17 Recipes That Replace Zucchini, Because Zucchini Is Bad

for food lists

The line between right and wrong is a unique demarcation for every person. Things like personal bias, upbringing, religious interpretation, societal influence, and intention adjust the dial in a way that clouds true objectivity. Debate, then, is a fool’s game.

Unless it is a question of whether zucchini is good or bad, in which case debate’s legit and what stands to be gained from it is real truth. Maybe the only truth: that zucchini is bad.

Mey Rude, colleague and friend, thinks zucchini is good. She even ranks zucchini as her second favorite vegetable. Incredible. How can someone so good at selfies be so wrong?

Because zucchini is bad. Zucchini, in fact, is the worst vegetable. Uncooked zucchini exists in a vacuum of flavor. No amount of salt, pepper, or hot sauce can redeem it. Cooked zucchini, on the other hand, tastes like what I imagine hot turtle water tastes like. How you can go from nothing to unholy with the mere introduction of heat is a testament to zucchini’s darkness. Too long has the vegetarian burrito been at the mercy of zucchini’s tyranny. Zucchini is the cantaloupe of vegetables in that it has the ability to infuse itself into everything around it. Zucchini is the vegetable you pair with yellow squash and serve in vats to large groups of people you want to disrespect. Zucchini is a miserable cucumber.

Sure, zucchini is cost-efficient, but we don’t have to live like this! We can still be budget friendly and not punish our palette. Here are recipes that approach the zucchini as the obligatory roasted or grilled side dish, the veggie filler, the stuffed bed or the carb/starch/meat alternative, and prove how life becomes enhanced in its absence.

Chili-glazed Sweet Potatoes


Versatile Broccoli


Greek-Style Braised Green Beans


Steamed Carrots with Garlic-Ginger Butter Recipe


Seared Romaine Spears with Caesar Dressing


Grilled Corn with Mango-Habanero Butter


Grilled Red Pepper and Eggplant


Tofu Tacos with Chili-Lime Slaw and Cilantro-Pepita Crema

Cranberry Orange Bread (Vegan)

Cactus Tacos ~ Tacos de Nopales


Portobello, Broccoli, and Red-Pepper Melts


Quinoa/Feta/Sun-dried Tomato Stuffed Mushroomsmush

Greek Orzo Stuffed Peppers


Roasted Onions Stuffed with Curried Black Quinoa


Root Vegetable Fries


Cucumber Noodles with Coconut Lime Cumin Dressing


Sweet and Sour Thai Carrot and Cucumber Noodle Salad


Hot Beet Noodle Salad


Los Angeles based writer. Let's keep it clean out there!

Erin has written 208 articles for us.


  1. If you don’t like zucchini, that’s more zucchini for those of us who do! Have y’all zucchini-haters tried not eating zucchini but appreciating its existence because it provides joy and nourishment to Mey and lots of other awesome Straddlers?

    Also, if there is zucchini around for #teamzucchini to eat, then we will leave more non-zucchini food for you!

  2. I mean, I’m fully with Mey on this one. Because zucchinis are delicious and also ridiculously cheap. I can get like 4 meals worth of zucchini for 50 cents in summers, and that’s if zucchini is the only thing I’m eating for those four meals. I am but a poor dirtbag kayaker and raft guide and >4 meals for 50 cents is something that means that I get enough to eat that isn’t food I’ve stolen from work which is the exact same thing I’ve gotten for lunch for almost 4 months straight.

    BUT I forgive you for your transgressions against zucchini because literally all but one of these recipes sound amazing (and like…the one with tomatoes doesn’t sound bad exactly, but one of the main ingredients is tomato, so yeah, it’s not for me).

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