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12 Ways to Make a Zucchini Surplus Disappear – With Recipes

So you decided to grow zucchini and now you have a zucchini surplus? Not to worry, my dear! Keep reading for 12 easy recipes that will put that surplus to good use and let you vary it up so that you’re not eating too much of the same dish!

1. Eat As Is!

There’s no doubt about it, zucchini is a cool and refreshing veggie and she’s great all on her own. While you can top her with your fave mayo or salad dressing, zucchini makes an excellent veggie crudité. Along with sliced carrots, cukes, and peppers, you can make a veggie platter with your fave hummus, cheese spread, or dip. Try this simple homemade guacamole recipe. You might want to double or triple the recipe if there’s party action afoot!

Simple Guacamole

• 2 avocados
• 2 small tomatoes, peeled and pushed through sieve to remove seeds*
• 1 tsp lime juice
• 1 tsp lemon juice
• 1 tsp sea salt, or to taste

Puree in a food processor.
*You can also puree tomatoes in a food processor, pour into a nut milk bag and squeeze out the juice. The peels and seeds will be left in the nut milk bag!

Read more: Growing Chayote Squash

2. Whip Up Some Zucchini Hummus

fresh zucchini surplusYes you can make hummus sans chickpeas! Sub in the zucchini, add in some herbs and seeds, and voila! Feel free to use this spread in the previous idea mentioned (that is, use this zuke hummus on zucchini!).

Herby Zucchini Hummus

• 3 medium-large zucchinis, peeled and chopped
• 1 handful each fresh coriander, parsley & dill
• 4 Tbsp each sunflower & pumpkin seed (soaked 4 hours & drained before using)
• 4 Tbsp sesame seed-> grind seeds in a coffee mill before using
• 1 Tbsp miso
• A splash of tamari (wheat-free for those with gluten allergies)
• To taste: Ginger, Turmeric & Herbamare aromatic sea salt

Blend all ingredients in a food processor ’til they reach a smooth consistency, adding in a touch of ginger, turmeric and Herbamare sea salt to taste.

Read more: How to Use Squash Pits for Bigger Garden Yields

3. Noodle ‘Em And Eat Like Pasta

Using a spiralizer, it’s easy to make zucchini into noodles. Then simply add in your fave pasta sauce, and done! During hot summer days, having a room temp pasta sauce over noodles is refreshing, but you can warm up your sauce, too. An alfredo sauce also tastes nice.

4. Make No-Bake Lasagna

Yes, lasagna noodles are usually made with flour, but this easy to make version requires no cooking at all (just make sure you have some pasta sauce on hand).

Easy No-Bake Veggie Lasagna

• 4-6 large zucchini
• 1 bunch kale
• 3-4 Tbsp lemon juice
• 1-2 tsp sea salt
• Your fave tomato sauce
• Shredded mozzarella or cheddar cheese or vegan shredded cheese

Remove stems from kale leaves with a knife or tear the leaves from the stems. Blend kale leaves with lemon juice and salt in the food processor. Let marinate to soften, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, peel zucchini. Using a mandolin or peeler, slice zucchini into long strips lengthwise. When you reach the seeds, do the other side (no seeds in the slices; save these bits for another recipe). In a square pan, layer slightly overlapping slices of zucchini to cover the bottom (cut slices to fit pan as needed). You can add a second layer of zucchini “lasagna noodles,” if you like. Spoon tomato sauce over the zucchini noodles. Next, add a layer of marinated kale, then top with a layer of shredded cheese. Cover with a layer of overlapping zucchini slices. Repeat this process a second or third time (sauce, kale and cheese then zucchini slices). Top with a final layer of tomato sauce. Serve or refrigerate before serving. Cut into square pieces and lift out with a spatula.

Tip: if you find your lasagna falls apart too easily, line your square pan with parchment paper first before making the lasagna. Refrigerate to set. Gently lift out the lasagna (with the parchment paper) onto a serving plate and slice into squares before serving. Gently pushing down on each layer while making the lasagna will also help, as will making sure the tomato sauce you use is thick and not on the runny side.

Variation: sprinkle nutritional yeast on the top layer of tomato sauce.
Variation: Add in 1/3-1/2 cup nutritional yeast to your tomato sauce to give it a cheesy feel.
Variation: Use spinach instead of kale or use a combination of spinach/kale.
Variation: Use your favorite nut paté instead of the cheese.

5. Do Zucchini Roll Ups

carrot-and-beet-zucchini-roll-ups
These hors-d’oeuvres are simple to make and they look elegant too.

