielbasa, zucchini and squash dinner from Easy Peazy Mealz takes advantage of both of those characteristics. Zucchini and summer squash is placed into a foil packet along with mushrooms and kielbasa, then grilled outside for the ultimate summer meal. No heating up the house! Buttery kielbasa will take over the flavor profile and give the veggies a bacon-esque flavor. Can anyone resist the flavor of bacon? We doubt it. So give this amazingly easy and tasty recipe a try.
Roasted corn zucchini bites, er, tacos
Taco Tuesday will never be the same after you try these roasted corn zucchini tacos from Budget Bytes. Zucchini is the “meat” of these tacos, so this recipe is helpful to have on hand for the plethora of zuchs coming from the garden this summer. The zucchini is chopped into nugget sized pieces, then tossed with the corn in the taco seasonings and olive oil. The veggies are roasted for about 25 minutes, cooled slightly, then combined with the black beans. Assemble the tacos in the tortillas with the avocado and Monterey Jack cheese. These tacos are decadent and delicious, and the perfect taco for your vegetarian friends and family.
Yellow summer squash fritters
From Leave no Leftovers we have a delicious yellow summer squash fritter recipe. The difference between summer squash and zucchini, besides its color, is that summer squash has a thin neck and a round bottom, while the zucchini is straight up and down. There are some differences in the seeds and texture of the flesh, but it’s usually negligible. The two can be used interchangeably.
For this yellow summer squash fritter recipe, delicious, ripe summer squash is mixed with cornmeal, breadcrumbs and some seasonings, then fried. These tasty and slightly crispy morsels will be gone before you realize it.
Roasted butternut squash
While this recipe doesn’t feature a summer squash, butternut squash season happens right on the heels of zucchini season, so it’s only fair that we give the fall favorite some space.
Butternut squash is one of those delicious vegetables best eaten roasted so its flavor mellows and loses some of that raw bite. The roasting also softens the squash so it can be eaten more easily. After roasting, butternut squash can be pureed into a soup, tossed with pomegranate seeds in a salad, or served in this roasted butternut squash side dish from Chocolate Covered Katie.
Cubed butternut squash is coated in olive oil, cinnamon and maple syrup, then roasted with apples and raisins in the oven for 40-50 minutes. The result is akin to a dessert rather than a savory side. Give it a try.
Baked acorn squash with brown sugar and butter
For a squash recipe that serves like a dessert, try this baked acorn squash with brown sugar and butter from Recipe Diaries. Acorn squash is lathered in butter, brown sugar and maple syrup, then roasted in the oven at 400F for one hour.
The result is a tender and sweet side dish or dessert. We would serve this squash with a roasted turkey breast or grilled chicken; sweetness of the squash will work nicely with a poultry main dish. A great summer and fall recipe, we think this acorn squash will be a family favorite.
Cinnamon roasted butternut squash
Butternut squash is the star in this sweet and savory side dish. Spicy cinnamon sets-off the creaminess of butternut squash perfectly in this cinnamon roasted butternut squash recipe from Chew Out Loud. Cubed butternut squash is tossed with cinnamon, brown sugar and spices, then spread evenly in a single layer on a baking sheet and roasted for 35-40 minutes. Start checking them at minute 35; overdone butternut squash is not appetizing.
Preparing your butternut squash does take some elbow grease. To save time, you can buy the prepared squash in the refrigerated section of the produce department at your local grocery store and have sweet and spicy butternut squash in no time.
Creamy butternut squash mac and cheese with kale
Everyone loves macaroni and cheese. But we don’t love the nutritional void that is the blue boxes we grew up on. For a healthy alternative to the standard fare try this creamy butternut squash mac and cheese with kale from Sally’s Baking Addiction.
Sure, the kids may balk at the veggies, but once they try it they will soon be a fan. Butternut squash is cooked with garlic and onions and infuses the squash with a ton of flavor. The kale is purely optional, but packs a nutrition punch when used. The savory and creamy cheese sauce disguises the squash perfectly. We know this will be your new go-to for macaroni and cheese.
Roasted acorn squash with turkey quinoa stuffing
Here’s another squash recipe, this time using acorn squash. Acorn squash looks like a green orb, with deep grooves around it, with a yellow not-so-sweet flesh. Although it is considered and often used in recipes as a winter squash, acorn squash is actually a summer squash and in the same family as zucchini and summer squash.
This recipe for roasted acorn squash with turkey quinoa stuffing from Jessica Gavin is a wonderful blend of what we love about summer and fall, and a great transitional recipe. This recipe is ideal for serving as a weekend meal in the late summer — or as a side dish in October. Delicious squash is stuffed with ground turkey, quinoa, cranberries and a host of seasonings, then baked in the oven. It’s a tasty twist on stuffed peppers or tomatoes, and one we think you’ll keep coming back to.