With zucchini season coming to a close (the squash reach their peak from May to October), there’s an abundance of the vegetable at markets right now. And that’s a good thing, since zucchini is low in calories and high in water content, which means it can help you feel fuller longer. Plus, the vegetable is loaded with nutrients, including potassium and vitamin A.
Luckily, the versatile veg can be used as more than a side dish. As the zucchini recipes below prove, this green squash can be the star of the show in everything from pancakes to pizza bites. Try these meal ideas and you’ll be covered from morning ‘til night!
Healthy Greek Yogurt Zucchini Pancakes
These fluffy flapjacks from Baker by Nature are proof that pancakes don’t have to derail your diet. This healthy version is packed with a heaping cup of zucchini, whole wheat flour, and protein-rich Greek yogurt. You won’t even notice the zucchini (but you’ll reap all the benefits!). The result is a light yet satisfying breakfast you’ll want to make again and again.
Zucchini Pizza Bites
If you’re sick of eating salad, try this 20-minute meal for a quick and easy lunch. Yellow or green zucchini makes a surprisingly delicious (and healthy!) base for these mini pizzas from the Reluctant Entertainer. The recipe calls for topping the zucchini with tomatoes, but feel free to stack on other veggies like mushrooms and peppers for added flavor and nutrients. If you’re trying to cut back on calories, part-skim mozzarella offers the same cheesy texture as the full-fat version.
Zucchini Pasta With Avocado Cream Sauce
Originally from northern Italy, zucchini is a staple in Italian fare. And this vegetarian recipe from Running to the Kitchen makes smart use of them (while nodding to their heritage) by transforming the veggie into pasta. The zucchini is spiralized with a julienne peeler (or spiralizer if you have one), then tossed in an avocado cream sauce that tastes decadent but has fewer calories and sodium than traditional cream sauces.
Turkey Zucchini Meatballs
To add some protein to the pasta, toss in these mouth-watering turkey and zucchini meatballs from A Cozy Kitchen. The recipe is easy enough for even a novice cook to follow. Place the raw ground turkey, cilantro, zucchini, green onion, egg, and mint in a bowl and mix together. Use a tablespoon to scoop out and shape. Quickly sear them on a pan and then pop them in the oven for 5 to 7 minutes, or until just cooked through.
Grilled Zucchini Hummus Roll-ups
If you’re looking for a satisfying snack, these roll-ups from Cookin Canuck have you covered. Loaded with hummus and veggies, each roll-up packs just enough protein and fiber to hold you over until your next meal. And with only 43 calories per roll, you don’t have to stop at just one!
Chocolate Zucchini Brownies
You’d never guess these chocolatey, gooey brownies from Texanerin Baking are are made from 100 percent whole grains and are dairy-free, with no added fat. Applesauce is used instead of oil, and the zucchini helps hold the batter together and provides an added dose of folate and vitamin A. You won’t feel bad about having seconds, but you probably won’t need to because they’re that good.
By Sarah Kelleher