What’s in Season: Zucchini

  • Pin It
  • print
  • email to a friend

What’s in Season: Zucchini

By The Paula Deen Test Kitchen

One of our favorite things to eat in summer is zucchini, especially grilled, sautéed, and in pasta! Zucchini is a member of the Cucurbita pepo family, which includes several varieties, shapes, and colors of summer squash. 

Where Did It Come From?
In spite of its Italian name and popularity in the Mediterranean diet, zucchini, like all squash, is actually a New World food.  The American standard has become the Black Beauty variety, with its characteristic deep green.  It can be slightly sweet or spicy, takes well to salt, and is sturdy enough to hold up in on-the-fly treats like vegetable pancakes or fritters!  And if you’re a farmer’s market person, you might be lucky enough to find zucchini blossoms, which can be stuffed, fried, and eaten too!

It’s Healthy, Too!
Zucchini has very few calories and lots of vitamins, but the best thing about zucchini is that it goes with almost anything.  Try it in a mixed grill, quick bread, with eggs, hard cheeses, salad, soup, fish, or risotto (check out this easy recipe from our Baby Food Basics).  At its freshest, zucchini is also a knockout side of its own, simply sliced in rounds and prepared with balsamic and mint, or garlic and olive oil.

How to Select
When shopping for zucchini, look for small-to-medium cylinders without blemishes on the skin.  When zucchini becomes too fibrous, it may taste bland and feel spongy, so avoid selected zucchini that looks swollen.  Zucchini will last up to a couple weeks in the fridge. 

Try It Out!
Here are some winning recipes from our test kitchen:

Zucchini and Red Onion Saute
In about 10 minutes, you’ll have a delicious, colorful side to serve 6-8!  A great item to bring to a summer potluck or serve with steak!

Paper-wrapped Anniversary Salmon
These impressive fish pouches feature julienned vegetables with white wine, herbed butter, and leeks- yum!

Vegetarian Pizza
This incredible (and incredibly American) pizza really puts the Italian formula to the test… It’s loaded with vegetables, sour cream, and ranch dressing!

Read More From What's in Season.

You May Also Like These Articles:

You May Also Like These Recipes:

Leave a Comment

Reader Comments:


Paula, I miss you. I would wait for your show and be tempted by the food. I was born North of the Mason-Dixon Line, but Lady I loved your cooking. I loved your personality and I loved being invited into your home and get my cooking lesson for the day. Once you were asked to leave Food Network, I left also, in support of a fine woman, who stood up and told the truth. Keep writing those cookbooks, keep feeding us the food that not only nourished our bodies, but nourished our souls. God Bless and hope for more exciting things to enter your life.

By Donna Huffman on September 15, 2013


Hey Paula, although I am from up North, I love Southern cuisine and I love the Deen recipes. Thank you for sharing your wonderful recipes. Keep on cooking 'cuz you sure have lots of followers. God Bless you and your family, Ann Marie on August 27

By Ann Marie Bouvier on August 27, 2013


Dear Paula, You are a wonderful women with a big heart. You don't need food network - which I don't watch anymore either. God has bigger plans for you - please don't let all this nonsense bother you one bit - you have a wonderful family so you are blessed. I love you and I am so glad I have the opportunity to tell you. You give joy to everyone you come in contact with - either on TV or in person. Hope to see you one day in person to give you a big hug -

By Laurie DiMaiuta on August 16, 2013


Thank you for all the great recipes!! I believe in you and always will. God Bless

By Mary Allard on August 13, 2013


Born in the south and raised in the south so all critics suck it up buttercup yall aint perfect either but at least she told the truth

By Trisha Weathersby on July 29, 2013


Dear Paula: I am a HUGE fan and supporter of yours for years! I am greatly disturbed by the media and it's attack. We are all human and not perfect as I am sure the media attackers are not as well. I love everything about you and what you have brought to all of us with your recipes, cookware and love of cooking! I will be your fan forever!!! Food network is making a HUGE mistake, you are the reason I watched it. Now I have also boycotted their network. I hope this will all pass very soon. There are many rude folks out there looking for a buck and want to bring down those who started from scratch, worked hard and built their business the right way! Hang in there my prayers and wishes are with you!!! Keep on cooking Paula!!!! smile

By Annette Reichert on July 29, 2013


Dearest Paula, it's still hard for me to believe all that's happened. I think you are a fine lady and all of this is so undeserved. I have lived in Mississippi my whole life and know all about 'racism'. It goes both ways, as you know, but I guess in this country's eyes, you have to be white to be considered one. I'm sick of the entitlement mentality. If the blacks would do their homework and learn something about their own history, they'd learn that their own people sold them into slavery. Nuff' said. Hang in there girl. Good will win over evil.

By Linda Armour on July 28, 2013


Hi Paula I too think you are being treated very unfairly. I'm boycotting Walmart in our town and have stopped watching FoodNetwork. Hopefully this will pass & you'll be better than ever. Miss your shows & your sense of humor. Keep your chin up. Patty T

By Patty Trapp on July 27, 2013


I make "crushed pineapple" out of zucchini and pineapple juice. Use in place of the canned pineapple. Very good. Paula we all support you and do not take all this too much to heart. You will come out on top not them.

