Food

21 zucchini recipes — from fries to cake — that prove it's the best vegetable ever

Spiralized into noodles, grilled until smoky, fried to crispy perfection and baked into sweets, the zucchini may be the most versatile vegetable ever.

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"No matter what you do with it, it's delicious," says holistic nutritionist Pamela Salzman and here at TODAY Food we agree completely. Here are 21 amazing zucchini recipes to try.

Baked Zucchini Fries
Zucchini Fries
Pamela Salzman
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You won't even miss the spuds with these crispy batons of the vegetable.

Natalie's Zucchini 'Pasta' with Pesto
Natalie's zucchini pasta with pesto
Matt Toder / TODAY
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6
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Satisfy your pasta cravings with this nutritious and delicious dish from TODAY and Access Hollywood's Natalie Morales.

Zoats (Zucchini Oats)
Zoats (zucchini oats)
Casey Barber / TODAY
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2
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Love zucchini? You HAVE to try zoats for a healthy breakfast. Don't know what they are? Zoats are simply this: oats, grated zucchini and egg whites all cooked together providing a decadent and filling breakfast experience that has protein, good fat and carbs all packed into one.

Pizza Zucchini Boats
Zucchini Boats
Pamela Salzman
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Use zucchini instead of dough to make these healthy boats loaded with pizza toppings.

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The super moist sweet is even better with a dose of rich chocolate.

Fast Zucchini and Feta Crostini
Fast Zucchini and Feta Crostini
Courtesy of Annabel Langbein
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Ready in 25 minutes, this is an easy and affordable snack or finger food when zucchini are in season.

Tomato Zucchini Tart
Tomato-zucchini tart
Samantha Okazaki / TODAY
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Make the most of late summer squash and tomatoes with Martha Stewart's savory tart. It's perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

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Fresh herbs, a handful of nuts and salty cheese turn the raw vegetable into an elegant appetizer.

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4
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Perfect for a light meatless supper, this delicious dish is and easy and healthy vegetarian summer pasta dish.

Joy's Low-Calorie Sloppy Joes
Joy's Low-Calorie Sloppy Joes
Nathan Congleton / TODAY
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10
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"I remade the classic comfort food using lentils instead of beef and swapping the starchy roll for roasted zucchini boats," says Bauer. "The result: A deliciously light spin (just 82 calories!) that you can most definitely go back for seconds or thirds — even fourths — of!"

Zucchini Noodles with Shrimp Scampi
Zucchini Noodles with Shrimp Scampi
Lauren Nolan
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Use a spiralizer to turn the squash into delicious zoodles aka zucchini noodles. Use them as the base for this garlicky shrimp dish or load on your favorite pasta sauce.

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6-8
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Nothing says summer like a gorgeous pie, but this one has a twist. First off, it's a savory pie filled with a colorful mix of fresh seasonal produce including baby zucchini and summer squash, heirloom tomatoes and squash blossoms. Secondly, a quick whipped pimento cheese gives the creamy and cheesy filling a delicious tangy flavor. Finally, it's baked into a crispy shredded hash brown crust.

Easy Black Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Easy Black Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Courtesy of Annabel Langbein
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This is a particularly useful recipe because it can be cooked as one large cake (use a 9-inch-diameter spring form cake tin and cook for about 1 hour) or divided in half and cooked as a loaf and 12 cupcakes.

Grilled Scallops with Zucchini & Grilled Tomato Vinaigrette
Geoffrey Zakarian makes buttery scallops with baby vegetables.
Nathan Congleton / TODAY
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Dress up simply grilled scallops, zucchini, yellow summer squash and eggplant in a lightly smoky vinaigrette made with charred tomatoes.

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Who says lasagna needs to bake in an oven? This no-bake version of lasagna couldn't be quicker, or more refreshing.

Salmon and Zucchini Skewers
Salmon & Zucchini Skewers
Maya Visnyei
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Serve them over rice to add some heft or mixed greens to keep them light.

Zucchini and Summer Squash Gratin
Carson Daly and Siri Pinter make grilled steak and squash gratin
Samantha Okazaki / TODAY
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Feel free to add sliced potatoes, mushrooms or tomatoes, and try swapping Parmesan with grated Gruyere or fontina cheese. Also, if you're gluten-free, you can skip the bread crumbs.

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TODAY's Kathie Lee Gifford loves this healthy and easy fish dish.

25-Minute Baked Zucchini Chips with Garlicky Chermoula Dip
25-Minute Baked Zucchini Chips with Garlicky Chermoula Dip
Courtesy of Annabel Langbein
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These super-addictive crispy crunchy chips or fries make a healthy and inexpensive snack. The creamy, tangy Moroccan dip is also fabulous with grilled chicken.

5-Ingredient Zucchini Fritters
Zucchini fritters
Kelly Senyei
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Transform zucchini into hot, crispy fritters topped off with a cool dollop of sour cream or yogurt for the ultimate way to get your greens.

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Picky eaters will find the zucchini in this cornbread nearly undetectable, but bakers will love how it leaves every piece with a delectably moist crumb.

This post was originally published on Aug. 22, 2016.

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