Use up Your Summer Zucchini

Summer Zucchini Salad

Zucchini is one of the most versatile vegetables out there, and it hits its peak season in August. If you’re stuck with more zucchini than you know what to do with, use these suggestions for tons of delicious dinner ideas to get you through the end of summer.


Weeknight dinners don’t get much easier than stuffed zucchini. Simply slice zucchini lengthwise, scoop out the filling and stuff with a mix of sautéed onions, tomato sauce, parmesan cheese, rice and your choice of meat; Italian sausage, ground chicken, ground beef and ground turkey all work great. Try it with beans for a protein-filled vegetarian option.


Zucchini is the perfect veggie to use if you’re watching your carb intake. When it’s peeled into thin slices, you can use zucchini to replace noodles in all kinds of pasta dishes and casseroles, such as lasagna. It also holds up to sauces and toppings well, making it perfect for side dishes and bakes. Try replacing potatoes with zucchini in your bakes and casseroles for lower carb, leaner options.

Baked & Roasted

For a healthier alternative to French fries, try roasting or baking zucchini. Drizzle sliced zucchini circles with olive oil, salt and pepper for a delicious roasted side dish, or dredge zucchini in milk, breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese for baked zucchini chips or fries, depending on how your slices are cut. You’ll have crispy, flavorful side dishes that are much better for you than deep fried potatoes.

Baked Goods

Just because zucchini is a vegetable doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be eating it for dessert! Zucchini bread, zucchini muffins and even zucchini cake are all delicious summer dessert options that are likely a little healthier than your average ice cream cone. Zucchini goes surprisingly well with chocolate, and nothing tops off a zucchini cake like sweet cream cheese frosting.


Zucchini makes an unexpected addition to all kinds of easy pasta salad recipes, whether they’re hot, cold, or made with an expected grain like barley. Or, make zucchini the star of the show by featuring it as the salad base instead of lettuce. The recipe below is a great, easy way to enjoy zucchini’s freshest flavors; for a fancier presentation, try peeling the zucchini into ribbons instead of slicing lengthwise.

Summer Zucchini Salad
  • 4 small zucchini sliced (about 4 cups)
  • ½ cup sliced red onion
  • ¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon Pure Wesson® Canola Oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
  1. Toss all ingredients in a medium bowl.
  2. Chill or serve immediately.

Author Bio: This is a guest post by Meredith K. on behalf of ReadySetEat®. For more end-of-summer easy recipes for dinner, visit

Summer Recipe Staples to Keep Up Your Sleeve

Chilled Tomato and Vegetable Pasta Salad

Whether you’re cooking for yourself or hosting a dinner party, it’s always nice to keep a collection of go-to recipes up your sleeve—the ones that are easy to make, not too time-consuming and that are definite crowd-pleasers. This is especially true during the summer months, when it’s not uncommon to be cooking for a different potluck or barbecue every weekend.

Just as you probably made your favorite easy lasagna recipe for get-togethers throughout the winter, the following summer meal ideas are easy to whip up for all kinds of summer occasions, from pool parties to easy vacation meals. Make them once and you’ll find yourself making them all summer long:

Pasta Salad

It doesn’t get much easier than this summer potluck staple; all you need are noodles, some veggies and a dressing made from whatever you have in your pantry. Mayonnaise and sour cream are classic pasta salad bases, but it’s easy to lighten up recipes with Greek yogurt, pesto, or even a simple vinaigrette. For more protein, add shredded cooked chicken or cooked shrimp.


Burgers are one of the fastest meals to throw together and you’ll find countless opportunities to make them during the summer. They’re perfect for feeding a crowd if you’re hosting a barbecue, since burger recipes are easy to double, triple and even quadruple. Grill up some beef, turkey or veggie patties and have everyone customize his or her own burger with a toppings bar.

