zucchini recipes

Zucchini and Cheese Tartlets

Zucchini and Cheese Tartlets

Since zucchini are so prolific, there never seem to be enough recipes for them. I like this one as an appetizer. You can make up a big batch, bake and then freeze some for whenever you need them. Served with a salad they make a nice lunch or light dinner.

Zucchini and Cheese Tartlets

1 recipe of pie crust dough, enough for 2 pies, home made or store bought

1 medium zucchini shredded, about 1 1/2 cups

1 T. flour

1 c. shredded cheese- any kind you like. I like cheddar.

2 eggs, beaten

1/2 c. minced onion

1 t. Italian seasoning

salt and pepper to taste

hot pepper sauce to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roll out dough to 1/8-inch thick. Use a 2 1/2-inch biscuit cutter to cut out circles of dough. Place dough circles in mini muffin pans. Press them in gently being careful not to tear them. Repeat with remaining dough and re-roll scraps. You’ll end up with about 3 dozen in all. If you don’t have enough pans, keep the extra dough circles under a towel or plastic wrap so they don’t dry out until you are ready to use them. In mixing bowl combine zucchini and toss in the flour. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Adjust seasonings to your taste. Place a rounded teaspoonful of zucchini mixture into each of the tartlet shells in the prepared pans. Don’t over fill. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown on top. They will puff up while baking but flatten when cooling. Can be served hot, warm or at room temperature. Makes about 3 dozen.

Can be frozen. To reheat take straight from the freezer and place on a baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 325 degree oven and bake for about 20 minutes, but check after 15 minutes.

Zucchini Carrot Cupcakes

Zucchini and Carrot Cupcakes

These are really good cupcakes. They are moist and not too sweet with a slightly dense texture. Sort of a cross between carrot cake and zucchini bread, they have more texture than a traditional cupcake and plenty of flavor. I had an abundance of zucchini and carrots and figured they might play well together.

I got 24 cupcakes out of the recipe but they were a little small. Perhaps 18 would be a better way to go. I used simple vanilla buttercream to finish them off. I whipped the frosting a long time so it was extra fluffy. Here are the recipes for both the cupcakes and the frosting.

Zucchini Carrot Cupcakes

2 eggs
1 c. sugar
2/3 c. oil
1¼ c. flour
1 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1 t. cinnamon- I think I would use a little more next time
½ t. salt
1 c. grated carrot
1 c. grated zucchini, squeezed dry and packed tightly
½ c. chopped nuts, optional
Beat eggs with sugar until frothy. Beat in oil then add dry ingredients. Beat on high for 4 minutes. Stir in veggies and nuts. Pour batter into 18- 24 paper lined muffin tins, filling them 2/3 full. Bake in a 350-degree oven for about 15 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched. Cool and frost. Makes 24.

Note: These cupcakes deflate a little while cooling.

Classic Vanilla Buttercream

3/4 cup butter
6 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons milk
Beat butter in a large bowl until fluffy. Gradually add 3 cups of the sifted confectioners’ sugar, beating well. Slowly beat in the vanilla, salt, and 1/3 cup of the milk. Gradually beat in the 3 remaining cups of confectioner’s sugar. Beat in additional milk (1 to 2 tablespoons) if needed, to make frosting of spreading consistency. You can also tint the frosting with juice (like pomegranate or raspberry)  or food coloring.

Spiced Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes

Spiced Chocolate Zucchini Cupcake

It’s that time of year. Zucchini time. Maybe I should call it, “What do I do with all my zucchini time?” Zucchini and other summer squash are in abundance right now. This recipe is another, tasty way, to use them.

These are wonderfully spiced, moist cupcakes. Instead of frosting them, I decided to top them with melted butter and cinnamon sugar.  It’s something I’ve done with muffins, in the past. I didn’t see why I couldn’t do the same thing with cupcakes.

It was a really good idea. The cupcakes stand up well in summer heat. Besides, not everyone likes frosting.

As an added bonus- it is a another recipe using zucchini, and that is never a bad thing.

