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50 Creative Zucchini Recipes for Main Dishes

For gardeners, there's no such thing as a little bit of zucchini. Come summer, even just one or two plants can yield several pounds of squash. But only so much will fit in your freezer, right? Luckily, zucchini is one of the most versatile vegetables around, and ready for its close-up as a main dish. From salads to casseroles to grilled skewers, these 50 zucchini recipes give the summer squash its starring role on the dinner plate.

Oodles of Zoodles

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Zucchini noodles or "zoodles" are thin strips of zucchini, which can be lightly cooked or used raw to replace starchy carb-laden pasta or add a pretty texture to main-dish salads. A spiral slicer yields thin, curling zoodles. If you don't have a spiral slicer, use a vegetable peeler to create thin strips, or use a sharp chef's knife to slice very fine strings, strips, flat slices for zucchini "lasagna," or matchsticks. Just like with pasta, there are nearly endless ways to serve zoodles for dinner.

The Right Stuff: Zucchini Boats

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Zucchini makes an excellent base for your favorite savory fillings, especially with zucchini boats (think potato skins, but with zucchini). Portion control is easy: Plate each boat or squash half with bread and butter, steamed vegetables, or an herb garnish for a charming family dinner. Leftover boats pack nicely in resealable plastic tubs for brown-bag lunches. These 12 recipes offer flavors from around the world.

Zucchini recipes for Sandwiches, Patties, and Pies

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Zucchini also makes a versatile vegetarian sandwich filling, whether it's in fried patties, slices on a roll, or the shredded foundation of a meatless burger. Pizza-style pies and tarts, too, offer a great-looking way to enjoy zucchini's flavor, with or without meat. Variety--and getting artistic--will keep things interesting!

Zucchini on the Grill

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Photo by Wyattdogster

Your barbecue isn't just for burgers; Zucchini grills beautifully when you spice it up and thread it on skewers or lay slices directly on the grill. Grilled zucchini can go directly to the plate or add a smoky touch to sandwiches, pizza, or salads.

Eight More Ways to Cook Zucchini

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From the classic casserole or ratatouille to pasta mixes and fajitas, there's virtually no wrong way to prepare zucchini. Reaquaint yourself with some of these all-time favorites:

 

About Amy Stephenson

Life is too short to skip dessert. Check out my food pics on Instagram.