The thing we love most about zucchini is that it refuses to be labeled. In a culinary context, this firm summer squash is treated as a vegetable, often prepared as a savory main or side dish. But botanically, zucchini is classified as a fruit — and more specifically as a type of berry — which perhaps explains why you’ll find this fiber-packed jack-of-all-trades in sweet breads and pastries too. Few other vegetables can boast the same level of versatility. Luckily, the prime season is long — it begins in June and peaks in late August, so be sure to fit in several trips to the farmers market before summer is over. Whether it’s lightly seasoned and grilled until smoky or grated into fine shreds to be hidden in baked goods, there’s no meal this light summer squash can’t conquer. See for yourself with these 8 in-season zucchini recipes for casserole, zucchini bread and more.
Skillet Eggs with Squash
Break out your skillet for this crowd-pleasing one-pot dish, where baked eggs sit atop grated summer squash and zucchini, with a healthy dose of spicy pepper Jack cheese, nutmeg and scallions.
Healthy Zucchini Bread
This is just like your grandmother’s zucchini bread but without the guilt-inducing levels of butter and oil. Whole-wheat pastry flour creates a filling, nutty-tasting loaf. Apple butter lends extra moistness and natural sweetness. Surprisingly, only a third-cup of heart-healthy oil is used in this recipe.
Potato and Zucchini Frittata
Comforting and easy to make, frittatas are a quintessential brunch dish for a reason. But they can leave you feeling uncomfortably stuffed, given the liberal amounts of cheese and bacon found within them. Here, finely grated zucchini adds extra fiber and bright green color to this light, summery frittata for only 255 calories per serving.
Zucchini Parmesan Crisps
Take your snack spread to the next level with Ellie Krieger’s super-seasonal baked zucchini crisps. Unlike store-bought potato chips, these crisps are light and crunchy without the grease. Your guests will appreciate the homemade touch.
Grilled Zucchini Rolls with Herbs and Cheese
Equally satisfying are Ellie’s grilled zucchini rolls made with reduced-fat goat cheese, lemon and parsley filling. They’re just enough to tide over your guests while you put the finishing touches on dinner.
Surprise your guests at your next dinner party with these mealworthy stuffed zucchini. Sturdy on the outside but tender on the inside, zucchini are perfect for hollowing out and filling with fresh, seasonal mix-ins. Here, they’re stuffed with breadcrumbs, tomatoes, herbs and garlic.
Zucchini Ribbon Pasta
If you’re looking for a quick weeknight dinner that’s filling yet health-conscious and incorporates seasonal produce, try tossing whole-wheat fettuccine with thin ribbons of green and yellow zucchini. Slicing the zucchini to mimic the shape of noodles makes for a big bowl of pasta that’s actually half vegetables.
Light Spicy Zucchini and Tomato Casserole
For a heartier zucchini main, try Food Network Kitchen’s comforting casserole. Spicy tomato sauce coats layers of sliced zucchini, and a sprinkling of Cotija cheese adds a touch of creaminess. For the best results, quickly broil the zucchini before you assemble the casserole. That way you can ensure all the pieces will be evenly cooked once they’re baked with the tomato sauce.
For more ways to use summer squash, check out these recipes from our friends:
In Jennie’s Kitchen: 5 Sweet & Savory Zucchini Recipes
Devour: Use Your Zoodle: 3 Italian-Inspired Squash Recipes
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Italian Marinated Zucchini
The Mom 100: Baby Zucchini Gratin
Feed Me Phoebe: Green Shakshuka with Zucchini, Chard and Peas
Creative Culinary: Lemony Summer Squash Bread
Taste with the Eyes: Summer Squash Lasagna with Fried Basil #glutenfree
FN Dish: 10 Recipes That Prove Zucchini Is Actually a Magic Vegetable