Quick with a no-fuss prep, these Easy Marinated Zucchini are delicious! You can even make these the night before! The perfect addition to a condiment tray for summer grilling, salad topper, and delicious in a fresh summer pasta salad. Comes together in no time and will stay fresh all week in the fridge.
Marinated Zucchini are something I always have on hand all summer long. I typically make it the Italian way (I promise to share that recipe very soon!). When I make it the Italian way, the zucchini are thinly sliced and then grilled. The marinade ingredients are added on. In a matter of no time they are ready to enjoy with your favorite summer grilling! It is a genius way to use up some of your late summer zucchini.
The method I’m sharing here today is more of the method that I use to make my marinated cucumbers. All you need are very thinly sliced zucchini and a marinade that comes together in no time! The marinade couldn’t be simpler.
You will be making this all summer long and adding them to your salads and bowls. I just adore zucchini, it could even be a slight obsession. And easy marinated zucchini are a TOTAL obsession. Make them and you will understand why!
The zucchini are very thinly sliced (I did it by hand, but feel free to use a mandolin). Next, you then salt them for about 30 minutes.
A very simple marinade is what comes next.
All you need to make the zucchini marinade:
- extra-virgin olive oil (the better the quality the better the marinade)
- white vinegar (you could also use white wine vinegar)
- dried herbs (I used dried parsley and sometimes use dried oregano)
- crushed red pepper flakes
Is it a dream come true? You probably have all the ingredients already in your pantry! Right before adding the zucchini to the jars, add the marinade ingredients to a small pot. Bring the marinade to a gentle boil for a few minutes. Set aside until you're ready to pour it over the zucchini.
At about 30 minutes of salting them, you’ll see when they look tender and ready. Drain the salty water and gently squeeze out any remaining liquid from zucchini. Add the zucchini to the jars.
Whisk together the marinade and pour it over the zucchini in the jars.
How Long Can I Marinate Zucchini?
It takes a full 24 hours for the zucchini to absorb the delicious marinade. If you have the patience to wait even three days, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with it’s fantastic flavor! When we make the marinated zucchini there is more eaten than stored in the jars, and I’m sure the same thing will happen when you make it! Slightly addictive!
How to store marinated zucchini? How long do they last?
The marinated zucchini store best in glass jars and also in the refrigerator. In my opinion, keeping them nice and cold in the fridge keeps them with a a little bit of crisp to each bite and the marinade flavor is so fresh. Store them in a mason jar for optimal flavor.
Refrigerate the zucchini for up to a week.
Can zucchini be canned?
My Calabrian mother-in-law does can her zucchini. I can’t tell you how many magical jars of her canned zucchini she insisted I take home at the end of a summer visit in Italy. She has her own method and has been doing it for her whole life. These zucchini actually taste almost exactly like Teresa's canned zucchini. She does add her own dried oregano from Calabria. I do have bags of her oregano here and sometimes add it to the marinade (and then it tastes just like hers!). Or I just add dried parsley.
If you read this article from Michigan State University, they explain why the USDA has withdrawn their recommendation on canning zucchini (and summer squash). Pickling and even freezing is what they recommend.
I suggest doubling the recipe and you can give as gift to your favorite neighbor or your brother (my brother loves them!).
Some ways you can enjoy them these delicious easy marinated zucchini summer long:
- a quick snack (my favorite way to enjoy them…right out of the fridge!)
- a fresh summer side dish (think add-on for your grilling condiment tray)
- added to salads (just a few drizzles of the marinade makes the most amazing addition to your salad dressing)
- a summer pasta salad
- top it on your favorite bowl
- summer bruschetta (perfect added on to toasted Italian bread).
Some other easy pickled and marinated recipes:
- Easy Pickled Jalapeños
- Easy Pickled Scotch Bonnet Peppers
- Easy Pickled Cucumbers
- Easy Marinated Mushrooms
Originally published on May 28, 2020.
Easy Marinated Zucchini
- 3 medium zucchini rinsed ends trimmed off
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 1/4 cups white wine vinegar with 5% acidity
- 1 cup pure olive oil
- 5 garlic cloves peeled and left whole
- 1 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 teaspoon dried parsley basil, or oregano (or combo of whatever you prefer)
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- Slice zucchini to 1/16-inch thickness on a mandolin or a food processor (I sometimes slice by hand and manage to get it nice and thin, so don’t worry if you don’t have a mandolin or food processor, just carefully slice by hand).
- In a small bowl, place the zucchini slices and sprinkle on the salt. Mix them together with your very clean hands. Set them aside for about 30 minutes.
- In a small pot, add the olive oil, vinegar, garlic cloves, salt, oregano, dried parsley, and crushed red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil and let boil for about 3 minutes. When it’s boiled for a few minutes, remove pot from the heat.
- Remove the garlic cloves from the olive oil marinate and reserve in a small plate.
- Drain the zucchini in a colander. Gently squeeze out all the liquid. You don’t want to break apart the zucchini, so really gently squeeze out the liquid. Spoon them into your canning jars (or whatever container you are storing them in)add a garlic clove to each jar, and leave about 1/2 inch of headspace on the top.
- When you have your zucchini ready in the jars, stir the marinade together and carefully pour the olive oil marinade over the zucchini in the jars, being sure to leave that 1/2 inch of headspace on the top. If you happen to have any marinade leftover, use it in a salad dressing.
- Cover, using lids and store them in the refrigerator. They can be stored in the refrigerator up to 7 days.
- Be sure to let them marinate overnight before serving. You really want to get the full flavor of the marinade (although they are delicious even right away!). The next day, serve at room temperature.
Kathleen Armstrong says
My Calabrian grandmother made a zucchini salad by boiling those large zucchini that manage to escape picking until they were too big. She seeded them and cut them in large chunks, boiled them until just tender, and drained well. Then she charred fresh mint and crumbled it on the zucchini, added salt and red wine vinegar. So delicious. I've tried to copy it over the years, but its never quite the same. Have you ever had it prepared it that way or similarly?
Hi Kathleen-I know in Naples area it's called zucchine alla scapece...my Calabrian mother-in-law only makes hers with oregano. But I have had it with mint (so refreshing in the summertime!!). Have you tried looking around for scapece recipes to see if you could find one similar to your nonna's? Sometimes the nonna's recipes are just so magical even if they write it down, if it's not made with their hands, it's not quite the same.
corinne Connington says
How long can I keep my jarred marinated zucchini in the fridge
Hi Corinne-I mention in the post and also in the recipe towards the end, store in fridge up to one week.
Joanne Quimby says
Have you ever frozen these? I’m thinking, let them marinate in the fridge for a day, then freeze???
Hi Joanne-No, I have not frozen them. If you do, let me know how it turns out!
I forgot to salt and set for 30 minutes! Should I start over?
Hi Marla-Definitely salt it and start over. The point of the salt is to draw liquid out of the zucchini (and makes them tender)...so go ahead and salt that zucchini and set the timer! 🙂
Absolutely love this recipe! Thank you for sharing!
Hi Sarah-SO happy you enjoyed the recipe...thank you for the lovely comment! xx