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Sometimes called summer squash, or courgette if you’re across the pond, zucchini plants are loved (and sometimes loathed) for the huge yields they often provide home gardeners. Though grown around the world for thousands of years, the dark green, oblong variety we’re familiar with today was cultivated in Italy. Known for its mellow flavor when eaten raw, the natural sweetness is easily coaxed out by roasting or grilling.
Peak Season: June to August
How to select: Look for shiny, firm, unblemished skin; it’s OK if it feels slightly prickly.
Price range: $1 to $3 per pound
Keep it fresh: Refrigerate in a plastic bag for up to 5 days. Wash just before using to keep fresh longer.
Pairs well with: Goat cheese, mint, tomatoes, eggplant, corn, asparagus
Creative uses: Use a spiral slicer to make zucchini noodles and serve with fresh tomato sauce. Thinly slice, season and broil until deep golden brown and crisp at the edges to make healthy chips.
Nutrition highlights: Zucchini is packed with multiple B vitamins, which help support metabolism. Since the skin is nutrient-rich, it’s best to buy organic and skip the peeling.
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Roasted Zucchini & Chickpea Penne with Red Bell Pepper Sauce
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Zucchini & Apple Pancakes with Maple-Glazed Turkey Bacon
Orange Chicken Stir-Fry with Spicy Chickpeas & Crispy Garlic Dressing