30 Zucchini Recipes You've Never Heard Of Before

A superstar of Mediterranean cuisine, zucchini also features in recipes from around the world. Not only is it packed full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatories, but it's also wondrously versatile. Crunchy when eaten raw and served with a dip, you can transform zucchini into a fried snack, a noodle alternative, or roast it to create pasta, casseroles, and even Mexican-style dishes. Likewise, you can even eat the peel, which is considered to be nutritious. 

If this isn't impressive enough, zucchini also plays a key role in many desserts. For instance, if you add grated zucchini to a batter, you can make a cake. Known as a courgette across the pond, zucchini is actually a type of squash. Whatever you call zucchini, there's no denying its delicious versatility. With that in mind let's look at 30 zucchini recipes you've never heard of before, or at the very least might not have considered cooking.

1. Zucchini Casserole

The first ingredient that springs to mind if you think of a casserole probably isn't zucchini. Chicken, yes... beef, yes... but, a green vegetable that's often served as a side isn't an obvious contender. However, it's perfect for a lighter one-pot dish that's just as comforting and nourishing as a regular casserole. The cheese elevates this dish, with Parmesan adding some extra zing. The breadcrumb topping creates a good crunch to contrast with the soft vegetable. This recipe calls for dried oregano, but you can use fresh basil instead. 

Recipe: Zucchini Casserole

2. Garlicky Grilled Zucchini

Do you even need to taste these to know how good they are? Just looking at them is a visual feast. The pure flavor combination of zucchini and garlic pairs perfectly. A great tip is to rub the vegetable slices with a garlic clove before grilling for extra zest. Make sure the zucchini slices are not too flimsy when you cut them either as you want them to be robust enough to grill. If you're not planning a cookout then use a griddle on the stove. Leave out the pine nuts if you want, and serve hot or cold.

Recipe: Garlicky Grilled Zucchini

3. Air Fried Zucchini Chips

Instead of deep frying zucchini slices, which can turn super soggy, try this recipe instead. The air fryer is fast becoming the go-to way for home cooks to quickly and efficiently fry up food. Mix the slices with whatever seasonings you like. As well as garlic powder, you could try cumin, onion powder, paprika, or black pepper. Keep an eye on them while cooking as they can go from not done to burnt quickly. If you don't serve these immediately, they'll lose some crispness. However, you can always reheat them to bring back the crunch.

Recipe: Air Fried Zucchini Chips

4. Zucchini Banana Bread

Zucchini is often served as a side with meat and potatoes, but don't underestimate the vegetable as a secret ingredient in many recipes, even desserts. Take our banana bread recipe for instance. Banana bread is delicious for breakfast and pairs well with fresh fruit. Zucchini provides a great texture for the dish. You could add some peanut butter to make things even sweeter. If you don't have flax seeds, then you can use an egg instead. For a tastier bite, add walnuts, chocolate chips, or cacao nibs.

Recipe: Zucchini Banana Bread

5. Hasselback Zucchini

You've heard of hasselback potatoes, right? They look incredibly artistic, and taste-wise, they have both crunchy edges and roasted, melt-in-the-mouth softness. Translating this into zucchini form is not only tasty but perfect if you're conscious of carbs. Avoid cutting all the way through the vegetable by using chopsticks to help control your slicing. Take your time when adding the filling between the slices. Additionally, you can prep this meal ahead of time and pop it in the oven when you're ready to eat. A tahini sauce complements the Mediterranean flavor of the quinoa stuffing, but marinara works too.

Recipe: Hasselback Zucchini

6. Zucchini Enchilada Boats

Forget loaded potato skins and pizzas for a moment. Try these cheesy, meaty, enchilada melts made with zucchini. Make sure the sides of the veggie boats aren't too thin or they won't be able to carry their cargo of ground turkey. One quick note, don't throw away any of the zucchini you scoop out to make the boats either as you'll add that to make the filling later. Spritz the foil cover with non-stick spray before cooking to stop the cheese from sticking. 

