It’s that time of year. When all of you superstar gardeners have zucchini coming out of your ears and need some easy, healthy zucchini recipes to use it up!
I envy you. My dream is to have a beautiful vegetable garden. It’s one of those dreams where you want the result, but aren’t so sure you’re up for the time, attention, and hard work required to make it happen. I think the best I can muster at this stage of my life might be a container garden. Can you grow summer squash in a container garden?
Don’t worry if you’re like me and get your zucchini from the grocery store, farmers market, or maybe you get giant zucchinis from a neighbor’s garden. It doesn’t have to come from your own garden! Whatever your situation is, I have you covered. And the good news is that I have 7 pages of zucchini recipes on Happy Healthy Mama and I’m always adding more. Whether you want breakfast, dinner, or baked goods with zucchini, you’ll find some of the best recipes here!
Healthy Zucchini Recipes
Everyone has their own definition of “healthy,” but whatever yours is, I’m sure you’ll find something here that fits your definition. Zucchini is such a versatile ingredient. How many vegetables can you easily use in savory or sweet applications? How many vegetables can turn into noodles and become a stand-in for pasta? Zucchini is pretty cool!
On top of how versatile it is, zucchini also is full of nutrients. It’s a low-calorie food that has a lot of nutritional value. Here’s what you find in zucchini:
- Copper–a key mineral that’s central to building strong tissue, maintaining blood volume, and producing energy in your cells.
- Manganese–this mineral helps control blood sugar. It also plays a role in collagen production, making it important for everyday skin health.
- Vitamin C–an important antioxidant that protects against free radicals. It’s an important nutrient for our immune system and brain health.
- Phosphorus–this mineral plays an important role in basic cell function as well as bone health.
- Magnesium–don’t overlook the importance of this mineral in your health. It is important for bone health, it enables energy production (your fatigue may be because of low levels of it!), and it helps control inflammation. Super important!
- Fiber–so many people aren’t getting enough fiber. Read here for a more detailed description on why a high-fiber diet is important, but know at the very minimum, know it’s going to help keep your digestive system on track!
You’re convinced on the merits of summer squash, right? Let me help you find your new favorite zucchini recipes. Sautéed zucchini with just salt and pepper and a little butter or olive oil and maybe some parmesan cheese is pretty spectacular, but if you want to get creative, I have the ideas you need. Let’s start with savory!
Soup and Salad Recipes with Zucchini
These soups and salads can make the perfect meal year round. Zucchini is a natural fit in so many soups and I have a few salad recipes with zucchini as well!
This one makes the best of all the delicious summer produce in one soup! If you make one soup this summer, let it be this one. I promise you won’t regret it. This is DELICIOUS!
This vegan soup is chock full of vegetables, including zucchini. The lentils add protein and iron! You’ll love how easy and satisfying this soup is.
This Minestrone Soup is so flexible, you could easily add in extra zucchini if you have a lot you want to use. Make it a Minestrone Zucchini Soup! Why not? This is one of my all-time faves.
If you have little ones, you have to get some alphabet-shaped pasta (affiliate link) for this soup! It’s so much fun and a great way to get your kids or grandkids loving on some veggies!
This one goes perfectly with any of the soups you make! Just a great, light salad to round out your meal. It’s so quick and easy to make this one, as well.
This is another light and healthy salad with a fresh, homemade dressing. The fresh basil and parsley provide terrific flavor and are just perfect if you also have fresh herbs growing in your garden.
Main Dish Recipes with Zucchini
There are so many ways to make zucchini the star of your meal! Here are some great ideas for you.
This makes an outstanding main course for your weeknight dinner menu! So quick and easy!
I could definitely eat these every day and be a happy girl. One of my very favorite ways to use zucchini is to add some eggs and flour and make it into a zucchini cake! YUM!
Zucchinis make a great vehicle for stuffing and this makes a vegan, gluten-free, taco-themed dinner. You. can’t. go. wrong. Taco Tuesday just got a big upgrade!
Have you ever made zucchini lasagna? You’ve got to try this! Quinoa takes the place of meat, making this a vegetarian lasagna recipe that is unique and full of flavor!
Make a healthier, lower carb version of shrimp scampi by using zoodles instead of noodles. It’s a winner!
Don’t worry if you’re plant based–there’s a place for zoodles in your life, too! This will change your whole outlook on spaghetti night!
Even if you only eat meat lasagna, you will fall in love with this vegetarian lasagna. I’m telling you; it’s incredible! It has onions, red peppers, and zucchini–all the good stuff!
Side Dish Zucchini Recipes
Zucchini is the perfect ingredient for a simple side. It can be the star of the show or a supporting ingredient in a recipe. Try them all!
This is a lightened up Zucchini Gratin that’s super simple and flavorful! Everyone loves this recipe–it’s a must try!
Have you ever made rice pilaf? Oh, you need to! It’s such a terrific way to sneak in some extra vegetables at dinner time, zucchini included. This is my go-to recipe when I’m not sure what to add to my dinner menu because it goes with so many different main courses.
Every single layer of this vegetable bake is bursting with flavor. Feta cheese, fresh thyme, and zucchini slices, summer squash slices, and tomato slices come together for a delicious and easy side dish recipe.
This one could easily be a side dish or a vegetarian main dish. If you don’t use your slow cooker much in the summer months, you should start! It makes dinner time a breeze and doesn’t heat up your kitchen! This one is an incredible mix of vegetables and cheesy goodness. Kid friendly!
Can you really go wrong with cheese and breadcrumbs that create a nice, crispy coating? These are baked, not fried, and super tasty!
I use zucchini in my shepherd’s pie filling! It’s not traditional, but it’s really delicious! And what a great way to have a main course that’s chock full of veggies. You can easily make this one vegan, as well.
Baking with Zucchini
This is where things get really fun. Zucchini in bread, muffins, pancakes, and more is a delicious way to add nutrients to your baking. (Okay, pancakes isn’t baking. But it fits best in this category!) Some of my favorite healthy treats have zucchini in them. Zucchini add so much moisture to your baked goods–along with fiber and all those other nutrients I listed up above. The best part? It doesn’t add any weird flavors. It’s really neutral so you don’t taste it when you bake with it! YES!!
My husband, Tim, goes through phases where he limits his carbs, but he has a massive sweet tooth. I help him out by creating sweets that fit into his low-carb lifestyle! This bread is made with a mix of almond and coconut flour and has a nice texture.
No one will believe these are healthier muffins! They are so tasty and the dark color even conceals any “green” color little ones might be wary of. You’re going to love this easy recipe!
The first time I made this my kids called it chocolate cake. Enough said. This is absolutely delicious.
If you crave sweet snacks, this recipe is perfect for you! This is definitely an easy to way to use the abundance of zucchini you have and feel great about having a vegetable be a part of your afternoon snack. Vegetables + chocolate chips = winner.
These yummy muffins get rave reviews! They are naturally sweetened, made with whole wheat flour, and shredded zucchini that adds great moisture. Oh! And they are wonderfully spiced with cinnamon and ginger, too.
You can make these sweet by topping with maple syrup, or you can even take them a savory route by adding salsa! We often have pancakes for dinner with this recipe!
I have even more ideas that I’d like to add to this list of the best healthy zucchini recipes. I’m thinking Zucchini Meatballs would be perfect and what about Zucchini Banana Bread? Zucchini Coffee Cake? As I keep creating new zucchini recipes, I’ll add them to this list. If YOU have a favorite, please link it up in the comments!