Spiced Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 t. baking soda
½ t. salt
1 t. cinnamon
½ t. nutmeg
Pinch of cloves
¼ c. unsweetened cocoa
½ cup butter, softened
½ cup olive oil
1½ c. sugar
2 eggs
½ c. buttermilk
1½ t. vanilla
2½ c. grated zucchini
1 cup chocolate chips
Topping:
½ c. butter, melted
½ c. sugar
2 t. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour 24 muffin cups or use paper liners. Mix together the dry ingredients. Set aside. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, olive oil and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the buttermilk and vanilla. Beat in the flour mixture, just until incorporated. Stir in the grated zucchini and chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the top of the cupcakes spring back when lightly pressed. Cool in pans over a wire rack for at least 10 minutes or until cool enough to handle. Dip top of cupcakes in melted butter, then dip in the cinnamon sugar. Place on rack to finish cooling off. Makes 24.

Giant Zucchini Bread

Zucchini Bread

Let me be clear. The bread is normal size- the zucchini are giant. Even the most diligent of gardeners will have a few zucchini get away from them.

Zucchini seem to go from too small to gigantic in the blink of an eye. A friend just brought me a really big zucchini. I knew it would make nice zucchini bread.

This time of year I get a lot of questions about overgrown zucchini.  People seem to think there is nothing you can do with them. That’s not true. Even older squash can be eaten in all sorts of ways.

You can determine if the skin is too tough to eat by trying to pierce it with a fingernail. If you can easily poke the skin- it is tender enough to eat. If it isn’t, just peel before using.

Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise and look at the seed cavity. If the middle looks spongy, hollow or if the seeds are developing scoop out the middle and discard. The remaining zucchini can be cubed or sliced and added to stews, soups, stir fries and all sorts of dishes.

One of my favorite things to make with the bigger zucchini, is zucchini bread. I shred up a whole zucchini and portion it out in amounts I will need for my bread. I freeze what I won’t be using that day. It is really nice in the dead of winter to be able to make zucchini bread. Here is the recipe I use. It is a favorite and makes 2 loaves, which is a bonus.

Zucchini Bread

3 c. flour

3 eggs

2 c. sugar, I use less

2 c. shredded zucchini

1 c. oil

1 c. chopped nuts or raisins, optional

½ c. sour cream or Greek yogurt

1 t. each vanilla, cinnamon, salt and baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease 2 (9×5 inch) loaf pans. Set aside. Place flour in large bowl. Beat eggs and add with remaining ingredients to flour, mixing well and scraping bowl. Pour batter into prepared pans and bake 50-60 minutes, or until browned and toothpick in center emerges clean. Cool in pans on wire rack. Freezes well. Makes 2 .

Zucchini Quesadilla

Zucchini Quesadilla

If you are looking for a fast and easy new way to prepare zucchini this dish really works well. Somewhere between a quesadilla and a frittata it can be a main dish, side dish, brunch dish or even a great breakfast. The hardest part is getting it turned over once it starts to set.

Don’t worry if it isn’t perfect. Once you sandwich it between two tortillas any mistakes are covered up. All cheesy and gooey in the middle, with crisp tortillas on the top and bottom, it might even get your kids to eat their veggies. You just cut it in wedges to serve.

Zucchini Quesadilla

2-3 c. shredded zucchini
2 eggs
1 medium onion, minced or grated
1 carrot, shredded
1/2 c. flour
2 t. dried basil or 2 T. fresh
2 t. dried parsley
1/2 t. salt, or to taste
1/2 t. chili powder
Oil
2 (10- inch) tortillas – I used whole wheat
1 c. shredded cheese, cheddar or Monterey Jack work well, but use what you like or have on hand.
Pepper confetti (finely minced sweet peppers, mixed colors if you can)
Salsa, optional

Combine first nine ingredients in bowl and set aside. Heat 10-inch skillet and add a small amount of oil. Pour in zucchini mixture and spread out evenly. Turn down heat to medium-low and cook until edges start to firm up and brown. With spatula turn over zucchini pancake and cook 3 minutes longer. It should be set. Place 1 tortilla on top of “pancake” and turn over again, so tortilla is in bottom of pan. Place cheese on top of pancake and place second tortilla on top of the cheese. Press down lightly. Cook a couple of minutes before turning again. Tortilla should be lightly browned. Cook long enough for the second tortilla to also brown. You can flip them back if to want to make them crispier. Remove to serving dish and sprinkle with the peppers. Cut into wedges and serve. Serve with salsa, if desired. You can also add a dollop or sour cream or some sliced ripe olives if you like.
Makes 2 luncheon servings or 4 appetizers. You can also make them ahead of time and keep them warm or reheat them in a 350-degree oven for about 15 minutes.

