Every summer there’s always a point where the amount of zucchini coming out of your garden and farmers market is abundant! So I’ve put together my 5 Ways to Use Up Large Amounts of Zucchini with tons of recipes to get you started in the kitchen.
If you’ve ever planted several zucchini plants in your garden, you might have the slight ‘problem’ of being overwhelmed with zucchini. I’ll have to say I’m absolutely thrilled to have this little ‘problem’ of sorts. I’ve got so much zucchini coming my way right now I can barely keep up with it!
We’re growing a garden this year for the first time in 6 years, and I’m loving having a full scale herb garden and fresh veggies everyday. There’s nothing like being able to cut a small bunch of fresh cilantro to bring indoors for a fresh bowl of guacamole. Or to pick a little fresh basil to be added into… well… pretty much everything. (Can you tell I’m a little excited to be having a garden again!)
I planted 4 zucchini plants for 2 people which is most definitely overkill. And all of you awesome gardener’s out there are probably shaking your head at me right now. But… here’s the thing, I wanted to be sure I would have loads of zucchini. And I’ve surely gotten my wish.
Over the last couple of weeks I’ve gotten really creative trying to use up all this summer abundance. And so I thought I’d share my 5 best ways to use up zucchini with you, along with lots of recipes for inspiration!
So without further adieu, here are my 5 ways to use up large amounts of zucchini:
1. Zucchini Noodles or Zoodles as they’re sometimes called. This is a great way to use up pounds of zucchini at a time. Tyler and I can easily eat 2 pounds of zucchini in 1 sitting if it’s been turned into these delicious noodles.
There are too many veggie noodle recipe to list all of them here. You can see 14 recipes here in my zucchini recipes post. But I’m also including a few of my favorites here as well.
- Mango Veggie Noodle Bowls with Creamy Ginger Dressing
- Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Zucchini Noodles
- Sausage Pepper Zucchini Noodles
Next up let’s talk about turning zucchini noodles into salad jars!
2. Zucchini Noodle Mason Salad Jars, this one kinda goes with number one but it’s been so revolutionary for us. So I wanted to give it it’s own place! Ever since I got a spiralizer, I’ve been turning massive quantities of zucchini into ‘noodles’. And they make great salad jars for lunches.
My favorite version so far is zucchini noodles (sometimes some carrot noodles mixed in). Simply place them in a 32 ounce/1 quart glass jars and then just add dressing when you’re ready to eat.
I’ve found that I like to keep the dressing in a separate small container for a 3-4 days storage. But you can put the dressing right in the jar before you fill it with zucchini noodles. I love the Creamy Ginger Dressing from the Mango Veggie Noodle Bowls with zucchini noodles. It’s a lot like sesame noodles but even more addictive, (for me anyways).
These are by far the fastest salad jars (or maybe I should say noodle jars) I’ve ever made. You can spiralize several pounds of zucchini in just minutes which will fill a lot of salad jars. The Ginger Dressing I mentioned makes about 1 1/2 cup. And it can easily be doubled to make as many jars as you’d like. I usually like around 1/3 cup of dressing with 1 jar of zucchini noodles, but you might like less dressing.
Also you can make zucchini noodle soup jars like these Asian Chicken Zucchini Noodle Instant Soup Jars.
This next one is my most made zucchini recipe ever, as #3 of my 5 ways to use up large amounts of zucchini!
3. These Zucchini Fritters with Avocado Crema are another great way to use up lots of zucchini. Usually it will use 1-2 pounds depending on how many mouths you’re feeding! They’re really easy to make, and we never get tired of them.
4. Zucchini makes a fabulous side dish if it’s cooked in a flavorful way. My favorite ways to cook zucchini are grilled, roasted, and sautéed. I always allow for 1/2 pound of zucchini per person, so it really uses up a lot of zucchini.
Grilled zucchini is so versatile:
It’s is super easy to cook, just cut off both ends, and slice the zucchini lengthwise. Grill the zucchini starting with the flat side down over medium heat. Grill until the zucchini is just starting to soften before turning it over to finish cooking.
This Balsamic Grilled Chicken topped with Caprese Salad has an option side of grilled zucchini that uses up 1/2 pound per person. And the Grilled Italian Platter with Basil Balsamic Dressing is another great option! Grilled zucchini is a great vehicle for homemade mayonnaise (or aioli), i.e. and excuse to eat really delicious mayonnaise! I’ll leave a couple of mayonnaise/aioli recipes below to get you started.
For roasted zucchini, I’ve put together 3 options:
And for sautéed zucchini:
5. I saved the weirdest one for last… so here it is – I put zucchini in my green smoothies. It sounds pretty unappetizing. But consider that zucchini is relatively bland so it doesn’t interfere with the flavor of the smoothie. And it’s a great way to sneak in some more veggies! Start by putting in a small piece, about 1/4 pound (4 ounces) in your smoothie and see if you want to add more from there.
And finally these are our go-to top 5 ways to use up large amounts of zucchini:
- Balsamic Grilled Chicken topped with Caprese Salad and Grilled Zucchini
- Easy Chicken Zucchini Stir Fry
- Enchilada Chicken and Zucchini Skillet Dinner
- Paleo Zucchini Fritters with Avocado Crema
- Kung Pao Chicken Zucchini Noodles
I’d love to know your favorite ways to use up zucchini? No doubt my plants have doubled in size just while I was writing this. And I’m taking all the advice I can get about how to handle such abundance!
6 thoughts on “5 Ways to Use Up Large Amounts of Zucchini”
We plant 13 zucchini plants for 4 people. We are definitely crazier than you:)I’m not exaggerating. We make stuffed zucchini. First you halve the zucchini lengthwise, then scoop out the seeds. Then, cook onions, crumbled ground pork, the zucchini seeds, and sliced tomatoes, pretty much anything you like. Fill the zucchini halves with the mix and top with cheese, if you like. Cover with foil and bake till the zucchini is just tender. Warning: you will not be able to stop eating it. you can also make Unstuffed zucchini where you chop the zucchini instead of halving and scooping it. Omit the baking part and eat it as you would a stew.
Thanks so much for the awesome idea, especially the tidbit about forgetting the stuffing altogether and making a stir fry of sorts, I can’t wait to try this out (maybe with some hot Italian sausage thrown in)!
I like to make zucchini boats. Basically, I make a filling of rice and spices and veggies and hollow out half of a zucchini and stuff. put them in a glass dish and bake until a zucchini is soft. You can do all kinds of combinations, but our favorite is a Tex-Mex version. It is really tasty!
Zucchini boats sound really amazing, we love Mexican and Tex Mex so this would be so perfect for us (and thanks for sharing your tips)! 🙂
Awesome round-up Kari!
Thanks Mike, it’s been zucchini almost every single day and we’re not tired of it yet!