Top 10 things to do with courgettes

Looking to work your way through a glut of courgettes? See our 10 top ideas for using up this versatile vegetable, from cakes and bakes to soup and courgetti.

Top 10 things to do with courgettes

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 

Courgette & bacon pasta topped with cheese, in a bowl with cutlery

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

Layered courgette cake topped with frosting, dried lemon slices and thyme

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

Courgette ribbon salad with croutons and seeds on an oval plate

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

Bowl of courgette soup topped with basil leaves, served with crouton sticks

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

Courgetti with veggie meatballs and tomato sauce on a plate

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. 

Read our guide on how to make courgetti and discover more courgetti recipes.


6. Super sides

Bowl of charred courgettes with runner beans, ricotta and flowers

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

Pizza topped with vegetables, on a plate

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

Crunchy courgette pickle in a glass jar

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

Courgette soda bread on a plate with a knife

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

Courgette and tomato risotto on a green plate

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...

Our best courgette recipes
How to make courgetti
3 quick dinner ideas with courgetti
How to grow your own courgettes
More ways to use up courgettes

Do you have any advice for using up a glut of courgettes? We'd love to hear your recipe ideas...

Comments, questions and tips

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louisalaheen
1st Sep, 2016
We love courgettes and grow them in the garden. I have used your recipe for Frosted Courgette and Lemon Cake for years - it is delicious! My favourite thing to make with courgettes is quiche. Chop them up and fry in butter with onion, bacon and mushrooms - maybe a red pepper if you have one, put them on top of the pastry base, then mix eggs milk and cream and pour over the top and top with slice tomatoes and cheese. Delicious!
Cherry Smith
5th Sep, 2014
Great post- I love the versatility of courgettes. I recently found another insightful post on http://magazine.siansplan.com/how-to-bake-courgettes-in-the-oven/ includes some really useful tips and ideas. The chicken, mushrooms and mozzarella cheese filling has got to be my favourite, absolutely delicious! Definitely worth a read :)
Glojimz
17th Jul, 2014
I slice courgettes into discs about 2 cms thick, part boil, coat in a flour and egg batter and shallow fry. Quite versatile as you can add whatever seasoning you want to, and tastes really good with sweet chilli sauce as a dip.
beckylpriestley
28th Oct, 2013
I grate courgette, then squeeze out the liquid and put it as an extra veg in bolognese and chilli. It along with all the other veg I put in really bulks out the dish and adds flavour and a nice texture.
Glojimz
17th Jul, 2014
This sounds delicious! I plan to try it tomorrow for dinner :)
Heloli
4th Sep, 2013
I have just finished making 12 jars of lemon, ginger and courgette jam. Delicious 6lbs sugar 6lbs courgettes 4 lemons 4inches of root ginger 4 inches of stem ginger. Peel the courgettes and chop into tiny cubes. This takes along time but the patience is worth it. Steam the courgettes until tender. Place the courgettes in a large bowl. Using a vegetable peeler peel the rind from the lemon in strips then juice the lemons adding the juice to the courgettes. Peel and bruise the ginger then put this together with the lemon rind in a gauze/muslin bag and add to the courgettes. Chop up the stem ginger into tiny cubes and add to the courgettes. Add the sugar and stir well. Cover the bowl and leave for 24hrs stirring occasionally. Transfer the mix to a very large heavy based pan and bring to a rolling boil until the courgettes have become translucent and setting point has been reach. Test on a chilled saucer. Sterilise the jars and lid. Once setting point has been achieved leave to stand for 15 minutes. Stir to distribute the courgettes evenly then pot up and seal whilst hot. The jam has a lemon and ginger flavour whilst the courgettes add an attractive golden substance. Gorgeous on toast or as you would serve any jam.
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