Slice them into 1/2" thick discs and use them like eggplant in parmesan. They're a little trickier to bread (be sure to use egg), but it turns out delicious.
Slice into very thin circles (leave the seeds and skin), dust with flour, dip in egg, then into seasoned flour to lightly bread and drop in a skillet with a half inch of hot oil. Fry quickly til golden. Top with fresh ground pepper and grated parm. My grandmother made these for us all the time in summer when I was a kid.
Two words: Zucchini Bread.
Your coworkers are idiots. Offer them to someone else.
Cut into 1/2" slices. Drizzle with Olive Oil, Pepper and Pesto. Grill until soft and browned. Enjoy! Good with a chilled dry white.
Anything you can do with a yellow squash can be done with zucchini. I like it in soup and baked.
Easy, bake Zucchini bread.
Hmm, mostly we like to include our zucchinis, grated, as part of other dishes. Zucchini bread. Addition to a turkey meatloaf (they help keep it moist, as ground turkey meatloaf can get dry otherwise). Also lovely shredded/grated into a zucchini pancake/fritter is also delicious.
My neighbor just leaves his on my porch. He knows I'd probably say "no" after the fourth of fifth offering.

If you can't get rid of it, shred it and freeze it in quart bags. You can weigh them out so each is just right for a loaf of zucchini bread, then enjoy all winter long.

@ 5, there's a reason why gardeners make jokes about their neighbors locking their doors and pretending not to be at home when the zucchini is coming in. There comes a time when enough is enough.
I like to put mine in the mail without a stamp and see if it arrives.
Slice into sticks. Saute with evoo and anchovies. After ten minutes add garlic and capers. Saute another five minutes. Sprinkle with cheese.
I've been getting tons at the farmer's markets. If I were in town today, I'd break into the Stranger's offices tonight and "borrow" those zucchinis.
Puréed Zucchini Soup with Curry

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 pounds zucchini, diced
1 tablespoon Madras curry powder
6 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup orzo
Salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper
¼ teaspoon Basque pepper
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped chives
½ cup shredded mozzarella
1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy soup pot and add the onion. Cook, stirring, until it is tender, about 5 minutes
2. Add a generous pinch of salt, the garlic and the zucchini and stir for about a minute, until the garlic smells fragrant
3. Add the curry powder, stir together, and add the stock and orzo
4. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer 30 minutes. Cool a bit
5. Purée the soup with an immersion blender
6. Heat through, add pepper to taste and stir in the lemon juice.
7. Serve with chives, cheese and warm baguette
I put mine through the spiralizer and use it as a pasta substitute. Usually 50/50 with real pasta.
Wrap the entire thing in foil and snake it into the crotch of your jeans. Wait, Brissey isn't in the office anymore, right? OK, that plan is out.
Zucchini Whiskey
Vegetarian or vegan pasta sauce.
Know anyone with Urban Chickens? They eat almost anything.
Smitten Kitchen has a recipe for zucchini rice gratin that sounds fantastic. And the one before it is for zucchini bread pancakes (which sound weird, but I bet they would make a nice side dish)…

Bake me zucchini bread! I'm sick! COUGH COUGH COUGH.
Eat raw with ranch dressing. My wife pickles slices; they're really good in martinis, though I prefer pickled green beans.
Once the slices are browned in oil, they are great in omelets.
Shred it and portion it out in little baggies. Then add it to any crock pot or casserole recipe for extra nutrients, or bake into zucchini bread or zucchini cake (like carrot cake but with zucchini instead). I shred mine into a crock pot with tomatoes, tomato paste, garlic, mushrooms, onions, Italian sausage and a couple tablespoons of EVOO for spaghetti sauce. If you're ambitious, slice them and prepare as you would for french fries, then stir a bit of horseradish into ranch dressing for a dipping sauce and enjoy.
I remember a popular recipe where you slice the giant zuc in half lengthwise, scoop out most of the innards, saute them with sausage and stuff (tomatoes? peppers?), pile it all back into the zuc "boats", cover with parmesan and bake. Not bad as I recall. There have been massive numbers of recipes over the years on how to get rid of those zucchinis, most involving hiding them in stuff like bread.
I grate them (food processor makes it easier), measure into cup amounts, and freeze the bags for off-season zucchini bread. Smitten Kitchen has a great recipe for zucchini fritters that are delicious and palatable to everyone, including my picky baby. You could slice them lengthwise into quarters, brush them with olive oil, and grill them. You could put the shredded zucchini in chocolate cake.
When I was a boy, my brothers and I would take the goliath zucchinis that had been overlooked from my mother's garden and run around hitting each other with them until they fell apart.

