Need a way to preserve zucchini so that you aren't drowning in it over the summer harvest? Here are more than 25 ways to preserve zucchini that will be shelf-stable or freezer compatible to enjoy all year long!
Zucchini (or courgettes as the rest of the world knows them) are one of those crops that happen every summer that seem to baffle the home gardener.
With plants being so prolific all at one time, it's hard to know what to do with them as one can eat only so much zucchini bread in one sitting!
But instead of sneaking to your neighbors' houses and dropping off bag fulls on the doorstep in the middle of the night.
Or perhaps you've thought to stand outside your local business establishments with free bags to give sort of like Girl Scout cookie season.
And on a more serious note, if you really are being overrun with a remarkably good crop this year, check into donating to your local food pantries - they may be grateful to have fresh vegetables to give to those in need!
So let's get started learning how to preserve zucchini!
25 Ways to Preserve Zucchini
But never fear, there are so many great ways to preserve zucchini that you'll have no problem using them to enjoy all year long!
FYI - you can use many of these options with all kinds of summer squash!
Get ready for the best ways to use that extra zucchini you have!
Freezing summer squash is easily the most accessible way for people to preserve zucchini and other summer squash for the year.
Some simple tips for freezing zucchini:
- Squeeze zoodles and shreds before flash freezing. You want as much moisture out of them before placing them into the freezer to stop freezer burn and tissue breakdown.
- Flash freeze first, then package up for freezing. Flash freezing is placing foods on a cookie sheet and freezing in a single layer before packaging up for long-term storage in the freezer
- Use vacuum seal bags for better results in long-term storage. It helps reduce the effects of freezer burn.
Get more tips to freeze all versions of zucchini from Cassie at Wholefully.com
Dehydrating zucchini is one of the most versatile ways to preserve zucchini for the year.
No peeling or blanching is required - simply cut to the shape you want, dry it properly at 125°F / 52°C for anywhere from 4-12 hours until good and crisp, and you've got shelf-stable zucchini for year!
Here are some of the different ways you can preserve zucchini by dehydrating it.
Zucchini chips really can be a healthy, low-carb alternative to potato chips. The key is super thin chips with plenty of seasonings! The BBQ zucchini chips I make are a perfect replacement for Lays BBQ chips.
Zucchini is so incredibly versatile, and there are a lot of ways you can dry it to make it shelf-stable in your pantry until those days in winter when you want to make something fun!
If you need more seasoning ideas for zucchini chips or any vegetable chips, here are even more ideas for seasoning vegetable chips!
This zucchini gummy candy uses healthier ingredients than its drink mix recipe cousin.
You know you've seen it all over social media, but wonder if it's really something that's useful? Victoria over at A Modern Homestead has a lot of uses for squash flour that can supplement your flour usage in a lot of recipes!
Just a note, while the National Center for Home Food Preservation doesn't recommend canning zucchini, it is a recipe covered by the Ball Preserving Book. Be informed, then make your own decisions. Constance at A Good Life Farm walks you through the particulars.
Whether you like it sweet, savory, or hot and spicy, there are a few good zucchini relish recipes in the world that you should can to save zucchini for the winter!
Freeze drying zucchini is another great way, like dehydrating, to make zucchini shelf-stable in all sorts of configurations, i.e.: Shreds, coins, chunks, zoodles, and planks (for lasagnas, etc.). Of course, if you don't own a freeze dryer, you can purchase freeze-dried zucchini that has a 10-year+ shelf life.
While baking doesn't necessarily serve as a preservation method, the fact that you can freeze zucchini quickbread DOES make it worth doing. Whether in loaf or muffin form, you can bake and be ready for a quick meal at any point.
Savory Zucchini and Cheese Bread. If you aren't really into a sweet quick bread, try this savory zucchini bread instead!
Zucchini Bread Biscotti - dehydrate zucchini bread into a mock-biscotti if you want a different texture!
Mock Zucchini Dishes
As if the mock gummy candy made from zucchini wasn't enough, there are other mock dishes you can recreate using zucchini instead of the original ingredient!
A great way to sneak some different alternatives for vegetables into your family's diet. This can easily be frozen as regular apple pie filling or pies
If you love the idea of mock apple pie filling and gummies, then this zucchini pineapple recipe might be right up your alley for canning!
While these aren't preserving methods from cooking, the fact that these dishes are good to freeze made them a good addition to your list of how to preserve zucchini for more than just any single meal.
- Zucchini Boats - there's a trick to this to help them not be mushy and watery when thawed
- Zucchini Lasagna
- Zucchini-Parmesan Fritatta - these will freeze in serving sizes pieces so incredibly well - worth doing and putting away for another meal! And the cool thing is that you can also make this from your dehydrated zucchini!
- Zucchini Lasagna - we can never talk about zucchini dishes without mentioning this perennial favorite. Lisa at Downshiftology has an incredible zucchini lasagna recipe that will freeze perfectly!