34 Healthy Zucchini Recipes (Sweet and Savory)



By: The Real Food Dietitians Posted: 7/5/23

Have an abundance of zucchini and aren’t sure what to do with it? We’ve got you covered with these 34 Healthy Zucchini Recipes (plus, they’re all gluten free zucchini recipes, too). Whether you’re looking for a nutritious breakfast, a quick side dish, or a filling dinner option, we’ve got an easy recipe for you. Save this round-up of ideas to refer back to and put your summer squash to good use all season long and beyond.

Spiralized zucchini in white bowl with fresh veggies in background

Healthy Zucchini Recipes For All Your Needs

Though you can find zucchini any time of the year, summer is when it seems like everyone’s garden is bursting at the seams with zucchini. It’s not uncommon to see messages from friends with gardens asking, “Anyone need zucchini? We’ve got so many, we don’t know what to do with them!”

Our response? Bring it on! We love zucchini, and there are a million and one ways to prepare this summer vegetable. Lucky for you, we’ve narrowed down the very best healthy and gluten free zucchini recipes to help take the guesswork out of cooking and help bring nourishment to your table without skimping on flavor. No matter what you’re in the mood for, you’re sure to find something that hits the spot.

Ingredient Spotlight: Benefits of Summer Zucchini

Fairly mild in flavor and extremely versatile, zucchini is also a nutrient-dense food, meaning it provides an abundance of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients with every bite. For instance, zucchini is:

  • An excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K
  • Rich in manganese, potassium, magnesium, and folate
  • A good source of both soluble and insoluble fiber along with water to help aid digestion

34 Best Gluten Free Zucchini Recipes

Learn how to cook zucchini and enjoy it in a variety of ways with our collection of the best zucchini recipes below.

Thick slices of freshly baked zucchini bread topped with walnuts on a metal cooling rack

Healthy Gluten Free Zucchini Bread

An elevated take on classic zucchini bread, our version stands out among the rest thanks to a secret ingredient that makes it extra soft, moist, and delicious. Naturally refined sugar-free, it’s a great option to make in advance and enjoy for breakfasts, snacks, or desserts.

Gluten-Free | Vegetarian | Dairy-Free

Italian Turkey Zucchini Meatballs

Baked in the oven and made with just a handful of ingredients, these meatballs are a fun way to enjoy zucchini as a savory option. Enjoy them as is, or toss them in marinara sauce to serve with pasta, zucchini noodles, or spaghetti squash for a healthy dinner recipe that’s cozy and comforting.

Whole30 | Egg-Free | Gluten-Free | Nut-Free | Grain-Free | Dairy-Free | Paleo

Savory Zucchini Fritters

Savory Zucchini Fritters

Crispy on the outside and tender in the center, these zucchini fritters are made with 8 ingredients and have a cook time of 15 minutes. A great way to sneak extra veggies into your diet, they pair well with any main dish and are freezer-friendly, too. So, you can prepare a big batch and not have to worry about your zucchini going bad!

Whole30 | Gluten-Free | Nut-Free | Grain-Free | Vegetarian | Dairy-Free | Paleo

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins

A one-bowl recipe, these zucchini muffins are soft, fluffy, and studded with sweet chocolate chips in every bite. Given a boost of nutrients thanks to the hidden zucchini, they’re loved by kids and parents alike.

Gluten-Free | Nut-Free | Vegetarian | Dairy-Free

Instant Pot Lasagna Soup

Two comfort foods converge into one to create the ultimate meal with this warm and cozy zucchini soup. This recipe brings together Italian seasoning, soft gluten-free lasagna noodles, and ground beef in a mix of tomato sauce topped with a dollop of ricotta and a sprinkle of Parmesan for big lasagna flavors with a fraction of the work.

Egg-Free | Gluten-Free | Nut-Free | Dairy-Free

Caprese Zucchini Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

This zucchini salad proves that healthy eating doesn’t have to be boring! Spiralized zucchini is tossed in a tangy balsamic vinaigrette with creamy mozzarella cheese, bright tomatoes, and fresh herbs. Crisp and refreshing, this is one of our favorite zucchini side dishes and is perfect for cookouts, BBQs, and weeknight meals.

Egg-Free | Gluten-Free | Nut-Free | Vegetarian

Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins | The Real Food Dietitians | https://therealfooddietitians.com/double-chocolate-zucchini-muffins/

Grain-Free Double Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins

The only thing better than chocolate muffins is double chocolate muffins! Shredded zucchini gives this recipe extra moisture and a boost of nutrients. Made with whole food ingredients and bursting with sweet, dairy-free chocolate chips in every mouthwatering bite, these grain-free muffins taste just as good, if not better, than the real deal.

