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10 Things to Do With Extra Zucchini from Your Garden

Updated on August 06, 2016
There are lots of things you can do with the extra zucchini from your garden
There are lots of things you can do with the extra zucchini from your garden | Source

Zucchini squash is a popular vegetable to grow in backyard gardens. It is quite easy to grow, and very productive. With the right growing conditions you can get a large crop from just a few plants.

In fact, some gardeners complain that zucchini might be a little too easy to grow. As they find themselves with a bumper crop, they may have more zucchini than they know what to do with and will often resort to giving them away to anyone that will take them.

Here are some suggestions if you find yourself in this situation.

Bake Zucchini Bread

Baking zucchini bread is a delicious way to use up some of your crop of zucchinis. You can make many different variations, and it's a great way to get kids (and adults) that don't normally like vegetables to eat zucchini.

You can eat zucchini bread for breakfast, as a snack or even as a dessert. Chocolate zucchini bread can taste just like chocolate cake, and is a healthy sweet treat.

A wrapped zucchini bread makes a wonderful thank you or hostess gift, and they also freeze very well.

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Serve It as a Side Dish

When zucchini is plentiful in your garden, it can be prepared in a variety of ways as a side dish.

An easy and delicious way to prepare zucchini is to sauté it in a bit of olive oil, with chopped onions, red peppers and garlic. Top with parmesan or grated cheese, if desired.

You can also make battered zucchini sticks, stuffed zucchini, zucchini gratin casserole, or grill or roast it with other vegetables.


Make Zucchini Relish

I first tried zucchini relish when a girlfriend gave me a jar of her homemade spicy zucchini relish when she came over for a barbecue. I've never been a big fan of relish, but I absolutely loved the zucchini relish.

Zucchini relish makes your hamburgers or hot dogs a little more interesting, and is also great as a condiment on sandwiches, grilled chicken and fish.

You can make large quantities of it and enjoy it all winter long. Jars of zucchini relish also make a nice little hostess or teacher gift or a great addition to a gift basket for a foodie.


Lemon Zucchini Muffins

Carrot Zucchini Muffins

Make Zucchini Muffins

Zucchini muffins are wonderful to have on hand for snacks, school lunches and breakfast on the go. They freeze well, so you can easily use up a lot of zucchinis by baking large batches of muffins for the freezer.

Zucchini muffin recipes often use less oil than other muffin recipes, since zucchinis have such a high water content. Because zucchini doesn't have a strong flavour on its own, they work very well with other ingredients. Don't be afraid to experiment to find your favourite combinations.

Muffin recipes that I've tried and our family has enjoyed include:

  • zucchini chocolate chip muffins
  • banana zucchini muffins
  • chocolate zucchini muffins
  • lemon zucchini muffins
  • apple zucchini muffins
  • zucchini oatmeal muffins
  • carrot zucchini muffins

There's also a variety of savoury zucchini muffin recipes available, such as zucchini muffins made with cheddar cheese, or onions and red peppers.

Zucchini Salad

It is very easy to make a variety of salads with raw zucchini, and these can make a nice addition to your summer meal.

You can make a zucchini coleslaw with grated zucchini and carrots, or use sliced or diced zucchini in place of cucumber in your favourite salad recipe for a bit of a change.

A wonderful summer zucchini salad can be made by slicing a zucchini lengthwise in very thin strips. Combine the zucchini strips with lemon juice, olive oil, sun dried tomatoes, fresh herbs and feta cheese and marinate for an hour before serving.

Use Zucchini in Place of Pasta

Zucchini can make a healthy and low carb alternative to pasta in recipes.

You can use thinly sliced zucchini instead of lasagna noodles for a low carb healthy version of lasagna, with or without meat.

Or, you can cut zucchini into thin strips, sauté it lightly and top it with pasta sauce and grated cheese.

Add Zucchini to Spaghetti Sauce and Stews

Another option is to add some grated or diced zucchini to spaghetti sauce or stews to add some extra nutrition. You can make large batches and freeze them for later use.

Zucchini also goes well in stir fries.

