HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


What to do with a 6 lb zucchini?

A coworker gave my husband a massive zucchini from his garden. The problem is, hubby doesn't like zucchini, and there's only so much one woman can eat. Any suggestions? Is there stuff I could make ahead and freeze?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Grate it in your food processor and make zuchini bread--that should use quite a bit of it and will suit it better than sauteeing it with other veggies.

    1. Chocolate zucchini cake, and your husband won't even know he's eating zucchini.

      1. One of our favorite sides is to simply sautee fairly large chunks of zucchini on high heat (so you can get some color) with some garlic, red pepper flakes, and toasted pine nuts and then add some golden raisins, mint, and a dash of white balsamic.

        1. Zucchini fritters! Add some feta, mint and other herbs to help mask the flavour for your husband, dip in tzatziki. I've never tried it but I would think they would freeze well too.

          1. Here's a link to a thread from earlier this month on the same topic, with a lot of different ideas on how to use that giant zucchini.


            1. ..I saved mine until October...and carved it like a pumpkin...

              2 Replies
              1. re: Cathy

                Did you save it on the vine or off?
                If off where / how did you store it?

                1. re: Bettebet

                  When it was removed from the vine, the vine was dried out. Kept in front walkway (covered/shade).

              2. Look for a stuffed marrow recipe.

                1. 1. Install some wheels on it.
                  2. Park it illegally.
                  3. Call the city to tow the damn thing away.

                  ...that's what I do...


                  1 Reply
                  1. By the time you peel and de-seed a 6 pound zucchini, you won't have as much left as you think.. When they get that big, they do have lots of seeds and may be a bit bitter. I'd taste it before doing anything--and if o-k-- I'd grate some and freeze it for making zucchini bread/muffins for later use. Cube some and freeze to put in soups, stews and chili. The rest I'd use to make zucchini fritters and zucchini pie(savory). The fritters recipe from epi. is really wonderful---so great that I bet even your hubby would eat it.

                    1. How about a zuc and cilantro soup...this is from Vegetarian cooking for everyone. Literally veggie stock, zuc, cilantro, and an immersion blender. Top with some sour cream or creme fraiche.


                      2 Replies
                      1. re: j2brady

                        Zuchs this big are wretched!!!!This thing couldn't possibly have any flavor or much nutritional value. Might as well use saw dust to make fritters, muffins, sweet breads as it will taste the same. Why not throw it in a pool and use it as a floatation device.

                        1. re: missclaudy

                          I concur. Large zucchinis are tough, often bitter, have a ton of seeds, and not much flavor. A friend gave me one last year and against my better judgement (and because I hate seeing garden-grown veggies tossed in the trash) I grilled with olive oil on the BBQ. We ended up tossing most of it out for all the reasons I list above.

                          I like the idea of carving it like a pumpkin.

                      2. Thanks for the suggestions all. Cathy and Evans, you made me laugh! I was worried it might be too bitter for human consumption. I think I'll have a few recipes and the food processor on standby, then I'll actually taste the darn thing to see if it really is unusable. If so, I just might have to go out and buy some sweet young ones because those fritters and chocolate zucchini loaf are very tempting!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Sweet Pea

                          The Brits have figured out what to do with overgrown zucchini (which they call "marrows"), which is throw out the center and use the rest as a shell to bake some sort of sausage mixture.

                        2. Please don't let your giant zucchini go to waste! No matter how big and tough it is, try the following recipe (which is almost as easy as pitching it because it only takes a few minutes).

                          Use a vegetable peeler to remove the skin until all of the dark green fibrous parts are gone. Then cut it in half long-ways, and scoop out the seeds (which may be large and tough). Then, take the two halves and cut them lengthwise into four or five long slices each. Now you're ready to dice! Dice the zucchini into 1/4 inch (or thinner) slices.

                          Congrats. You now have a massive bowl of peeled, cubed zucchini. Now break out the salt, and shake it liberally over the veggies. Stir it around with a spoon and keep adding salt until you think you might have overdone it. Then let it sit in the bowl for 15-20 minutes while you prepare the next step.