I mean, I guess it's not exactly "delicious."
zucchini rocotta cheesecake from 101 cookbooks


Don't skimp on the salt.
The key with giant zucchinis is put the in things don't make them the main event. Anything that calls for grated or pureed is good. Zucchini bread = yes, Zucchini soup = yes, black bean & zucchini cakes = yes. Recipes that call for chopped zucchini are borderline because those really large ones can have an unpleasant woody texture.
also: zucchini boats.

scrape out the insides (leave a little on the edge for structural support) and process them with parm cheese, feta, bread crumbs, and egg and stuff the shells and roast until they're on the other side of cooked.
I had a friend who would make zucchini Parmesan (just like with an eggplant). It was AMAZING!
Add free recipes to the ones you want coworkers to take home. For yourself, zucchini parmesan, zucchini+other veg in a pasta primavera, or just cut them into fresh sticks because they're delicious.
Mandolin that sucker! Seriously. You get long thin "noodles". Easy too, slice lengthwise and just stop and rotate it when you get near the seedy core. Saute as you would in a noodle dish, like something with tagliatelle. Or use like lasagne noodles.
It's amazing how fast they grow isn't it? It seems like 1 day they're barely recognizable tiny zucchini and 2 days later they're barely recognizable GIANT zucchini.

Zucchini bread of course. I found a recipe that uses 3 cups of zucchini online. I grind mine in the blender rather than grating it. I think it makes for a better texture. Also, this is a great use for the rhubarb which also produces like crazy.

Slice the ends (parts without too much seed goop) into thin disks. Put a thick disk of garden tomato on top. Crumble some blue cheese on top of that. Bake it about 10-15 min or until the zucchini is cooked. Then broil for about 30-60 seconds until the cheese is brown. This is super delicious!!!

I pickled zucchini spears last year. That was delicious.

I use Ziploc vacuum bags and freeze a ton in cubes, slices, grated and ground for all sorts of uses all winter.

Slice and grill sprinkled with seasoned salt or garlic powder.

Slice thin and use in place of the noodles in lasagna. This sounds bad but I've made it several times and gotten rave reviews.

Use in stirfrys of course.

Basically, you can use the big ones same as you use the small ones. Peel them if the skin's tough and scoop out the seeds and there's almost no difference.
+3 Zucchini boats-Moosewood cookbook has a good recipe, if I remember right, but you don't really need a recipe.
+2 lasagna noodles- cut zukes length wise into lasagna noodles sized strips and make lasagna replacing the pasta with the zucchini. It will be the best lasagna you've ever made.

This is The Stranger staff he's trying to palm these off on; he's going to have to add a "special ingredient" to that bread if he wants any takers.
Why do people grow zucchinis? Everyone seems to want to foist them off on other people who don't want them, so much that it's become a joke. Why not use that garden space for something you actually want to eat yourself?
I made this the other day, from the NY Times. Super yums.
Seared summer squash and egg tacos…
you can also slip it into (basil) pesto and into quiche (grated form).
@15 and @34 are spot on as using them as noodles, it's excellent. Or ruin chocolate cake forever (like my mom did to me) by making Zucchini Chocolate cake (people say it just adds moisture, that would be one of those little white parental lies, it tastes like zucchini in a chocolate cake...)
when i moved to bainbridge years ago, someone told me, "In summertime don't leave your car unlocked or you'll come back with it full of zucchini."

anyway i usually pan fry em and when i have too many for that its zucchini boat season!
sub in zucchinis for potatoes in yer latkes (make sure there's carrot!). i ate myself sick on zucchini latkes after dumpstering 10+ pounds of zucchini once... no, it wasn't that they came out of the dumpster. the zukes were beautiful. my belly just doesn't like so much deepfried delicious!
You can make a bong out of them.

Source: I used to work on a zuchinni farm.
I had a bunch. I sliced them around 1/8" thick and dried them in a food dehydrator until they were crisp. They are pretty good just like that, but I think they'd be even better if I'd salted them before I dried 'em out.
Keep them on hand for Hump.
Even when I was a kid, zucchini pancakes were one of my favorite foods! They are like potato pancakes but even tastier. Basic elements of the batter are grated zucchini, egg, flour, and onion, as far as I can recall. Probably salt, pepper, oregano or something too. Saute them in oil. Mmm!
Pickle them! They will keep in the fridge for a long time, and they are excellent on burgers and sandwiches:…
Donate them to the neighborhood food bank. I think you can walk to several from The Stranger's offices.
chocolate zucchini cake:…
(use olive oil and brown sugar)
@38, people just tend to overestimate the sheer quantity of zucchini that will come from a couple of plants. It's a lot.