Freeze It

Many home gardeners feel like they are under pressure to use up their huge crop of zucchini quickly before it spoils and goes to waste. Many people believe that you can't freeze zucchini, but you definitely can.

The best way to freeze zucchini for future use is to shred it first and divide it into freezer bags. It can be used later to make zucchini muffins or zucchini bread, zucchini pancakes, or added to spaghetti sauces, soups and stews. For best results, thaw and drain the zucchini before using it in recipes.


Lots of zucchini flowers in my garden means lots of new zucchini recipes to try!
Lots of zucchini flowers in my garden means lots of new zucchini recipes to try! | Source

Give It Away

If you are absolutely overrun by fresh zucchinis from your garden, and just can't bear to look at another one, you can always give some away. You can give zucchinis to family, friends, neighbors, co-workers—really anyone. It's best of course if they don't have a garden full of zucchini of their own!

In fact, giving away extra zucchini is so common among gardeners that August 8 is officially Leave a Zucchini on Your Neighbor's Porch Day.

Your local food bank would probably be glad to receive some of your extra zucchinis as well.

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    • nakmeister profile image

      nakmeister 4 years ago from Lancaster, UK

      A great article. I often grow these in my garden, though here in Britain we call them courgettes. Will have to try some of these recipe ideas, I particularly like the relish and the Zucchini bread. Oh and I live the idea of a Leave a Zucchini on your Neighbour's porch day, will have to make a note on my calendar!

    • bearnmom profile image

      Laura L Scotty 4 years ago from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

      Great article, savingkathy. I was deciding whether or not to try growing a couple of zucchini plants this year. Your article is long but deserves a complete read because you cover it all. I was particularly interested in your tip for freezing zucchini since my mother-in-law had such a bad experience and lost her whole frozen package.

    • cloverleaffarm profile image

      Healing Herbalist 4 years ago from The Hamlet of Effingham

      Great ideas! You can also make Zucchini pickles! Make them every year. You can pickle anything. I also use it as the "noodle" of lasagna. Slice it the long way, and it makes a great veggie lasagna. Happy gardening!

    • cloverleaffarm profile image

      Healing Herbalist 4 years ago from The Hamlet of Effingham

      Gee, I didn't think it was long. She should see some of mine...lol.

      Oh, and I forgot one. It is hard to freeze whole,(they come out all mushy) so I started drying them. Great for soups. Happy day to you!

      Voted up again!

    • savingkathy profile image
      Author

      Kathy Sima 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks cloverleaffarm. I haven't tried zucchini pickles yet - that sounds good. I may have to give that a try this year if we have a lot of zucchinis. I did mention using zucchini instead of lasagna noodles in the section "Use zucchini in place of pasta." All of this talk of zucchini is making me crave some. Hurry up summer!

    • savingkathy profile image
      Author

      Kathy Sima 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks nakmeister. I have heard of the term courgettes, but didn't know anyone that called them that. It's good to know where that name comes from.

      I hope you have a bountiful zucchini harvest so you'll have a chance to make the zucchini bread and relish, and still have some to give away to your neighbours. Thanks for stopping by!

    • savingkathy profile image
      Author

      Kathy Sima 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thank you bearnmom. Don't be intimidated by the prospect of being overrun by zucchini. If you only plant a couple of plants you should be fine. Some people say you can freeze cubed zucchini or whole zucchini, but I haven't personally had much success with this method. As cloverleaffarm mentioned it often comes out mushy. I prefer to try to use it up in baking or by freezing the grated zucchini if necessary. Good luck if you decide to grow some this year!

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image

      Jill 4 years ago from United States

      I just bookmarked this. Great ideas! Thanks.

    • savingkathy profile image
      Author

      Kathy Sima 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I'm glad you found it helpful, Dirt Farmer!

    • cloverleaffarm profile image

      Healing Herbalist 4 years ago from The Hamlet of Effingham

      Sorry, I missed that part about the noodles. I don't know why my eyes went right over it the first time. Thank you for kindly pointing that out to me :)

      The year before last, I wound up with so many zucchini, I pickled them I figured what was the worst thing that could happen. Turns out they were good, and the following year, I created what I call Zucchini Salsa.

