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What goes well with zucchini? Learn the best ingredient pairings, meal ideas, popular flavor combinations, and other helpful tips.
First things first though.
What is Zucchini?
Zucchini (also called a courgette in other countries) is part of the gourd vegetable family (also called Cucurbits) along with pumpkin, squash (winter and summer), cucumber, watermelons, and other melons.
It resembles a cucumber in shape and size with smooth, thin skin that is either green or yellow but can also be striped or speckled. Its flesh is tender and filled with several edible seeds in its center.
How to Cut & Cook Zucchini
- How to cut. Zucchini can be cut in a number of different ways: zoodles, julienne, coins, half moons, quarters, dice, halved, shredded, etc.
- How to cook. Zucchini can be fried, grilled, pan-roasted, roasted, sautéed, steamed, or baked (in bread or cookies).
- When to buy. The peak season for zucchini is spring and summer. Peep the seasonal produce guide to see what else is in season right now.
- What to look for. Look for zucchini that is firm, heavy for its size, and has shiny and unblemished skin. Choose squash that is average size for the best flavor.
- Storage. Store unwashed, in the crisper drawer of your fridge.
What Ingredients Go Well With Zucchini?
Ingredient pairing is simply just matching foods together that have similar flavor profiles (or the same flavor compounds found in each ingredient).
It’s easier to start experimenting and getting more creative in the kitchen when you know what ingredients already go well together. This will help you become less reliant on recipes and be a more adaptable, resourceful, and intuitive cook.
Bell peppers (green, red, yellow), chile peppers, corn, eggplant, garlic, onions (esp. yellow or white), pattypan squash, scallions, yellow squash, and zucchini blossoms.
Lemons and tomatoes.
Cinnamon, coriander, mustard seeds (esp. black), pepper (black and white), red pepper flakes, saffron, and salt (kosher & sea)
Basil, chives, cilantro, curry leaf, dill, lemon thyme, marjoram, mint, oregano, parsley (flat-leaf), rosemary, sage, tarragon, and thyme.
NUTS & SEEDS
Pecans, pine nuts, sesame seeds, and walnuts.
Butter, cheese (cheddar, feta, parmesan, ricotta, cream, sour cream, and yogurt.
Fish, meat, salmon, sausage, scallops, and shrimp.
Bread crumbs, olive oil, olives (esp. black or Nicoise), pasta, pesto (nut-free arugula pesto or walnut basil pesto), rice, stock/broth, vinegar (balsamic, champagne, red wine, sherry), and dry white wine.
Popular Zucchini Ingredient Pairings
For dairy-free cream use cashew, oat, or canned coconut cream.
- basil + garlic
- cream + parmesan
- eggplant + garlic + onions + tomatoes
- cheese + pecans + olive oil
Zucchini is a common ingredient in French and Italian cuisine and can be used in both savory and sweet dishes alike.
What To Make With Zucchini
- Add shredded zucchini to muffins, cakes, or bread for moistness, bulk, and a nutritious boost
- Roast with olive oil and seasonings
- Slice them thin lengthwise with a mandoline slicer and use in place of butternut squash in this dairy-free lasagna
- Blanch and freeze to add to smoothies for a creamy texture