Zucchini: the summer veggie that just keeps on giving. And if you’re anything like me, you probably have them piling up right now. But don’t fret! I’ve got you covered with 16 zucchini recipes that are as easy as they are delightful. Trust me, these aren’t your grandma’s zucchini bread (although I’ve thrown in a twist on that classic too).
Fun Fact – Is Zucchini a Fruit?
Yes, zucchini is technically a fruit, specifically a type of berry called a “pepo.” It’s the mature ovary of the zucchini flower and contains seeds, which classifies it as a fruit from a botanical perspective. However, in culinary contexts, zucchini is treated as a vegetable because of its savory flavor and is typically used in savory dishes. This distinction between botanical and culinary classification is common with several other items, such as tomatoes and bell peppers.
- Zesty Zucchini Noodles: Ditch the pasta and twirl some zucchini noodles with a dash of lemon zest and garlic. Top it off with a sprinkle of parmesan. I LOVE this veggie spiralizer! We use it all the time for making veggie noodle pasta dishes.
- Grilled Zucchini Boats: Fill halved zucchinis with cherry tomatoes, feta, and olives. Grill ‘em up, and voila!
- Stuffed Zucchini Flowers: A touch fancy but oh-so-simple. Stuff with ricotta, drizzle with honey, and prepare to be amazed.
- Zucchini & Corn Fritters: Sunday brunch just got a zucchini twist. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and fresh salsa.
- Zucchini Ribbon Salad: Thin slices of zucchini, toasted pine nuts, and fresh mint with a lemon vinaigrette. Refreshing and light.
- Chocolate Zucchini Muffins: Hide veggies in your dessert! Moist, chocolatey, and honestly, no one will guess.
- Zucchini Hummus: Blend roasted zucchini with tahini, lemon juice, and garlic. Perfect for your next snack attack.
- Zucchini Lasagna: Layers of zucchini slices, ricotta, marinara, and mozzarella. Comfort food without the carb coma.
- Zucchini Pizza Bites: Slice zucchini, top with pizza sauce, mozzarella, and your favorite toppings. Quick, tasty, bite-sized wonders.
- Cool Zucchini Soup: A chilled, creamy soup with zucchini, avocado, and cucumber. Summer in a bowl.
- Baked Zucchini Chips: Thinly sliced, seasoned, and baked to crispy perfection. Your movie night’s newest companion.
- Savory Zucchini Pancakes: Like breakfast pancakes, but with zucchini and cheddar. Perfect with a dollop of Greek yogurt.
- Zucchini Coconut Smoothie: Blend zucchini, coconut milk, spinach, and a banana for a creamy morning boost.
- Zucchini & Goat Cheese Tart: Puff pastry, zucchini ribbons, and goat cheese. Easy, elegant, and extraordinary.
- Spicy Zucchini Pickles: Slice, season, and jar these tangy treats. Great in sandwiches or as a side.
- Twisted Zucchini Bread: Adding a touch of cardamom and walnuts puts a lovely twist on the classic.
And there you have it! A zestful array of zucchini recipes that’ll keep you munching all summer long. Here’s to making the most of every green squash that comes your way.
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Air Fryer Zucchini
Air fryers have revolutionized our kitchens, adding that crispy finish without the guilt of deep frying. And zucchini? It’s the versatile veggie that takes on the flavors it’s paired with. Together, they’re a match made in culinary heaven. Here are five easy recipes to make zucchini in an air fryer:
- Crispy Zucchini Fries: Begin with fresh zucchinis and slice them into sticks, mimicking the shape of French fries. Lightly coat them in olive oil, then dip in a mix of breadcrumbs, grated Parmesan cheese, and your choice of seasoning (I recommend garlic powder, onion powder, and a pinch of pepper). Air fry at 375°F (190°C) for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Dip in marinara or aioli and indulge!
- Stuffed Zucchini Boats: Halve zucchinis lengthwise and scoop out some of their insides, creating a boat. Prepare a filling with ground turkey, diced tomatoes, garlic, and seasoning. Stuff these into the zucchini boats, sprinkle with cheese, and air fry at 350°F (175°C) for 8-10 minutes. The result? A wholesome, protein-packed delight.
- Zucchini Chips: Craving something crunchy? Slice zucchinis into thin rounds. Toss in olive oil and season with sea salt or even a sprinkle of smoked paprika for an added kick. Lay them in a single layer in the air fryer and cook at 375°F (190°C) for about 10 minutes or until crisped to perfection. They’re the chips you won’t feel bad about snacking on!
- Parmesan-Roasted Zucchini Rounds: Cut zucchinis into thick rounds. Mix together grated Parmesan, garlic powder, and a touch of salt and pepper. Press each zucchini round into the mixture, ensuring they’re well-coated, and then air fry at 375°F (190°C) for 8-10 minutes. You’re left with cheesy, savory bites that are bound to be a hit.
- Asian-inspired Zucchini Noodles: While not traditionally crispy, air fryers can give zucchini noodles (zoodles) a fantastic texture. Toss your zoodles in a mixture of sesame oil, soy sauce, and a dash of ginger powder. Air fry at 350°F (175°C) for just 5 minutes. Top with sesame seeds and perhaps a drizzle of sriracha for those who enjoy a little heat!
Can You Freeze Zucchini?
Absolutely, you can freeze zucchini! It’s a great way to preserve the freshness of this versatile veggie (or botanically speaking, fruit) for later use. Here’s a simple guide on how to do it:
- Wash and Prepare: Start by washing the zucchini thoroughly. Then, slice or shred it based on how you plan to use it in the future. If you want to freeze it in chunks for stews or stir-fries, slice it into rounds or half-moons. For zucchini bread or muffins, shredding might be preferable.
- Blanching (Optional but Recommended): While you can freeze zucchini without blanching, doing so helps preserve its color, flavor, and nutritional value. To blanch, bring a pot of water to a boil and immerse your zucchini pieces for 1-2 minutes. Immediately after, transfer the zucchini to a bowl of ice water to halt the cooking process. Once cooled, drain the zucchini well.
- Spread and Freeze: Lay the zucchini pieces or shreds on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, ensuring they aren’t overlapping. This step allows the zucchini to freeze individually, preventing clumps. Place the baking sheet in the freezer for several hours or until the zucchini is frozen solid.
- Store: Transfer the frozen zucchini to freezer bags or airtight containers. Make sure to remove as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn. Label the bags with the date and type of cut (slices, shreds, etc.), so you know when to use them by and for what purpose.
- Use: Frozen zucchini works best in cooked dishes since the freezing process can alter its texture. Think stews, stir-fries, soups, or baked goods like zucchini bread.
Remember, while freezing extends the shelf life of zucchini, it’s best to use the frozen zucchini within 10-12 months for optimal flavor and texture.