It’s no secret that when zucchini is in season, there’s usually plenty of it to go around. We’ll show you how to make the most of your zucchini by helping you select, store and freeze zucchini so you can enjoy this nutritious vegetable all year long.

Graphic for post - how to pick and store zucchini. Images are in a grid against a white background showing how to cut, freeze and cut zucchini.

Medically reviewed and co-written by Jamie Johnson, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), and Lauren Braaten, Pediatric Occupational Therapist (OT).

How to Pick, Store & Freeze Zucchini

Zucchini is a mild-tasting summer squash that is arguably one of the most versatile vegetables (although spoiler alert – it’s technically a fruit!). From roasted zucchini on top of salads and spiralized zoodles, to chocolate chip zucchini muffins or blended into soup, there’s bound to be zucchini that you will enjoy.

Zucchini contains a variety of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants including vitamins A and C, potassium and manganese. In addition, prepping zucchini for use in many recipes is quick, which means it’s incredibly easy to include in your regular meal rotation. We’ll go over the best ways to pick, store and freeze zucchini so you can make the most of this nutrient-packed veggie.

Zucchini Benefits

Zucchini is a nutrient-dense food. In addition, it’s soft and primarily water, making it a great option for hydrating babies.

  • High in vitamin C, which supports the immune system and helps with iron absorption
  • Contains beta-carotene, needed for healthy eyesight
  • A good source of potassium, an important electrolyte needed for fluid balance, muscle contractions and a normal blood pressure
  • Contains water and fiber, which support digestion and can help with constipation
Hands holding three zucchini against a white background.

How to Pick Ripe Zucchini

Here’s how to pick zucchini that’s perfectly ripe and ready to enjoy:

  • Size: ideally, you want zucchini that are small to medium-sized (no longer than 6-8 inches), as the flavor and texture will be best. If zucchini is too large, the seeds and rind begin to harden, making it unpalatable.
  • Touch: a ripe zucchini should have the right level of firmness. If it is too soft, this means the zucchini may be rotting and is past its prime. The skin should be glossy and slightly prickly to the touch.
  • Color: choose zucchini with a vibrant green hue (although depending on the variety of zucchini, it may also be yellow or white). Avoid those with any bruising or nicks.

Types of Zucchini: Zucchini is a summer squash, a member of the Cucurbita family which also includes melons, pumpkins, cucumbers and gourds. There are many different types of zucchini, from Coccozella, with its dark green streaks, to Gourmet Gold, which derives its name from its beautiful golden-yellow hue, to the most popular Black Beauty variety with its dark green, almost black, color.

Three zucchini sitting on a white background.

How to Store Zucchini

If you plan to cook the zucchini within a few days, leave it out at room temperature. Wash the zucchini before cooking.

If you don’t plan to use the zucchini in a few days, store the whole zucchini in the crisper drawer in the fridge. This will help zucchini stay fresh for up to 2 weeks.

How to Store Cut Zucchini

Depending on how you cut and plan to use your zucchini, you will need to store it differently.

Store cut zucchini (round slices, spears, or diced) in an airtight container or Ziploc baggie in the crisper drawer of the fridge for up to 5 days.

Keep spiralized or shredded zucchini in a sealed bowl or container lined with a few paper towels to absorb excess moisture. Store in the fridge and use within 2-3 days.

How to Cut Zucchini

To cut a zucchini, start by trimming away the stem and root end with a knife. From here you get to decide whether you want to cut your zucchini into spears, rounds, half moons or simply dice it into cubes. You can use a spiralizer to make zucchini noodles or “zoodles” with a whole zucchini. You can also use a Y-shaped peeler to slice half of a zucchini lengthwise into long, thin strips or ribbons.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I look for when buying zucchini?

Look for small, firm, dark green zucchini without blemishes or cuts on the skin.

Is zucchini supposed to be refrigerated?

Zucchini doesn’t have to be refrigerated but doing so will help this veggie stay fresh for longer. So, if you don’t plan to use your zucchini within a few days, it’s best to place it in the fridge.

Should zucchini be peeled?

Ultimately, this depends on your preference and the type of recipe you are making. However, peeling zucchini may cause it to get too mushy when cooking, roasting or frying. In addition, the skin contains nutrients and adds texture and flavor, even in baked dishes. We recommend not peeling zucchini in most cases, but always make sure to wash it thoroughly before cooking and eating.

Three Ziploc bags full of frozen zucchini three different ways.

How To Freeze Zucchini

Freezing zucchini is a great way to store extra ripe zucchini you may have before they go bad. There are three different ways to store zucchini:

Method #1 – Grated

  • Grate zucchini and place the shredded zucchini into a paper towel or cheesecloth and gently squeeze to remove excess moisture.
  • Place the grated zucchini into a zip-lock or stasher bag, in a single layer.
  • With the baggie on the counter, starting at the bottom and working your way to the top of the bag by the seam, press out as much extra air as possible.
  • Close the zip-lock.
  • Transfer the grated zucchini to the freezer and freeze flat.
  • The zucchini will break apart easily once frozen so you can use the entire bag or just a portion.

Method #2 – Fresh

  • Slice zucchini.
  • Place the zucchini into a single layer in a zip-lock baggie or stasher bag.
  • With the baggie on the counter, starting at the bottom and working your way to the top of the bag by the seam, press out as much extra air as possible.
  • Close the zip-lock.
  • Transfer the zucchini rounds to the freezer and freeze flat.
  • The zucchini will break apart easily once frozen so you can use the entire bag or just a portion.

