5 Anti-Inflammatory Zucchini Recipes That Require Zero Effort To Cook

Photo: Stocksy/ J. Anthony
It’s high time to get your hands on some zucchini, the darling summer squash that's in season from May through August. Which can only mean one thing: We’re on the hunt for the best easy zucchini recipes to give this green fruit (yes, fruit!) the justice it deserves. Meaning made into more than just a mountain of zoodles, amirite?

Thankfully, we’ve teamed up with Yumna Jawad of Feel Good Foodie to highlight five of her all-time favorite, easy zucchini recipes that highlight to celebrate the quintessential summertime ingredient. Plus, we caught up with Amy Shapiro, MS, RD, CDN, a registered dietitian and the founder and director of Real Nutrition, who shared some of the key ways zucchini is great for overall health.

Experts In This Article

Health benefits of zucchini, according to a registered dietitian

It's anti-inflammatory

Whatever way you slice it, zucchini is delicious and packed with nutrients. “Zucchini is a great source of vitamin A, which is important for skin health. In fact, one cup provides 40 percent of the daily recommended dietary allowance,” Shapiro says. What’s more, zucchini is rich in antioxidants—two of them include zeaxanthin and beta-carotene, which promote eye and skin health and help fight free radicals and reduce oxidative stress on cells.

Zucchini is packed with hydration-boosting potential, too

And there’s no denying that as heat waves come and go throughout the summer, our hydration levels can start to take a toll. That’s why Shapiro says zucchini is a great option for replenishing lost hydration (for context, zucchini is comprised of 95 percent H2O).

...And it's great for gut health

Finally, this fruit is ideal for promoting digestion thanks to its high water and fiber content. To that end, Shapiro recommends adding them to smoothies—it’s a fruit, after all—as it can boost nutrition and hydration with one quick pulse. For best results, freeze them before blending.

5 easy zucchini recipes to celebrate the season’s harvest

easy zucchini recipes lemon zucchini bread
Photo: Feel Good Foodie

1. Lemon Zucchini Bread

Think of this lemon zucchini bread as the perfect summery version of a year-round classic. Indeed, the majority of (albeit delicious) zucchini bread recipes tend to err on the side of warm, spicy, and nutty. This recipe has all of those great-tasting flavors plus the light and refreshing pizzazz of tangy, longevity-boosting lemon. Jawad adds lemon zest to the zucchini bread batter, a slightly unique approach compared to other zucchini bread recipes. But what truly sets this loaf apart is the homemade lemon glaze drizzled overtop that’s the perfect compliment to moist and luscious zucchini bread. Swoon.

Get the recipe: Lemon Zucchini Bread

Quinoa Stuffed Zucchini Boats
Photo: Feel Good Foodie

2. Quinoa-Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Protein is the name of the game when it comes to these quinoa-stuffed zucchini boats (one cup of quinoa has over eight grams of protein). Rather than stuffing zucchini boats with the usual ground beef or poultry, Jawad makes a shallot, tomato, and quinoa stuffing that’s satisfying and hearty. Although the recipe calls for goat cheese, feel free to omit it for a vegan-friendly zucchini recipe modification.

Get the recipe: Quinoa-Stuffed Zucchini Boats

easy zucchini recipes fritters
Photo: Feel Good Foodie

3. Zucchini Fritters

Unsure of what to make for a weekend brunch? These zucchini fritters are the perfect option. They’re light, airy, and crispy, made with a grated zucchini patty flavored with seasonings like garlic and onion powder before being fried ever so slightly to achieve the perfect crunch. Then, to balance out all the flavors, Jawad pairs the fritters with a side of homemade labneh dip made from labneh, cilantro, garlic powder, and lime juice. All to say: It’s the epitome of comfort food.

Get the recipe: Zucchini Fritters

zucchini enchilada
Photo: Feel Good Foodie

4. Zucchini Enchiladas

Looking for a low-carb meal option? Say no more. These zucchini enchiladas swap out tortillas for thinly-sliced zucchini that houses a delicious cumin and chili powder seasoned shredded chicken filling. Yep, we’re officially drooling. Plus, you can replicate the same concept to make just about any variation of these stuffed zucchini roll-ups your heart desires. Think: Zucchini lasagna roll-ups made with a creamy and dreamy Pomodoro sauce and fresh mozzarella cheese.

Get the recipe: Zucchini Enchiladas 

zucchini brownies
Photo: Feel Good Foodie

5. Vegan Zucchini Brownies

If you’re of the opinion that a meal isn’t complete without something sweet to seal the deal, we hear you. So, let us introduce you to Jawad’s (genius) vegan zucchini brownie recipe packed with fiber and tons of chocolatey goodness. Need I say more? Pair it with a scoop of your favorite alt-milk ice cream, and you’ve unlocked heaven on Earth.

Get the recipe: Zucchini Brownies

Easy gluten-free zucchini bread, anyone?:

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