Carrot & Beet Zucchini Roll Ups

• 2-3 zucchini
• 1-2 beets, peeled & spiraled into angel hair
• 1-2 carrots, peeled & spiraled into angel hair
• Your fave thick hummus, pate, cheese spread or nut pate

Peel zucchini. Slice lengthwise into long strips using a mandolin or peeler. When you get to the seeds, turn the zucchini over and continue to slice lengthwise into long strips (no seeds in the slices; save these bits for other recipes). Put 1/8-1/4 tsp of your favorite paté or spread on the edge of a zucchini slice closest to you. Add a pinch of beet “noodles” or carrot “noodles” or both on top of the spread, slightly more to the left-hand side (you want the noodles to remain in the roll but also to stick out). Roll tightly and stand the roll up. Use a bit of the spread to keep any edges from coming undone. Alternatively, use a toothpick to keep the edges together or leave the rolls seam-side down.

Note: using gloves when working with beets is a good idea to prevent your hands from getting stained.

6. Juice ‘Em

Smoothie time. Zucchinis almost take like cukes, so why not make delish veggie juices, like this:

Tomato and Zuke Refresher

• 3 tomatoes, peeled if you like, & chopped
• 1 zucchini, peeled if you like, & chopped

Blend in a high speed blender and serve.

Variation: Add in 1 additional zucchini and 1 bunch celery. Blend in a high speed blender and drink as a smoothie, or strain through a nut milk bag and drink as juice.

7. Zucchini Surplus Lovin’ In The Oven: Make Up A Batch Of Zuke Muffins

Hopefully you’ve been teaching the kids that veggies like zucchini are packed with nutrients and they won’t mind helping you out to make these num-nums.

Figgy Zucchini Muffins

Dry Ingredients
• 1 3/4 cups brown rice flour
• 2 Tbsp ground flax
• 1 tsp cinnamon
• 1/2 cup dried figs pulsed to small bits in the food processor OR raisins
• 1/2 tsp baking powder (optional)
• 1/2 tsp baking soda (optional)

Wet Ingredients
• 1 cup shredded zucchini
• 1/2 cup milk or non-dairy milk
• 1/3 cup maple syrup OR coconut sugar
• 1/3 cup water
• 1 tsp vanilla
• 2 Tbsp coconut oil (optional)
• Stevia, to taste, as desired

Mix dry ingredients together and then mix wet ingredients in a separate bowl. Pour wet over dry and stir until combined. Taste test batter and add in stevia, if needed, to your sweet-liking-taste. Pour batter into a 12 muffin tin lined with soy-based muffin cups or greased with coconut oil. Bake at 350°F 18-23 minutes or until done.

Notes & Variations: 1-The baking soda and powder are to help give the dough rise, however these added salts can be omitted as the dough will not rise much anyway in these hearty num-nums! 2- The coconut oil can be easily omitted. The fat helps to give richness to this recipe. You can replace the oil with 2 Tbsp water or milk, or leave it out altogether. 3- If using coconut sugar and you find your batter too thick, simply add in about 1/4 cup more water or milk. 4- If you’d like to use 2 eggs in this recipe instead, then omit the flax (in the dry ingredients) and 1/3 cup water (in the wet ingredients). 5- For a sweeter version, use 1/2 cup chocolate chips instead of the figs.

empty-zucchini-boats

8. Stuff ‘Em

Just like stuffed peppers or tomatoes, but these are more like zucchini boats. How to? Simply hollow out the fleshy seeds, add in your fave cooked grains and cook ’em! Try stuffing them with this Quinoa Tabbouleh recipe. You can use sprouted or unsprouted quinoa*. If you use unsprouted quinoa, rinse the quinoa well first before cooking. Note that sprouted quinoa has a pleasant, corn-like taste. This recipe is also great as a salad on its own!

Quinoa Tabbouleh

The Salad
• 4 cups sprouted or cooked quinoa*
• 3/4 cup sprouted or cooked lentils OR mung beans OR a combination
• 1 pkg 200g cherry tomatoes OR 3 Roma tomatoes diced small
• 4-5 celery sticks, diced small
• 2 medium OR 1 large cucumber OR zucchini, diced small
• 1/2 red onion, diced small
• 1 handful fresh parsley OR coriander OR a combination
• 1-2 Tbsp fresh mint leaves, chopped fine
• 2 Tbsp fresh chopped dill (optional, but use it if you have it)
• 3/4 cup raisins OR cranberries OR a combination, for sweetness
• 1/2 tsp sea salt, or to taste

Mix all together.

The Vinaigrette
• 1/4 cup sesame seed-> grind in a coffee mill
• Juice of 2 lemons or 1/4 cup
• 2 cloves garlic, crushed
• 1-2 tsp Herbamare OR sea salt
• 1/8 cup water, or more, for consistency

Whip the dressing in a high speed blender and pour over salad; mix well. Refrigerate several hours to let marinate. Serve as is or stuff into hollowed out zucchinis, tomatoes or bell peppers.

