50 Creative and Healthy Ways to Use Zucchini
With the summer now well and truly upon us, many of us find ourselves inundated with this years zucchini harvest; certainly no bad thing when you consider the versatility and abundance of health benefits they provide. To celebrate this wonderfully popular and nutritious vegetable, we have compiled a list of 50 of the most creative, healthy and simply delicious ways to use zucchini. These dishes include starters and appetizers as well as main meals and even indulgent deserts. Some are quick and simple that focus on zucchini as the sole or primary ingredient while others match the summer squash with different but equally healthful ingredients to create deeper and more complex flavour combinations. One thing all of these recipes have in common – they are all an absolute joy to feast on and are sure to please all lucky enough to try.
These light dishes offer great versatility, as many of them can be eaten as a side dish, a starter or even simply as light meal when feeling peckish throughout the day.
Skewers are always a successful way to start a meal and also make a great light lunch. These skewers combine the subtle and elegant flavours of salmon and zucchini with a ginger and sesame marinade to create a succulent and healthy start to the meal.
Fries and chips are two of Americas favorite snack foods, so these are bound to be popular choices. However, both of these recipes substitute the potato for zucchini and replace the deep fat fryer for the oven, making them a great deal healthier. With some simple seasoning, you will be sold on these tasty and crispy delights.
One of the best things about zucchini is the ease and speed with which it can be turned into something spectacular. These recipes use minimal ingredients and take just a few minutes to grill to perfection. Grill them indoors or perfect for the summer time, add them to your barbecues to enjoy along with your meat and other goodies.
Not many people realise this, but the zucchini blossoms are also edible and are the star of the show in this cheesy treat of a dish. All of the goats cheese stuffing is contained delicately inside the petals of the blossom, making these a treat for the eyes as well as the taste buds.
10. Zucchini Pickles
Salsa and pickles, two popular extra’s that are surprisingly easy to create from zucchini. The pickle provides a tingly tang to any meal, while the salsa is the perfect slightly sweet accompaniment. Both of these ideas would make a great addition to a cheese board lunch or use the salsa as a dip for your new favorite zucchini chips.
Hollow out a zucchini and it can be stuffed with just about anything. This wonderful recipe opts for Italian turkey sausage and combines it with tomatoes, onion, breadcrumbs and cheese to create healthy and delectable zucchini vessels that you can shovel straight into your mouth using your hands. Is there a more fun and enjoyable way to eat?
Fritters have made it onto the list twice, as they are such an adaptable and tasty side dish that can be integrated into a range of meals. They are also the ideal dish for some experimentation, although these two recipes have already got it down to a T, so that you don’t have to.
Zucchini is fabulous in salads but not many people realise the huge range of ways in can be used and the variety of ingredients that compliment and enhance its texture and flavour. We all know that salads are a staple healthy dish, and there are so many excellent, mouth-watering recipes, which incorporate zucchini that we had to give salads its very own section on the list.
You’re going to have to get your spiral slicer out for the next couple of recipes as spiralized zucchini makes the base to both of these very different yet equally tasty salads.
This salad brings together all of the best flavours of the Mediterranean including olives, red onion and basil. The added quinoa helps you to feel fuller for longer and adds a satisfying bite to the dish.
Breads and Savoury Muffins
No meal is truly complete without freshly baked bread. These zucchini bread and muffin recipes are all uniquely different from one another but are all simply delectable on the taste buds. The gluten-free recipe is ideal for individuals with a wheat-intolerance, while the wholegrain muffin makes a excellent healthy breakfast or addition to a lunchbox.
Alternative Pasta / Zoodle Dishes
No collection of zucchini recipes could possibly be complete without a decent selection of zoodle dishes. If zoodles have somehow managed to remain under your radar until now, they are simply spiralized lengths of zucchini, which look like, and can be used as a replacement for noodles. However, zoodles aren’t the only way in which zucchini can be used as a substitute for regular pasta, so here we’ve also included a few additional alternatives of some more Italian favourites.
