10 Ways to Use Up All That Zucchini (Without Baking Zucchini Bread)

Think outside the loaf pan!

July 17, 2020
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Food Network Kitchen’s Baked Parmesan Zucchini Fries for Summer Slow Cooker/Zucchini Fries/Picnic Brick-Pressed Sandwiches, as seen on Food Network.

Photo by: Renee Comet ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Renee Comet, 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

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I always, ALWAYS over-buy zucchini. It’s so versatile and budget-friendly that I just can’t help myself (even though my husband gently reminds me that "one loaf of zucchini bread per week is plenty for our family of three" whenever we find ourselves within a 5-mile radius of our local farm stand). Turns out, it is possible to have too much of a good thing.

If you’re anything like me you’ve got some zucchini on hand right now. Maybe you grew it in your garden or found a bounty of it tucked into your CSA box. Or, perhaps you bought more than you can actually use. In any event, you don’t want it to go to waste. And, sure, you could freeze your extra zucchini or bake it into way too many loaves of zucchini bread but there are so many other amazing ways to use up this summer squash.

Whether you’re craving crispy fries, lightened-up pastas, juicy turkey burgers or a cheesy, oven-baked side dish — that pile of zucchini in your kitchen is the answer. These recipes are guaranteed to help you think outside the, well, loaf pan — and use up all your fresh zucchini!

Trust me, even French fry purists will love these crispy dippers. They’re crunchy on the outside (thanks to a coating of Panko) and tender on the inside — just like a good fry should be!

Photo by: Armando Rafael

Armando Rafael

This savory tart is one-part summer side and one-part work of art! If you own a mandoline, this is the perfect time to use it; Cutting the zucchini into thin, even slices will ensure that it is tender when the tart comes out of the oven.

Photo by: Ryan Dausch

Ryan Dausch

One of the simplest (and most delicious) ways to use up a bounty of summer squash is to cut it into springy, spiral "noodles." They only need a few minutes in a hot pan to soften up — and become the perfect stand-in for pasta.

Zucchini makes a really easy summer side dish when you’re grilling. Ree sprinkles hers with a little lemon zest and salt. She says the combination is a “game-changer,” making the dish fresh and bright.

When you’re looking for a lightened-up summer meal, turn your zucchini into a wrap for saucy enchiladas. You’ll get all the flavor you’re craving, but with fewer carbs.

Zucchini has a mild flavor, making it the perfect choice for these Parmesan-and-herb skillet cakes. They’re pan-fried until crisp and golden — and the most delicious way to eat your veggies!

Zucchini is mostly water so it should come as no surprise that it is the perfect choice for a cold, refreshing summer soup. This recipe is bulked up with chunks of rotisserie chicken and crispy croutons, making it perfect for a midday meal.

Photo by: Armando Rafael

Armando Rafael

When you’re deciding what to do with your zucchini, burgers are probably the last thing to come to mind —but grated summer squash is perfect for lightening up the patties. You can feel good about eating more veggies, even though you won’t taste them!

Ina turns zucchini into a rich and decadent baked side by cooking it in a creamy sauce. She tops the dish with bread crumbs, Gruyere and a few pieces of butter before it goes into the oven so every bite has a crunchy, golden crust. What’s not to love about that?

Nancy Fuller's Sausage-Stuffed Zucchini Boats for Top Summer Recipes by State, as seen on Farmhouse Rules, Bunkin' with GiGi

Photo by: Tara Donne

Tara Donne

Hollowed out zucchini halves make the perfect vessel for a savory sausage stuffing. But, don’t worry, all the zucchini that was taken out of the middle gets added to the stuffing so nothing goes to waste.

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