Zucchini is a fantastic summer squash to incorporate into both sweet and savory dishes. Its mild flavor means it can be paired with a variety of ingredients while it also provides natural liquid and healthy dietary fiber.
Learning how to store zucchini properly will ensure the best results in your recipes that call for zucchini. From storing in the fridge to freezing, canning, and even dehydrating - there’s bound to be a method of storage that suits your needs!
- Selecting Zucchini
- Different Ways To Storing Zucchini
- Storing Fresh Zucchini
- Does Zucchini Last Longer on the Counter or in the Fridge?
- Signs That Your Fresh-Stored Zucchini Is Turning Bad
- How To Harvest And Store Fresh Zucchini From The Garden
- How To Store Fresh And Cut Zucchini
- Should You Wash Your Zucchini Before Storing?
- Freezing Zucchini
- Other Methods For Storing Zucchini
- Canning Zucchini
- Dehydrating Zucchini
- Best Recipes With Zucchini
- Common Questions
- More Posts You'll Like
Selecting quality zucchini from your local grocery store or farmers' market will have a direct impact on how long will zucchini last.
- Always choose zucchinis that feel heavy as this is a good indicator that they are fresh and full of healthy juice.
- The skin of the zucchini should be smooth and without spots or blemishes.
Different Ways To Storing Zucchini
Storing Fresh Zucchini
Fresh and whole zucchini should be stored in a perforated sealable bag in a designated vegetable drawer or in the fridge. The perforated bag allows air circulation to prevent mold from developing.
If you choose to wash your zucchini prior to storage, make sure that you dry it properly with a paper towel before storing it away. Any excess moisture can lead to mold.
When stored properly, fresh whole zucchini will last for 2 weeks.
Does Zucchini Last Longer on the Counter or in the Fridge?
You have the freedom to store your zucchini either on the counter or in the fridge - it's your choice. However, I recommend storing your zucchini in the fridge or a root cellar to keep them fresh longer and prevent bacterial growth. If left on the counter, they'll soften faster, so use them promptly.
Signs That Your Fresh-Stored Zucchini Is Turning Bad
It’s important to check on your freshly stored zucchini regularly. Use up any zucchinis that start to soften or wrinkle. If you have an abundance of zucchini that you know you won’t be using in time, consider gifting them to your neighbors, friends, or family, or freezing them.
How To Harvest And Store Fresh Zucchini From The Garden
If you have green fingers and grow your own zucchini plants, knowing the proper harvesting techniques to use will extend the storage of your fresh zucchini!
It’s best to harvest young and tender zucchini that measure about 6-8 inches in length. Larger zucchini become less flavorful and have a high water content which isn’t ideal for storage. When picked, wash and dry the zucchini so that no extra moisture remains. Store them as you would store store-bought fresh zucchini.
How To Store Fresh And Cut Zucchini
Leftover cut zucchini from making other recipes should be stored in the fridge for only a few days to avoid it from becoming overly soft and losing flavor. You can wrap the cut zucchini in plastic wrap and aluminum foil or simply store it in an airtight container.
Should You Wash Your Zucchini Before Storing?
The key to prolonging the freshness of stored zucchini lies in maintaining its dryness. Instead of washing, use a paper towel to wipe down the zucchini, ensuring the removal of any moisture, dirt, or debris from the garden. Save the proper washing for when you're prepared to use them—it's the optimal time for thorough cleaning.
Freezing zucchini is one of the most popular methods for storing this fruit.
First, wash the zucchini in cold water and then slice it how you prefer. Before storing the cut zucchini, take the extra step to blanch it in boiling water for 1-2 minutes and then transfer it to a large bowl of ice water to stop any further cooking. Drain the blanched zucchini and then store it in an airtight plastic bag or container with a label to add a date.
Stored correctly, zucchini can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw the frozen zucchini, squeeze out any excess liquid, and use it in a variety of dishes such as soups, stir-fries, and baked goods.
📋Pro Tip: Grate fresh zucchini into the right quantities you need for your favorite recipes and store the shredded zucchini in freezer bags or airtight containers in the freezer, ready to be used in loaves of zucchini bread, zucchini muffins, cake, pancakes, and more!
Other Methods For Storing Zucchini
Apart from storing fresh zucchini or freezing it, there are two other popular methods for storing your zucchini that you may like to try:
Canning is a great method for storing zucchini for up to a year! You’ll need canning jars, a pressure canner, and a step-by-step guide to take you through the correct canning procedures to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria.
Drying zucchini through dehydration techniques and equipment can also preserve the zucchini for quite some time.
Dehydrated zucchini is a great option for making zucchini chips that can be served with hummus or other dips as a party appetizer or snack. You can also dehydrate your zucchini and store it in the pantry for use in your favorite soup and stews.
To dry the zucchini, slice it thinly into uniform thin slices and then arrange the sliced zucchini in a single layer on dehydrator trays, leaving enough space between the slices for proper air circulation. Dehydrate the zucchini slices at 125F or until crispy. These can then be stored (once cool) in sealable bags or an airtight container in a cool, dry place. Rehydrate the zucchini slices by soaking them in warm water for 15-20 minutes prior to use.
When incorporating zucchini slices into soup, thawing beforehand isn't essential. Yet, if you plan to sauté it in a skillet or add shredded zucchini to bread or muffin batter, I recommend defrosting it first. Similar to thawing other frozen vegetables, you can defrost the zucchini by placing the frozen bag in the refrigerator overnight, soaking it in room temperature water for a few hours, or using the microwave.
Freezing zucchini without boiling or cooking it is entirely feasible. Rather than slicing, opt to grate or shred the zucchini before freezing. This technique of storage can help you save a substantial amount of time.
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