                          Take the biggest frying or sautee pan you have with a lid and pour about a quarter cup of olive oil into it (or more, depending on how gigantic your zucchini was), and then press a substantial amount of garlic into it (like 1-3 big cloves per pound, depending on how much you like garlic). Then dice a half (or whole) onion and toss that in. If you like mushrooms, go ahead and dice some of those and throw them in too. Then add about 4 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar per lb of zucchini. Then add about 1/3 cup (or more) of finely chopped fresh basil, and 1/4 cup of finely chopped parsley. If you have some other "Italian spice" mix lounging around in your spice cabinet, go ahead and add some of that too, along with some salt, pepper, and paprika. Bring to heat and start to saute the onions.

                          Once your kitchen starts to smell good, RINSE and DRAIN the salt-meditating zucchinni. You'll notice that it's probably reduced in size by up to a third of its volume and is much more tender than when you cut it -- isn't that SO COOL?!? Ok, it's not that cool, but it will be edible when you're done, and you'll be a hero for cooking the giant zucchini.

                          Add the zucchini to the onion mix on medium heat and toss continually with your favorite wooden or plastic slotted spoon until all it's all coated with the oil, onions and spices.

                          Then add a can (or partial can, or as much as you want) of crushed tomatoes and reduce to low heat. Now cover and cook for 45-60 mins, stirring occasionally.

                          It's done when it's tender and delicious. If you spoon a bowl out and sprinkle it with parmesean or grated romano cheese and a little salt to taste, you may begin to spontaneously sing Italian love songs....

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: jebartlett

                            Can a huge golden Zucchini be used in place of this?

                            1. re: jebartlett

                              I just prepared my 6 1/2 pound monstrosity according to this recipe. i didn't break into song because my mouth remained stuffed with the goodness of the result. It was absolutely delicious, although I have enough to feed ten people. Would be really good with polenta. The balsamic vinegar and paprika really infused into the squash. Thanks for sharing this remarkable recipe....

                              1. re: jebartlett

                                I tried this and it was great. I didnt really to the soaking in salt part.

                                1. re: jebartlett

                                  Hi just wanted to let you know I made this tonight with a 2 lb zucchini and it turned out great! Thank you for sharing!

                                2. Use it for chow chow, which is what I did with my overgrown zukes this past week...I used zukes instead of cabbage, carrots, onions, red bell pepper and added some fresh dill from my garden and stuck a whole jalapeno pepper in the jar. I canned 5 pints. Later I'll use it on burgers, hot dogs, sausage, spoon on grilled chicken and fish and toss it in pasta salads

                                  1. I realize this thread is old, but I can't resist. I don't have a garden anymore so I don't have this problem with huge zucchini such as this. I usually don' t buy zucchini that are larger than your average cucumber because they don't have large seeds and not too much water in them. If someone gave me a 6 pound zucchini I'd compost it.

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: John E.

                                      I think composting may be the way forward. As mentioned upthread, we Britons have marrows which are like giant courgettes (as we call them). They are a different plant and are intended to grow this big. And , yes, we split them lengthways, scrape out the seeds, fill the cavity with a meat mixture, put the two halves back together and bake it. It's still vile watery crap but here's a recipe: http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/stu...

                                      1. re: Harters

                                        I was aware of the term courgette, but not marrow in reference to a squash. The stuffed zucchini recipe looks interesting, but interesting enough for me to try it. If I am going to fool around like that with a big garden vegtable it will more likely be an aubergine ; - )

                                        1. re: John E.

                                          Oh, marrows are waaaaay bigger than aubergines. A good 300mm long.

                                          1. re: Harters

                                            I was not really comparing the two in any way other than I am more likely to experiment with eggplant rather than king-sized zucchini.

                                    2. When we had one get that big by accident we used to put it in the compost heap. The best zucchinis are young and tender.