Gluten-Free | Grain-Free | Vegetarian | Dairy-Free | Paleo

Birdseye view of one-skillet zucchini lasagna with melted mozzarella cheese and cottage cheese on top.

Easy One-Skillet Zucchini Lasagna (No Noodles)

A lower carbohydrate take on a classic comfort food, this recipe uses sliced zucchini instead of lasagna noodles and is layered in a single skillet before being baked to warm, cheesy perfection. With a total time of 45 minutes, it requires half the time of traditional lasagna and boasts all the same flavor!

Egg-Free | Gluten-Free | Nut-Free | Grain-Free

Zucchini Pasta Carbonara with Shrimp

We swapped the pasta with zucchini noodles, upped the veggies, and added extra protein, too in this low-carb carbonara with shrimp. Warm and creamy, it satisfies your hunger without weighing you down. Tossed together and served with an extra drizzle of olive oil and Parmesan cheese, it’s so good you’ll be tempted to lick the plate.

Whole30 | Egg-Free | Gluten-Free | Nut-Free | Grain-Free | Dairy-Free | Paleo

Spicy Asian Zucchini Noodles

This chilled “noodle” salad features locks of crunchy veggies and is tossed in a creamy almond butter dressing. Given a bit of kick thanks to red pepper flakes and ginger, it’s great served as an appetizer or side dish. Or, you can bulk it up with your favorite protein for a complete meal you can toss together and get in and out of the kitchen fast.

Whole30 | Egg-Free | Gluten-Free | Grain-Free | Vegetarian | Dairy-Free | Vegan | Paleo

Two zucchini oatmeal breakfast muffins stacked on top of each other as part of 6 freezer breakfast recipes

Zucchini Banana Baked Oatmeal Cups

A lifesaver on busy mornings, these oatmeal cups make for a great grab-and-go breakfast option or a satisfying mid-day snack. Easy to customize with mix-ins and toppings, they’re perfect for meal prep. Even better, they’re so tasty, your picky eaters won’t even realize they’re healthy!

Egg-Free | Gluten-Free | Nut-Free | Vegetarian

Grilled Salmon with Elote-Style Veggies

The best mashup of flavors and ingredients, flakey grilled salmon meets a street food favorite in this powerhouse meal. Fish filets are served over a bed of grilled zucchini and corn. Seasoned with warm Mexican-inspired spices and topped with crumbly Cotija cheese, it’s a nutrient-rich meal that’s sure to impress your guests.

Egg-Free | Gluten-Free | Nut-Free | Grain-Free

A serving of healthy taco casserole on white plate, topped with diced avocado, tomatoes, and fresh cilantro.

Healthy Taco Casserole

Fresh veggies like bell pepper, zucchini, and onions combine with lean ground beef, tender rice, and a savory broth in this taco casserole recipe. Topped with lots and lots of cheese, it’s quick, easy, and features everything you love about tacos in the convenience of a budget-friendly casserole.

Egg-Free | Gluten-Free | Nut-Free

A delicious plated stuffed pepper cut open to show the ground meat filling.

Taco Stuffed Peppers

A great way to incorporate more veggies into your day, stuffed peppers combine bell peppers, diced tomatoes, onions, and zucchini all on one plate. We replace Italian herbs and spices for a kid-friendly Southwest twist on a classic stuffed pepper.

Whole30 | Egg-Free | Gluten-Free | Nut-Free | Grain-Free

Overhead view of Minestrone soup in a black dutch oven.

Minestrone Soup

Is there anything more satisfying than a warm bowl of minestrone soup? It’s a delightful combination of nutrient-dense veggies, beans, pasta, and seasonings that will leave you feeling both cozy and energized. We even provide options to make it gluten-free and dairy-free to fit a variety of dietary needs.

Egg-Free | Gluten-Free | Nut-Free | Grain-Free | Vegetarian | Dairy-Free | Vegan

Overhead view chipotle quinoa casserole with chicken in a white baking dish topped with melted cheese.

Chipotle Quinoa Casserole with Chicken

This quinoa casserole boasts those delicious Tex-Mex flavors that everyone loves. It’s a great way to please the eaters in your home and insert some well-rounded nutrition at the same time! High in protein and veggie-loaded, leftovers store well, making it an excellent meal prep recipe.

Egg-Free | Gluten-Free | Nut-Free

Serving of pepperoni pizza quinoa casserole on stone plate with side salad

Pepperoni Pizza Casserole

Easy? Check. Family-friendly? Check. Veggie-loaded? Check. Tastes just like pizza? You bet it does! This easy casserole makes enough for a crowd and is one healthful recipe that will have everyone eager to dig in.

