Today’s healthy zucchini salad recipe is proof that raw food can be delicious as well.
You only need to spend 10 minutes to prepare all the ingredients and make the dressing. Then, all that’s left to do is mix the salad and enjoy.
Before we start, here are a few things to know about today’s recipe:
Is This Zucchini Salad Recipe Healthy?
Zucchini is a low-calorie food — 100g of zucchini contains only 21 calories. This means you can eat a lot of zucchini to fill up without overconsuming calories.
Zucchini is also a rich source of micronutrients and antioxidants, especially vitamin A and C. While vitamin A may help improve your vision, vitamin C may enhance your immune system.
In addition, this summer squash has a high content of water and fiber. These are the key factors that help promote a healthy digestive system and prevent constipation.
Besides zucchini, our salad also contains cashew — a great source of fiber, protein, and healthy fats.
If you love similar healthy salads, check out our beet and feta cheese salad and watermelon arugula salad recipe.
Zucchini vs Squash
You may have heard zucchini is a type of summer squash. So what is a squash?
A squash is a family of plants that is commonly cultivated for their edible fruits. They belong to a genus called ‘cucurbita’ and are particularly herbaceous vine plants.
There are many varieties of squash and they come in different colors, shapes, and sizes. But generally, squash are divided into winter and summer types.
Types of Zucchini
Here are a few several examples of zucchini varieties:
- Green zucchini: This is the most common kind of zucchini to find in supermarkets. It can be easily identified with its smooth and dark green skin.
- Yellow zucchini: These bright-colored zucchini look similar to the green ones with their oblong shape, straight neck, and smooth skin.
- Crookneck squash: As the name suggests, this yellow zucchini has a narrow neck that tilts to a side. The skin can be either smooth or rough with lots of bumps.
- Eight ball squash: These round zucchini are ideal for stuffing, but can be used in place of green ones too.
These types of zucchini are similarly mild and lightly sweet in terms of flavor. But for today’s recipe, it would be ideal to use green and yellow zucchini.
How to Cut Zucchini for Salad
For today’s recipe, we are going to thinly shave the zucchini into ribbons. We recommend using a mandoline slicer as it gets the job done in seconds.
However, if you don’t have a mandoline, you can use a peeler instead.
To ensure safety, place the zucchini on the cutting board. Use a knife to cut a thin slice of the zucchini, creating a flat side.
Turn the zucchini so that it lays on the flat side. Hold it tightly as you shave it into ribbons.
This prevents the zucchini from sliding and keeps you from cutting yourself.
How to Make Zucchini Salad
Here is a brief description of our zucchini salad recipe with photo guides:
Make the dressing.
Plate the salad.
Add the dressing.
For full ingredient measurements and detailed instructions, check out the recipe section below.
What Else Go Well in a Zucchini Salad Recipe?
If you want to customize your own salad, we have a few suggestions:
1. Seeds and Nuts
Pine nuts, sunflower seeds, peanuts, or cashews are some of the best options for your salad. These crunchy nuts and seeds will add more texture to your salad.
When it comes to adding color to your salad, you can’t go wrong with tomatoes. Throwing in a few red and yellow cherry tomatoes will brighten up your salad instantly.
If you would like to see more options, see our collection of healthy salad recipes.
1. Is Zucchini a Fruit or Vegetable?
By definition, a vegetable is a plant or part of a plant that is edible. These parts of the plant include roots, leaves, or stems.
Meanwhile, a fruit develops from a flower and bears the seeds of the plant. So, botanically, zucchini is a fruit.
However, in cooking, zucchini is considered a vegetable.
2. Can You Freeze Zucchini Salad?
While it’s possible to freeze this zucchini salad, it’s simply not a good idea.
When you freeze zucchini and thaw it afterwards, it may become watery or mushy. The salad may no longer be delicious and enjoyable.
Because this is a raw salad, we highly recommend you make it fresh from scratch whenever you’re craving it. It doesn’t take much time to make after all.
3. How Long Does Zucchini Salad Last?
Since our zucchini salad contains mainly fresh, uncooked ingredients, it won’t stay fresh for very long. However, it does contain olive oil and lemon juice— the key ingredients to slow down the spoilage process.
Firstly, the fatty oil coats the raw zucchini, creating a barrier to prevent bacteria growth. Secondly, lemon juice is commonly used in pickling— a technique to preserve food.
The presence of fat and acidity creates a strong environment to prolong the shelf life of our salad. We’d also like to recommend storing the salad in an airtight container to minimize the exposure to bacteria.
Zucchini Salad Recipe
This vegetarian zucchini salad recipe only requires a few simple ingredients and takes minutes to make from start to finish. Let's begin.
- prep TIME 10 mins
- total TIME 10 mins
- COURSE Dinner, Lunch, Side Dish
- CUISINE Global
- SERVINGS servings
- CALORIES 215 kcal
- 2.5 tbspolive oil
- 0.1 tspsalt
- 0.3 tspground black pepper
- 2 tsplemon juice
- 1 tsptraditional Dijon mustard
- 16 ozzucchini (green and yellow, shaved lengthwise)
- 2.5 ozcashews (roasted)
- 1 ozfeta cheese (crumbled)
- 2 tbspfresh coriander (roughly chopped)
Make the dressing: In a small bowl, combine 2 1/2 tbsp olive oil, 1/8 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp ground black pepper, 2 tsp lemon juice, and 1 tsp traditional Dijon mustard. Whisk well to emulsify.
Plate the salad: Divide 16 oz zucchini into 4 portions and arrange them on serving plates or bowls. Sprinkle with 2.5 oz cashews and 1 oz feta cheese.
Add the dressing: Drizzle the dressing over the salad and garnish with chopped 2 tbsp fresh coriander.
Serve: Mix to coat the dressing evenly and enjoy.