Recipe: Zucchini Enchilada Boats

7. Zucchini Tzatziki Sauce

Tzatziki is a traditional dip served in a Greek meze featuring bread and gyros. The creamy, fresh taste of yogurt, cucumber, and herbs is a winning combination. If you want to try a spin on the classic formula, then you can't go wrong with this zucchini variant. Grate the vegetable with a box grater. Incorporate the skin of the zucchini in the dip for extra nutritional value. However, if you want a smoother dip, peel the zucchini first. Avoid a water-logged dip by squeezing out the liquid before mixing. Serve with fresh dill and extra virgin olive oil.

Recipe: Zucchini Tzatziki Sauce

8. Zucchini Walnut Bread With Lemon Glaze

Zucchini goes well with a zesty citrus tang. This recipe adds a veggie nutritional boost to a dessert, and the lemon glaze pairs well with a tart finish. The key to success is wringing the water out of the grated zucchini, otherwise, the batter won't set properly. If you don't have the right kind of strainer, use your hands. When it comes to the lemon glaze, fresh lemons work best. While the recipe calls for walnuts, you can substitute your own favorite or omit them entirely. 

Recipe: Zucchini Walnut Bread With Lemon Glaze

9. Easy Fried Zucchini

This recipe is popular as an appetizer in Italian restaurants, but it's just as easy to make at home. The trick is to use thin-skinned zucchini, so shave them down if needed. Even though this is a fried dish, it's still quite delicate. Slice the vegetable at an angle for elongated slices and use freshly grated Parmesan as it fries better. The cheese should be blended into the breadcrumbs to make an even coating. We recommend doing all the prep work before frying as these cook fast. Once finished, marinara sauce once again makes an excellent pairing. 

Recipe: Easy Fried Zucchini

10. Vegetarian Zucchini Lasagna

Cheese, creamy sauce, tomatoey Bolognese, and pasta create the ultimate comfort food. However, lasagna can be heavy and high in carbs. Fortunately, this zucchini alternative offers to lighten the load by swapping out the pasta for velvety zucchini strips. You might have heard of zoodles, which are noodles made out of zucchini, and this is the flat-sheet version. Additionally, using ricotta in place of béchamel and a jar of marinara sauce instead of a meaty layer makes for a lighter meal while still keeping that flavor profile. Use asiago for the topping if you find parmesan too strong for your liking.

Recipe: Vegetarian Zucchini Lasagna

11. Spiced Zucchini Bread

Nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves add a wonderful warmth to this sweet and spicy loaf. The zucchini adds moisture to the dough, so it's lovely and light. Don't be tempted to add water to the batter before adding the squash to it or it might end up being too wet. It's vital that you mix the wet and dry ingredients separately before combining them so that they're evenly mixed throughout. Add walnuts if you want some crunch. Serve a slice warm with butter to take the chill off a cool morning.

Recipe: Spiced Zucchini Bread

12. Quinoa Zucchini Salad

If you want a change from the usual sides and salads, then this nutritiously filling dish is something a little different. You can eat it as a main meal too, and the beauty of it is you can make a big pan-full and heat it as needed throughout the week for meal prep. The quinoa adds bulk, and the goat cheese elevates the flavor with a tangy taste. The zucchini, tomatoes, and spinach, with zesty garlic, are sautéed to create a soft texture and flavorsome taste that's good for you.

Recipe: Quinoa Zucchini Salad

13. Crustless Zucchini Quiche

Is there anything more delicious than a quiche for lunch on a sunshine-filled day? This version creates a lovely lightness. The combination of eggs and cream creates a fluffy texture when baked. Instead of adding meat, which you would if you were making a traditional quiche Lorraine, the star ingredient here is zucchini. The squash pairs so incredibly well with eggs that there's no need to add anything else. Just be sure to squeeze out the zucchini before adding it to the other ingredients. Slice and serve cool.

Recipe: Crustless Zucchini Quiche

14. Easy Fresh Summer Vegetable Pasta

With summer being zucchini season, it's the perfect time to make glorious pasta with this fresh-tasting squash. Leave behind the heavy cream-based dishes that keep you warm over winter, and celebrate al fresco lunches where a big bowl of colorful and flavorsome farfalle or fusilli is welcomed. Be mindful not to over-fry the veggies for this recipe as they can quickly turn mushy and lose some of their brightness. Simmer the tomato, zucchini, and bell pepper sauce with the lid firmly on.

