287 Zucchini Recipes We’re Trying This Summer
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The first year we had a garden, we did a terrible job protecting our plants from hungry critters. And because we didn’t put up a real fence, opportunistic bunnies chewed each of our plants down to the stubs.
A trip to Home Depot and a hundred bucks later, we bought enough crap to start the process over. Not only did we provide our garden with ample protection from animals this time, but we replanted our tomatoes, cucumbers, and kale. Lesson learned.
The next year, we had the fencing down pat. On the other hand, we decided to take our gardening efforts up a notch – and with disastrous results. In addition to the things we would normally plant, I added strawberries, melons, cilantro, and herbs. Unfortunately, I spaced these plants out so horribly that they practically killed each other over night. Again, lesson learned.
Enjoying a Summer of Free Food
Years later, I finally have this gardening thing down. To add an extra layer of protection to our white picket fence, we have some mesh fencing that keeps the critters out. And instead of trying to grow everything under the sun, we focus on four plants that let us maximize our land – basil, tomatoes, cucumbers, and zucchini.
This year has been absolutely nuts. While my tomato plants did “okay,” my squash and cucumbers took on a life of their own. As a result, we have had to get a little creative with our meal planning lately – as in, we eat garden vegetables for every meal!
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One of my neighbors taught me how to pickle cucumbers and onions, and that helped a lot. With a few ingredients and twelve hours of refrigeration, I am able to make a fresh and simple side dish we can enjoy for days.
When it comes to the tomatoes and basil, that shit’s easy. Not only do we eat a caprese salad for lunch each day, but I make basil pesto once a week. This helps me make some tasty meals, including this one below:
4 Fun Ways to Eat Zucchini
Still, the zucchini has been relentless. I mean, I can’t even believe how much zucchini we got from just four plants. While I’m not actually aware of 287 ways to eat zucchini (I exaggerated, okay?), here are a few fun zucchini recipes we have used this summer:
Zucchini with Goat Cheese and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
- Zucchini, sliced
- Sun-dried tomatoes
- Goat cheese
This appetizer is super easy to make. Slice your zucchini for preferred thickness, then top it with goat cheese and a sun-dried tomato or two. Yum.
- Zucchini, sliced
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
Here’s another one of my super simple zucchini recipes. Once I slice the zucchini how I want it, I slather it with olive oil and add some salt and pepper. After it’s prepped, we throw it on the grill for 5-8 minutes.
- Zucchini, spiralized
- Olive oil
- Salt and Pepper
After buying a cheap spiralizer that didn’t actually work, I eventually bought a nicer one. It has come in handy for several recipes already, including both veggie pasta and pickled cucumbers. It’s easy to use, too.
Once I spiralize a bunch of zucchini, I throw it in a pan with some olive oil and let it simmer for around fifteen minutes. After that, I top it with pasta sauce or basil pesto from my garden. Boom.
So, I totally stole this zucchini recipe from the Food Network and Paula Deen. You can read all the ingredients and steps here. This stuff is good, plus it’s easy to make. I’m really not that into baked goods, and even I thought it was awesome.
Throw a thick layer of butter on the top and it’s practically heaven. Better yet, I think it’s going to freeze well, too.
Oh, who am I kidding? We’re going to eat all four loaves this week. Believe that.
Making Fun Zucchini Recipes
Beyond the initial start-up costs, our garden has been a fairly inexpensive endeavor. Since we’re eating squash, tomatoes, cucumbers, and basil for every meal, I haven’t actually bought vegetables all summer. And since we’re eating vegetables as our main course in most cases, we haven’t purchased a lot of the ingredients I normally cook with, either.
Although I’m starting to get sick of having zucchini for every meal, I know I’ll miss it when the surge of fresh veggies comes to an end. I always do. So, for now, I’m going to enjoy it. And hopefully, I’ll come up with a few more ways to eat zucchini before summer ends. Next up, this recipe for zucchini fries!
If you have a favorite recipe, please post below!
