How to Use Up Extra Summer Zucchini

Woman Holding Zucchini
Photo by Les Bourgeonniers from Pexels

At your wits end trying to figure out how to use up extra summer zucchini? I gathered over 25+ healthy ideas and recipes to use it all up!

Before today, if you searched for the word “zucchini” on the blog, you would have received zero results. Normally, I wouldn’t think twice about that. But, if you’ve been following me on social media, you know our garden exploded with zucchini this year. Not. Even. Joking. After using about 12 extra-large zucchini, my hubby brought in 6 more! I was at my wits end trying to figure out out to use it.

Luckily, I have so many wonderful friends and family who gave me lots of ideas on how to use it! So, if you have the same problem I did, I’m sharing all the ideas and recipes I received on how to use up extra summer zucchini! If you have any recipes or ideas you love, be sure to share them below in the comments!

As I try more recipes, I’ll be updating this post. So, be sure to bookmark this one for later (links included at the bottom of the post)!

What Ways Can I Use Up Extra Summer Zucchini?

It seems like there are three ways to use up zucchini:

  1. Use it as a side dish or the main ingredient.
  2. Add it as a component in other dishes.
  3. Hide it as much as possible!
Tops of Zucchini on Cutting Board
Photo by Angele J from Pexels

You better believe I’m including ideas and recipes for whatever camp you fall into. Personally, I could eat zucchini in all three ways mentioned above. But my hubby definitely falls into the 2 and 3 camps (he doesn’t like the zucchini to be the star of anything he eats).

Zucchini Main Dishes and Side Dishes

If you like to use zucchini as a star in main dishes or side dishes, give some of the following recipes a try:

Zucchini Fritters with Creamy Basil Dip from Global Dine In

Baked Zucchini Fritters with Smoky Dipping Sauce from A Family Feast

Zucchini Cheddar Bites from Live Eat Learn

Easy Baked Zucchini from Spend with Pennies

Zucchini Ribbon Skewers with Spicy Lemon Garlic Butter from How Sweet Eats

Zucchini Relish from Grow a Good Life (So yummy on tuna sandwiches!)

Growing up, our family also liked to grill zucchini, yellow squash, and onions. To season the vegetables, drizzle some olive oil on the vegetables. Then, sprinkle McCormick Grill Mates Montreal Steak Seasoning, salt, and pepper on the vegetables. Finally, grill them in a Grill Basket until they are slightly soft and charred (about 5-7 minutes). They are perfect with grilled chicken or steak.

Or, you could add cubed zucchini as a vegetable on a kebab.

*Note: I tried several recipes for zucchini fries, and I didn’t like any of them. If you have a good recipe for crispy and flavorful zucchini fries, let me know!

Recipes and Ideas Using Zucchini

If you like to use Zucchini as a component in other dishes, here are some ideas to get you started.

  1. Use it in place of pasta. (Try a Spiralizer or Kitchen Aid Attachment to make Zoodles)
  2. Grate or shred it, then:
    • Add it to sauces. (Think tacos, sloppy joes, spaghetti, etc…)
    • Add it to burger patties or meatloaf.
  3. Freeze it. (For use in other seasons)
  4. Add it fresh or frozen to Green Smoothies.
  5. Sauté them.
    • Pan fry them in butter with lots of tomatoes and seasonings (garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper).
    • Sautee them with bell peppers, mushrooms and garlic (serve over cooked quinoa, or with turkey, shredded carrots, and lettuce in a spinach wrap).
    • Sauté them in an olive oil/butter mix with garlic, salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese. Cook until the zucchini gets a little soft and the parmesan gets crispy.
  6. Slice the zucchini in half length-wise, and hollow out the seeds. Then, stuff the zucchini halves to make Zucchini Taco Boats or Italian Stuffed Zucchini.
  7. Include the zucchini in a Frittata or a Potato Hash.
  8. Dehydrate them. (Use in the winter for soups and stews or as a crispy snack)

Use Up Extra Summer Zucchini as a Base

You can also use zucchini to make the base for other yummy ingredients. These recipes below look perfect:

Zucchini Pizza Crust from Delish

Zucchini Taco Shells from Sweet as Honey

Once you make the base, you can top your pizza or fill your taco shells with your favorite fillings or toppings! The sky is the limit for the combinations you can come up with.

Plus, you can slide the zucchini into discs, and use that as a base for mini zucchini pizzas! My sister-in-law likes to top hers with pizza sauce, grated mozzarella cheese, and pepperoni.

Zucchini Pepperoni Pizza Bites
Photo courtesy of my sister-in-law.

Use Up Extra Summer Zucchini as an Ingredient

Here are some yummy looking recipes that incorporate zucchini as an ingredient:

Creamy Zucchini Skillet Pasta from Liv B

Zucchini Corn Chowder from I Am Homesteader

Chicken Zucchini Casserole from Six Sisters Stuff

Easy Peanut Noodles with Thai Peanut Sauce (substitute the pasta for zoodles) from Oh Sweet Basil

Creamy Garlic Parmesan Zoodles from Mom Endeavors

Garlic Chicken Zucchini Noodles Stir Fry from Seonkyoung Longest

Zoodles with Homemade Alfredo Sauce from Clean Fingers Laynie

Sneaky Recipes with Hidden Zucchini

If you have picky kids, or you yourself doesn’t like zucchini, I’ve found some recipes that hide or completely mask the zucchini:

Zucchini Cinnamon Roll Loaf Cake from Kelly Lynns Sweets and Treats

Zucchini Coffee Cake from Kelly Lynns Sweets and Treats

Healthy Double Chocolate Zucchini Brownies from Love in my Oven

Banana Zucchini Muffins from I Am Baker (These are especially delicious!)

Award-Winning Zucchini Bread with Brown Sugar Streusel from Sally’s Baking Addiction

Caramel Zucchini Spice Poke Cake from Wine and Glue

Hidden Squash in Spaghetti Sauce with Meat from Feed my Picky Kids

Final Thoughts on Using Up Extra Summer Zucchini

Finally, if you are looking for even more healthy ideas to use up extra summer zucchini, a friend of mine recommended searching all the recipes on Skinny Taste for Zucchini. There are so many good recipes I want to try! Unfortunately, I couldn’t list them all here. But it’s another great resource for recipes.

If you want even more ideas, I started a board on Pinterest for Recipes Using Garden Vegetables. Be sure to follow me there to get even more ideas!

How to Use Up Extra Summer Zucchini Bigger Than Your Head
When all your zucchini are bigger than your head!

In the end, if you are still drowning in zucchini, just know August 8th is National Sneak Some Zucchini on your Neighbors Porch Day. So, if all else fails, use this day to your advantage.

Next year, we’ll try to keep up and pick them when they are small. 😉

Love what you are seeing, and want more? I typically publish a new recipe once or twice per week. If you want to be the first to know what’s new at Clean Fingers Laynie, SUBSCRIBE here, and never miss another recipe!


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