Recipe: Easy Fresh Summer Vegetable Pasta

15. Grilled Vegetable Sandwich

A sandwich filling needs to be robust enough that it doesn't get overpowered by the taste and texture of the bread. For this recipe, the chargrilled smoky sweetness and soft texture of grilled veggies are perfectly sandwiched between grilled ciabatta slices. If you're not a fan of ciabatta, you can use any bread you like such as a baguette or sourdough. Mozzarella creates a lovely cheesy goo, with pesto elevating the taste with Parmesan and basil for a true delight. Grill both yellow and green zucchini for this recipe, along with bell peppers, and eggplant. 

Recipe: Grilled Vegetable Sandwich

16. Instant Pot Minestrone Soup

An Italian home-comfort classic, you can make this soup quickly. Made with kidney and cannellini beans, it feels fresh but wholesome. One mistake to avoid is adding the chopped-up zucchini when you sauté the other vegetables. Instead, you'll want to add in your zucchini when you add beans. Otherwise, it'll become mashed in with the other ingredients and cook for too long. Likewise, add the spinach towards the end of cooking to maintain its texture. Serve with grated Parmesan if you like and some fresh herbs such as parsley, basil, or thyme.

Recipe: Instant Pot Minestrone Soup

17. Calabacitas

A recipe from Mexico, the name of this dish translates to "little squash." The squash takes the leading role and is cooked with corn. While the zucchini shines in the base recipe, you can also spice things up a bit with a few more ingredients. Boost the heat with a habanero, add color with tomatoes, and enhance the taste with some chicken or beef. How you eat it is up to you, but it's great just as it is, over rice, or served with tacos, burritos, and quesadillas. If you like some crunch, then don't cook the zucchini for too long.

Recipe: Calabacitas

18. Grilled Veggie Kabobs

Just thinking about biting into these gorgeously chargrilled veggie kabobs is enough to make your mouth water. Because there isn't any meat in these, they grill super-quick. Cut the zucchini thick enough, so that the slices cook at the same rate as the button mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, and red onion, as well as yellow pepper and corn on the cob slices. Serve the meal with rice or just as it is. The kabobs can be paired with meat, but the vegetables are stars on their own.

Recipe: Grilled Veggie Kabobs

19. Easy Ratatouille

Zucchini goes well together with both yellow squash and eggplant in this take on traditional ratatouille. What makes this French-style medley of baked veggies stand out is the colorful, attractive design. While the zucchini pairs well with other ingredients like bell peppers and tomatoes, potatoes give a new spin to this classic. Unlike traditional ratatouille, this dish calls for one potato, which provides distinct flavor and helps elevate some of the dish's other ingredients through contrast.

Recipe: Easy Ratatouille

20. Greek Stuffed Peppers

Zucchini, peppers, tomatoes, and feta cheese evoke the flavors of Greek cuisine, and this recipe turns those ingredients into a dish that tastes as good as it looks. You can use either ground lamb or beef with this. Add in the zucchini once both the meat and rice have cooked for a bit. As far as peppers, you can't go wrong with any color, so pick your favorite of red, green, or yellow.  Serve two halves per person as a main dish.

Recipe: Greek Stuffed Peppers

21. Air Fryer Roasted Vegetables

Roasting brings out the sweetness of vegetables as their sugars caramelize. However, did you know you can achieve the same result, in less time using your air fryer? You don't need loads of oil either, and it also leaves your oven free if you need it for other dishes. Make sure your zucchini and other vegetables are dry; otherwise, the moisture will make your veggies soggy. Add a flavor boost by adding herbs and spices to the oil such as cumin or garlic powder.

Recipe: Air Fryer Roasted Vegetables

22. Grilled Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad

This dish isn't simply a pasta dish with a few veggies thrown in. The fact that the zucchini and other vegetables are chargrilled makes a world of difference. The barbecued taste, charred edges, and sweetness are sublime when mixed with plain-tasting penne pasta. Throw in some cherry tomatoes, asparagus, and bell pepper for a variety of flavors. The great thing about this dish is that you can tailor it to your tastes by omitting or adding certain vegetables.