For my part I never give the stuff away. I love it. I don't have any plants in this year but when I do I eat grilled zukes every day.
I bet your coworkers wouldn't turn them down if they showed up in the form of Zucchini Fritters.

Shred about two cups worth, add about a half cup of flour, an egg, some salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and a generous cup of your favorite shredded cheese. Deep fry til golden brown. Put it between a mini-burger bun for a veggie slider.
the key is to get the water out.

Julia Child says to grate them, then squeeze the juice out in a kitchen towel. letting them sit salted also helps, like with cucumbers.

then sautee in butter, add a little cream and it's way better than grilled.
underestimate, rather
@54 salt helps pull water out, too. It's amazing how much those little sponges can hold.
@ 38, the first time I grew zucchini, I had 6 plants. As @ 52 says, I grossly underestimated the output. Even two plants will grow more than a family needs, and that's assuming you stay on top of things and harvest them when they're 6-8" long. They will turn into the things Goldy photographed in a day or two - no exaggeration.

If you have a bunch of tomato plants and they all ripen at the same time, you can get the same problem. Fortunately tomatoes can be canned.
A brief scrub with a vegetable brush to get those little glassy spines off, pat dry, roll on a Magnum® XL, add extra lube.

Give them to a neighbor in Columbia City who will make biscuits out of them. Honestbiscuits@gmail
Make your neighbors take them. Or make the recipe from @2. His grandmother knows exactly how to treat zucchinis.
There isn't. The question with zucchini isn't "how do you turn this into a delicious treat?" It's "how do you get rid of this without tossing it into the garbage?"

Zucchini bread is the perfect example of this. There are many quick breads that you can make that are as good or better than zucchini bread, and the zucchini adds nothing unusual in the way of flavor or texture, thus demonstrating that zucchini is a throw away vegetable.
Easy Answer: Two words. Actually three. Delicious zucchini pancakes. So easy, so yummy, and reasonably healthy (and freezable!). Use this Barefoot Contessa… recipe as your base, but alter as you like (I added shredded carrots, garlic and sour cream to mine). One tip: wring out the shredded zuke in a clean dish towel before adding to batter).
Pshaw to all the posters that say "nay there is no good way to cook zucchini." Lies…Filthy filthy LIES I tell you!
Another great, easy recipe:
1. Cut zukes into sticks roughly 1/2" x 1/2" x 3"
2. Toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, halved cherry tomatoes, chopped parsley and/or celery tops
3. Toss again lightly to coat with breadcrumbs and parm cheese
4. Spread in deep-ish baking dish (glass/Pyrex best) top with more bread crumbs and cheese if you like
5. Bake at 350 for about 45 mins until done (zukes soft, top golden brown).
Big hit at pot lucks. Seriously.
Zucchini are one of my ready-at-hand staples because they go well with Western and Eastern recipes. So I use them in pasta primavera-type dishes, Korean miso stew, Chinese stir fries (cut into half/quarter discs or chords), and Thai curries (chunks). Also great as veggie kebabs or straight on the grill with marinade (I use a balsamic-based one). The slightly bitter flavor, nice texture, and color mean they go well with salty, savory, and spicy.
I was looking up recipes today too and found a DRIED "PINEAPPLE" recipe made out of zucchini and pineapple juice:…
Another vote for zucchini bread.…

I make my breads without nuts. Also an option is cream cheese frosting.
I make what I call 'veggie medley' all the time with grated zuc/yam/carrot, then add egg/soy chorizo (plus an optional but crucial 'flavor jam' of sauteed crimini/onion/black pepper/worcestershire). Fry mixed like a pancake, then make either a burrito or a burger with it. Works well as a bolognese base or lasagna filler, too.
butter or bacon fat AND oil, garlic, pepper, and soy sauce! my shortcut to decadently delicious summer vegetables, whether zucchini, squash, or eggplant.
@14 That sounds delicious. I have a similar recipe into which all my extra vegetables for the summer end up. Then I load the freezer up with containers of soup and feast on hot spicy yumminess all winter. yes the beet version is bright red.

