All About Zucchini, Plus Our Favorite Recipes
Zucchini is a quick-cooking, tender and mild-flavored member of the squash family. Available year-round in most supermarkets and easy to grow in home gardens, it's probably the most popular variety of summer squash in the world.
Zucchini (courgettes) originated in Europe, and the first record of them in the United States dates back to around 1920 when they were most likely brought to California by Italian immigrants.
Low in calories and high in folate, potassium and vitamin A, zucchini is a good choice for its nutritional value as well as its flavor and versatility.
Storage & Preparation
Zucchini can be found in several color variations: yellow, dark green or light green.
For the best flavor, choose zucchini that are on the small side with smooth, glossy, unblemished skins and keep them unwashed until ready to use.
They can be stored for up to three days after purchase, but when refrigerated, they may develop pits in the surface. These pits are a sign of chilling damage, and once they develop you should try to use the zucchini right away.
Zucchini can be prepared in a variety of ways including steaming, baking, roasting, grilling, boiling, frying and stuffing.
Each pound of zucchini yields 3 to 3-1/2 cups roughly chopped or about 2-1/2 cups shredded.
Our Favorite Zucchini Recipes
- Tortellini and Zucchini Alla Arrabiata: Tender cheese tortellini served with zucchini that have been simmered in a spicy tomato sauce make a nice meatless dinner that comes together in no time.
- Zucchini-Parmesan Fritters: Zucchini and parmesan fritters are light and flavorful and make a nice side-dish alternative to potatoes.
- Tomato, Zucchini and Fontina Frittata: This frittata (an Italian omelette) is flavored with garlic and onion and filled with fresh tomato, zucchini and shredded cheese.
- Hungarian-Style Summer Squash With Dill: Sour cream, vinegar and dill lend plenty of flavor to zucchini in this Hungarian-style side dish.
- Stuffed Zucchini Boats: These hollowed out zucchini boats are stuffed with a simple mixture of sautéed sweet onion, zucchini and mozzarella cheese.
- Summer Garden Orzo: Orzo is flavored with onion and garlic, simmered in chicken broth until tender and combined with fresh zucchini and tomatoes for an easy side dish.
- Crunchy Oven Fried Zucchini Sticks: Crispy, oven-fried zucchini coated in a combination of panko crumbs and finely shredded cheese.