Recipe: Grilled Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad

23. Late Summer Ratatouille

Enjoying food on warm summer days or balmy evenings should be leisurely. This dish leans into that languid relaxation as it takes a couple of hours of basking in the oven before it's ready. Once it is, all you need is a hunk of French baguette to soak up all the rich flavors of the roasted zucchini, eggplant, peppers, onion, and tomatoes. What really makes all the difference is roasting each vegetable separately and then browning them in a final roasting together. Layer the final mix to get softness and charred edges in every bite.

Recipe: Late Summer Ratatouille

24. 15-Minute Chickpea Vegetable Curry

If you think you have to let a curry simmer for hours, then you've not tried this chickpea curry with half-moons of zucchini. This vegetarian take on a classic curry dish can be ready in as little as 15 minutes. While chickpeas may be the main attraction, zucchini helps blend together ginger and garlic for a zesty but not overpowering dish. If you like a thicker sauce then mix in a flour slurry. Once ready, serve with naan bread, Indian basmati, or Thai jasmine rice, and add a dollop of sour cream or yogurt for a cool, tangy topping.

Recipe: 15-Minute Chickpea Vegetable Curry

25. Slow Cooker Ratatouille

There's something special about slow-cooked veggies that makes you feel warm and comforted inside. Zucchini, eggplant, and tomatoes are a terrific trio of tastes that combine so well cooked like this. The olive oil brings out the rich flavors while the Parmesan and oregano elevate this French classic. Since you're going to be cooking this dish for hours, make sure that you slice the vegetables to around the same thickness. You want them to cook evenly and not have overly mushy bites. Don't add meat. The ratatouille is so much better without it.

Recipe: Slow Cooker Ratatouille

26. Roasted Vegetable Panzanella

Dishes like this sweet and peppery bread salad are perfect if you have a few ingredients, especially bread, in the pantry that is almost passed its prime. This is a go-to recipe if you've got a baguette that's too stale to eat fresh. You want your veggies to be bite-sized, but they'll shrink when they're roasted so keep this in mind. You want them to char a little, so give them a good blast. Serve this with arugula for a little kick on the side.

Recipe: Roasted Vegetable Panzanella

27. Pasta Primavera

One of the best weekday dishes to make that's quick, easy, and nutritious is pasta with lots of vibrant veggies. Add some fresh basil and a generous sprinkling of parmesan cheese, and you have a meal that never fails to taste exactly as you want it to. This recipe is super-fresh because it combines zucchini, asparagus, and yellow squash with grape tomatoes. A good tip is to put a colander inside the pan when the pasta is done and tip it so that only the water drains out.

Recipe: Pasta Primavera

28. Simple Vegetable Stir Fry

A simple but solid take on stir fry, our recipe combines taste and texture perfectly by adding baby corn, carrots, red pepper, and sugar snap peas to zucchini. If you don't have a spiralizer, use a vegetable peeler to create thin ribbons of zucchini. If sesame oil is a little too strong-tasting for your liking, then use other oils to balance things out. Likewise, you can add tofu or meat to get a serving of protein.

Recipe: Simple Vegetable Stir Fry

29. Roasted Vegetable Quiche

The sweetness of the roast vegetables and their smoky flavor permeates the egg and cream filling of this stunning dish. As mentioned above, zucchini pairs well with quiche, while you can swap out the bell pepper, red onion, tomatoes, and spinach for other veggies if you prefer. You need to blind-bake your pastry case by lining it with parchment paper and weighing it down. If you don't have baking beans, then pour in some raw rice instead. Leave the quiche to cool a little before serving for a light brunch.

Recipe: Roasted Vegetable Quiche

30. Moist Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

The fact that you can make chocolate muffins with zucchini proves what a star vegetable this is. Talk about a feel-good dessert. Can you imagine offering these out and telling people to eat up their veggies? Everything about this recipe is recognizable until you mix grated zucchini into the batter. Before you get to this stage though, mix the wet and dry ingredients thoroughly. Since you want to fold in the zucchini, along with some chocolate chips, ditch the mixers and gently do this by hand with a spatula.

Recipe: Moist Chocolate Zucchini Muffins