Seven Fresh Ideas for Extra Zucchini

Zucchini is easy to grow, but a single plant can produce a staggering amount of squash – and there’s a world of options beyond zucchini bread. Read on to get creative with all that extra squash you grew (or snagged from the “free” table at work).

  1. Freeze it. There are two ways to go with this:
    1. Want to make baked goods with it? Shred it and seal in plastic freezer bags that each contain enough for one recipe (typically two cups for quick breads, one cup for muffins). Just be sure to drain it when you thaw it out.
    2. Want to use it in stews, stir-frys and the like? Cube it, blanch it (this kills key enzymes so it won’t go mushy), freeze in a single layer on parchment-lined cookie sheets, then toss into plastic freezer bags.
  2. Pickle it. There are plenty of quick-pickling recipes out there, and jars of pickled homegrown zucchini make great hostess gifts, back-to-school gifts for teachers, presents for new neighbors.
  3. Hide it. Shredded zucchini practically melts into any baked good you can think of, plus pancakes, waffles, smoothies…
  4. Noodle it. Slice it very thin lengthwise and use in place of lasagna noodles. Put it through a spiral cutter, sauté briefly with olive oil and garlic, and toss with your favorite pasta sauce or freshly shredded parmesan.
  5. Shred it. Add it to cole slaw, a salad, or a smoothie.
  6. Stuff it. Slice lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, and add a simple stuffing such as quinoa, feta and finely diced tomatoes. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Or roast cubed zucchini – toss in olive oil and your favorite herbs plus salt and pepper, then bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes.
  7. Baby it. Tiny zucchini are sweet and delicious. Pick them when they’re three or four inches long, then slice them into salads. Alternatively, steam and toss with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and Kalamata olives for an easy summer side dish.