Although zucchini brings many nutrients and benefits, the vegetable lacks one vital component, which is taste. As we’ve mentioned, zucchini’s taste is little to none unless paired with other flavor ingredients like seasonings.
And that’s one reason to substitute it. Other than that, if you’ve been using zucchini for your favorite dishes, and if you’re tired of using the same old ingredient, well, maybe it’s time to take things up a notch with some alternatives below.
- Yellow Squash
- Patty Pan
- Chayote squash
If you are down on your luck and still unable to find something from above to replace zucchini with, don’t worry! Below is the full list of the 14 best alternatives you can use to substitute for zucchini.
Before that, we are going to share a bit more about this vegetable.
13 Best Substitute for Zucchini
Zucchini, also called courgette or baby marrow, is a summer squash that is native to Central America and Mexico. It has a neutral taste unless cooked with seasonings like salt or pepper.
They’re usually in season from the start of May to the end of October, and available in supermarkets all year-round.
It is an excellent source of Vitamin C and a good source of Vitamin B6. Zucchini is also high in antioxidants, helping with cleansing toxins in your body, and it can improve your heart health along with aiding weight loss.
But what are the alternatives that are equally healthy? Let’s find out below!
First up on the list, we’ve got eggplants. Eggplant is slightly similar to zucchini, such as the texture, but eggplant is richer in taste than zucchini.
It’s also very common in supermarkets, so looking for them won’t be a whole errand to run. When choosing eggplants, make sure you don’t go for the ones with the hard skins as they can be a hassle to take off.
Preferably, go for the Asian eggplants, since they are more similar to zucchini.
One of some recipes you should try out is the grilled red pepper and eggplant. It’s easy to make, and very tasty too.
Just like zucchini, eggplants help improve heart health. And not only that, it also helps with digestion, increases brain function and improves bone health, and also prevents anemia and cancer.
In a nutshell, not only are eggplants tasty and savory, but they’re also filled with nutrients to help boost your health.
Since zucchini is a summer squash, others of the same type such as yellow squash would make a great alternative if you don’t have zucchini at home.
Both are also similar to each other in terms of taste and texture, not to mention both are also in season every summer.
Yellow squashes may have a weird taste at first, but when you’ve tried them with your favorite recipe, you’re going to start wondering why you haven’t appreciated yellow squash sooner.
Try adding yellow squash to your dish, and it will add color and more life to your food.
Of course, you can’t miss out on the nutrients it gives you. Some of these are Vitamins A, B6, and C, along with folate, magnesium, and fiber. Just like any vegetable with weird tastes, they give many nutrients that are beneficial for your body.
If you’re thinking that yellow squashes and zucchini are almost identical, do take note that these two have differences of their own.
Another substitute from the squash family is patty pan. It is also a summer squash, known for its small, round-sized, and shallow shape. If you’re unfamiliar with the name patty pan, it is derived from “a pan for baking a patty.”
It has a buttery flavor and has the same texture as zucchini. The recommended method of cooking this ingredient is by baking and/or frying. And also, you can add patty pans to your salad to keep up a good and healthy diet.
It is a good source of Vitamins C and A, magnesium, and manganese.
Chayote is another squash that works best with baked recipes as it has a sweet and mild flavor and a hint of a cucumber taste.
Although it doesn’t have the same shape as zucchini, it is a decent substitute if you’re looking for something with a hint of sweetness in it.
Although chayote has tough skin, you need to peel the skin off before slicing and cooking. Try adding salt before doing so to speed up the process.
Other than that, chayote is not only delicious but also nutritious, and it is beneficial due to its generous nutrient content.
And other health benefits like promoting good heart health, helping with blood sugar control, preventing cancer and aiding with slow visible signs of aging.
Cucumber is widely used in salads, so if you’re looking for a common, delicious, and nutritious alternative, you should try out cucumber. Cucumbers are juicy too, and that’s what makes the flavor better.
Although zucchini and cucumbers vary greatly in taste, cucumbers share the same texture and appearance as zucchini. Cucumber works well with baking, and it’s so juicy it gives your dish more life by adding more flavor!
An interesting recipe you should try out is cucumber noodles with coconut lime cumin dressing. It sounds fancy, and it is! The noodles are made from cucumber noodles using mandolin slicers, and you can make the dressing yourself!