Curried Zucchini soup
(This is awesome. Use regular chicken broth plus 1/2 T of chicken bouillon. Use a hand blender to make it creamy. Almost any vegetables will do if some of them are sweet. I've used corn/kale/carrots/zucchini or beets/carrots/zucchini and they were all really good too.)
1 medium onion, chopped, about 1/2 cup
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 small carrot, shredded
1 tablespoon butter
2 medium zucchini, sliced or chopped, about 1 1/2 to 2 pounds
2 apples, peeled, diced
4 cups chicken broth
2 1/2 teaspoons curry powder, or to taste
salt, to taste
In a large saucepan, melt butter over low heat; sauté the onion, garlic and carrot slowly until onion begins to yellow. Add zucchini, diced apples, chicken broth, and curry powder. Boil for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.
Carefully puree the hot soup in the blender in small batches. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve soup garnished with cilantro or Italian parsley leaves.
Serves 4 to 6
freezes well
I'm glad somebody made a sex-toy joke. This is SLOG, after all.
Zucchini is pretty boring in the best of circumstances. I say try something new and make ice cream.

For something more traditional, make a French tian. The best discussion of tians is in John Thorne's book "Simple Cooking", which is only partly a recipe book:…

His book after this, "Serious Pig" is even better, but has no mention of zucchini, alas. It has by a huge margin the best discussions of cornbread ever printed, and also chowder.

If you can't get your hands on the Thorne book, just google "zucchini tian".
Good timing -- I made the most magnificent salad tonight.

Slice zucchini in half lengthwise. Steam about 5 minutes, until soft but not mushy. Set it down on paper towels or clean dish towel to cool.

Toast 1/4 C pine nuts.

Put a large bunch of either raw spinach or arugula on a plate. Whisk lemon juice and very good olive oil together (in a 2:1 ration, like 2 T lemon juice & 1 T olive oil). Dress the leaves and put on some salt. Sprinkle the pine nuts on top. Slice the zucchini as thin as possible and array on top. Make some cheese curls with good parmesan and put on the top.

Bon appetit! For a simple salad, it was magnificent.
I've been making this a ton this summer, and I don't even grow my own zukes. It's SO good. Get the Whole Foods 365 brand balsamic vinegar for the recipe and then use it every time you need balsamic, because it's frickin delicious.

Penne with Grilled Zucchini, Ricotta Salata, and Mint…
The only good thing about zucchinis is that they grow no matter what. Zucchini bread is vile; bread is not supposed to be gummy.
@ 77, either you don't know how to bake or you've only accepted zucchini bread from people who are clueless. It will only be "gummy" if there was too much flour and/or it wasn't baked long enough. The zucchini has nothing to do with that.
This thread is awesome. All the ideas! Saved.
Try using a peeler to gel fettucini like bands. Blanch slightly and toss with garlic butter and a good hard italian cheese. Next time don't harvest them so soon. wait until they are the size of say, your thigh. They will peel just as well but the seeds are easier to remove and they will keep for a couple of months in a cool dry pantry. At that size they also make a good jack-o-lantern.
Goldy! My 2¢ from a Pretty Darn Good Cook: Squish that large is not suitable for normal squish consumption methods! As at that size, they have become too fiberous. My suggestion: They're only good for grating, freezing, & then being added to soups, zucchini bread, etc..
find someone with plecostomus fish (sucker fish). they love eating fresh zucchini. Mine loves them.

You are supposed to pick them when they are small and tasty. When they're big like this, dry and overgrown and mealy, you might as well toss them into the composter.
@78, better to replace ALL the zucchini with flour and just make bread. Sarah70 is right; zucchini bread is gross. More cake than bread, and cake is always terrible.
@25, that was my suggestion, somewhat. I use crab meat, some bread crumbs, and tomatoes and parm. Deeeee-lish. I recommend par-baking (wrapped in tin foil) or steaming to soften up the skin, before stuffing and finishing them off under the broiler. And puh-leeze, those are HALF the size of the zucchs my neighbor grew as a kid. :)
85 comments? Who would have guessed?
Zucchini butter!
Shred a ton of zucchini and let it drain or squeeze out the water.
In a heavy pot, saute a bunch of fresh garlic in butter. (you need about 1/4 C butter for 2 lbs of zucchini)
Add your zucchini plus salt and pepper, turn down heat and let it cook down....stirring often to make sure you don't burn the bottom. You can pull it off the heat after 1/2 hour if you have to, but the longer you cook it, the more it breaks down into "butter".
SO GOOD. Especially on crackers, sandwiches, scrambled in your eggs......
Great way to use up all your monster zucchini and it will store in a jar in your fridge for weeks!

Please wait...

Comments are closed.

Commenting on this item is available only to members of the site. You can sign in here or create an account here.

Add a comment

By posting this comment, you are agreeing to our Terms of Use.