How did your garden work out this summer? What did you plant, and why?
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Isn’t it amazing how much zucchini you get from one plant! Zucchini bread is my all-time favorite, although it grills up pretty well too!
My 4 year old son tells everyone zucchini is his favorite food. We probably grill zucchini two – three times a week. His favorite way to have it grilled is to add some of the Soyaki sauce from Trader Joe’s on it.
I love me some zucchini bread! I don’t know the recipe, but my mom makes a pretty killer one. Delicious… And healthy?! Maybe…
One of my favorite ways of using zucchini is grating it and adding it to cornbread mix and making mini cornbread muffins. Super cheap and tasty, and great for a quick breakfast on the run!
Tomatoes and cucumbers.. delicious choices for 2 of your 4 plantings, I could eat them every day – never get sick of them.
As for your zucchini – sounds like you’ve got a solid tasty selection of meals, if you’re feeling like turning the humble zucchini into a more sweet and decadent treat you could try out zucchini brownies; the ones I make are sugar-free and low carb! I’m sure you’d find the recipe googling “low carb zucchini brownies” if you wanted to give them a whirl, I usually use one medium zucchini for each batch so it is a decent use of them (and you get to feel less guilty about the deliciousness because it’s basically baked vegetables with that much zucchini.. right?).
I feel like I’ve never said zucchini so many times in my life.
Love the zucchini! Thanks for sharing the ideas! I like to saute the zucchini with onion and garlic (lots of garlic) and then add in cherry tomatoes (halved) in the last 2 minutes of cooking. A little salt/pepper and it’s so good!!! But, really grilling them is the best!
Unfortunately, the squash bugs won the battle this year and we’ve only harvested around 20-30 lbs. Trying to go organic on the produce, but the little buggers were getting time consuming to pick off. Hoping to find a solution for next year’s crop.
Everything sounds delicious! My favorite way to enjoy zucchini is sautéed with some olive oil, garlic, and seasoned bread crumbs. If you let the zucchini carmelize a bit in the pan, it’s even better.
That all looks delicious! You had me at caprese and killed me with the zucchini bread.
I’m OBSESSED with grilled zuchinni and pasta. Not lying, it’s like heroin.
I must to confess I like zucchini only when they’re combined with other ingredients, however you can find a lot of recipes in the web vegan and vegetarian…on eof my favorite is zucchini roasted sticks with parmesan cheese and bread…simple and good!!!
My favorite recipe book for excess produce is The Victory Garden Cookbook. Parts of it are available as “previews” from google books. It goes in an out of print, but several versions are available used. (They have multiple recipes for zucchini bread depending on how much you’re trying to get rid of!)
I love making zucchini pasta with my noodle maker. I also love cutting them up into pickle sizes and sprinkle some seasoning on it and cooking them in the oven. They’re a great replacement if you’re trying to cut down your fry consumption (I am, ha!).
I always find it funny that we call it something different over here (courgette) 🙂 the goats cheese one looks delicious, I never buy goats cheese for some reason, I will have to give that one a go.
I had no idea that you guys called it by a different name! Love you Brits 🙂
The goat cheese is delicious. It makes for a tasty app. I highly recommend it!
One zucchini recipe I really like is Smitten Kitchen’s Zucchini Bread Pancakes. https://smittenkitchen.com/2012/07/zucchini-bread-pancakes/
I make mine with coconut oil instead of the olive oil, and they are so tasty.
I also really like the grilled zucchini, but I like them with lemon juice added to the oil, and some fresh herbs are great too, maybe some of your basil would be nice.
Great recipes! I love my garden and seasonal eating as a way to save money. Garden food is way fresher than the grocery store! My squash are just about in season and I am so excited to try a ton of new butternut squash recipes.
I just fry up zucchini slices using cornstarch and salt, but I’m curious about trying the fritters with grated zucchini, since more of the moisture would be pulled out. Might make for easier frying. Thanks for the recipes!