Home cooks, food writers, and backyard gardeners may joke about the abundance of zucchini each summer, but sometimes it’s not so funny when you’re staring at a mountain of squash on your kitchen counter and no new ideas for how to use them.
We’re here to make zucchini fun again with these 21 recipes. Yes, there’s zucchini bread and muffins. There’s quiche and a gratin. But there are also unexpected recipes like turkey meatloaf and a creamy one-pot pasta you’re going to want to make right away.
Each of these recipes starts with a good amount of shredded zucchini to help you use up the abundance, and maybe sneak some veggies into your meals as well.
Can any food with the word fritter in it not be enticing? We think not. These fritters are full of shredded zucchini, flour, green onion, herbs, and lemon, with an egg to bind them together. Gently fried, they come out crispy and oh-so-yummy. A sour cream and minced garlic dipping sauce ups that yum factor!
Cream Cheese Zucchini Muffins
Can you improve on the perfection that’s a zucchini muffin, flavored with the warm spices of cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger? It’s tough, but adding a cream cheese center takes them up a delicious notch.
Zucchini Chocolate Chip Bread
Shred zucchini. Mix the shreds into a quick bread batter. Stir in tons of chocolate chips. Bake. No one will be able to resist this delightfully fluffy and moist chocolate chip zucchini bread that works for breakfast or as a snack.
Zucchini Tomato Quiche
This quiche says summer, summer, summer. Zucchini, tomatoes, and basil are plentiful at the same time during the growing season. Use up what’s in your garden, what you bought at the farmers market, or what was super fresh at the grocery store to make this quiche in an all-butter crust. (Or go ahead and use a pre-made crust. It will still be one of your fave quiches ever!)
Turkey Zucchini Burger
Make your turkey burger juicy by adding shredded zucchini. Give it some zing on a bun with the smear of garlic mayo that’s so simple to make. Just add garlic to mayo!
Grandma’s Zucchini Cake
Grandmas make the best cakes, don’t they? This sheet cake recipe, from a grandmother of course, is full of moist zucchini, warm spices, nuts, and raisins. It’s topped with a hard-to-resist cream cheese frosting. Take it to your next potluck or BBQ and watch it disappear.
This frittata, made with shredded zucchini, potatoes, feta, and Monterey jack cheese, makes for great leftovers that you can eat cold. It’s baked in the oven in a pie plate, eliminating the sometimes harrowing task of flipping over a hot pan to remove the frittata.
Ground turkey can be a little dry, but the genius trick to making sure turkey meatloaf isn’t dry is to add shredded zucchini (and carrots) to add plenty of moisture. Plus, you get some added vegetables that technically, you aren’t just adding to sneakily get your family to eat more veggies. You could bake this in a loaf pan, but it works really well as a free form meatloaf, too.
Creamy One-Pot Pasta With Zucchini
Here’s a way of using up zucchini that you may not have thought of, and it’s all done in one pot. Sauté shredded zucchini until it caramelizes and has a jammy consistency. Cook pasta and cream cheese in boiling water (yes, both at the same time). Add the jammy zucchini and lemon to the pasta and what has become a creamy sauce. Top with walnuts.
Zucchini Walnut Pancakes
Zucchini bread meats pancakes in this recipe for sweet, zucchini walnut pancakes made with whole wheat flour, tangy buttermilk, cinnamon, and lemon. Real maple syrup or a drizzle of thin honey is a must.
Greek Chicken Meatballs
We’ve already established that zucchini adds moisture to breads and meatloaf. It also adds moisture to meatballs. These Greek meatballs made with ground chicken might dry out without the addition of shredded zucchini, but with it, they become tender morsels that are perfect with a side of tangy yogurt sauce.
Chocolate Zucchini Bread
If fresh garden zucchini is piling up in your kitchen, this bread is a life saver because it uses a whole four cups of grated zucchini. The addition of natural unsweetened cocoa takes it from yum to YUM, and instant coffee and almond extract intensify its flavors.
Zucchini and Spinach Gratin
This classic French gratin is bursting with grated zucchini, spinach, and onions sautéed with bacon, parsley, and garlic, all bound together with eggs and Parmesan. It’s a great side dish for baked ham.
Cheesy Zucchini Bites
These are kind of like tater tots, with no potatoes. Or broccoli cheddar bites, without the broccoli. Made in a mini muffin pan, these little zucchini and cheese-filled bites are perfect for breakfast, a quick snack, or a school lunch.
Zucchini Carrot Bread
Take regular zucchini bread up a notch with the addition of shredded carrots for sweetness, freshly grated orange zest for brightness, warm baking spices, and a powdered sugar glaze. Top it all with grated coconut.
Easy Zucchini Bread
Zucchini bread is so versatile, and this easy recipe has plenty of ideas for customizing this quick bread. Use gluten-free flour, if you want. Add nuts, or not. Add raisins, or not. Add dried cranberries, or not. You get the gist.
Spicy Turkey and Zucchini Burger
Turkey burgers get moist (and kinda fancy pants) with the addition of shredded zucchini plus fresh herbs and dried herbs cumin and cayenne. Serve with a side of lemony sour cream sauce.
Chocolate Cranberry Zucchini Muffins
Tart cranberries complement sweet chocolate. A sprinkling of chopped green pistachios and some almond flour bring nuttiness. Zucchini keeps it all from getting dry. This is the unexpected muffin you didn’t know you needed for breakfast or a midday snack.
Black Bean Burgers With Spicy Mayonnaise
This vegetarian alternative to the standard beef burgers of summer is full of black beans, veggies (including shredded zucchini), and breadcrumbs, bound together with an egg. They’re super simple to make in the food processor and fry up quickly in a pan.
Chocolate Zucchini Cake
When you’re asked to bring a cake to the next summer gathering, this is the one to take. Made in a Bundt pan, it’s flavored with chocolate, shredded zucchini, orange peel, and pecans, then drizzled with a sweet sugar glaze.
Zucchini Bread With Pineapple
The options for adding flavor to zucchini bread seem endless. In this version, crushed pineapple adds sweetness and more moistness. This recipe makes two loaves. One for eating now, and one for freezing for later.