Variations: You can use 1-2 cups cooked mashed beans (kidney, black, chickpeas etc. in place of the zucchini, or even use cooked lentils.

Zucchini Bread Pudding

Zucchini Bread Pudding

I had some extra zucchini bread and wanted to do something different with it. I ended up making this zucchini bread pudding. It came out even better than I thought it would.  Rich, not too sweet. A simple, classic dessert.

I felt it needed some sort of topping or sauce. I made a vanilla caramel sauce to dress it up a little. It worked great. Ice cream or whipped cream would have worked, too.

I guess I should really call it a zucchini bread bread pudding.  After all, it is bread pudding made from zucchini bread.  My spell check hates it when I type the same word twice, so zucchini bread pudding it is.

I know this would also work with other quick breads, like pumpkin or banana bread.

So here is the recipe- for the bread pudding, the zucchini bread and the caramel sauce.

Zucchini Bread Bread Pudding

6-8 cups cubed zucchini bread- recipe follows

8 oz. cream cheese- cubed

2 c. half and half

3 eggs

1 T. vanilla

1 t. cinnamon

Vanilla Caramel sauce- recipe follows

Butter a 2-quart casserole. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place half the cubed zucchini bread in the prepared pan. Add half the cubed cream cheese, scattering over the bread. Repeat with remaining bread and cheese. In bowl, combine the remaining ingredients, beating until well mixed. Pour over the zucchini bread mixture. Place casserole in oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until bread pudding is set. Allow bread pudding to cool a little before serving. Serve with the vanilla caramel sauce or top with ice cream or whipped cream. Serves 8.

While often served warm, this bread pudding is tasty served chilled, too. Heck, I just had some for breakfast.

Zucchini Bread

3 c. flour

3 eggs

2 c. sugar

2 c. shredded zucchini

1 c. oil

1 c. chopped nuts or raisins

½ c. sour cream or strained yogurt

1 t. each vanilla, cinnamon, baking powder, salt and baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease 2 (9×5 inch) loaf pans. Set aside. Place flour in large bowl. Beat eggs and add with remaining ingredients to flour, mixing well and scraping bowl. Pour batter into prepared pans and bake 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until browned and toothpick in center emerges clean. Cool in pans on wire rack. Freezes well. Makes 2.

Vanilla Caramel Sauce

1 c. sugar

¼ c. water

4 T. butter

2 t. vanilla

¼ c. half and half

Pinch of salt

Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook for about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the remaining ingredients. Stir until smooth.

Giant Zucchini Bread

Zucchini Bread

Let me be clear. The bread is normal size- the zucchini are giant. Even the most diligent of gardeners will have a few zucchini get away from them.

Zucchini seem to go from too small to gigantic in the blink of an eye. A friend just brought me a really big zucchini. I knew it would make nice zucchini bread.

This time of year I get a lot of questions about overgrown zucchini.  People seem to think there is nothing you can do with them. That’s not true. Even older squash can be eaten in all sorts of ways.

You can determine if the skin is too tough to eat by trying to pierce it with a fingernail. If you can easily poke the skin- it is tender enough to eat. If it isn’t, just peel before using.

Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise and look at the seed cavity. If the middle looks spongy, hollow or if the seeds are developing scoop out the middle and discard. The remaining zucchini can be cubed or sliced and added to stews, soups, stir fries and all sorts of dishes.

One of my favorite things to make with the bigger zucchini, is zucchini bread. I shred up a whole zucchini and portion it out in amounts I will need for my bread. I freeze what I won’t be using that day. It is really nice in the dead of winter to be able to make zucchini bread. Here is the recipe I use. It is a favorite and makes 2 loaves, which is a bonus.

Zucchini Bread

3 c. flour

3 eggs

2 c. sugar, I use less

2 c. shredded zucchini

1 c. oil

1 c. chopped nuts or raisins, optional

½ c. sour cream or Greek yogurt

1 t. each vanilla, cinnamon, salt and baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease 2 (9×5 inch) loaf pans. Set aside. Place flour in large bowl. Beat eggs and add with remaining ingredients to flour, mixing well and scraping bowl. Pour batter into prepared pans and bake 1 hour , or until browned and toothpick in center emerges clean. Cool in pans on wire rack. Freezes well. Makes 2 .