Nothing says hearty family dinner quite like a good lasagne and this recipe provides everything we love best about this classic dish, with a fraction of the carbohydrates and calories. The zucchini replaces the pasta sheets and is layered with herby tomato sauce and cottage cheese. Making it extra cheesy and beautifully crisp on top is the mozzarella.
This elegant and picturesque plate of food is sure to impress even the harshest of critics. Thinly sliced strips of zucchini are folded over the spinach and ricotta filling to create delicate little parcels of tasty goodness. The best part is making this impressive dish is a lot easier than it looks.
Spaghetti and meatballs – need we say more? Expect for the fact that this version is a lot kinder to the waist belt than we’re typically used to.
This tasty pasta slice would make the perfect addition to your child’s lunch box and will certainly be hard to beat by the other kids fare. Make it the night before or enjoy it warm out of the oven with a salad, this dish is filling and delicious.
There are many more creative ways to integrate Zucchini into your main meals and from light and convenient stir-fries to hearty family casseroles, these dishes are sure to go down well.
Family dinners don’t get much more satisfying than homemade casserole and this vegetarian option offers a reduced calorie dish. For a casserole it’s surprisingly light and could also make a tasty tomato based side dish if you’re missing the meat. However, the flavors are exceptional and most of us would be happy to devour the plate with nothing other than a simple salad.
Sometimes is pays to try something a bit exotic and this Indonesian dish is definitely one of those times. The zucchini is just a small player in this creamy coconut dish with tender chicken and tasty rice, which is incredibly more-ish and satisfying.
Stir-fries are always a good option for healthy and tasty meals and as these two recipes prove they can feature a wide range of flavours. Meat lovers will prefer the skirt steak recipe but the ginger, snap peas, carrot and zucchini combo in the shrimp noodle stir-fry creates a great texture and is warming as well as super healthy.
These wonderfully creative zucchini boats are sure to become a big favourite in every household. They are packed full of basil, carrot and ricotta before baked in the oven until the zucchini is tender and the filling is oozing and irresistible. The best part is, each of these tasty ‘boats’ is just 25 calories.
We all love a burger every now and then, only with this recipe you don’t have to worry about the oodles of fat and grease dripping out of the burger and soaking the bun. Black beans provide the basis for the bun patties, while the zucchini adds moisture and onion and garlic enhance the flavour. Place the patties in between two whole-wheat buns with all the trimmings including cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickle and avocado, and you’ve got yourself one spectacular, clean and nutritious burger.
There is a definitive pizza theme developing here and who would have thought that zucchini could be used to such great effect to create healthier alternative pizzas. The pizza boats are created by adapting your zucchini to be used as the vessel for all of those tasty toppings. This recipe suggests keeping it simple and classic with tomatoes, basil, mozzarella, olive oil and some seasoning but why not experiment with some more of your favorite toppings.
Well technically a pissaladière isn’t quite a pizza and the zucchini and caramelized onion create a wonderfully sweet combination of flavours. This is a great dish for lunch and one that will be loved by adults and children alike.
There’s no need to limit yourself to savoury dishes when planning your use of this summers crop, as zucchini also works incredibly well in deserts, as proven by these mouth-watering and innovative recipes.
Sweet and moist, these zucchini squares the ideal addition to a school lunch box if you want to treat your kids, or to take with you to work for a mid-morning ‘pick-me-up’. Washed down with a cup of tea, the lemony sponge with punchy blueberries will hit the spot.
Well if you’re anything like us the mere mention of chocolate will have rocketed this recipe to the top of your ‘must try’ list. Just to make them even more appealing, they make excellent breakfast foods as well as a healthy desert and the children are going to go wild for them. As if all that isn’t enough to convince you, try them with a dollop of peanut butter and you will feel as though you’ve died and gone to heaven.
We end the list with a truly creative recipe that must be tried by all to really be appreciated for the awesomeness that it is. The combination of zucchini, hazelnut and thyme is, as it turns out, a match made in heaven. The zucchini and mascarpone filling of the tart is smooth and akin to a cheesecake but it is the wonderful flavours of the thyme and hazelnut crust that make this recipe stand out.