Method #3 – Blanched

  • Bring a medium saucepan filled 3/4 the way up with water to a boil.
  • Add in chopped or slices of zucchini to the boiling water. Let cook for 1 minute.
  • Place the cooked zucchini pieces into an ice bath (a bowl filled with water and ice). Let cool for 5 minutes.
  • Transfer the zucchini to a paper towel or towel and let dry.
  • Place the zucchini into a zip-lock baggie or stasher bag in a single layer.
  • With the baggie on the counter, starting at the bottom and working your way to the top of the bag by the seam, press out as much extra air as possible.
  • Close the zip-lock.
  • Transfer the blanched zucchini to the freezer and freeze flat.
  • The zucchini will break apart easily once frozen so you can use the entire bag or just a portion.

How to Thaw Frozen Zucchini

To thaw zucchini, place the zip-lock of frozen zucchini in the fridge overnight or soak the bag of frozen zucchini in a bowl of warm water to thaw. A good rule of thumb is that you will need to thaw zucchini for baking but not necessarily for cooking. Drain excess water from thawed zucchini before using.

How to Use Frozen Zucchini

Recipes to Use Zucchini In

Here are some great recipes that feature zucchini.

A purple kids plate full of zucchini pancakes with a small bowl of yogurt and blueberry sauce I can see a white background with a purple napkin.

Fluffy Zucchini Pancakes (super easy!)

5 stars (2 ratings)
Zucchini's mild flavor blends right into these warmly spiced pancakes for a yummy and healthy addition to breakfast, snack, lunch or even dinner. Great for babies, toddlers, and kids. 6 months and up!
Get the recipe

Healthy Toddler (and Mom) Approved Zucchini Bread

5 stars (18 ratings)
A delicious and easy to make zucchini bread recipe.
Get the recipe
Bowl of purple baby breakfast cereal surrounded by produce.

Berry Zucchini Oat Breakfast Cereal for Baby

5 stars (2 ratings)
This healthy baby breakfast is made with a heaping serving of mixed berries, zucchini and wholesome oatmeal cereal that has a good amount of fiber, folate, iron and vitamins A, D and E in it that will help start baby’s morning off right.
Get the recipe
White cutting board with a spread of ingredients for this baby food puree - zucchini, apple, kiwi, mint and a bowl filled of the puree.

Zucchini + Apple + Kiwi Baby Food Puree with Mint

5 stars (5 ratings)
Crisp sweet apple, smooth zucchini and tangy kiwi all rolled into one yummy puree for baby!
Get the recipe
2 small white bowls full of summer baby food purees.

Turkey, Corn + Zucchini Baby Food Puree

5 stars (2 ratings)
This summer puree is filled with fresh sweet corn, sun ripened zucchini, zesty chives and some ground turkey for some extra protein!
Get the recipe
Three Ziploc bags full of frozen zucchini three different ways.

Get the recipe: How to Freeze Zucchini

5 stars (2 ratings)
Freezing zucchini is a great way to make use of the extra vegetable for future recipes. Here are 3 ways to freeze zucchini.

Ingredients 

  • 1 medium zucchini

Instructions 

METHOD #1 – GRATED

  • Grate zucchini and place the shredded zucchini into a paper towel or cheesecloth and gently squeeze to remove excess moisture. Place the grated zucchini into a zip-lock or stasher bag, in a single layer.
    A freezer bag full of grated zucchini against a white background.
  • With the baggie on the counter, starting at the bottom and working your way to the top of the bag by the seam, press out as much extra air as possible. Close the zip-lock.
    Two hands pressing the air out of a baggie full of grated zucchini.
  • Transfer the grated zucchini to the freezer and freeze flat.
    A Ziploc bag full of frozen shredded grated zucchini.
  • The zucchini will break apart easily once frozen so you can use the entire bag or just a portion.
    A top view of a baggie full of grated zucchini.

METHOD #2 – FRESH

  • Slice zucchini. Place the zucchini into a single layer in a zip-lock baggie or stasher bag.
    2 Hands placing in slices of fresh zucchini into a Ziploc freezer bag.
  • With the baggie on the counter, starting at the bottom and working your way to the top of the bag by the seam, press out as much extra air as possible. Close the zip-lock.
    Two hands pressing the air out of a Ziploc bag full of sliced zucchini.
  • Transfer the zucchini rounds to the freezer and freeze flat. The zucchini will break apart easily once frozen so you can use the entire bag or just a portion.
    Frozen zucchini slices in a Ziploc bag against a white background.

METHOD #3 – BLANCHED

  • Bring a medium saucepan filled 3/4 the way up with water to a boil. Add in chopped or slices of zucchini to the boiling water. Let cook for 1 minute.
    A silver sauce pan full of diced zucchini with water that is boiling.
  • Place the cooked zucchini pieces into an ice bath (a bowl filled with water and ice). Let cool for 5 minutes.
    Hand holding a silver spoon transferring cooked zucchini to an ice bath.
  • Transfer the zucchini to a paper towel or towel and let dry.
    diced zucchini sitting on a paper towel against a white background.
  • Place the zucchini into a zip-lock baggie or stasher bag in a single layer. With the baggie on the counter, starting at the bottom and working your way to the top of the bag by the seam, press out as much extra air as possible. Close the zip-lock. Transfer the blanched zucchini to the freezer and freeze flat. The zucchini will break apart easily once frozen so you can use the entire bag or just a portion.
    A baggie full of diced frozen zucchini.

Did you make this recipe?

Tag @babyfoode on Instagram and hashtag it #babyfoode!