Zucchini, also known as a courgette, is loved across the globe for its juicy, buttery flavor. It’s both tender and crisp, and is delicious steamed, grilled, baked, or roasted.
Originating in Italy in the early 1800’s, this tasty summer squash is actually classified as a fruit. It’s been used as part of traditional folk medicine to treat everything from body aches to colds.
If you’re searching for ways to add zucchini to your diet, we’ve put together a list of our 30 favorite healthy zucchini recipes that are perfect for weight loss and maintenance.
Zucchini Nutrition Info
Part of the same family as cucumbers, melons, and spaghetti squash, zucchini contains a wide range of vitamins and minerals as well as healthy plant compounds. Just one cup of cooked zucchini contains:
Calories – 17
Carbs – 3 grams
Fiber – 1 gram
Protein – 1 gram
Fat – Less than 1 gram
Sugar – 1 gram
Vitamin A – 40% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
Vitamin B6 – 7% of the RDI
Vitamin C – 14% of the RDI
Vitamin K – 9% of the RDI
Potassium – 13% of the RDI
Magnesium – 10% of the RDI
Phosphorus – 7% of the RDI
Thiamine – 5% of the RDI
Copper – 8% of the RDI
Folate – 8% of the RDI
Manganese – 16% of the RDI
6 Health Benefits of Zucchini
- Helps with digestion – Because of its high fiber and water content, zucchini is great for healthy digestion. It is more than 90% water by weight, making it hydrating as well as filling, helping to soften your stools and aid with constipation. With plenty of soluble and insoluble fiber, zucchini can move food through the digestive system more efficiently.
- Improves heart health – With high levels of fiber, antioxidants, and potassium, zucchini is healthy for your heart. It can help to lower your cholesterol as well as your blood pressure, reducing your risk factors for heart disease.
- High in antioxidants – Zucchini contains several types of antioxidants that protect your body from damaging free radicals. These antioxidants also can protect against certain types of cancer, and are beneficial for your heart, skin, and eyes.
- Lowers blood sugar – Eating zucchini can help to lower your blood sugar levels, so for those with Type 2 diabetes, it’s a smart diet choice. Since it also makes a great substitute for high-carb foods like pasta, it can lower insulin levels and stabilize your blood sugar.
- Strengthens your vision – Zucchini can help you maintain healthy vision. Because it’s high in nutrients like lutein, manganese, and vitamins A and C, you’re less likely to develop age-related eye problems.
- Helps with weight loss – If you’re trying to lose weight, eating zucchini is a great option. In addition to its high fiber and water content, it’s also low in calories. You’ll feel fuller, longer, which reduces your chances of overeating, potentially leading to weight loss.
How to Cook and Bake with Zucchini
Size matters – Zucchini is known for growing to some fairly epic proportions. However, when it comes to size, smaller ones are not only more flavorful, they’re also the best choice for cooking or eating raw. Larger zucchini are better for baking.
Look for the flowers – If you’re lucky enough to grow your own zucchini, you’ll discover little yellow blossoms growing on the plant itself. These flowers are fully edible and particularly yummy when they’re fried!
Keep the skin on – Zucchini skin is completely edible and digestible, and packed with nutrients. So there’s no need to peel it or remove the skin for cooking or baking.
Don’t overcook it – Since zucchini contains so much water, you can also easily overcook it. If you’re slicing rounds, make sure they’re uniform, and be sure to turn off the heat while they’re still slightly firm so you won’t end up with overcooked zucchini.
Change it up – Zucchini comes in a range of colors, from green to yellow. When cooking or baking with zucchini, feel free to mix up different colors in the same recipe.
Avoid freezing – With all of the water it contains, zucchini doesn’t freeze very well. If you must freeze it, make sure to grate it or cut it into small cubes that you can use later on in baking or soups.
Make some zoodles – Zucchini closely mimics the texture of pasta, making it a healthy substitute. A spiralizer will help you make a plate full of “zoodles” for some tasty vegan-friendly, gluten-free dishes.
15 Healthy Zucchini Recipes for Lunch and Dinner
Ready for some easy-to-make healthy zucchini recipes for lunch or dinner? We’ve got 15 that are guaranteed to please.
- Sauteed Zucchini Recipe | Wholesome Yum
- Healthy Zucchini Tomato Bake | The Clean Eating Couple
- Ground Turkey and Zucchini Skillet | iFoodReal
- Seared Scallops on Zucchini Noodles | A Sassy Spoon
- Easy Sauteed Zucchini with Parmesan | Well Plated by Erin
- Healthy Baked Zucchini Tots | A Spicy Perspective
- Tex Mex Chicken and Zucchini | iFoodReal
- Zucchini Fritters | Downshiftology
- Quinoa Stuffed Zucchini Boats | Through the Fibro Fog
- Skillet Zucchini and Yellow Squash | Mel’s Kitchen Cafe
- Garlic Butter Sauteed Zucchini | Inspired Taste
- Zucchini Lasagna | iFoodReal
- Carrot and Zucchini Pasta | Downshiftology
- Pesto Chicken Zoodles | The Clean Eating Couple
- Zucchini Pizza Boats | Eat the Gains
15 Healthy Zucchini Recipes for Dessert
Zucchini is not only great for savory recipes, it’s also an ingredient in some delicious desserts!
- Healthy Chocolate Zucchini Bread | iFoodReal
- Peanut Butter Zucchini Cake | I Am Baker
- Chocolate Chunk Zucchini Blondies | Feasting on Fruit
- Zucchini Lemon Cookies | Food52
- Zucchini Banana Bread | The Clean Eating Couple
- Fudgy Chocolate Zucchini Cookies | The Natural Nurturer
- Pina Colada Zucchini Bread | Taste of Home
- Keto Chocolate Zucchini Cake | Family on Keto
- Cinnamon Cardamom Zucchini Pudding | Being Nutritious
- Zucchini Brownies | I Am Baker
- Sweet Potato Zucchini Muffins | Bucket List Tummy
- Pumpkin and Zucchini Cake | iFoodReal
- Toasted Coconut Lime Zucchini Bread | Sugar Spices Life
- Walnut Zucchini Bars | Ann’s Entitled Life
- Brown Butter Zucchini Carrot Cake | Del’s Cooking Twist
Packed with flavor and wholesome ingredients, these 30 healthy zucchini recipes offer something for everyone.
This post contains affiliate links.
If you found this list of healthy zucchini recipes helpful, please share it on Pinterest!
And if you’re looking for more healthy recipes, please follow our Food board!