To cook: place stuffed zucchini boats cut side up in a large baking pan or parchment-lined cookie sheet. Cover with aluminium foil and bake at 375°F for about 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 8-10 minutes.

*To sprout quinoa: soak 2 cups quinoa in a 1-liter mason jar 8 hours or overnight. Using a fine mesh sieve, drain and rinse the quinoa several times until the water runs clear. Let the quinoa sit in the jar for about 24 hours. You’ll see “tails” or sprouts forming. Rinse before using.

9. Go Crazy Over Zucchini Fries

Instead of the usual potato fare, try this easy-to-do recipe.

Zucchini Fries

• 2 zucchini
• 2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
• 1/2 cup bread crumbs (gluten-free for those with allergies), or more as needed

Peel the zucchini and slice ’em into rounds or julienne them. Toss them with the coconut oil then dip ’em to cover in the breadcrumbs. Place the fries on parchment lined cookie sheets (or use silicone mats) and bake at 425°F 20-30 min.

10. Pickle ‘Em

Yep, just like cukes, you can make pickles outta these. Easy-peasy, too, and they’ll keep in the fridge for up to 3 months. This version uses probiotic-friendly apple cider vinegar with “mother” and uses less sugar compared to other recipes. Feel free to experiment with this recipe and change it as you see fit!

Zucchini Pickles

• 2 lbs. small zucchini , edges trimmed and sliced thinly
• 1 yellow onion, sliced thinly OR 1 1/4 cup chopped chives
• 2 Tbsp sea salt
• 2 cups apple cider vinegar with “mother”
• 1/2 cup spring water
• 1/4-1/2 cup coconut sugar
• About a dozen sprigs dill OR 3-4 sprigs rosemary + 6-8 sage leaves
• 2 tsp mustard seed (optional)

Make a cold salt water bath: in a bowl, add the salt to the zucchini and onion slices and massage in with your fingers; then cover with cold water and ice and let sit 1 hour. Meanwhile, make the brine: dissolve the sugar in the water by gently letting it come to a boil and then simmering about 3-4 minutes. Let it cool until warm. Gently warm the apple cider vinegar until finger hot in a separate pot; then add the apple cinder vinegar to the sugary water.

Drain the water and ice from the zucchini and onion. Pat the slices dry with paper towels or clean tea towels. Add them to the sugary brine. Divide the mixture equally and transfer into sterilized mason jars. Refrigerate for 2-3 days before eating. Pickles will keep for about 2-3 months in the fridge.

Note: you can also make these without the onions. If you’d prefer a more sugary taste, you can add up to 1 cup coconut sugar.

11. Freeze ‘Em

Yes, zucchini is freezable, which means you can use her in future recipes come the winter. Simply cut into rounds and place on a cookie sheet. Let freeze then transfer the rounds to a freezer storage bag and keep frozen.

Read more: Grow Pumpkins in Time for Halloween

12. Get Creative

Here are a few other ideas of what you can do with zucchini:

• The Classic: chop ’em and add ’em to soups and stews
• The Modern: add thinly sliced zucchini as a topping on homemade pizza
• The BBQ Jamboree: grill’em. You can then eat them as is or stuff them like in idea #8. To do: cut off the ends and hollow out the seeds. Grill 3-5 minutes on medium-high heat. Stuff ’em and grill ’em an additional 8-10 minutes.
• The High-End Soiree: get fussy and make ratatouille. Zucchini is a main ingredient in this stunning and colorful dish, alternating with eggplant, tomatoes and roasted bell peppers on a bed of tomato sauce. Various versions exist, from displaying the veggies on a hot curry sauce to showcasing them in a fluted pie shell. Find the one that suits you and go for it!

And the moral of this zucchini story? You can never have too much zucchini. Whatever way you choose to eat it, you know you’ll be getting in some nutritious home grown lovin’!

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This post was written by Catherine Wilson

COMMENTS(0)

  • Patricia says:

    Oh, thank God. My zucchini are running out of my ears!!

    1. Cat says:

      Patricia,

      You are very welcome! Have fun using up all that zucchini! Remember that pickling and freezing are 2 ways you can preserve your zucchini for future use! Enjoy!

  • Bonnie says:

    Very nice article. Thank you for taking the time to write down all these recipes. We never seem to have enough zucchini at our house. We use it in every thing and love the little guys raw.

    1. Cat says:

      Bonnie,

      You are so welcome! If you are anyone else would like more zucchini recipes, I posted 2 other zuke recipes on my blog http://www.gowildbefree.com/go-wild-be-free-recipes (a juice recipe and a chocalte cake recipe using carob—sugar, dairy, egg and gluten-free).

      Juicing is a great way to up raw zucchini 🙂

      Enjoy!

