Our Best Summer Squash Recipes to Prepare This Season


Summer squash are a mild-tasting, versatile vegetable (alright, technically a fruit) that are equally delicious in savory and sweet dishes.

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Ah, summer. A notoriously glorious time for a bounty of plump tomatoes, juicy berries, sweet stone fruits, and other crisp produce like zucchini and squash. Don't overlook the green and yellow vegetables at the farm stand. While fresh corn on the cob and vibrant blueberries may catch your eye first, summer squash offer a lot in terms of flavor, versatility, and nutrition.

As their name implies, summer squash are in season during the summer, peaking at the very end. When shopping, look for summer squash that are firm and heavy for their size; the skin should be brightly colored and blemish-free. Because they are harvested on the early side, smaller squash are more tender than larger ones and have thinner skins; choose squash that are less than eight inches long. To store, refrigerate in a plastic bag for up to four days; do not wash until ready to use.

What can you do with zucchini beyond roasting, grilling, or sautéing it? The answer is actually quite a lot. Zucchini is equally delicious in savory and sweet recipes. Yes, you read that right: Zucchini adds incredible moisture and a unique texture to desserts. Zucchini Chocolate Sheet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting is a total crowd-pleaser and is perfect for feeding a large group. For skeptical kids (and perhaps a few adults, too), the zucchini is disguised by indulgent chocolate flavor and a rich frosting, but its gentle crunch and moistness doesn't go unnoticed. If you want to bake something in between a sweet and savory treat, try loafs and muffins with zucchini. It stands out in a Zucchini Waffle with Smoked Salmon and Greens, Zucchini-Parmesan Bread with Poppy Seeds, and Zucchini Cornbread Muffins. Want to preserve the taste of summer all year long? Prepare these easy Zucchini Dill Pickles so you can enjoy warm weather produce in the middle of winter.

Whichever way you slice, dice, or peel it, zucchini's time to shine is happening now so make the most of it with these summer squash recipes.

02 of 31

Greek Shrimp Skewers with Chopped-Zucchini Salad

greek shrimp skewers with chopped zucchini salad at place settings
Chris Simpson

A healthy and easy vegetable side comes in the form of zucchini, lemon halves, and red onions, which get brushed with olive oil and grilled. The result is a colorful, flavorful addition to tender shrimp and immune-boosting couscous.

03 of 31

Grilled-Chicken-and-Zucchini Salad

Grilled-Chicken-and-Zucchini Salad recipe
Ren Fuller

Everything about this salad says pretty—attractive grill marks on zucchini and chicken, bright pink radishes cut and scattered throughout, and fresh dill as a garnish taste as bright as they look. In under an hour, this weeknight dinner is ready to serve.

04 of 31

Zucchini Dill Pickles

zucchini dill pickles
Dana Gallagher

When your garden is overflowing with zucchini, pickle them and put them on burgers. Make sure you don't skip the step of salting and then submerging them in ice water: it's the secret to long-lasting snap.

05 of 31

Zucchini, Avocado, and Jalapeño Tartine

zucchini avocado jalapeno tartine
Dana Gallagher

Pile raw zucchini ribbons onto avocado toasts (here, salting makes them more tender and pliable).

06 of 31

Zucchini-Almond Cake

gluten-free zucchini almond cake

Grated zucchini gives this crowd-pleasing cake a moist texture and subtle sweetness. Almond flour adds nutty flavor and makes it perfect for gluten-intolerant guests.

07 of 31

Zucchini Tart


This crisp phyllo-crust tart filled with basil-infused custard and topped with long, thin ribbons of zucchini showcases some of late summer's most vibrant flavors.

08 of 31

Pici with Summer Squashes and Tarragon


Tender summer squash are a sweet foil for the cool, bracing flavor of anise, which comes in the form of ouzo. A handful of fresh tarragon leaves mingles in the creamy sauce.

09 of 31

Beef-Zucchini Meatballs

bowls of spaghetti squash and zucchini noodles with zucchini meatballs
Kate Mathis

In less than 30 minutes, you can pull together healthy meatballs that are packed with zucchini and millet for texture. It's a great way to sneak kids their vegetables in the form of a fan-favorite bite.

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Chocolate Zucchini Sheet Cake with Cream-Cheese Frosting

chocolate zucchini sheet cake with cream cheese frosting
Ryan Liebe

Zucchini is the secret moist ingredient in this indulgent chocolate cake. It's easy to transport to parties and was made for a crowd, thanks to its sheet cake form. We love the subtle tang of cream cheese frosting but decorate the cake to your liking.

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Zucchini and Caramelized-Onion Pizza

zucchini and caramelized-onion pizza
Sidney Bensimon

Enjoy Mediterranean flavors from the comfort of your own kitchen. Sweet caramelized onions, thin ribbons of zucchini, tangy feta, and salty Kalamata olives offer an interesting mix of color and texture on this pie.

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Thai Zucchini-Coconut Soup

thai zucchini coconut soup
Dana Gallagher

This silky-smooth soup is sunshine concentrated. This Southeast Asian-inspired zucchini purée has coconut milk and potato for a velvety texture. Accent it with zucchini slices and cilantro leaves.

