Best 5 Zucchini Substitutes
Zucchini is a nutritious fruit that grows in the warm season. Not surprisingly, it is quite common in the Mediterranean cuisine and that of other warm climate territories.
We love this product for its distinguishable taste that pairs well with so many other ingredients. However, as the cold season approaches, we might have to turn to alternatives as fresh zucchini becomes harder to find.
Here are some substitutes you can successfully use instead of zucchini if you love its taste and can’t bear the thought of having to wait until next summer to enjoy it again.
Quick Facts About Zucchini
Zucchini is one of those fruits that are commonly considered vegetables due to how they are cooked. It grows in warm areas, which explains its popularity in regions such as Central America and the Mediterranean Peninsula.
Zucchini can differ in size, color, and shape, depending on the variety you come across. Some of the most common types you can find in supermarkets are golden zucchini, costata romanesco, or tatume. Zucchini provides several health benefits due to its nutritious content that’s packed with fibers and vitamins.
Among others, zucchini can help treat digestive issues, protect vision, lower blood sugar levels, boost energy, and help mitigate the puffy-eye effect.
This refreshing ingredient tastes similar to squash and it works wonderfully in salads, soup, or frittatas, as well as grilled.
When it comes to cooking zucchini, you will discover countless recipes that include this versatile fruit. But if you are not able to find this yummy ingredient, here are some great alternatives.
Best Substitutes for Zucchini:
Pumpkin is a popular choice for the cold season, one that successfully substitutes zucchini. This sweet treat can be cooked in a variety of ways. Whether you want to enjoy it in a yummy pie or a soup, pumpkin has lots of nutritious elements your body will appreciate.
It is loaded with vitamin C, fibers, and beta-carotene, which are quite useful for our overall health in the cold months. Also, you won’t struggle to find pumpkin at the supermarket during autumn and winter, given that this is its predilect season. Pumpkin resembles zucchini in terms of texture and taste, and it is one of the most affordable and common alternatives we can think of.
Most people who like zucchini and have also eaten yellow squash agree that the two have something in common. These two popular squash varieties are similar when it comes to their taste. The type of yellow squash that makes the best alternative for zucchini is the canary yellow one.
You can try to replace zucchini with yellow squash in any type of dish you want to cook, especially in those that require frying. The results are bound to make your guests ask for a second portion.
You might have not thought about this before, but the common eggplant can be a good alternative to zucchini if you can’t find the latter. Besides their similar shape, zucchini and eggplant also have common features in terms of texture and the different ways you can cook them.
They both work great as a side dish and they are packed with nutritious elements. Moreover, eggplant also has a strong and distinguishable taste that will stand out and turn your meal into a palate’s delight.
Cucumber (in Salads)
If you love zucchini in salads, the idea of replacing it with pumpkin or eggplant might not lure you. However, there is one ingredient that can easily blend in any salad – cucumber.
This vegetable needs no further presentation. Cucumber is typically consumed fresh and it makes a wonderful addition to all sorts of salads, pairing well with most vegetables. Cucumber might not be zucchini’s sibling when considering its taste, but it’s surely a great stepbrother, one that can add that juicy feel you’re looking for when craving for a salad or a fresh side dish.
Patty Pan Squash
Although related, this summer squash variety is utterly different from zucchini, due to its small and flat look.
Nonetheless, patty pan can be a good substitute for zucchini. You can find this type of squash in three main varieties, white, green, and yellow. Since they belong to the same family, patty pan does have several features in common with zucchini, the main one being the texture.
Just like zucchini, patty pan too can be fried or baked. Moreover, you can also eat it fresh and add it to different sorts of salad. A great advantage you get with this alternative is that you don’t waste time peeling patty pan. All you have to do is wash it.
Zucchini is a great addition to your diet, and it can be used in a wide variety of delicious recipes. However, now that summer’s gone, in many regions, so are the chances of finding zucchini for sale. So, why not try the substitutes above and see which one works better for you?
If you love zucchinis, check out our recipes that are based on this delicious ingredient:
– Zucchini, lemon thyme and ginger soup
– Zucchini slice
– Fagottelli Carbonara