Easy Italian Zucchini Recipes – Sides and Main Dishes

Zucchini is a common vegetable frequently used in Italian cooking. From side dishes to dinner recipes, these Italian zucchini recipes are not only delicious but very easy to make.

Zucchini is one of my favorite garden vegetables to grow each summer, and I use it in so many of my own Italian recipes. I know you’ll get inspired to try some new recipes whether Italian fried zucchini or combining this summer squash with some pasta and herbs.

Italian Zucchini Recipes

The Italians have taught us many different methods for preparing zucchini in amazing recipes that can be used not just in summertime, but all year round. There are over 20 types of zucchinis, however you can use any type of zucchini in the following recipes. Make sure to also check out my helpful tips further down this page for additional cooking and storage advice.

Baked zucchini slides with herbs
Italian Baked Zucchini Slices with Rosemary
This zucchini recipe is baked in a casserole dish on top of sauteed onions and garlic. The zucchini are then covered with a cheese and breadcrumb mixture seasoned with rosemary. Serve alongside some pasta or chicken dish.
Check out this recipe
how to make fried zucchini
Fried Zucchini
Give your zucchini some crunch by frying them in a pan over the stove until golden brown. You don't have to deep fry them, just use a large skillet with deep sides to keep the olive oil from splashing. Dip the zucchini in some marinara sauce when serving.
Check out this recipe
italian zucchini flower blossom recipe
Italian Zucchini Flower Blossom Recipe
When you have zucchini in the garden make sure to utilize your zucchini blossoms which grow on top of the zucchini! These pretty flowers are delicious when pan fried in a light batter. You'll enjoy learning how to store your flowers so you can cook them in batches when you have enough saved up.
Check out this recipe
sauteed zucchini
Italian Sauteed Zucchini with Olive Oil and Garlic
This is such an easy zucchini side dish recipe. When you saute the zucchini with garlic infused olive oil, the zucchini absorbs the flavor. The great thing about this recipe is that you can turn it into a main dish by adding it to pasta!
Check out this recipe
zucchini with butter and garlic
Zucchini with Butter and Garlic
For a slightly buttery taste, try cooking your zucchini in butter with garlic instead of olive oil. For an extra dose of depth, give the zucchini a light squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Serve with chicken, beef, or pasta.
Check out this recipe
italian stuffed zucchini boats
Italian Stuffed Zucchini Boats Vegetarian-Style
I love this Italian recipe for meatless stuffed zucchini. It is not only easy, but also healthy, light yet filling, and loaded with so much flavor. I've used it as a side dish and as the main recipe for dinner. You and your family will love it!
Check out this recipe
zucchini bruschetta
Zucchini Bruschetta Recipe
This zucchini bruschetta recipe is perfect for vegetarians, gluten free – or vegans if you omit the cheese on top. Unlike regular bruschetta I recommend eating these with a fork, not fingers. Best when served warm.
Check out this recipe
pasta with eggplant zucchini
Pasta with Eggplant and Zucchini
Get creative with your zucchini by cooking it up with some eggplant and adding it to some pasta. In this recipe I use freshly cooked tortellini filled with cheese. This recipe is a great way to use up your zucchini and your eggplant!
Check out this recipe
eggplant zucchini tomatoes pasta
Eggplant, Tomatoes, Zucchini with Pasta
Cook your zucchini with tomatoes and some eggplant and garlic. Toss in some cooked rigatoni for an easy dinner. This may not be a very quick dish, but it is hearty and full of Italian flavors straight from the garden!
Check out this recipe
zucchini pizza boats
Baked Zucchini Pizza Boats
If you're having a hard time getting family or friends to eat zucchini, try these delicious pizza boats. Top the halved zucchini with your faovrite pizza toppings and have a healthy dish! This can be a side dish or a main dish. I suggest serving 1 zucchini per person.
Check out this recipe
baked zucchini with tomato slices
Baked Zucchini Slices with Tomato
This simple recipe is perfect for summer days when you just want a nice easy dish. Top your zucchini with sliced tomatoes and then add some breadcrumbs and drizzle olive oil on top. As you bake the zucchini, the breadcrumbs will crisp up and you'll have a wonderful dish or mid-day snack!
Check out this recipe
zoodles with breadcrumbs and romano cheese
Zoodles with Breadcrumbs and Romano Cheese
Instead of adding zucchini to your pasta, turn your zucchini into pasta! This is one of my favorite ways to eat spiralized zucchini, aka zoodles. This is an easy recipe and can be made super quick. There's no need to boil the zoodles, instead we lightly saute them in a skillet.
Check out this recipe
zucchini noodles garlic tomato th 1200x1200
Zucchini Noodles (zoodles) with Fresh Tomatoes
Get your spiralizer ready with this zoodles recipe that is as easy as 1-2-3. This recipes uses fresh ingredients and fresh basil along with garlic for a perfect lunch during the summer months. This one pan recipe is a great way to use up all that zucchini!
Check out this recipe
pasta zucchini tomatoes bowties th
Pasta Bowties with Zucchini and Tomatoes
You can use any type of short or long pasta with this zucchini recipe. This is a classic Italian recipe that is so easy to make… and it's healthy!
Check out this recipe
baked zucchini slices
Baked Italian Zucchini Slices
Here's a collection of Italian zucchini recipes that use them as sliced ingredients. You'll get inspired with these wonderful recipes that are full of Italian flavor!
Check out this recipe