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Grilled Zucchini With Miso

grilled zucchini with miso
Dana Gallagher

Enhance zucchini's natural flavors with a complementary sauce. Brush grilled zucchini with a miso-soy glaze for deep umami richness.

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Zucchini Waffle with Smoked Salmon and Greens

zucchini waffle smoked salmon and greens
Ngoc Minh Ngo

A fresh, green twist on bagels and lox. Waffles get a blast of summer with grated zucchini, then they're garnished with indulgent toppings like créme fraiche and smoked salmon. It's a dish best served warm so snap a photo quickly before digging in.

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Zucchini-Parmesan Bread with Poppy Seeds

zucchini parmesan bread
Marcus Nilsson

Serve it for breakfast, a side, or a snack. No matter which way you slice it, this moist zucchini bread with a sharp, cheesy crust is sure to please.

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Zucchini-and-Squash Salad

zucchini-and-squash salad
Linda Pugliese

This super simple salad highlights the very best of summer squash. Thin slices of zucchini and yellow squash get sliced, drained, then tossed with a simple lemon and olive oil vinaigrette. Add pine nuts for crunch, basil for color, and Parmesan cheese for a savory taste.

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Perfect Frittata with Zucchini and Provolone

Bryan Gardner

A frittata is halfway between a quiche and omelet and we love how it can hold up to a variety of hearty fillings like zucchini and melty cheesy. The only equipment required are a skillet and bowl and in 35 minutes, breakfast (or dinner!) is served.

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One-Pot Penne with Zucchini and Parmesan

Aaron Dyer

Cheesy pasta mixed with shredded zucchini is an easy way to make classic comfort food a little bit healthier. The only cooking required is boiling penne, so you can get dinner on the table in flash—perfect for busy weeknights.

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Chocolate Zucchini Bread

chocolate zucchini cake
Jason Varney

Want your chocolate fix while staying healthy, too? This bread answers your wishes. Grated zucchini gets stirred into a traditional loaf bread mixture, then more melted chocolate is added because why not?

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Zucchini Babaghanouj


Instead of eggplant, the traditional ingredient in this Mediterranean dip, use the bounty of fresh summer zucchini. Serve with crudité like endive leaves, blanched asparagus, and sliced bell pepper, or hearty pita bread.

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Zucchini, Gruyere, and Black Pepper Muffins

Lennart Weibull

Super savory and just a touch spicy, we're going back for seconds and thirds of these muffins. The ingredient list is simple but the flavor packs a punch. Zucchini helps keep the muffins moist while adding vibrancy to otherwise mono-colored muffins.

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Zucchini Tacos

Sharon Radisch

A quick sear of zucchini in a hot skillet makes them golden brown and crunchy on the outside. Next, place them in a bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and let them steam naturally so they cook through. It's a one-two punch technique that really works.

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Crisp Zucchini-Panko Fries

Linda Pugliese

Sub out French fries with this healthy yet satisfying option. Thick wedges of zucchini get battered and rolled in panko breadcrumbs. They crisp up beautifully once baked.

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Campanelle with Zucchini and Mint

Bryan Gardner

Try a new pasta shape for dinner tonight. Curly, twisted campanelle is fun to eat and toss with tender zucchini and briny olives. Another unexpected edition? Shaved ricotta salata is a bright, salty substitute for traditional grated parmesan.

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Zucchini Slaw

Aaron Dyer

Serve this energy-boosting green slaw alongside barbecued entrées this summer. It takes less than 20 minutes to come together and half the time is completely hands-off so you can relax and enjoy the warm weather with a refreshing beverage in hand.

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Zucchini Cornbread Muffins

Aaron Dyer

This blends two of our favorite savory breakfast options in one—zucchini loaf and corn bread. We love seeing the bright green zucchini peak through the yellow muffins for a hint at what's inside.

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Grilled Fish Kebabs with Shaved Zucchini

Marcus Nilsson

An elegant addition to your weeknight dinner rotation! This impressive-looking fish and vegetable dish takes less than 20 minutes to prepare from start to finish. We love highlighting summer vegetables like zucchini, corn on the cob, and cherry tomatoes here.

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Pasta with Tomatoes, Squashes, and Blossoms

Raymond Hom

Tossed with sautéed zucchini, hot pasta, and fresh tomatoes, squash blossoms become just barely wilted and lend a delicate flavor and a splash of color to this breezy summer supper.

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Shaved-Squash Salad with Tomatoes, Zucchini Blossoms, Ricotta, and Thyme Oil

Yunhee Kim

If you can't find the squashes here, try small zucchini and slice them crosswise. Squash blossoms can be replaced with a leafy green such as spinach.

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Zucchini Bruschetta

Aaron Dyer

Here's a delicious seasonal take on classic tomato bruschetta. Shredded zucchini gets sautéed in butter and shallots until tender, then a blast of heat from red pepper flakes and freshly grated black pepper amps up the volume on these easy bites.

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Zucchini, Banana, and Flaxseed Muffins

John Kernick

Shredded zucchini, ripe banana, and ground flaxseed dial up the nutrition factor in these moist muffins.

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