Summer is when zucchini grows in abundance. Perhaps you have a garden filled with zucchini or you have a generous friend who shares his or her abundance with you. Well, lucky you! Zucchini, or “courgette” in French, are a type of summer squash. They have a mild flavor that makes them perfect for pairing with any type of spice or flavor profile.
Zucchini are also healthier than you might think. They are 95 percent water which means they are low in calories and a refreshing choice in the summer. Zucchini are packed with vitamin C, vitamin A, magnesium, folate, protein and fiber. They also have more potassium than bananas! These nutrients promote bone health, heart health, muscle growth, healthy weight and aid in cancer prevention and maintain a healthy nervous system.
Some people think zucchini are bland and tasteless. Be sure to buy zucchini that are firm, heavy and on the small size. Zucchini are tastier when young but lose their flavor when they get too big. Rather than bland, think of their mild flavor as a blank canvas on which you will create your masterpiece. Try cooking with zucchini in lots of different ways. For recipes and ideas, see 10 Delicious Ways to Use All That Summer Zucchini, 10 Ways to Cook with Fresh Summer Squash and 10 Zucchini-Filled Dishes for National Zucchini Day.
So whether you’re lucky enough to be surrounded by zucchini or you have one zucchina (yes, that’s the singular of zucchini) you’re not sure what to do with, here are 15 recipes that will show you just how exciting zucchini can be.
1. Mango Zucchini Bread Ice Cream Sandwiches
Turn any quick bread into a yummy dessert like these Mango Zucchini Bread Ice Cream Sandwiches. The tropical bread is perfect for holding the creamy banana ice cream in this new twist on a classic.
2. Zucchini Chickpea Burger
Zucchini is the perfect ingredient for making moist veggie burgers like these Zucchini Chickpea Burgers. Packed with protein and flavor, these are perfect for summer grilling.
3. Maple Sweetened Zucchini Doughnuts With Date Frosting
If you like zucchini bread, you’ll love these Zucchini Doughnuts with Date Frosting! Sweetened with maple syrup and baked rather than fried, these doughnuts will remind you of muffin tops – which we all know are the best part!
4. Zucchini Chickpea Fritters
When you want something quick and simple yet still delicious, these Zucchini Chickpea Fritters are the answer. Have them with a salad or just munch on them for a flavorful snack.
5. Clean Eating Zucchini Boats With Creamy Garlic Sauce
These Clean Eating Zucchini Boats with Creamy Garlic Sauce are perfect as an entrée or as a side dish. Filled with spiced ground walnuts, the creamy garlic sauce makes these irresistible.
6. Zucchini Carrot Cupcakes With Avocado Icing
Eating healthy doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a good cupcake. These Zucchini Carrot Cupcakes are filled with healthy veggies, topped with a creamy avocado icing and they’re delicious It’s a win-win!
7. Zucchini, Corn and Red Pepper Pancakes
If you have lots of zucchini, you need to make these Zucchini, Corn and Red Pepper Pancakes. Filled with summer ingredients of zucchini, corn and basil, these pancakes are creamy and delicious.
8. Vegan Creamy Ginger-Coconut Kale Zucchini Spaghetti
Go green and love it! This Creamy Ginger-Coconut Kale Zucchini Spaghetti has green zucchini noodles and green sauce. Filled with immune-boosting superfoods, it’s so easy being green!
9. Raw Vegan Nacho Cheese Zucchini Chips
These Nacho Cheese Zucchini Chips are going to be your new favorite snack! Seasoned with spicy nacho cheese flavors, these dehydrated chips are the perfect way to use your summer zucchini.
10. Red Beet and Zucchini Pancakes With Ruccola Tarragon Salad
These colorful Red Beet and Zucchini Pancakes will be a hit. Topped with an avocado and tahini sauce and served on a ruccola salad, this dish has flavors that are distinct and delightful.
11. BBQ Pulled Zucchini
This BBQ Pulled Zucchini is a fantastic veggie alternative to traditional pulled pork. With color from beets and flavorful seasoning, even carnivores will love the pulled “pork” style filling.
12. Kolokithia (Traditional Greek Zucchini)
Go Greek with Kolokithia! This is a healthier, vegan version of the traditional Greek zucchini dish. Made with tomatoes, garlic and Greek oregano, you’ll want to make a double batch so you can have leftovers.
13. Avocado Zucchini Sushi With Brown Rice
This Avocado Zucchini Sushi with Brown Rice is creamy, rich, and super good for your body and mind. The zucchini is light, fresh and juicy so the avocado balances it out. Wrap it all up in seaweed and brown rice and you have the perfect summer dish.
14. Summer Squash Tartlets With Caramelized Onions and Tofu Ricotta
These Summer Squash Tartlets are so pretty; they would be wonderful for special parties or brunches, bridal showers or if you need to impress the in-laws. Filled with sweet caramelized onions and salty, creamy tofu ricotta, these tartlets taste great served hot or cold.
15. Fat-Free Vegan ‘Cheese’ Sauce
Cheese sauce may not come to mind when you think of zucchini but this Fat-Free Vegan “Cheese” Sauce will change that. Made with zucchini and potatoes, you can feel good about this cheesy sauce that is perfect for dipping, mac and cheese or topping baked potatoes and roasted veggies.
Make any of these amazing recipes and we guarantee you’ll never think of zucchini as bland or boring again!
Lead image source: Raw Zucchini Wrap