Summer for our family means fresh foods from our garden. Admittedly, I have nothing to do with our garden. My husband plants everything, checks on the produce and picks it all. This doesn’t stop me from reaping the benefits of fresh tomatoes, onions, green beans, tomatoes, and most of all zucchini. If you garden, you know that the zucchini crop is very robust. One year we had so much zucchini that there was no way we could use it all.
Combating Picky Eaters
When my oldest was younger she would eat grilled zucchini without batting an eye, but now that she’s almost 3 we don’t get as lucky. In fact, she often tells us, “I don’t like zucchini.” We have to be sneaky with how we use it. You can only make so many loaves of zucchini bread (although that is a favorite in our house) and we like to incorporate the veggie into our meals. When dealing with picky eaters, you have to be sneaky with how you incorporate the items they despise.
Here are some of our favorite zucchini recipes our toddler will eat!
Crispy Baked Zucchini Fries
I made these for the first time recently and they were a hit! Pair them with some burgers or brats from the grill and you have the perfect summer dinner.
- 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 lb. zucchini, cut into 4-5 inch sticks
Preheat oven to 425 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or another non-stick paper).
- Place flour in a large ziplock bag.
- Whisk eggs with 2 Tbsp water and place in a shallow dish.
- Place panko, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper in a shallow dish and mix to combine.
- Place zucchini in the bag with flour and shake until coated. Dip the zucchini into the egg and then into the panko, turning to coat well.
- Place breaded zucchini on the baking sheet.
- Bake 18-20 minutes, until golden brown.
Vegetarian Enchilada Stuffed Zucchini
I made this for the first time a couple of months ago and my toddler loved it. Cover anything with cheese and it’s good in our book! It’s also a great recipe to use summer produce. I would try to prep as much as you can on the weekend (dicing veggies and making the rice), but once those are done this recipe comes together very easily!
- 4 medium zucchini
- 1 cup cooked rice
- 1/2 cup cooked black beans (I use canned)
- 1/2 cup corn (I use canned, but you can use fresh or frozen)
- 1/2 cup tomato, diced
- 1/4 cup onion, diced
- 1/4 cup bell pepper, diced
- 1 teaspoon taco seasoning
- 1 cup enchilada sauce
- 1 cup cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Cut each zucchini in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds.
- In a bowl, mix together rice, beans, tomatoes, corn, onion, peppers, and taco seasoning.
- Fill the zucchini with the rice and bean mixture.
- Spoon a little enchilada sauce into the bottom of the casserole dish.
- Place the stuffed zucchini in the casserole dish.
- Spoon the enchilada sauce over the zucchini. Sprinkle cheese over the top.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Tomato and Zucchini Frittata
We love frittatas in our house. Essentially an egg bake, a frittata can be enjoyed for any meal. We typically eat them for dinner, but don’t let the veggies stop you from eating it for breakfast. This recipe uses both zucchini and tomatoes, which both can overtake a garden.
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1-1/2 cups (7 oz) zucchini, diced
- 4 large eggs
- 4 egg whites
- 1/4 cup Asiago cheese, grated (I’ve used mozzarella before and it’s tasted fine)
- salt and pepper
- 2 medium vine ripe tomatoes, cored and thinly sliced
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Heat oil in a 10 inch skillet over medium-low heat. Stir in onion and cook until slightly golden, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add zucchini, increase heat to medium-high, season with salt and pepper, and cook 2 to 3 minutes or until the moisture dries up, stirring occasionally.
- In a medium bowl whisk eggs, egg whites, cheese, salt and pepper.
- Pour the eggs into the skillet making sure they cover all the vegetables. Arrange tomatoes in an overlapping pattern on top and season with salt and pepper. When the edges begin to set (about 2 minutes) move skillet to oven. Cook about 16 to 18 minutes, or until frittata is completely cooked. Serve warm.
Grilled Zucchini Pizza Slices
What kid doesn’t love pizza?! We made these for the first time this week. They were a hit in our house and bonus points – they were super easy to make!
- Large zucchini slices, cut 3/4 inch think
- Olive oil for light brushing of zucchini slices
- Pizza sauce of your sauce
- Grated Cheese
- Pizza toppings of your choice
- Oil the grill grates, then preheat grill to medium-high. You can use indoor or outdoor grill for this recipe. We used our indoor griddle because it was easiest.
- Cut zucchini into thick slices about 3/4 inch thick.
- Grill the zucchini 7 to 8 minutes, or until there are grill marks and it’s starting to be tender.
- Remove zucchini from the grill, putting them grill side up. Add sauce, cheese, and other toppings as desired.
- Put loaded zucchini slices back on the grill and cook 7 to 8 minutes more with the grill lid closed.
- Remove zucchini pizzas from grill and serve hot.
You can’t have zucchini and not make something sweet with them, right?! While I love zucchini bread, the muffin form is easier for my toddler to eat. This is my favorite zucchini muffin recipe.
- 3 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup oil
- 1/2 cup applesauce
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 1/2 cups shredded zucchini
- Cooking spray
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine flour, baking soda, and cinnamon in a large bowl.
- In another large bowl, beat together eggs, oil, applesauce, vanilla, and white and brown sugars.
- Pour dry ingredients into the bowl with the wet ingredients. Mix until a batter forms.
- Fold shredded zucchini into the batter until it is evenly distributed.
- Grease a muffin tin with cooking spray. Pour batter into muffin tins, filling each one to the top.
- Bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Do you have any favorite zucchini recipes? Or recipes to use up summer produce?
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