                                      1. I had the same problem.
                                        Split the zucchini length-wise, removed the seeds and then some of the zucchini meat. Saute garlic, onion, red and yellow pepper, Italian sausage, mushrooms, the zucchini meat, tomatoes. Add fresh basil and oregano. Add some breadcrumbs (I used some fancy olive crackers I turned to crumbs. Added some grated Parmesan cheese and then stuff the zucchini, rub it with olive oil, s & p and baked it for about an hour.
                                        It was delicious, except that the skin was too tough to eat.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: chicgail

                                          I've not yet done it, but had the idea to stuff zukes or eggplant or winter squash using spaghetti squash instead of breadcrumbs or other starch in a sausage/onion/cheese stuffing.

                                        2. my favorite zucchini prep is very simple...slice it in super thin rounds and dress with a ton of fresh lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. let sit for at least 10 mins and snack on it out of the bowl like chips.

                                          another time i was trying to make a very loose asian-like noodle dish (it started out as a version of pei wei's dan dan noodles but you see as you read the steps it isn't at all) and didn't have any cucumbers so i used zucchini and it worked out real well. sorry i don't use measurements.
                                          heat up a pan with some oil (vegetable, olive, whatever) saute lightly salt and peppered cubed chicken , once it browns add chopped garlic, grated ginger (i use from a jar), a handful of onions and peppers (bell, hot, whatever you like). let them soften. add julienned zucchini, mix it up then add some chicken broth, let it come to a boil add a little soy sauce, splash of rice wine vinegar, a squirt of honey and some chili-garlic sauce and mix it up. taste and adjust seasoning as needed. at the very end if it needed thicken with cornstarch. serve with a little cilantro, lime juice and bean sprouts a top noodles - i used egg noodles.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: pie22

                                            Yes, even raw zucchini can be useful. Slice small young zucchini thinly and include in a mixed green salad with honey mustard dressing.

                                          2. Even large zucchini might be good thickly sliced marinated and grilled.

                                            1. I was given a huge zucchini just before going on vacation. We took it with us and ended up making stuffed zucchini boats (bread crumbs, herbs, fresh mozz., and parm.) and crispy baked zucchini sticks with a caramelized onion dip.

                                              1. Google "zucchini candy"-great for kids. Boil cubes in sugar syrup with koolaid-dry in dehydrator. Kids love em-reminiscent if gummy bears-and have no clue it used to be a vegetable.

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: girlwonder88

                                                  I don't doubt that kids would eat anything that had been boiled in sugar syrup with koolaid, but is this really how we want to develop our children's palates and food expectations?

                                                  1. re: girlwonder88

                                                    I thought it was a cute and fun idea girlwonder88..just b/c we aim to improve our children's health doesn't mean we should insult some of the really fun, tasty and self indulgent ideas that come up or assume that the sweet was reflective of the recipe providers eating habits. Moderation is key (chicgail).

                                                    I don't have a dehydrator, but if I did, I would try it just to see if they came out like gummies.

                                                    I love the jebartlett idea above. Going to try it today with my zucchini. Great string of information!

                                                  2. I really like raw zucchini salad -- I wouldn't do it with a six-pounder, but you "shave" a normal-sized zucchini into thin strips with a potato peeler, then take those strips and make a wonderful salad by tossing them with a little good olive oil and lemon juice, s&p. It doesn't hurt to add some pinenuts, shaved Parmesan cheese and/or arugula.

                                                    1. Any vegan taxidermists out there? That's a wall mount.

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: Veggo

                                                        Most of the time these days we weigh the zuchini then measure the length and the girth of the zuchini at several points along its length and then have a replica made instead of mounting the actual zuchini. That gets thrown back for others to enjoy.

                                                        1. re: John E.

                                                          Catch and release zuchini!!! Love it!

                                                      2. My mom jokes (sorta) that this time of year you have to lock the car doors in the church lot during Sunday services lest one comes out to find a giant zucchini left on the car seat. You could thusly regift it. Or use it to bludgeon a burglar.

                                                        1. Get rid of the seeds, saving the outer shell, with skin. Make Kimchi

                                                          Large Raw zucchini - about 1# - sliced VERY thin.
                                                          1/2 small Onion - sliced very thin
                                                          1 Tbsp Sesame Oil
                                                          1/2 fresh squeezed juice of 1 Lemon
                                                          2 tsp. Hot Garlic Sauce

                                                          Mix all liquid ingredients in bowl. Add sliced zucchini and onion.
                                                          Stir well and let sit on counter for an hour. It's ok to eat then, but better if you eat it the next day. Best at room temp, since the sesame oil gets solid in the fridge.

