Nothing signals the start of summer like a bountiful harvest of homegrown courgettes. But if your crop gets out of control, it can take some serious imagination to make the most of your pickings.
From creamy lasagnes to tempting tarts, we have an abundance of recipes that use fresh courgettes. Just remember to pick your bounty before the veg gets too big, as the smaller the courgette, the better the flavour. Courgettes can reach marrow-size surprisingly quickly – and no one wants their veg patch to star in its own The Day of the Triffids remake…
10 ways to use up courgettes
1. Perfect pasta
Who can resist a comforting bowl of pasta? Quick, cheap and popular with kids, this is the perfect dish for using up some of your courgettes. Cheese & tomato pasta bakes can be made in bulk and frozen, so they’re great for busy families, and carbonara-style courgette & bacon pasta can be whipped up in minutes. Or, if you’re looking for something simple but special, check out this creamy courgette lasagne.
Discover more courgette pasta recipes.
2. Super sponges
Courgettes can be used in more than just savoury dishes. This moist courgette & orange cake with cream cheese frosting is a decadent way to prove the point! Or, whip up a decadent chocolate cake using grated courgettes. There’s also a zesty and fragrant courgette, lemon & thyme cake, or get the kids in the kitchen to help make a batch of courgette muffins with this child-friendly recipe.
Find more courgette cake recipes.
3. Fresh salads
Salads are the perfect way to showcase the subtle, delicate flavours of courgettes. This minted courgette salad is full of fresh taste, while a salad with roast red peppers & chorizo has a Spanish twist. You’ll get a dose of omega-3 with smoked mackerel, courgette & butter bean salad, or enjoy courgettes in thick ribbons with goat’s cheese for a filling, summery salad.
Try these courgette salad recipes.
4. Soothing soups
With our unpredictable British weather, a bright courgette soup could be the perfect thing to see you through a cooler summer evening. This hearty courgette, potato & cheddar soup is comfort in a bowl. Or, choose the lighter spring vegetables & basil pesto, or the super-healthy courgette, leek & goat’s cheese soup.
Have a go at these courgette soup recipes.
5. Courgetti noodles
Use a julienne peeler or spiralizer to cut courgettes into ‘courgetti’ – a lighter take on traditional pasta noodles. The best part? It only takes 30 seconds to cook! Throw courgetti into a pan with garlic, crème fraîche, lemon zest and seasoning, then serve like spaghetti with meatballs or ragu – try our summer courgetti & meatballs, made with pork mince and cherry tomatoes, courgetti with classic Bolognese sauce or veggie meatballs with tomato courgetti.
6. Super sides
We love courgettes, but they don’t always have to be star of the show. Cheesy baked courgettes are delicious served with grilled meat and fish, and we can’t resist courgette fritters as a healthy alternative to chips. Get a taste of summer with this charred courgettes, runner beans & ricotta side, which will go down a storm at barbecues.
Explore our courgette side recipes.
7. Pizza perfection
Add the taste of British summer to this Italian classic with recipes from super-healthy veggie delight to this Frying pan pizza. Having trouble getting the kids to share in the courgette love? This cheesy courgette pizza ought to do the trick.
If pizza isn’t your thing, why not load up your toppings on a buttery puff pastry base instead? Our easy courgette, mushroom & mozzarella tart is an ideal make-ahead recipe for a summer buffet.
8. In a pickle
There’s no better way to preserve your courgette crop than with a chutney or pickle, and they also make great gifts for friends and family. Crunchy courgette pickle makes a scrumptious side to cold poached salmon or barbecued burgers. Or, add a bit of punch to your pickle with this courgette & tomato chutney.
9. Use your loaf
Who can resist a slice of home-baked bread fresh from the oven? Try serving courgette & mushroom bread with a bit of butter or as a side to a summer soup. Make something different to the usual loaf with courgette & cheddar soda bread, or add a bit of spice with Indian bread with courgettes and coriander.
10. Comforting risotto
Stir courgettes through a light, fresh risotto for the perfect dinner party dish. This fresh tomato & courgette risotto should be a hit with everyone, including the kids. Make the most of seasonal produce in our fresh summer courgette risotto one-pot, or add a touch of sophistication to your dish with spicy courgettes and saffron.
Find more tips on cooking with courgettes…
Do you have any advice for using up a glut of courgettes? We’d love to hear your recipe ideas…