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Freezing and Dehydrating Zucchini

If you grow zucchini you know how easy it is to have way to much, way to fast. It’s such a prolific plant. Instead of resorting to leaving zucchini on your neighbors doorsteps when they are gone to get rid of them. 

Preserve your zucchini harvest for winter instead. Here’s how to freeze and dehydrate zucchini.

how to dry and freeze zucchini

Even if you don’t grow zucchini yourself, chances are if you have a gardening friend or gardening family, you’ll be offered zucchini. 

And if you are like me and don’t like to let good fresh food go to waste you can preserve your zucchini for later with these two methods. 

Zucchini Preserving

You can freeze or dehydrate zucchini for later. Then when winter is here and you are craving zucchini bread, or want to add zucchini to a winter soup, you can grab your zucchini out of the freezer or cupboard and make a batch. 

Freezing Zucchini

Zucchini for Freezer

Freezing zucchini is really quite easy. And you’ll have a stock of zucchini ready and waiting for your recipes in the winter.

I leave the skin on but if you have any green-a-phobics at your house it might be best to peel them first. It’s easier to sneak it into a recipe that way. 

How to Freeze Zucchini Step by Step

1. Wash Your Zucchini

Because zucchini grows on the ground on a vine, it can be pretty dirty. Give them a good wash.

2. Cut the Ends

Cut off the ends of the zucchini and peel if desired. If you want to disguise it in a recipe, peel your zucchini first. Then no one will see any signs of green.

3. Shred the Zucchini

When freezing zucchini, I’ve found it’s best to shred it. 

Shred your zucchini and then add the recipe sized portions to freezer bags.

If you’ll be using your frozen zucchini in soups, you might also like to freeze some of your zucchini in slices too. 

I like to measure my zucchini in 1 cup and 2 cup portions for the recipes I make. 

Packing Zucchini for Freezer

When packaging the zucchini for the freezer I use regular zipper topped sandwich bags. I write on the outside of each one whether it’s a 1 cup or 2 cup portion. 

Then I take the zucchini in the portioned bags and place them in a gallon sized zipper topped freezer bag. 

This serves two purposes. 

One, all of my zucchini is in one place and I don’t lose a bag of two of zucchini in the freezer. Which has happened in the past.

Two, The zucchini is doubled bagged to protect it from freezer burn. And I save money on freezer bags which are more expensive. 

And if my gallon size freezer bag holds up in the freezer over the year, I can reuse it again. Which cuts down on plastic waste too. 

easy steps to freezing zucchini

Using Frozen Zucchini in Recipes

In Baking Recipes

If you’ll be using your frozen zucchini in a baking recipe, be sure to thaw fully and then drain any extra liquid off. 

You can use the extra liquid in place of some of the liquid in the recipe if you’d like. 

In Soups or Stews

If you’ll be using your frozen zucchini in a soup or stew you can add the frozen zucchini directly into the soup like any other frozen vegetable. 

Here’s the printable instructions for you…

Packing Zucchini for Freezer
Print

How to Freeze Zucchini

Author Shelly

Ingredients

  • Zucchini

Instructions

  • Wash zucchini and remove the ends.
  • Cut into slice or shred. If the zucchini is quite large be sure to remove the seeds first.
  • Shred or cut into slices. You can peel the zucchini first if desired.
  • Place recipe portion amounts into zipper bags and then place all the smaller bags into a freezer bag.
  • Label and freeze.
  • When ready to use in a baking recipe, thaw completely and then drain. Add to your thawed zucchini to the recipe.
  • If using in soups or stews, just add with other frozen vegetables.

Dehydrated Zucchini

Sliced Zucchini

To save on freezer space I have started dehydrating zucchini so I can store it in my pantry. I prepare the zucchini a couple of ways before I dry it. 

How to Dry Zucchini Step by Step

1. Wash

You need to really wash zucchini. It grows on the ground and can be dirty. Scrub to get the dirt off. 

2. Prepare in Shreds or Slices

Once your zucchini is clean cut off the ends and discard. Then decide how you want to dry you’re zucchini.

I dry it in two ways in shreds and slices. (See more tips below on which method will work best for you.)

