10 Best Zucchini Substitutes (Tasty Alternatives)

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Zucchini is one of the best-known summer squash. It has quite a neutral taste which means you can easily be creative with it and use it for many different recipes like warm curries, bread, salads, and cakes.

It is in season from the beginning of May till the end of October although you can easily buy zucchini in supermarkets all year around. 

However, with all of these advantages, it is very easy to overuse zucchini and even to get a little bit bored of it, right? But don’t worry there is a way to substitute zucchini in every kind of recipe!

To replace zucchini you can just pick another vegetable or fruit to its place.

The best substitutes for Zucchini are squash, cucumber, eggplant, carrots, apple, celery, beetroot, parsley, green pepper, and sweet potato.

So stay tuned if you want to know more about these alternatives!

Zucchini Substitutes

Zucchini is very easy to replace because it doesn’t have a strong taste. If you use an alternative but season it similarly there won’t be much of a difference.

1. Squash

Squash

Zucchini is in the same family with pumpkin, acorn squash, butternut squash, and hubbard squash. It means you can choose any of these to substitute zucchini.

No matter what kind of food you are making squash is a great alternative for zucchini. But be careful, while the peel of zucchini is very soft it is better to remove the peel of other squashes in many recipes. Also, other squashes take twice or sometimes even three times longer to cook than zucchini.

2. Cucumber

Cucumber

Zucchini and cucumber look so similar so it isn’t a big surprise that we can exchange them in many recipes.

If you want to make a cold salad that requires zucchini it can be a good idea to put cucumber instead. Cucumber is even juicier than zucchini so your salad will taste even better. However, in warm a dish, I recommend choosing something else from the list to substitute zucchini.

3. Eggplant

Eggplant

Eggplant doesn’t seem to be as popular as zucchini in the kitchen, yet in some recipes, it can save you if you don’t have zucchini on hand.

For example, many delicious zucchini lasagne recipes can be made with eggplants the same way. You can even end up with a better result using eggplant because it releases less juice in the oven so your lasagne will remain thicker.

4. Carrot

Carrots

Zucchini and carrot don’t have too much in common but in some cases, a carrot is an ideal alternative to zucchini. It is because you can grate, chop, cook, bake carrots the same way you do with zucchinis.

Carrot is a great replacement if you are making a salad, soup, baked dishes, or bread. For one zucchini you can use two medium-sized carrots. And just like squash, carrot also needs more time in the oven to soften.

5. Apple

Apple

Apple is the best substitute for zucchini when it comes to making a dessert. You can use it to make cakes, cupcakes, crackers, muffins, and bread. I recommend using two apples to replace one zucchini.

For best results use yellow apples because they aren’t as acidic as the green ones nor as sweet as the red ones. Like that when you add your seasonings the taste will be similar to the original recipe.

In most desert recipes you have to grate the zucchini or the apple. It isn’t necessary to peel them before. The peel has the most health benefits and it won’t make a difference in the taste.

6. Celery

Celery

There is no doubt that celery is one of our healthiest vegetables. You might hear from old people to put some celery into your meals when you feel sick and weak.

Celery is a good zucchini substitute in soups and warm dishes. For example, you can make a delicious celery cream soup the same way as you would make it from zucchini. You just need to cook it for about 10 minutes more but the rest will remain the same.

For the soup, you have to use the root part of the celery but don’t throw away the stalks either! They are also very healthy and you can even eat them raw.

7. Beetroot

Beetroot

Another root to replace zucchini! Beetroot is a delicious vegetable and a great source of iron.

You can use beetroot in place of zucchini in vegetable patties for example. For one zucchini you can use 2 or 3 beetroots depending on their size.

In many patty recipes, they tell you to grate your zucchini, salt it and leave it aside for some time. This is because the zucchini is very juicy and you want to get rid of the most amount of water possible from it. Otherwise, your patties will fall apart. But because the beetroot is less juicy you can easily skip this step and save some time.

8. Parsley

Parsley

In the last decade, it started to become popular to make oven-baked zucchini fries. It is just as delicious as regular fries but way healthier. But who said you can only make it from zucchini? How about making it with parsley?

Parsley is a relative of celery with at least as much if not more health benefits. It is most commonly used in warm, herbal soups. If you haven’t tried to bake it yet, it is time to make your delicious oven-baked parsley fries!

9. Green pepper

Green pepper

Ok, I think everyone knows green pepper. But have you ever thought about using it as a zucchini replacement?

It can be a good alternative for any oven-baked dish. Of course, the taste will change a bit but you can use the same spices as recommended in your recipe with zucchini. You can even use green pepper at a barbecue if you want to impress your family and friends.

10. Sweet potato

Sweet Potato

Sweet potato just like squash is a great replacement for zucchini in any kind of recipe.

You might have heard about a dish called zoodles which are noodles made of zucchini. It is delicious, easy, and super healthy. And you can make the same with sweet potato! All you need is a spiralizer that can create thin noodle-shaped threads from your sweet potato. Then, just mix it with your favorite sauce and it is ready to eat.

Related questions

Can I use asparagus to substitute zucchini?

Yes, for oven-baked dishes and barbecues asparagus is a good substitute for zucchini.

What can I replace zucchini with at stuffed zucchini recipes?

The best substitute for stuffed zucchini is eggplant and sweet potato.

Can I eat the peel of zucchini?

Yes, you can and you definitely should. If you peel your zucchini you lose many of the nutrients. And the peel is very soft it isn’t hard to chew it.

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