Des

Hey! I'm Des!

Welcome to Life’s Ambrosia where Dinner is served and memories are made. Here you will find over 1000 tried and true recipes for every possible occasion. In the last 10 years, this blog has helped millions of families put dinner on the table and create food memories. Let me help you too.

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Cold Zucchini Salad

An easy, delicious way to use up garden zucchini! This Cold Zucchini Salad is made with raw zucchini, olive oil, lemon, crushed red pepper, oregano and Parmesan.

When it’s time to make dinner on a hot summer day, I am always looking for things to make that won’t heat up the kitchen. This means lots of grilled chicken and sous vide steak.

Zucchini salad on a fork in a white bowl with blue napkin.

But it also means lots of salads. We eat a ton of salads in the summer because there is no cooking and produce is at it’s best. Take this Cold Zucchini Salad for instance. It can be thrown together in a matter of minutes, won’t heat up your kitchen and is the perfect accompaniment to just about any summer meal.

What ingredients do you need?

ZUCCHINI: Obviously.  If you want to add a bit more fun color, use a combination of green zucchini and yellow summer squash. 

EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL (EVOO): It is important to use the highest quality EVOO you can find. There are not many ingredients in this dish so the flavor of each is likely to stand out. A smoother, milder tasting olive oil is the best, I prefer to use a kalamata olive oil but use whatever one that you prefer. 

GARLIC: This recipe calls for fresh raw garlic. Make sure that you mince it fine or use a garlic press. This way you won’t be biting into large chunks of raw garlic. 

Ingredients for cold zucchini salad in a glass bowl.

DRIED OREGANO: You can also use fresh here. Just remember the rule 1 tablespoon of fresh herbs to every teaspoon of dried. 

CRUSHED RED PEPPER: This is optional but it does add a nice kick to the salad without being overly spicy. 

LEMON JUICE: Fresh lemon juice really brightens up the flavor of this salad. 

Squeezing lemon juice on zucchini.

PARMESAN CHEESE: Like the crushed red pepper this is optional and if you’d like to make this salad vegan, simply leave it out. It does add a nice saltiness to the salad though. 

zucchini salad with parmesan cheese.

SALT AND PEPPER: As always, use to your desired taste. 

How do you make zucchini salad?

The biggest decision you’ll have to make while making this zucchini salad is how you want to cut the zucchini. I like to cut it into thin rounds.  Not too thin because you want a bit of a crunch. I’d say about 1/8th of an inch or so. I find if it’s thin it soaks up the olive oil and lemon a bit better. 

Sliced zucchini on a wooden cutting board with a lemon and blue napkin.

Other than that, to make this salad, all you need to do is combine everything in a bowl and toss until the zucchini is coated. 

While this salad is excellent right away, I find that if it has a chance to set at room temperature for 20 minutes or so the flavors really have a chance to meld. 

How do you store leftovers?

Bonus! This salad is even better the next day. Just think of it as a marinated zucchini salad. Simply store the leftovers in an airtight container and eat within a few days. 

Zucchini salad on a fork.

DES’ TIP: The olive oil in this salad will coagulate when stored in the fridge so be sure to take it out about 20 – 30 minutes before you want to eat it so that the oil can warm. 

Looking for more ways to use zucchini? I’ve got some recipes you have to try! 

Fried Zucchini 

Zucchini Cakes (one of the most popular recipes on my blog!)

Pumpkin Zucchini Muffins

3 Cheese Zucchini Boats from Lemon Tree Dwelling

And don’t forget zucchini flowers! You can eat them too and they are divine: Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms

Can’t get enough salad recipes? Here are some of my favorite salads and dressing recipes

Spinach Salad with Dijon Dressing

Panzanella Salad

Italian Chopped Salad

Homemade Caesar Dressing

Crispy Chickpea and Arugula Salad

Cold Zucchini Salad Recipe

Serves 4 Prep Time:
5 based on 8 reviews

Ingredients:

  • 3 small to medium zucchini, sliced into thin rounds
  • 1 garlic clove pressed or minced fine
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 3 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper or to taste

Instructions

1

Combine all ingredients together in a bowl. Toss until zucchini is coated.

2

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Allow to come to room temperature for 20 minutes before serving.

Notes

Nutrition facts are for estimation purposes only.

Nutrition information

Calories: 198 , Total Fat: 16.7g , Saturated Fat: 5.6g , Cholesterol: 20mg , Sodium: 708mg , Carbohydrates: 4.6g , Fiber: 1.2g , Sugar: 1.6g , Protein: 10.2g

Leave a Comment

  • Reply
    Sara Welch
    August 4, 2020 at 2:27 pm

    Such a light and crisp salad that was not only easy, but was just what I needed on a hot summer day! Delicious!

  • Reply
    Beti | easyweeknightrecipes
    August 4, 2020 at 8:18 am

    This is fantastic! I love fresh zucchini salad!

  • Reply
    katerina @ diethood.com
    August 4, 2020 at 8:18 am

    The perfect summer salad! Fresh and delicious! YUM!

  • Reply
    Catalina
    August 4, 2020 at 4:04 am

    I’ve never tried zucchini salad but this one sounds so tasty!

  • Reply
    Erin | Dinners,Dishes and Dessert
    August 3, 2020 at 8:15 pm

    This Cold Zucchini Salad is looks incredibly delicious!

  • Reply
    Jen
    August 3, 2020 at 8:06 pm

    I love how the easiest of dishes has the best flavor! It’s all about the perfect combination of ingredients and this salad has it! Love it!

  • Reply
    Patricia @ Grab a Plate
    August 3, 2020 at 7:27 pm

    Ahh! This is so great! I don’t think I’ve ever had a cold zucchini salad – I love this idea! I’ll try this soon :)

  • Reply
    Patricia @ Grab a Plate
    August 3, 2020 at 7:26 pm

    Ahh! This is so great! I don’t think I’ve ever had a cold zucchini salad – I love this idea!

  • Des

    Hey! I'm Des!

    Welcome to Life’s Ambrosia where Dinner is served and memories are made. Here you will find over 1000 tried and true recipes for every possible occasion. In the last 10 years, this blog has helped millions of families put dinner on the table and create food memories. Let me help you too.

    Read more »

    Have new recipes emailed to you.