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8 Creative Zucchini Recipes to Try Before Summer Ends

by | Aug. 07, 2018

Mormon Life

Not only is zucchini in season, it's a versatile ingredient that can be steamed, roasted, grilled, baked, or boiled. Check out these delicious recipes for creative ways to use zucchini in your family dinners this week!

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Banana Bread

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Banana Bread

1½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1¼ teaspoons cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup canola oil
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1 cup finely grated zucchini (about 1 medium zucchini)
1 cup mashed banana (about 2 large bananas)
1½ cups chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and grease an 8½x4-inch loaf pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cream of tartar, and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, beat together the canola oil and sugar. Add the egg and mix again. Dump in the zucchini and mix on medium speed until everything is evenly combined.
Starting and ending with the flour mixture, alternate adding the flour and mashed banana a little at a time while the mixer runs on low.
Fold in the chocolate chips and pour batter into prepared loaf pan.
Bake 50 to 55 minutes, tenting with foil the last 15 minutes to avoid too much browning. Allow bread to cool before slicing, then serve warmed up with a little butter.
Makes 1 loaf.

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Herbed Lemon-Garlic Chicken Skewers

Herbed Lemon-Garlic Chicken Skewers

MARINADE
1½ tablespoons finely minced or pressed garlic
1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ cup minced fresh herbs, preferably a mix of basil, rosemary, and oregano
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

SKEWERS
2 medium zucchini, cut into ½-inch slices
1 large red bell pepper, cut into ¾-inch squares
1 medium red onion, cut into wedges and then ¾-inch squares
1¼ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
Additional kosher salt and pepper
1 lemon cut into wedges, for serving

1. In a small bowl, combine garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, herbs, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Set aside.
2. Place cut vegetables in a zip-top bag and add 3 tablespoons of the herb marinade. Toss to coat. Place chicken in a separate zip-top bag and add remaining marinade, tossing to coat. Let sit in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, and up to 4–6 hours.
3. Preheat grill to medium heat. Thread alternating meat and vegetables onto skewers. Lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill 3–4 minutes, and then flip. Continue cooking, flipping when necessary, until vegetables show grill marks and chicken is cooked through to 165 degrees F. Serve with lemon wedges to squeeze on top.

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Slow Cooker Roasted Vegetables

Slow Cooker Roasted Vegetables

4 unpeeled potatoes, scrubbed and chopped into large pieces (any kind of potato will work)
2 carrots, sliced
½ onion, sliced
2 zucchinis, thickly sliced (these cook faster than the other vegetables, so make them pretty thick)
Olive oil
1 (6-ounce) packet dry Italian dressing mix
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for garnishing

Place chopped vegetables in a large bowl. Drizzle vegetables with olive oil. Sprinkle packet of dressing mix over the vegetables. Lightly toss so that all the vegetables are covered in oil and seasoning. Spray slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray and pour seasoned vegetables inside. Cook on low 5 to 7 hours or high 3 to 4 hours. Sprinkle with fresh Parmesan cheese and enjoy! Other vegetables we like to use include green peppers, asparagus, yellow zucchini squash, snap peas, and fresh green beans.
Makes 6 servings.

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Zucchini Lasagna

Zucchini Lasagna

6 zucchini, sliced lengthwise
1 pound ground beef (a 60/40 mix works best)
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 cup minced onion
1 red bell pepper, minced
1 yellow bell pepper, minced
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
2 (15-ounce) cans tomato sauce
1 (15-ounce) can good quality diced tomatoes
2 teaspoons fresh chopped basil
2 teaspoons dry Italian seasoning
3 shakes red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
1 heaping cup cottage cheese
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
6 teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Heat a grill or grill pan to medium heat. Grill the zucchini on each side for a minute or two and remove to a plate. After zucchini has rested for a few minutes, place a colander over a large bowl, line with a paper towel, and place zucchini in the colander to allow excess liquid to drain off and prevent zucchini from being mushy. Pat slices dry and set aside.
Heat butter and oil in a large pot over medium heat. If using beef, add ground beef and cook while stirring occasionally, until almost brown; add onion, peppers, and garlic and cook until tender, about 2 minutes.
Stir in tomato paste, sauce, and diced tomatoes. Add basil, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine and allow to simmer 10 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Assemble lasagna: Spoon 1/2 cup of the sauce over the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking pan. Line the pan with drained 1/3 of the zucchini slices and top with a heaping 1/3 cup cottage cheese, using the back of a spoon to spread it out. Carefully spread 3/4 cup of the sauce over the cottage cheese, sprinkle with 1 cup shredded mozzarella, and 2 teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese. Repeat the layers 2 more times, ending with sauce and the 2 cheeses.
Cover lasagna with aluminum foil that has been sprayed with cooking spray to prevent sticking and bake 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake an additional 10 minutes, or until cheese starts to turn golden.
Let lasagna rest outside oven 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
Serves 8 to 10.