Common Italian Seasonings for Zucchini

There are many ways to season zucchini Italian style. Here are some suggestions for herbs and other ingredients I frequently use when cooking my favorite zucchini recipes.

Italian grated cheese. Having grated cheeses such as Parmesan cheese or Pecorino Romano cheese on hand takes your zucchini to a whole new level. Check out my article about how to freeze Italian cheese so it can be kept fresh for longer.

Simple herbs and flavors. Most popular zucchini varieties such as Black Beauty, have a strong and distinct flavor. Avoid using Italian seasoning mixes from the store. These mixes have too many different herbs.

When you add too many herbs and spices it can over complicate a dish. Common herbs are basil and parsley. Oregano can be used if serving as part of a pizza. Even fresh mint goes well with zucchini. Rosemary compliments zucchini nicely, but only use enough to give a hint of this wonderful herb, otherwise it can overpower the recipe.

Olive oil. Always use a good quality extra virgin olive oil when cooking with zucchini. The quality of the olive oil can seriously impact the overall outcome of the dish. Some oils specify if they have a smooth (light) flavor – which I’d only use in a baking recipe. Look for a first cold pressed extra virgin organic olive oil.

Garlic cloves. Garlic and zucchini go great together. For a stronger garlic flavor throughout the entire dish, mince the garlic and mix with the olive oil. For a subtle flavor slice the garlic – this also allows people to avoid eating the garlic if they aren’t big garlic fans.

Ways to cook zucchini. Due to it’s shape, size and texture, it can be stuffed, sliced, cubed, or cut in half lengthwise. You can fry, saute, bake, eat it raw or even prepare it as grilled zucchini. You don’t ever have to get tired of zucchini!

Varieties of Zucchini

There are many varieties of zucchini available to use thanks to the internet. 25 years ago we were limited to only what was found our local grocery store or mail order catalogs. Now we can order from companies that offer zucchini in all sorts of shapes and sizes. I recommend checking out these two sites where I’ve ordered seeds from in the past.

  1. Rareseeds.com specializes in heritage seeds that are not commonly found.
  2. GrowItalian.com specializes in seeds straight from Italy.
  3. You can also order seeds online through Amazon.

How to Store Zucchini

One of the problems with zucchini is that it can start to go soft fairly quick. This is especially true when bought from the stores, or if you just have too many remaining zucchini at the end of the growing season. What I do when my zucchini is still edible, yet I can’t use it up right away is to store it in the freezer.

I know that I most often use sliced zucchini rounds in my cooking, so I slice them up into half moons and place them in a freezer bag. You might be wondering if I blanch them like many gardeners advise.

My answer is no, and my reason is I’m lazy.

I’ve kept my zucchini in freezer bags for over a year! Yes I know this is not ideal as it will start to lose it’s freshness after about 5 or 6 months. But if you plan on adding it as part of a main recipe, like adding it to a pasta recipe, well… it can work. If you plan on using it for something like a pizza topping, salad, or appetizer, don’t bother – it will have too much moisture and just won’t taste good.

I hope this collection of Italian zucchini recipes has been inspiring for you. If you have a favorite side dish or dinner recipe that you’d love to share, let me know in the comments below!

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Easy Italian Zucchini Recipes - Sides and Main DishesEasy Italian Zucchini Recipes - Sides and Main DishesEasy Italian Zucchini Recipes - Sides and Main DishesEasy Italian Zucchini Recipes - Sides and Main DishesEasy Italian Zucchini Recipes - Sides and Main DishesEasy Italian Zucchini Recipes - Sides and Main Dishes

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