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How To Cope When You Have Too Much Zucchini


Zucchinis are like rabbits-they multiply quickly, seemingly overnight.  That little plant that looked so innocent in spring now is producing five offspring a day that you have no idea what to do with.  Heaven help you if you planted more than one or two.

Every time I turn around, another zucchini has matured on my plants.  I was excited for the first 4 or 5, and loved serving them fried with cheese or in fritters.  10 zucchinis later and I’m desperate for something different.

Instead of putting it in bags and hanging it on my neighbours doors, I’ve come up with a couple of different ways to use up the surplus.

How to Clean Zucchini

Start by chopping off both ends.  Scoop out the seedy part with a tablespoon, unless your zucchini is small.  Peel off the skin with a vegetable peeler or knife.

Word to the wise: baseball bat sized zucchinis are impressive and tempting to purchase at the farmers market butthey are really difficult to peel and cut.  They also do not taste as good on their own and are best shredded up for use in something else.

Shred & Freeze Zucchini for Future Use

Package your zucchini in 1 or 2 cup amounts in freezer safe bags and freeze.  Use all winter long to add some extra nutrition to your meals.

You can use either a cheese grater or a food processer, although the food processer is a lot faster.

Yes–it really is that simple. When you thaw the zucchini, it will be soggy, so you may need to squeeze the excess water out of it if you don’t need the moisture in your recipe.


Now that you’ve processed it, how do you eat all of that zucchini?  Here are some of my favourite ways.

Fried and Breaded with Cheese

Get the recipe here!

This is my go to method of eating zucchini for at least the first 5 that I harvest.  After that, I get more creative.

I also like to cut it up in small chunks and fry it with kale, onions, and mushrooms.  So delicious!!

Side note: one of my best friends does not enjoy eating zucchini or summer squash, but she asks for seconds if I make it like this.

Pickle it in relish

You can easily sub in up to half the amount of cucumbers in your relish recipe without anyone knowing the difference.  If you’re really brave you can pickle them by themselves too.

Related: The Elusive Red Relish

Hide it in Tomato Sauce and Salsa

Your favourite tomato sauce just got healthier.  We prefer our tomato sauce with bits of carrot, onions, peppers, and zucchini. This is the recipe I use most often.

Bake it and tell Yourself it’s Healthy

Muffins, bread, cake, and even brownies can all get the zucchini treatment.

Lemon Poppyseed Zucchini Muffins

Zucchini Strawberry Cake

White Zucchini Cupcakes

I make these ones all the time for my son and he never notices that there’s zucchini in them. I also find that the addition of zucchini helps the muffin to not dry out as fast.

Zucchini Brownies

[clickToTweet tweet=”Go beyond the chocolate cake. 10+ ways to use zucchini” quote=”Go beyond the chocolate cake. 10+ ways to use zucchini”]

Sneak it into a sandwich

When you think of zucchini bread, you probably think of the classic with poppy seed or chocolate.  This sandwich bread is great for everyday.

Zucchini Sandwich Bread

Substitute them for Noodles

A great solution for all of you who follow a low-carb, keto, or paleo diet.

Make it as a Main Dish

I love quiche because its perfect for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  Make it tonight and enjoy the leftovers for any meal.

Zucchini Tomato Bacon Quiche

Or hide it in meatballs. . .

or in a delicious late summer soup. . .

However you enjoy it or hide it, be sure to pin for later!

What’s your favourite way to eat zucchini or summer squash?  Let me know in the comments!

For the latest updates and behind the scenes glimpses, be sure to follow me on Facebook and Instagram.

Kristen Raney

Kristen Raney

Kristen is a former farm kid turned urban gardener who owns the popular gardening website, Shifting Roots.  She is obsessed with growing flowers and pushing the limits of what can be grown in her zone 3b garden.  She also loves to grow tomatoes, but oddly enough, dislikes eating them raw.

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Hi, I'm Kristen and I help new gardeners learn to grow their own vegetables and beautify their yards. I also share recipes that use all that delicious garden produce. Grab a coffee (and your gardening gloves) and join me for gardening tips, simple recipes, and the occasional DIY, all from the lovely city of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

P.S. First time gardener? You'll want to download the quick start gardening guide below!