Egg-Free | Gluten-Free | Nut-Free

5-Ingredient Baked Ziti

This simple Italian comfort casserole is the best meal when you need something easy, healthy, and homemade. It really does use just 5 ingredients, and you can easily customize it by using gluten-free pasta and adding some chopped veggies to the Baked Ziti with meat.

Egg-Free | Gluten-Free | Nut-Free

Easy Skillet Lasagna (with zucchini and Noodles)

One bite of this easy skillet lasagna recipe, and you’ll wonder why you ever spent hours in the kitchen preparing the baked version in the first place. With jumbled-up ‘layers’ of lean ground beef, curly lasagna noodles, vegetables, and cheese it’s ready in under an hour for a hearty and wholesome meal the entire family will love.

Egg-Free | Gluten-Free | Nut-Free

Greek Chicken Kebabs with Tzatziki Sauce

Put the grill to good use this summer with these veggie-loaded Greek chicken kebabs. Drizzled with tzatziki sauce for extra authentic flavor, skewers are piled high with juicy chicken and tender veggies. Serve them on their own, or pair them with all your favorite sides.

Whole30 | Egg-Free | Gluten-Free | Nut-Free | Grain-Free | Dairy-Free | Paleo

Pork Kebabs with Peanut Sauce served on a black platter

Grilled Pork Kebabs with Zucchini and Peanut Sauce

Nothing says both ‘prep-ahead convenience’ and ‘summertime’ like perfectly-grilled meat and vegetable kebabs with chicken, zucchini, yellow squash, bell pepper, and red onion. Whether you’re a grilling newbie or an old pro, you’ll find these Grilled Pork Kebabs with Peanut Sauce easy to make and even easier to enjoy. 

Egg-Free | Gluten-Free | Grain-Free | Dairy-Free

Instant Pot Taco Soup

Meal prep and freezer-friendly, this taco zucchini soup ensures you always have a crowd-pleasing option on hand when you’re asked, “What’s for dinner?” Hearty and full of flavor, you can load this soup up with endless toppings to meet everyone’s needs.

Egg-Free | Gluten-Free | Nut-Free | Grain-Free

Instant Pot Veggie Loaded Turkey Chili

Ground meat, lots of veggies, warm spices, black beans, and tomato sauce combine in this loaded chili recipe, bringing smokey goodness without the wait. Comforting and delicious, this is one recipe you’ll want in your arsenal all year long.

Egg-Free | Gluten-Free | Nut-Free | Grain-Free | Dairy-Free

Veggie Loaded Turkey Chili

Veggie Loaded Turkey Chili

One of our oldest and most popular recipes, this chili is a complete meal with protein, veggies, fiber, and healthy fats. Prepared in a single pot, it comes together quickly, and cleanup is a breeze. Load it up with all your favorite toppings for a meal you’ll look forward to eating throughout the entire year.

Egg-Free | Gluten-Free | Grain-Free | Dairy-Free

Balsamic Roasted Vegetables with Quinoa

Balsamic Roasted Vegetable and Quinoa Salad

Prepare this beautiful salad ahead of time, and enjoy it warm or cold as a side dish or complete meal when paired with your favorite high-quality protein such as chicken, steak, pork, or fish. It also works well as a satisfying plant-based meal even the meat eaters in your life will love.

Egg-Free | Gluten-Free | Nut-Free | Vegetarian | Dairy-Free | Vegan

Instant Pot Meatballs and Marinara

Prepare an Italian feast in just over 30 minutes from start to finish. Baked zucchini noodles are tossed with saucy marinara and sautéed meat. Topped with a healthy dose of fresh basil, this meal is a keto-friendly dinner you can enjoy any day of the week.

Whole30 | Egg-Free | Gluten-Free | Nut-Free | Grain-Free | Dairy-Free | Paleo

Pepperoni Pizza Quinoa Bake

Treat yourself to pizza without the takeout price or gluten thanks to this easy gluten-free recipe. Perfect for all ages, it’s secretly full of vegetables for a healthy twist on an old favorite that tastes just as good as the real thing and leaves you feeling great.

Egg-Free | Gluten-Free | Nut-Free

Easy Orange Pork Stir Fry

Skip the takeout, and make this homemade stir fry instead! Pork and veggies are tossed with a sweet and tangy orange sauce for an easy prep-ahead meal you can have on the table in less time than it takes to order delivery.