                                                            1. I'm trying to figure what to do with a massive one that just came out of the remnants of my garden. It was too big to use long ago, so I just figured I'd let it grow and see how big it got. I have no intention of eating it. It might to fun to carve it if I can come up with an interesting idea. Here's a pic of it next to my 60-lb dog.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                                1. Keep it until Halloween and make a squash-o-lantern.

                                                                  1. Enter that puppy into a contest!

                                                                    1. In a pot, saute diced onion with EVOO, than add diced zucchini,,saute for few minutes than add a can of tomato sauce and a can of diced tomato (more if you like it more saucy) let it cook till the zucchini is very soft, add salt & pepper to taste (i add a bit of hot pepper).

                                                                      Very easy and quick meal to prepare. It goes very well next to rice.

                                                                      You can can freeze left over for another day.

                                                                      1. Scoop out SEEDS... they're WAY too big once a zuke gets to that size. Think zuke breads... sweet and savory. A few summers ago, sister had a communal garden int friends back yards, since she didn't have good spot in tiny townhouse backyard. Zukes only take a few days to go from just right to almost OBSCENE!?!

                                                                        She found a buncha recipes and tried them out. Some were keepers... remember a bacon & blue cheese bread... YUM!! She peeled, seeded, shredded, and froze zukes... MEASURED per recipes. When weather turned cool and oven came back on, she could just take out a container or zip bag of the shredded stuff and make tasty breads. Could also just dump into a soup/stew from frozen.

                                                                        At Christmas, she gave baskets of 6-8 different mini loaves of goodness. They froze perfectly!

                                                                        1. -cut it into sections and share them with others.

                                                                          -donate it to the local soup kitchen/mission/food bank.

                                                                          -grate it (&freeze what you don't have time for tonight) for bread, muffins, cookies, soups etc.

                                                                          -slice thin and season for baked chips! they are as tasty as kale chips but you get more in less time. also you don't feel bad about reducing the size to less than half cause there's so gosh darn much.

                                                                          -the older less tender zuccs are great for making zucchini 'noodles' by peeling long strands off. use them in fettuccine dishes or a stroganoff.

                                                                          my personal favorite: Mock apple pie! if you dice up some zucchini and give it some lemon juice, you can pretty much substitute it for apple in a pie recipe. I like mine with candied ginger. no one will believe you that it's not apple

                                                                          -what is great about zucchini is that it takes any flavour you give it.

                                                                          -don't think of it as a chore to be dealt with all at once. and certainly don't think of it as not good enough to eat! just cause it's not as scrumptious as a younger zucchini, doesn't mean it's only fit for dogs (figure of speech). In my opinion, if you learn how to prepare it well, there's no reason it couldn't be enjoyable and sustaining. I feel the same about pumpkins- in my opinion, wasting these gorgeous foods that could feed a whole family cause it's not as tasty as a smaller/sweeter variety is a shameful thing. (i'm all for tradition and love carving jack-o-lanterns, but it makes me ill to see hundreds of them rotting on doorways and street curbs.)

                                                                          1. This does NOT apply to giant zucchini .. I recently found this recipe on a blog .. I took a big pkg of organic zucchini from TJ and sliced them on a mandoline put the slices on paper towels and blot, let sit 20 min, blot some more.

                                                                            Spray a baking sheet with Pam or spread some olive oil. Toss zucchini with some olive oil and salt. Spread out the zucchini and bake at 225 degrees for 2½ hrs, tossing now and then.

                                                                            You end up with a small amount but I loved the taste.

                                                                            1. If you like preserving you could make marrow (UK name for large zucchini) and ginger jam. You cure the marrow in sugar for 24 hours prior to making the jam which stops it falling to bits. Or you could do a simple agri dulce.

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: Chrisgurr

                                                                                Sorry but a Vegetable marrow is NOT Zucchini in Britain. It is a totally different type of summer squash, much softer and more watery. Zucchini is courgette in Britain.