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A Cook's Guide to Zucchini Squash

by Lindsey Sexton - August 24, 2021


Zucchini squash is a good source of vitamin C providing 15% of the daily recommended amount in just ½ cup. Zucchini contains no fat and no cholesterol making it a great option to include in meals. It has many uses and can be eaten fresh, sauteed, baked, boiled, or roasted. Zucchini can be incorporated into soups and baked items, such as quick breads and casseroles. Some can even be used as substitutions for pasta noodles!  

How to Buy Zucchini Squash

Zucchini can grow quite large, but when allowed to do so, they have coarse, stringy flesh and large seeds. Fresh zucchini tastes best when small to medium in size – not more than 7 inches long. Choose zucchini that are also firm and fairly heavy for their size. Look for zucchini with sound, glossy exteriors free of nicks, pits, bruises, or soft spots. zucchini should be plump not shriveled. 

How to Store Zucchini Squash

Once home, place zucchini in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator and refrigerate for up to one week.

What can I make with zucchini squash?

Wash fresh zucchini well and trim the ends, no peeling or seeding required. Zucchini can be prepared in various ways when used as a side dish or added to other recipes. Because the vegetable is mostly water, it will release a lot of liquid during cooking. If you want to prevent a cooked dish from becoming “watery,” lightly salt cut squash 30 minutes before cooking. Next, rinse and drain the squash well after salting. Then, pat dry with paper towels and proceed with the recipe.

Some of our favorites are linked below:

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

Filled with zucchini and whole wheat flour, this super moist Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread offers chocolate chips in every bite. Pair with a glass of low-fat or fat-free milk for a rich and complete snack.

Sautéed Zucchini

Whether you have zucchini squash, yellow crookneck squash, zephyr or patty pan, this simple side brightens any meal.

Summer Chili

If you're looking to stretch your food dollars, try Summer Chili! This recipe offers 8 servings and nearly 5 grams of fiber in each one.

Summer Squash Bread

This sweet quick bread makes enough for a crowd. By then end of cooking, you'll have a loaf for you and a friend. If raisins aren't to your liking, try dried cranberries or cherries.

Zucchini and Tomatoes

This fresh take on a old classic is a tasty side for any main dish or serve over chicken and pasta for a complete MyPlate meal.

Zucchini Bread

Zucchini Bread is a fantastic way to add vegetables and whole grains to your daily diet. And using whole wheat flour gives this quick bread a warm nutty flavor. Serve a slice with a glass of low-fat or non-fat milk to make a hearty breakfast or snack.

Zucchini Fritters

Did you know half a cup of summer squash provides 15% of your recommended daily intake of Vitamin C? When using zucchini for this recipe, choose squash that is firm, plump, and heavy for their size.

Zucchini Rice Casserole

Looking to feed a crowd? This zucchini recipe makes 10 servings and is filled with color and flavor!