Make the most of in-season summer vegetables with this collection of our reader-favorite recipes for zucchini, tomatoes, eggplant, okra, and more.

Collage of four summer veggie recipes: Oven Fried Zucchini Sticks, Eggplant, Tomato and Pesto Napoleons, Roasted Okra with Bacon and Tomatoes, and Fried Green Tomatoes

Summer is a great time to experience and savor all of the extraordinary seasonal produce available from the grocery store, farmer’s market, or if you’re lucky, your own garden.

In addition to our list of summer vegetable recipes below, we’ve also got some guidelines on how to preserve those delicious fresh veggies until you’re ready to use them.

How To Store Summer Vegetables

Regardless of the variety, to extend the shelf life of your vegetables, do not wash them before you’re ready to use them as that additional moisture can contribute to spoiling.

Zucchini and Summer Squash

In general, store-bought, commercially grown squash will last longer than its garden-fresh counterpart, but even then, it may spoil fairly quickly. Store summer squash loose in the vegetable compartment of your refrigerator for up to one week.
Our best recipe: Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Green Tomatoes

Green tomatoes should be arranged, stem side down, in a single layer, kept out of direct sunlight and stored in a cool place where they can take from 20 to 30 days to ripen.
Our best recipe: Fried Green Tomatoes

Ripe Tomatoes

Already ripe tomatoes can be kept on the counter at room temperature. Like unripe tomatoes, it is best to keep them out of direct sunlight. Although you shouldn’t plan to store tomatoes in the refrigerator, extremely ripe tomatoes can be refrigerated for up to three days if necessary.
Our best recipe: Fried Ripe Tomatoes


Eggplant should be kept in a cool, dry spot out of direct sunlight, and away from other fruits and veggies. It is always best to use eggplant within a few days, but if you have an eggplant that’s starting to soften, you can extend its shelf for a couple of days by storing it, unwrapped in the refrigerator.
Our best recipe: Italian-Style Eggplant Casserole

Now that your veggies safely stored, here are nine of our favorite summer vegetable recipes to help you make the most of these delicious seasonal goodies.

This article was written by contributing author Jennifer Partridge. Jennifer is a freelance writer, artist, teacher, and experienced cook who has perfected a delicious gluten-free lifestyle. You’ll find her food articles and advice on gluten-free substitutions throughout the website.

Best Summer Vegetable Recipes

Make the most of in-season summer vegetables with this collection of our reader-favorite recipes for zucchini, tomatoes, eggplant, okra and more.