Whole30 | Egg-Free | Gluten-Free | Nut-Free | Grain-Free | Dairy-Free | Paleo

BBQ Ranch Turkey Veggie Skillet

Not your average chili recipe, this version features sweet bbq sauce, tangy Ranch, and tons of nutrients for a simple meal that will get you out of a dinner rut. Include all the leftover scraps you have on hand, repurposing them into a brand-new recipe you’ll be excited to eat.

Whole30 | Gluten-Free | Nut-Free | Grain-Free | Dairy-Free | Paleo

Italian Meatballs with Zoodles (Whole30) | The Real Food Dietitians | https://therealfooddietitians.com/italian-meatballs-with-zoodles-whole30/

Italian Meatballs with Zoodles

This recipe is the gift that keeps on giving! Spiralized zucchini makes an excellent bed for homemade Italian meatballs. Tossed with marinara sauce, it’s suitable for simple weeknight dinners or fancy date nights. Then, you can use leftovers for salads and soups, and have healthful meals you’ll look forward to eating throughout the week.

Whole30 | Egg-Free | Gluten-Free | Grain-Free | Dairy-Free | Paleo

Pizza-Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

Pizza you can feel good about? Oh, yes! This stuffed spaghetti squash features all your favorite pizza toppings in a low-carb, nutrient-rich recipe that will satisfy your cravings and leave you feeling full and energized. Even better the next day, it’s sure to become a fast family favorite.

Egg-Free | Gluten-Free | Nut-Free | Grain-Free

Chicken & Apple Sausage Sweet Potato Hash

Chicken and Apple Sausage Sweet Potato Hash

Sausage, bacon, sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, this savory breakfast hash has it all. Serve it as is for breakfast, lunch, or dinner as it is or with a fried egg on top. Either way, you can’t go wrong!

Whole30 | Egg-Free | Gluten-Free | Nut-Free | Grain-Free | Dairy-Free | Paleo

Italian Sausage Stuffed Zucchini Boats

These zucchini boats are a must-try recipe! Seasoned Italian sausage is combined with fresh veggies and stuffed into zucchini. Baked until tender and topped with a creamy homemade dressing, fresh basil, and an option to add a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, this low-carb dinner is enough to make your tastebuds sing.

Whole30 | Egg-Free | Gluten-Free | Nut-Free | Grain-Free | Dairy-Free | Paleo

Instant Pot Lamb Curry

Our go-to recipe for feeding ravenous teenagers, nothing quite satisfies big hunger like a hearty bowl of curry with vegetables. Infused with warm, aromatic spices and silky smooth coconut-infused sauce, this curry recipe is a fast version of the traditional recipe and comes together with ease.

Whole30 | Egg-Free | Gluten-Free | Grain-Free | Dairy-Free | Paleo

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the healthiest way to eat zucchini?

The best way to obtain the most nutrients from zucchini is to enjoy it raw as some nutrients can be lost in the cooking process. To absorb the most nutrients from cooked zucchini, include healthy fats such as avocado, extra virgin olive oil, nuts, or seeds to aid the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, which we’ve done in many of these healthy zucchini recipes.

What goes well with zucchini?

Zucchini squash is fairly neutral in flavor, meaning it pairs well with a wide variety of ingredients and seasonings. To enhance its taste, try pairing zucchini with herbs and spices, other vegetables, lemon juice, goat cheese, feta cheese, or protein.

How do you cook zucchini without losing nutrients?

As a general rule, it’s best to keep the cooking time short, use minimal heat, and very little liquid to retain the most nutrients in any veggies you are cooking. Therefore, steaming tends to be one of the best options for highest nutrient retention.

What is one of the best and easiest ways to cook zucchini?

If you want to prepare zucchini on its own as a quick side dish, we love to slice a medium zucchini into rounds or slices and cook it in the air fryer. Try making zucchini fries or zucchini chips! If you’re feeling ambitious, you can even coat them in breadcrumbs first. Or, sautée slices with a bit of oil in a skillet, and season them with a dash of salt and black pepper. Whichever method you choose, prep time is minimal, and the zucchini cooks fast.

How do you keep zucchini from being too watery?

To prevent your zucchini from being watery, slice it, salt it generously with salt, and set it aside for about 30 minutes. This will help draw out the excess moisture. All you have to do it pat it off, and continue with your recipe.

Pin Now to Make Them Later!

Collage of recipes featuring zucchini; zucchini bread, zucchini Italian meatballs, zucchini caprese salad and zucchini lasagna.

For ultimate success, we highly recommend reading the tips in the full blog post above. All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish a recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own unique words. Link back to the source recipe here on The Real Food Dietitians. Thank you!

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