Barbecued Chicken

There’s nothing more summery than barbecued chicken hot off the grill, and it’s a surprisingly versatile dish. Not only is barbecued chicken delicious eaten on its own, but it’s also great sliced on top of salads, grilled up in a quesadilla or topped with ranch, cheese, lettuce and tomato for a hearty sandwich.

Fruity Dessert

With all the fresh fruit that comes into season during the summer, from blueberries and blackberries to mangoes and watermelon, it only seems right to make lots of fruity baked goods! Desserts with fruit are much more prevalent during the summer than in the winter and come in a variety of forms. Try your hand at a cobbler, pie or tart to enjoy summer fruit at its freshest.

Make this chilled tomato and vegetable pasta salad for your next summer get-together; it only takes 20 minutes and can be made the night before for low-stress cooking!

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Chilled Tomato and Vegetable Salad
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Summer Recipe Staples to Keep Up Your Sleeve
  • 12 ounces dry gemelli or rotini pasta, uncooked (about 4 cups)
  • 1 14.5-oz can Hunt’s® Diced Tomatoes, drained
  • 1 cup quartered and sliced English cucumber
  • 1 4-oz package crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 3.8-oz can sliced ripe olives, drained
  • ½ cup shredded carrot
  • ½ cup chopped roasted red pepper
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1 cup light Italian dressing
  • ¼ cup pine nuts, toasted (optional)
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt.
  2. Rise cooked pasta with cold water and place in a large bowl.
  3. Add drained tomatoes, cucumber, cheese, olives, carrots, roasted pepper and onion; mix gently.
  4. Add dressing and toss to coat.
  5. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour prior to serving or until chilled.
  6. Sprinkle with pine nuts
  7. Serve

Author Bio: This is a guest post by Meredith K. on behalf of Hunt’s®. For easy summer tomato recipes, visit

Tomato, Cucumber & Onion Summer Salad

I have eaten this salad since I can remember. I now make this as a meal for lunch and as a side salad with most meals and it is my husbands favorite salad.

This simple salad is perfect for warm summer days, get together’s, lunch, or as a side to any meal.

You will need

6 Campari tomatoes, quartered

1 small sweet onion, sliced

1/2 Cucumber, sliced

Bibb lettuce, to place salad on

Salad dressing

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar

2 teaspoons splenda or sugar

Pinch of dill, plus more for garnish if you want to get fancy

Pinch of sea salt & fresh ground pepper

Whisk or shake to combine.

In a large zip lock bag combine tomato, cucumber, onion, and dressing and chill for 30 minutes.

Place the bibb lettuce in a serving bowl, top with salad mixture, and enjoy!

Creamy Cucumber Salad

This salad is light, healthy, and refreshing. The perfect simple salad to serve all summer!

You will need

English cucumbers, chopped

Sliced red onion

Chopped red bell peppers

Tzatziki Sauce


Combine all ingredients in a large salad bowl, toss well to distribute dressing and serve. Season with salt and fresh ground black pepper.

Serve warm whole wheat pita bread for a healthy and delicious snack!

Creole Tomato, Red Onion, and Fresh Dill Salad

I never can wait until Creole tomato season. I get my hands on as many as possible and indulge in as many recipes as I can using Creole tomatoes or as a simple yet delicious salad like this one.

Last year I made and posted a recipe I made using Creole tomatoes| Creole Tomato Broth and it was so delicious! With the remaining tomatoes, I made a delicious and healthy Pan Seared Tuna in Creole Tomato Broth.

You can also read this amazing post on Creole Food vs. Cajun Food that goes into great detail.

For this delicious summertime salad you will need

2 large Creole tomatoes, sliced

1 large red onion, thinly sliced

Fresh dill

Flat leaf parsley, as garnish

 For the dressing

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar

2 teaspoons splenda or sugar

Pinch of dill seasoning

Pinch of sea salt & fresh ground pepper

Whisk or shake to combine.


In a large Ziploc bag combine tomato, cucumber, onion, and dressing and chill for 30 minutes.

Serve in a serving bowl. Top with fresh dill and parsley and enjoy!