While most people have access to supermarket zucchini all year long, it's really at it's peak during the summer. And if you grow it, then you know how incredibly prolific those plants can be. Whether you are busting at the seams with the green squash or planning to grab a sackful at the farmers' market, the possibilities are endless. Zucchini can go sweet or savory, and be prepared so many ways—grilled, roasted, shredded, baked, or even left raw. To help you get started, we've got 18 summery recipes that feature the versatile squash.
Linguine With Zucchini, Tomato, and Crab
Al dente linguine is loaded with tender zucchini, blistered tomatoes, and aromatic fresh basil leaves. For a nice decadent touch, we also toss in delicate flakes of sweet blue crabmeat. It doesn't hurt that it's a one-pot meal that requires maybe ten minutes of prep.
Grilled Summer Squash and Kasseri Cheese With Lemon and Mint
Kasseri, a semi-hard Greek sheep's milk cheese, has a mildly tangy, salty character that pairs well with grill-charred vegetables. Here, slices of zucchini and yellow squash are grilled and layered with the softened cheese, then finished with a squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkle of mint for a fresh, satisfying side dish.
Eggplant, Squash, and Cherry Tomato Hash With Baked Eggs
This summery breakfast (or lunch, or dinner) takes its inspiration from ratatouille. The combination of onions, garlic, eggplant, yellow squash, and zucchini are cooked in batches to ensure that no one vegetable overcooks. Then, the whole shebang is topped with an egg and baked until it's set. Serve it with chives and hot sauce for zesty heat.
Spicy Thai-Style Pomelo, Green Bean, and Zucchini Salad
For a summertime salad not lacking in flavor or texture, combine bitter-sweet pomelo, crispy green beans, fresh zucchini, and herbal mint with a fiery dressing. It's a balanced dish that comes together in 30 minutes flat.
Zucchini Latkes With Parmesan, Pine Nuts, and Basil
Zucchini makes an especially tender and refreshingly light latke base, and chopped basil, lemon zest, pine nuts, and Parmesan cheese amp up the bright flavor. Squeezing the mixture in cheesecloth helps eliminate excess moisture, and using a food processor to shred the ingredients ensures consistent texture and takes care of a lot of the work.
If you went a little overboard at the market and are swimming in zucchini, a quick bread is a great way to use up some of the veg. This easy bread is moist, well-spiced, and freezes well.
Easy Sautéed Zucchini, Squash, and Tomatoes with Chilies and Herbs
Summertime means no one wants to turn the oven on for long, and quick cooking (if at all) is the clear preference. A sauté of zucchini, summer squash, and tomatoes takes all of ten minutes, and makes the most of summer produce.
Roasted Zucchini-Chickpea Dip with Za'atar
Ditch the plain old hummus, and make this easy roasted zucchini and chickpea dip for your next party. Roasting zucchini and red onion helps keep the dip from being soggy, and brings out the vegetables' natural sweetness. A quick trip in the food processor with chickpeas, tahini, garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice yields a silky dip, and a sprinkling of woody za'atar livens things up.
Zucchini and Roasted Tomatoes With Pasta and Dried Olive Flavor Shake
Sure, pasta's great, but the real star of this dish are deeply flavored zucchini and oven-roasted tomatoes. Olive oil is infused with garlic and rosemary, and a dried olive and miso shake tops everything off, giving this dish over-the-top flavor.
Zucchini Stacks in the Style of Eggplant Parmesan
Zucchini happily takes the place of eggplant in this stacked version of eggplant parmesan. Disks of the summer veggie are breaded and pan-fried before being layered with homemade tomato sauce, pepperoni, fresh basil, and cheese. It's a comforting dish that's looks nice enough to serve to company.
Breakfast Tacos with Charred Zucchini and Red Pepper
These vegetarian breakfast tacos are simple and quick, but taste anything but. Eggs are cooked low and slow in butter until ultra-creamy, and combine with charred zucchini and red pepper in a warm tortilla. A topping of cream, cheese, avocado, salsa, and lime takes your brunch to flavorful places.
Whole-Wheat Spaghetti Salad With Grilled Zucchini, Kalamata Olives, and Feta
For a true summertime pasta, combine whole-wheat pasta, grilled zucchini, fresh tomatoes, Kalamata olives, feta cheese, and basil. Everything can be done in advance and the dish can chill in the fridge for a few hours, but be sure to add the chopped herbs last minute for extra freshness.
Easy Pan Pizza With Zucchini, Red Onion, and Pistachios (Vegan)
Believe it or not, cheese is not a requirement for a delicious pizza. In this vegan version, zucchini and squash are crisp rather than limp, and caramelized red onion, thyme, and pistachios add more flavor and texture. You'll need to start this pan pizza dough the day before, but the actual pizza comes together in just 30 minutes.
Quick Chicken and Zucchini Quesadillas
Amp up a basic quesadilla by adding shredded roast chicken, sweet sautéed zucchini, and smoky chipotle chilies. By using leftover chicken and thin-sliced zucchini, the recipe is a snap to make, great for a party snack or a weeknight meal.
Parisian Gnocchi With Roasted Cherry Tomatoes, Corn, and Zucchini
Have the ultimate summertime pasta experience by making your own homemade gnocchi. Combined with summer produce like zucchini, squash, cherry tomatoes, and corn, for a fresh but wholly satisfying meal that's worthy of a dinner party.
Zucchini Rolls with Goat Cheese and Mint
An impressive and flavorful appetizer, these zucchini rolls are delicate and pretty. Thin-sliced zucchini is grilled and spread with goat cheese, mint and balsamic. Arugula and hot pepper are rolled up inside, and it's all tied up with a blanched chive. They take a little finesse, but not as much time as you'd think.
Make-Ahead Zucchini and Quinoa Dill Bisque
Make a silky, rich bisque without the help of rice or cream. Quinoa adds density and richness, and the rest of the soup is simply made up of zucchini, onions, dill, and chicken stock. It's both light and filling, and, with the help of a blender, is done in a cool 30 minutes. Make it vegan by subbing vegetable stock for the chicken stock.
Grilled Asparagus, Zucchini, and Bread Salad with Olive-Caper Dressing
When panzanella salad comes to mind, you probably think of fresh tomatoes and crusty bread, all soaking up vinegar and oil. Mix things up with a totally grilled, smoky, flavorful version that uses zucchini and asparagus. It's hardy enough for a main dish, but light enough for summertime.