So you’ll want to slice or shred the zucchini to dry. 

3. Dehydrate 

Once you have your slices or shreds prepared. Add them to your dehydrator tray and dry. 

You want to dry your zucchini at 125 degrees until dry and no pockets of moisture remain.

Zucchini slices dried

Zucchini Drying Tips

Dried Zucchini Chips for soups and stews

 I like to slice the smaller sized zucchini and dry. These work great to throw into the soup to add to the variety of vegetables that are in my winter soups. They plump up and usually stay in tact.

Flavored Zucchini Chips Snack

You can also add garlic powder or garlic salt or other seasoning to the zucchini circles before you dehydrate them to make zucchini chips. I made these once, my family ate them but they weren’t a big hit like the kale chips

If your family loves zucchini you might give making zucchini chips a try. If they don’t like them you can always add them to soups or stews.

Dried Shredded Zucchini

Dehydrated Zucchini Shredded

For breads, muffins and generally adding zucchini into a recipe to pump up the nutrition value, I like to use dried shredded zucchini. 

Using Dried Shredded Zucchini in Baking

To make sure you have the right portions for a recipe you’ll want to measure the shredded zucchini onto the dehydrator trays. 

I just shred and then measure out 4 cups onto each tray and dry. 

The shredded zucchini shrinks down so much after drying it can be hard to know how much to add to a recipe if you didn’t measure before hand.

Once it’s dried I place it into a bag and label with the amount of zucchini that is in each bag before it was dehydrated. 

So I know if my recipe calls for 2 cups of shredded zucchini and my dried zucchini bags says 4 cups, I know I need to use half the bag to have the correct amount. 

I don’t rehydrate the zucchini before adding it to baking recipes. I just add it dry and make sure to add a little extra liquid to the recipe. 

The zucchini will rehydrate while baking.

If you need shredded zucchini and all you have are dried zucchini coins, just break them up and use them instead.

Here’s the printable instructions for you…

Zucchini slices dried
Print

How to Dry Zucchini

Author Shelly

Ingredients

  • Zucchini

Instructions

  • Wash zucchini and remove the ends.
  • Cut into slices or shred. If the zucchini is quite large be sure to remove the seeds first.
  • Place on the dehydrator trays. If using slices leave a little space between them.
  • If drying shreds place a measured amount onto each try so you know how much you have when dried.
  • Dry at 125 degrees until fully dry and no pockets of moisture remain.
  • Store in an airtight container until ready to use.

Zucchini Tips

Got a Huge Zucchini? Don’t just dry or freeze it. You’ll want to take one extra step before you shred or slice a huge zucchini. It only takes a minute to do but is so much better. 

Prepare a Huge Zucchini for Freezing or Drying

1. Cut the zucchini in half. 

This will expose the seeds. So you can remove them. Because once a zucchini gets so big those seeds are hard to eat and need to be removed. 

2. Scoop out the seeds.  

Take a spoon and run it with the tip down to scoop the seeds out of the middle. If the zucchini is very large this might take a few passes to get all the seeds out. 

3. Cut or Shred

Now that all the seeds are out you can slice or shred your zucchini to get it ready to freeze or dry. 

how to dry zucchini instructions

Now you how to freeze and dry zucchini for later, you’ll never have to let a zucchini go to waste. So round up your zucchini and get it ready for the freezer or the pantry. 

Zucchini Recipes to Try…

Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Zucchini Hash

Looking for more gardening ideas? Head on over to the gardening page for more gardening ideas and inspiration. 

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8 thoughts on “Freezing and Dehydrating Zucchini”

  1. Good tip on measuring before dehydrating. I just put my first batch in the dehydrator and didn’t measure it first. Oops. I’ll know for next time!

  2. I made zucchini chips with spices, but also an infused oil and dried in dehydrator very slowly (under 115•), how long is that food viable, would you think?

    1. If the dried zucchini is vacuumed sealed it should last for a while. I’ve read up to 10 years if it is stored correctly and has a low moisture content. I have a little zucchini I’ve had in the cupboard for a year vacuum sealed and it still looks good. I hope that helps.

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