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Grilled Vegetable Flatbread Pizza

Grilled Vegetable Flatbread Pizza

2 store-bought Naan-style flatbreads, about 8–9 ounces total
Nonstick canola or olive oil cooking spray
1 small to medium zucchini, sliced diagonally in ⅛-inch slices
3 horizontal slices red onion, ¼-inch thick (keep rings intact)
Pinch of kosher salt
Black pepper
4 tablespoons pesto
4 tablespoons part-skim ricotta cheese
½ teaspoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tomatoes, sliced extra thin
4 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced extra thin
2–3 tablespoons chopped basil
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place flatbreads on a baking sheet and bake for 8 minutes. Remove from oven.
2. Heat a large indoor grill pan (or outdoor barbecue grill) to medium heat. Lightly spray one side of zucchini and onion rings and sprinkle with salt and pepper. When grill pan is hot, place zucchini and onion, oil-side-down, on grill pan and cook 3–5 minutes or until slightly softened and grill marks appear.
3. Spray remaining side with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Flip vegetables and cook an additional 3–5 minutes. Work in batches if necessary.
4. While vegetables are cooking, combine pesto, ricotta, garlic, and lemon juice in a small bowl. Spread mixture on baked flatbreads. Layer grilled zucchini and onion, along with tomatoes and mozzarella, on the flatbreads.
5. Return flatbreads to oven and bake 10–12 minutes, until edges appear toasted and cheese is melted. Remove from oven, sprinkle with basil and drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Let rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

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Baked Zucchini Fries

Baked Zucchini Fries

½ cup panko bread crumbs
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 eggs
3 medium zucchini (about 1 pound)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside. Combine bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Set aside. Whisk eggs together in a shallow pie plate and set aside.
Cut off the ends of the zucchini and then cut the zucchini in half so you have two stubby pieces. Set one piece on its end and cut it in half lengthwise. Cut that half in half, making 2 planks. Repeat with the remaining halves. (You’ll get 16 planks per zucchini.)
Stack 2 planks on top of each other and cut into strips. Thicker strips will yield bigger fries with more zucchini flavor while thin strips will be crispy and taste virtually nothing like zucchini. When all the fries are cut, blot the pieces with a paper towel.
With a small handful at a time, dip zucchini sticks in the egg, shake them to remove any excess, and then roll each one in about 2 to 3 tablespoons of bread crumbs at a time, adding crumbs as needed. You don’t want to work with all the bread crumbs at once or they soak up moisture from the egg and won’t stick to the zucchini. Place coated strips on the prepared baking sheet and repeat for all zucchini strips.
Bake 10 to 12 minutes, remove from oven, flip the fries, and bake another 10 to 12 minutes, or until zucchini coating is crisp and golden brown. Serve immediately with marinara sauce or ranch dressing.
Makes 8 servings.

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Steak Burritos with Grilled Zucchini

Steak Burritos with Grilled Zucchini

Tortillas
1 (1- to 2-pound) flank steak
Salt
Pepper
Cumin
1 zucchini, sliced in half lengthwise and drizzled with olive oil, salt, and pepper
2 ears corn on the cob
1 cup crumbled Cotija cheese
1 cup fresh salsa
1/3 cup crema Mexicana
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
Juice from 1/2 lime, about 1 tablespoon
Lime wedges for garnishing
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Heat a griddle to medium heat and cook the tortillas on each side until they begin to brown and bubble; set aside.

Place the meat on a platter and sprinkle evenly on each side with salt, pepper, and cumin to taste.
Cover a grill on high heat until it is nice and hot.
Remove lid or cover from grill and reduce heat to medium-high. Place the meat on the grill and close the lid. Cook 6 to 9 minutes and then flip over. Add zucchini and corn to the grill. Cook the vegetables 2 to 3 minutes, until grill marks appear, and flip to the other side. Cook the meat another 6 to 9 minutes.
Remove meat and vegetables from the grill to a cutting board, and tent with foil; let the meat rest 5 to 8 minutes.
Meanwhile, place the crema Mexicana, chili powder, and lime juice in a bowl and whisk until everything is well incorporated; set aside.
Slice the corn off of the cob and chop the zucchini into chunks.
Slice the meat into thin strips.
Place a dollop of the crema mixture on a tortilla, followed by steak, zucchini, corn, salsa, Cotija crumbles, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime. Fold in the top and bottom of the burrito; then grab a side, pull it up over the filling, and tuck it under the filling, continuing to roll the burrito shut. Serve immediately.
Serves 4.
TIP: Because flank steak is usually tapered, one end will cook faster than the other. Simply cut steak in half and cook separately. Cook thinner end 4 to 6 minutes.

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Zucchini Ribbons and Pasta with Creamy Lemon-Basil Sauce

Zucchini Ribbons and Pasta with Creamy Lemon-Basil Sauce

8 ounces fettuccine noodles
1 medium zucchini
2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
10 ounces grape tomatoes (about 2 cups)
Kosher salt
Black pepper
3–4 cloves finely minced garlic
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
3½ ounces reduced-fat cream cheese
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup loosely packed fresh basil, chopped
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, more if desired

1. Cook pasta according to package instructions. While pasta is cooking, cut ends off zucchini and slice zucchini along the length into about ⅛-inch slices. Cut each of those slices into long ribbons, about the same size as the fettuccine. Set zucchini aside.
2. Heat a medium-sized skillet to medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon olive oil. Add tomatoes and a dash of kosher salt and black pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 3–4 minutes, until tomatoes start to burst and look blistered. Remove tomatoes from pan and place in a small dish. Cover and set aside.
3. Add remaining olive oil to the empty pan and add garlic. Stir constantly on medium-low heat for about 30 seconds. Add chicken broth. Bring to a simmer and use a spatula to scrape any browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Simmer 1–2 minutes and then reduce heat to low.
4. Place cream cheese in a microwave-safe bowl and soften 20–30 seconds, until it can be easily stirred smooth. Ladle a couple spoonfuls of chicken broth mixture into the cream cheese and stir to combine. Once the mixture is smooth, add it to the pan with the remaining broth mixture and whisk until smooth and creamy.
5. Add Parmesan cheese, chopped basil, and lemon juice, and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. (Lemon lovers can also squeeze in extra lemon juice at this point.)
6. When pasta is just about done, add zucchini strips to the pot and boil for about 2 minutes, or until zucchini is tender and pasta is done. Drain zucchini and pasta together and combine with sauce. Gently toss in tomatoes, or simply add them on top of each serving. Garnish with additional basil.

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