15 Ways to Cook with Zucchini This Summer

Got zucchini? It's that time again, when we have more zucchini than we know what to do with. Never fear! We have solutions to this problem—15 of them to be exact! Zucchini Fritters, Cheesy Zucchini Bites, Chocolate Zucchini Bread, and more!

15 Zucchini Recipes

It’s that time of year when zucchini plants are going crazy in our gardens and on local farms. Inevitably, those of us who grow it often end up with so much of it that we give it away—it comes up faster than we can deal with it.

Does this sound like your situation? Well, we've got 15 tried-and-true zucchini recipes to help you out.

The Best Zucchini for Cooking

My ideal zucchini for weeknight dinners is about an inch or two in diameter and about 8 to 10 inches long. I find the symmetry of this makes it easier to slice thinly and sauté in a pan with some olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and salt and pepper. The taste of it remains slightly sweet and vegetal.

And the seeds aren’t so big that they require extraction. This shape is also ideal for quartering it tossing it into pasta, for example. You want zucchini that’s firm and not showing any bruises from excessive handling.

Sautéed Zucchini with Dill

What to Do With Enormous Zucchini

Anything much larger than 8 to 10 inches and you’re looking at zucchini not for zucchini’s sake in its simplified state, but for what else it can provide for you. You need its moisture more than anything, and some of its taste—but you aren’t going to get a good-tasting one that is this big. They tend to get watery, seedy, and flavorless when they’re this oversize.

Put these medium-to-large zucchini—you know, the ones that verge on the size of baseball bats if they go unpicked for a few days— to good use. They are great candidates for turning into noodles; they also work well grated and used in quick breads.

We’re here to help you with that surfeit of zucchini—you can bake with it, pickle it, grate it, saute it, or even grill it!

What are your favorite recipes with zucchini?

  • Easy Sautéed Zucchini

    Zucchini squash topped with dill in a cast iron skillet.
    Sheryl Julian

    This is what you do with that perfectly sized zucchini I mentioned—you slice into coins and sauté with dill and lemon zest.

  • Taco-Stuffed Zucchini Boats

    Stuffed Zucchini Boats Recipe
    Nick Evans

    When you’ve got some long, oversize zucchini, this is what you do with them. You make Nick’s taco-meat stuffed zucchini boats.

  • Zucchini, Eggplant, Tomato Gratin

    Zucchini Eggplant Tomato Gratin
    Elise Bauer

    Oh, how pretty is this! This dish only looks fancy—it’s just all in how you slice and present it. It's akin to ratatouille, but baked with a bit of cheese on top.

  • Zucchini Pasta Carbonara

    Zucchini with Pasta Carbonara
    Elise Bauer

    I know, there’s patty pan squash in this dish, but you can use zucchini, too. And you might well want to. Egg noodles, prosciutto, Parm, basil, and lemon zest.

    Continue to 5 of 15 below.
  • Chocolate Zucchini Bread

    Best Chocolate Zucchini Bread
    Elise Bauer

    Zucchini has a fairly neutral flavor and when you grate it, like carrots, it adds a ton of moisture to quick breads. And this one is chocolate because, well, chocolate.

  • Spicy Zucchini Soup

    Zucchini Soup recipe
    Elise Bauer

    The herbs of summer—mint and cilantro—combine with jalapeño for a fresh, summery zucchini soup with a kick.

  • Zucchini Breakfast Casserole

    Zucchini Breakfast Casserole
    Elise Bauer

    Call it a casserole, call it a strata—whatever you want to call it, grate up the zucchini and combine with ricotta, eggs, some leftover bread, and plum tomatoes.

  • Zucchini and Spinach Gratin

    Zucchini Spinach Gratin
    Elise Bauer

    Here’s an efficient way to put two pounds of zucchini from the garden to use—a gratin. Bacon, spinach, and Parmesan cheese add flavor to this dish, which loosely resemble a crustless quiche.

    Continue to 9 of 15 below.
  • Roasted Zucchini with Garlic

    Roasted Zucchini with garlic and black pepper on a serving platter
    Elise Bauer

    Cut them lengthwise, and roast in the oven with the usual suspects—olive oil, garlic, and black pepper, along with some summery Herbs de Provence.

  • Grandma's Zucchini Cake

    Grandma's Zucchini Cake
    Elise Bauer

    With a title like that, you know it’s going to be delicious. It’s also an easy sheet cake with a cream cheese frosting. And cream cheese frosting is also always delicious.

  • Zucchini Noodle Chicken Pesto Bowl

    Zucchini Noodle Chicken Pesto Bowl
    Elise Bauer

    Here’s where you take zucchini and a spiralizer and make veggie noodles, which get tossed with pesto and served with chicken.

  • Spicy Turkey and Zucchini Burger

    Spicy Turkey and Zucchini Burger
    Elise Bauer

    The moisture from grated zucchini helps bind these turkey burgers. Sour cream and Greek yogurt come together for a sauce with lemon juice, garlic and olive oil. (Noticing a trend here?)

    Continue to 13 of 15 below.
  • Cheesy Zucchini Bites

    Cheesy Zucchini Bites
    Elise Bauer

    Think of these as tater tots but using zucchini. Imagine adding cheddar and fresh herbs, and you’ll have a pretty good idea of what these bites taste like.

  • Lemon Rosemary Zucchini Bread

    Lemon Rosemary Zucchini Bread
    Elise Bauer

    Imagine a slice of this sweet and savory bread with afternoon tea. And then go make it.

  • Zucchini Fritters

    Zucchini Fritters Recipe
    Elise Bauer

    Grate the zucchini, drain it of excess moisture, and combine it with some egg, herbs, and you’ve got some fritters for dinner after a quick pan fry. It’s great with a sour cream dipping sauce, and a side salad.