      At the end of the season, I make Harvest Salsa. This basically what ever happens to be left over went I am canning.

      Voted up..again.

    • savingkathy profile image
      Author

      Kathy Sima 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Mmmm zucchini /harvest salsa sounds interesting!

      Thanks again :)

    • LauraGT profile image

      LauraGT 4 years ago from MA

      I love zucchini! I also sometimes add it to meatloaf or just roast it and then throw it in salads. Thanks for the additional ideas!

    • savingkathy profile image
      Author

      Kathy Sima 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      You're welcome! I hope they come in handy. Roasted zucchini in salad sounds good. I love roasted vegetables of any kind actually. Thanks for sharing your ideas too!

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Great tips and options! Thanks!

    • tammyswallow profile image

      Tammy 4 years ago from North Carolina

      Great recipes. I especially love the one for chocolate zuccini bread. Growing up we always had more zuccini than we could eat. We ate it fried in beer batter which was excellent and my mom canned it with pineapple oil and it tasted just like pineapple. This is one of my favorite foods.

    • unknown spy profile image

      IAmForbidden 4 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      Never seen this before.. :) Great recipes indeed for zuccini lovers :)

    • savingkathy profile image
      Author

      Kathy Sima 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks tammyswallow. Chocolate zucchini bread is a great way to use up those extra zucchinis. It's so tasty! Your mom's pineapple recipe sounds interesting!

      I'm glad you enjoyed it unknownspy and wewillmake. Thanks for stopping by!

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 4 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      Great ideas here! I grown yellow and zucchini squash and always have enough to give away. We have a small vending machine business and I always give my customers some squash, they love it! I am going to have to try some of your recipes here. Voted up and useful! Have a wonderful day!

    • savingkathy profile image
      Author

      Kathy Sima 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I'm sure your customers appreciate the squash you share with them, Sheila! Hopefully you'll have enough this year to try some of these ideas with your harvest and still have lots to give away to your customers. Have a great day!

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 4 years ago from USA

      I have never tried to grow zucchini, but if it is as easy as you say it is, it does sound like something I should add to my garden next year! Your hub is making me very hungry, and I just ate! Voted up and useful.

    • savingkathy profile image
      Author

      Kathy Sima 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Most people find zucchini pretty easy to grow, as long as you plant it (either seeds or starter plants) in a sunny location in your garden and don't let it dry out during the growing season. Zucchini grows on a vine, and can take up a lot of space. Each plant can produce dozens of zucchini, so if you decide to grow it keep this in mind. Most families find a couple of zucchini plants are all they need!

    • savingkathy profile image
      Author

      Kathy Sima 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Most people find zucchini pretty easy to grow, as long as you plant it (either seeds or starter plants) in a sunny location in your garden and don't let it dry out during the growing season. Zucchini grows on a vine, and can take up a lot of space. Each plant can produce dozens of zucchini, so if you decide to grow it keep this in mind. Most families find a couple of zucchini plants are all they need!

    • savingkathy profile image
      Author

      Kathy Sima 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Most people find zucchini pretty easy to grow, as long as you plant it (either seeds or starter plants) in a sunny location in your garden and don't let it dry out during the growing season. Zucchini grows on a vine, and can take up a lot of space. Each plant can produce dozens of zucchini, so if you decide to grow it keep this in mind. Most families find a couple of zucchini plants are all they need!

    • Missy Mac profile image

      Missy Mac 4 years ago from Illinois

      You know, I went to the neighborhood farmers market and purchased some wonderful zucchini. However, one part of my fridge freezes my vegies. I was wondering what to do with the frozen zucchinis and adding them into spaghetti or bread sounds great. Thanks!

    • verymary profile image

      Mary 2 years ago from Chicago area

      The only way I've ever liked this ingredient is in zucchini bread, but the relish is a great idea. Anything to give it a little kick, whether sweet or tangy!

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