6 Kid-Tested Zucchini Dishes for Summer

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If you’re a gardener, or you’ve been to the grocery store and seen it on sale, you know the zucchini has officially arrived. We have a ton of the stuff popping up in our small garden beds, which means we’re eating a ton of the stuff every day. These are my favorite kid-tested zucchini recipes, offering enough variety to keep everyone eating the good stuff all summer long.

Zucchini Ribbon Pasta

Long tendrils of zucchini combined with tender fettuccine noodles are the base of Ellie Krieger’s lightened-up Italian meal (pictured above). But it’s the garlic, Parmesan cheese and fresh basil on top that make it truly mouthwatering.

Applesauce Zucchini Muffins

Applesauce works double duty in this recipe to keep the muffins moist and to act as a natural sweetener, which means using less sugar. It’s also about serving veggies for breakfast — and having everyone thank you for it.

Healthier Chocolate Zucchini Cake

I love this recipe because it uses less sugar and more zucchini than most chocolate zucchini cake recipes. It’s a great choice for little kids, even toddlers.

Stuffed Zucchini and Red Bell Peppers

Giada De Laurentiis’ tender zucchini “boats” are brimming with ground beef (or turkey) and tomato sauce. With a veggie built right in, this is a dinner kids love digging into.

Zucchini Gratin

Ina Garten’s 5-star version of a classic includes exactly what you’d think it would from the Barefoot Contessa: buttery sauteed onions and zucchini, topped with gooey Gruyere and toasty breadcrumbs. If you have someone at your table who isn’t sold on zucchini, this recipe is for you.

Zucchini Chocolate Chip Breakfast Cookies

Yep, they’re basically tiny loaves of zucchini bread dotted with chocolate chips. For breakfast. Or a snack. Or, if you want to get really crazy, serve ’em for dessert.

Charity Curley Mathews is a mother of four small kids who’d devour every one of these. She’s a contributor to InStyle, eHow and Huffington Post, and founder of Foodlets, a site about teaching kids to love good food, with simple recipes plus tried-and-true tips for pulling it off. Most of the time.