  • Thanks for taking the time to write such a fine article on zuchinni. I am saving it:)

    1. Cat says:

      Laurie,

      Great! I hope you enjoy making the recipes! Have fun 🙂

  • Dan says:

    Amazing… well written article. Makes me feel good about the 101 zucchini I have in my patch!

    1. Cat says:

      Dan,

      I have to say, I envy you!

      I hope you enjoy making tons of recipes with all your zucchini 🙂

  • david lee says:

    Several years ago I read an article that said to dehydrate them and use later in soups or stews.

    1. Cat says:

      David,

      How right you are! Yes, you can also dehydrate zucchini for future use.

      To do: shred zucchini and place a thin layer on a solid sheet in the dehydrator. Dehydrate at 115F overnight or until dry. Store in sealed bags. The best is if you can vacuum seal the bags.

      Another idea is to make zucchini chips in the dehydrator: slice thinly with a peeler or mandolin, add sea salt & olive oil or coconut oil (optional about the oil), then place in a single layer on a solid sheet in the dehydrator. Dehydrate overnight or until dry. Store in sealed bags—again vacuum packing the bags will keep the chips longer.

      I hope you enjoyed the article and thanks for your feedback! 🙂

      PS. To anyone who is reading the comments, Here are two other ideas for using zucchini!

  • Katy says:

    13) Grind or chop them and put them in meatloaf.
    14) Shredded or cubed, they are great in spaghetti or any tomato sauce.
    15) They are great on pizza.
    16) Saute them up with scrambled eggs or put in a quiche.
    17) Ground, they can go in any old chocolate cake mix and no one will know they are there.

    My boyfriend absolutely hates zucchini. He eats it all the time and has no clue. Shhhhh

    1. Cat says:

      Katy,

      Glad to see you have some ways of adding zucchini to your recipes without your boyfriend knowing 🙂 Hope he “enjoys” the other zucchini ideas as much as you do!

  • Kevin says:

    Thanks for all the ideas. In the pickling section you mention “mother.” What is that?

    1. Cat says:

      Hi Kevin,

      Apple cider vinegar with “mother” is apple cider vinegar that has strands of living enzymes used to ferment the product. These strands are essentially friendly bacteria and are beneficial to maintaining a healthy gut flora.

      You can also use just apple cider in the recipe, but you won’t get the same digestive “benefits.”

      Hope this answers your question 🙂

  • Tasha Greer says:

    Love the wrap idea and the no bake lasagna- perfect to take to potlucks! Any ideas for cucumbers? I’ve made cocktails, “white gazpacho”, a host of salads, “sushi” rolls, canapes, lacto-fermented pickles, and sorbet, but now my creativity is sapped…

    1. Cat says:

      Tasha,

      Those are some pretty creative ways to use up cukes! How about juicing them or using them in smoothies? They are good to use to make salad dressings. You can also freeze them: do a search for freezer pickles.

      Hope this helps, and good luck with your cuke recipes 🙂

  • Debbie says:

    Some years ago, a store where I used to live sold something I think they called Greek salad. It was made with chunks of raw zucchini and other vegetables in a vinaigrette dressing. I don’t remember what the other vegetables were, but I think they included tomatoes, peppers, onions, celery, and black olives. The salad was really good, and made me decide that I like zucchini better raw than cooked.

    1. Cat says:

      Hi Debbie,

      That sounds yummy! I’m glad you enjoy eating zucchini raw. Juicing them and making smoothies with them are other great ideas for enjoying them “in the raw.”

      Hm, that Greek salad makes me think of the Lebanese dish Fatoush. Have you ever had that? Mighty tasty!

      Thanks for your feedback 🙂

      Cat

      1. Debbie says:

        No, I had never heard of Fatoush, so I had to look it up. Although I don’t see zucchini listed as one of the ingredients, it looks like something I will have to try. A lot of the recipes call for sumac, which I have never seen in stores, only growing along the side of the road. I have lemon balm growing in my yard, and wonder if I can use that instead. Given the variety of ingredients in the recipes I found, I don’t see why I cannot add some zucchini as well. I finally picked my first one yesterday. 🙂 Thanks for the great article!

        1. Cat says:

          Debbie,

          Yes, Fatoush is essentially making a salad with a dressing and then adding in bread. You can use pita, tortilla, crusty bread, but bake it first. Then comes the usual salad of lettuce, cuke, tomato, some fresh dill/parsley/coriander, mint if you like and some beans, any kind. You can replace the cucumber with zucchini or do a combination of both. I like using cherry tomatoes for their sweetness. The dressing is usually oil, lemon juice, ground sesame seeds and some lemon juice.

          Lemon balm might taste nice in Fatoush, you’re right, maybe even some wood sorrel (oxalis acetosella) or sheep sorrel. The sorrels both have oxalic acid, FYI.

          Sumac! Makes a wonderful lemonade. So does wood sorrel. I’ll have to write about them in a future article, I suppose 🙂

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