As for the health benefits of cucumbers, these are high in nutrients and low in calories.
They contain antioxidants and aid with hydration due to the tender juiciness, aid in weight loss and help lower your blood sugar. Pretty much the most nutritious and delicious on our list so far!
Celery is another common ingredient found at home. Although zucchini and celery may not have the same texture and taste, celery is also juicy and they are perfect for soup and such.
If you’d like to experiment with things, you can try replacing celery as the main ingredient in your favorite baked recipe instead of using it as a topping.
Of course, celery can’t miss out on nutrients. It is rich in nutrients and fiber and helps lower cholesterol, aids with treating constipation, lowers stress hormone levels, and fights and protects your body from inflammation.
Parsley is very similar to celery in terms of physical appearance and as an alternative for zucchini. This may not be the best for your baked recipes as it has a mildly bitter taste.
Instead, it is best to pair with some savory recipes to compensate for the bitter taste.
Despite this, parsley is rich in Vitamin K which is associated to aid in bone growth and bone mineral density, helping with reducing bloating and blood pressure, and may aid kidney health.
If you have acid problems like acid reflux, try it out with your favorite dishes to help aid in reducing bloating.
It is not highly suggested that you replace zucchini with parsley in baking, but if you want to try new things out, try replacing zucchini with parsley in some recipes like lasagna.
Back to the squash family, pumpkins are great for a zucchini substitute if you’re looking to cook dishes in winter, by the end of the year, or at the start of the year.
You can make your Halloween party pumpkin-themed, from the decorations to the food!
And pumpkins aren’t only for decorations or for food, they are very nutritious and partially rich in Vitamin A.
Pumpkins are also high in antioxidants that may reduce the risk of getting chronic diseases, and it also stacks up vitamins in your body that helps with boosting the immune system.
Carrots aren’t as great alternatives for zucchini unlike cucumber and eggplant, but you can still use a carrot as a substitute for salads.
Just chop the carrots and place them in your favorite bowl along with your favorite vegetables, and you already got yourself a healthy meal!
Carrots contain beta-carotene that lowers the risk of getting diabetes, it also contains fiber, which keeps blood sugar levels at bay, and nutrients that are vital for bone health such as calcium and vitamin K.
If you’re on a diet, try it out as it aids in weight loss and comes with many nutrients and benefits that are mentioned above.
Apples are well-known, common fruits. They are used to make apple puree, apple pie, apple juice, and many recipes that involve apple.
Thus, in terms of baking, apples are a great substitute for zucchini as it has a sweet taste and it brings more flavor to your dishes. You can also use apples to make bread if you don’t have zucchini. Do expect a great difference in taste as ripe apples are sweeter and more savory than zucchini.
Apples are yummy and healthy, too. As the saying goes “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.”
We can prove that correct by knowing that apples are rich in fiber and antioxidants, and they are associated with lowering the risk of many chronic diseases and conditions, like heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer.
They also help improve gut and brain health.
Sweet potatoes and zucchini are very alike regarding their taste depending on what ingredients you pair them up with. You can use these for baking, frying, and many more recipes. If you’re into chili or if you’re a fan of spicy foods, try making chili-glazed sweet potatoes.
And just like apples, sweet potatoes improve gut health, including cancer-fighting properties, support and enhance brain function, help with immune health, and aid with healthy vision.
Green peppers work well with baked recipes, as it gives a spicy taste to boost the flavor of your dish. Try using them for a grilled or barbecue party to add up a healthy ingredient to your meals.
Green pepper is very rich in nutrients, and not only that, but it’s also good for gut health, promotes eye and heart health, aids in weight management, and is a good source of antioxidants as well!
Beetroot is highly suggested as a substitute for zucchini when it comes to patty recipes. And because beetroot isn’t juicy like zucchini and other substitutes, you won’t have to grate it, add salt, and put it aside for a little while, because all these are unnecessary for beetroot.
So if you want a healthy and delicious burger, try this one out, and hopefully, your cravings will be satisfied.
Beetroot is a great source of iron, fiber, vitamin B9 or folate, potassium, and vitamin C. Some benefits of beetroot and beetroot juice are improving blood flow, lowering blood pressure, and increasing exercise performance when you’re working out.