Hot or Cold- Creamy Zucchini Soup

Creamy Zucchini Soup

You can never have enough recipes for zucchini. If you have ever planted zucchini, you know what I mean. 

This is a recipe I’ve had for ages, but had not made in a while. I forgot how much I liked it. As an added bonus, it can be served hot or cold.

I leave the skins on my zucchini, I like the way the little green flecks look in the soup, but you can peel, if you prefer. You can also use a combo of green and yellow summer squash.

Here is the recipe.

Creamy Zucchini Soup

1 medium onion, chopped
2 T. butter
4-6 medium zucchini, sliced
1 large potato, peeled and diced
1 T. chopped parsley
½ t. each basil, marjoram and thyme
1 t. hot sauce, or to taste
salt and pepper to taste
6 c. chicken or veggie broth
1 c. milk or half and half- I prefer the half and half

In Dutch oven cook onions in butter until tender. Add vegetables and seasonings and cook until hot. Add broth, heat to a simmer and cook 15 minutes. Puree mixture in blender in batches and return to pot. Add milk and heat through. Adjust seasonings. Serve hot or cold. I topped mine with some fresh chopped parsley and a little hot sauce. Serves 6-8.

Pizza Zucchini

Pizza Zucchini

I started making this dish out of necessity. I was fresh out of college and never seemed to have much money. I did have a big garden, though. It was August and the garden was full of zucchini, tomatoes and peppers. I had to find a tasty way to combine them. Pizza Zucchini was born.

The name is a little misleading. It isn’t really a pizza at all. Rather, it is a saute of several veggies, seasoned with pizza seasoning. I top it off with cheese, and often serve it over pasta or rice or stuffed in a pita bread. Last night, I served it on a whole wheat tortilla, so it did sort of have a pizza feel to it.

Not much work, this dish packs a lot of flavor. Plus, you can use all sorts of other veggies, depending on what you have around. So if you have a few extra zucchini laying around, this is a fun and tasty way to enjoy them. You might even get your family to eat more veggies.

“Pizza” Zucchini

1 T. oil
½ c. chopped onion
1 sweet pepper, seeded and chopped
1 c. sliced mushrooms, optional
3-4 c. sliced zucchini or other summer squash, trimmed and sliced
3 c. diced fresh tomatoes, or use canned or 1 c. tomato sauce
1-2 t. pizza seasoning, or to taste*
8 oz. Mozzarella cheese

Sauté onion in oil until tender add pepper and mushrooms and sauté 2 minutes more. Add squash and cook until tender. Add tomatoes or sauce, seasonings and salt, if desired. Heat through, turn down heat and add cheese. Cover and allow to cook on low until cheese melts. Serve as is, over rice or pasta or in pita bread. Serves 3-4.

*Pizza Seasoning

3 T. dried basil
2 T. dried oregano
1-T. red pepper flakes
1 T. dried minced onion
1-T. fennel seeds
1 t. garlic powder

Combine all ingredients and store in a cool, dark, dry place.
To use: Add 1-2 teaspoons per cup of tomato sauce to make pizza sauce. Also good sprinkled on bagels with sauce and cheese or added to any tomato or pepper dish.

Pizza Zucchini in the skillet

Zucchini Pancakes

Zucchini Pancakes

You can never have too many zucchini recipes. Especially this time of year. This simple recipe uses zucchini to make tender and flavorful pancakes.

They aren’t the type of pancake you would pour maple syrup over. They are wonderful topped with some fresh salsa, though. I would- and have- eaten them for breakfast. These pancakes make a nice lunch or main dish meal. They can also be served as a side dish. Similar to potato pancakes.

I think they taste best when golden on the outside, a little crisp. They will still be tender inside.

So if you have more zucchini than you know what to do with, and you don’t want to bake zucchini bread, here is a recipe you might want to try.

Zucchini Pancakes

2 c. shredded zucchini

1 medium onion, diced

2 eggs

1/2 c. flour- you made need a little more or less depending on how moist your zucchini is

2 t. hot pepper sauce, or to taste

1 t. baking soda

salt to taste

oil for cooking

Combine all ingredients, except the oil, in a medium bowl. Heat oil in skillet and spoon batter in. I used a little over 1/4 cup for each. Cook over medium heat until lightly browned around the edges. Flip and cook until golden on both sides and pancake springs back when touched lightly. Remove to platter and keep warm. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve with salsa or sour cream. Makes 8.

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