By Anonymous on July 27, 2013


Dear Paula! I really feel sorry what they are doing to you and your family. But your are really strong and this is only a stupid storm that goes away soon and a bright day will came. Since I came from Brazil I have been watching your shows and I felt like I was with my family I enjoyed so much.You will come out on top and stronger after this is over. Thank you for being a strong lady. Love you and your beautiful family.

By cecilia Aguiar on July 27, 2013


Hi Paula,the DUMBEST thing the Food Network did was canceling you. I can't believe that they would penalize you for something you said so many years ago. Maybe if you had lied like some other celebraties you could still be there,but you were honest and look where it got you. Makes you wonder what's wrong with society. You have so many people who love you and support you. Keep smiling,we love you Paula

By monica marshall on July 26, 2013


Hi Paula! We grow a lot of organic fruits and vegetables in our huge yard. I have made the zucchini fries ( and may zucchini frittatas ) all delicious! I also make carrot fries and sweet potato fries, very kid friendly! Thank you for all of the tips and recipes that you share!

By Cathy on July 26, 2013


Hi Paula, My heart goes out to you and all your family for what has happened to you and the way you have been treated. You have done so much for so many, many who are now stars on the food network or employed by you, plus the ones you have helped through different charities, etc. We love you and you are in our prayers daily! I have an elderly mother who also loves you and has always wanted to go to your restaurant, Lady & Sons, but due to health issue has not been able to get there. She loves your shows and misses you so much, it's like a member of our family has died. I believe what goes around comes around and someday the ones who are responsible for this terrible abuse to you will answer for it, if not in this world surely the next! Please keep on doing what you do, you are the best and missed so much! Debby

By Debby on July 26, 2013


You are a role model, excellent cook, and a pleasure to watch. What your "partners" have done to you is a travesty. I am going to get a set of your cookware and enjoy every minute of using it. Please keep living your best life...they will find out how wrong they are. Anyway, zucchini. My Mother loved it, my Dad hated it. Mom was very smart. She created a terrific sweet zucchini bread, spread with cinnamon cream cheese. He never asked about the green stuff, just enjoyed the pineapple, nuts and tartness of lemon zest...and sometimes she would change up and add chocolate chips, walnuts and the cream cheese had powdered sugar and vanilla. Both of my folks are gone now, and one of my great treasures is a recipe card in her handwriting with this zucchini bread recipe on it. Someday I can pass it along to my grandkids from their great grandma...it will still taste terrific.

By Sherrie Allen on July 26, 2013


Dear Ms. Paula Deen: I have always loved your program and would look for every one of your shows. I cannot believe you are being treated the way you are and now realize how people can't wait to bring down a great star. You are not the first or the last, but I can tell you this, you are not done on TV. If someone was smart they would pick up your program and your sons program and run it. Your family is great and I miss you so much. I have made mistakes or said things that afterwards have thought wow I hope that was not taken wrong. These people who are judging you were not probably around 20 years ago and don't know how times have changed. Gee when I hear rap music I am shocked today at the horrible language they use, but I guess this is okay by todays standards. Times have changed and no one should be judged over something said twenty years ago and not for the public to hear. Please keep strong and know this too will pass. One of your great supporters, Sondra

By Sondra Lansky on July 25, 2013


Paula, my hubby is also a diabetic type 2. We keep his numbers lower only if he stays away from starchy veggies & grains. There are a lot of veggies out there for us to try so many different ways and he can eat several fruits, just not dead ripe. If they're partially green he's learning to love them that way, particulary bananas. If he eats a lot of grains and starchy veggies then he has to have insulin and a lot of pills to control his sugar numbers.

By Linda on July 25, 2013


Hey Paula, How you feeling? I keep you in my prayers and I think about you daily. You're my favorite person and I just love your recipes. I feel we are both family. Keep your chin up Girl! I was looking for your zucchini bread recipe and cant seem to find it. Would it be possible for you or someone from the family to send it to me please. I was also looking for a yellow squash bread recipe. thanks so much for making my cooking easier. Love you much Royce

By Royce on July 24, 2013


Paula, My heart goes out to you and your family. I just can't believe these stupid people and the way you are being treated! Tared and feathered for a comment made 20 years ago. WHO can't think of something they said 20 years ago that they wish now they hadn't said. NO ONE!!! I believe you are one of the kindest and extremely thoughtful person on TV. I used to watch Food network a lot but now I don't even want to go to that channel. They and the other companies are going to painfully regret their decision to walk away from you. But know we are all praying for you and will stand behind you!! We love you.

By Sharon on July 23, 2013


I am growing zucchini and have purposely let a couple of them grow to about 3 1/2 to 4 pounds. I stuff them with ground turkey and other veggies with a little parmesan cheese. YUM. I regularly sauté zucchini with a mixture of veggies in olive oil for a side dish. It is lower in calories and not much fat. Also, have a great recipe for chocolate zucchini cake. I think that you have a great following of loyal fans Paula, and my feeling is that those who live in glass houses should not throw stones. We here feel that you are getting a horrible deal.

By Beryl Oliver on July 21, 2013


Paula I want you to know that I for one support you fully. Everyone has made some kind of mistake and feel you have been treated very unfair. I no longer watch food network, I have written e-mails to all the companies that dropped you and told them what fools they are. God Bless you! You will come out on top and stronger after this is over. Thank you for being a strong lady and role model.

By Ada on July 21, 2013

My Recipe Box |

Paula's Upcoming Schedule