What to do with overgrown courgette, 7 easy recipes for using giant zucchini

overgrown courgette or zucchini vs normal regular zucchini
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You have been on vacation, and when you come home, your garden awaits. Among all the beautiful vegetables that you grow in your garden are also courgettes or zucchini. 

When the season is right, these lovely vegetables can grow fast. And after 14 days of vacation, beautiful little zucchini have grown from normal size to monster zucchini.

Now what? Do you throw them away? Are they any good? Every year I grow a lot of zucchini and want to share what to do with overgrown courgettes or giant zucchini:

  1. Make side dishes
  2. Make zucchini soup
  3. Stuff zucchini with your favorite stuffing (meat, vegetable, rice, mushrooms…)
  4. Use it in stir-fries
  5. Make zucchini patties mixed with potatoes
  6. Make zucchini sauce with tomatoes and preserve it
  7. Make zucchini frittata
  8. Make zucchini bread loaf

what to do with overgrown zucchini or courgette

How to prepare overgrown monster courgettes or zucchini

Giant zucchini and standard zucchini grow from the same plant, but when it comes to preparing this monster, you should follow three simples steps so your final dishes consistency and texture will be right, and the taste will be tasty.

How to peel overgrown courgette or zucchini

Overgrown zucchini have to spend a lot of time on the sun and had time to grow. There is much more flesh on overgrown zucchini than on a normal one. Because there is more flesh, there is also much more skin. And since these skin has thickened, it is best to remove it.

a lot of overgrown courgettes or zucchini peeled with tomatoes

The best way to peel overgrown zucchini is to peel it before you cut it in half. You can peel the skin simply by using a peeler. The best peeler to use for peeling overgrown zucchini is Y shaped peeler like this one:

First, remove the stem and the end of zucchini with a knife. Than hold zucchini in one hand and Y peeler in the other hand. First, peel half of the zucchini, the part which you aren’t holding. It is best to do so because once you peel it, the part where zucchini is peeled will become very slippery. 

When you are done with the first half, take a kitchen cloth, put the peeled part of zucchini into kitchen cloth, and hold it. Now peel the second half of zucchini. This way, it won’t slip out of your hands. 

You can also use a swivel peeler like the one on the picture, but using a Y shaped peeler is more comfortable and faster.

How to cut overgrown courgette or zucchini

The best way to cut overgrown zucchini is to cut it lengthwise. Before you slice it, peel it first. 

Since peeled giant zucchini is very slippery and round in shape, be careful, so the knife doesn’t slip, and you might cut yourself. 

That is why it is always best to put a wet sponge or cloth under your cutting board. This way, the cutting board will stay fix on the kitchen counter. Next, hold the giant zucchini with your thumb and index finger. Cut the overgrown zucchini from the beginning till the end with a large kitchen knife. 

overgrown courgette or zucchini, seeds in

How to core overgrown courgette or zucchini without a corer

Monster zucchini has a lot of seeds. The best way to hull it is by using a tablespoon. First, scoop out all the middle part of the overgrown zucchini. When done, check for any leftover seeds and remove them by scraping them off. 

hulled overgrown zucchini

How to cut, slice or chop overgrown courgette or zucchini

#1 chop it into cubes

Cut the zucchini lengthwise into strips. Hold the strips together and cut them into desired sized cubes.

#2 slice it into slices

To get slices, place hulled zucchini half on cutting board and slice it into thin slices if you want to saute it or thick slices if you’re going to fry it or roast it.

overgrown courgette or zucchini sliced and chopped into chunks

#3 grate it

Use a box grater and grate on the largest size hole.

#4 make noodles

The first way to make overgrown zucchini noodles is by using a vegetable peeler. Start peeling the zucchini. The more pressure you apply with the vegetable peeler, the thicker your zucchini noodles will be. Stack the ribbons on top of each other. Then cut the ribbons into noodles.

The second way to make them is by using a box grater on the largest size hole. The only difference between making grated overgrown zucchini and overgrown zucchini noodles with a box grate is that you grate overgrown zucchini lengthwise if you want to make noodles.

You can also use a spiralizer if you find a big one or even better, a large 16 cup food processor, which I use a lot when there is plenty of overgrown zucchini to cook:

Can you eat overgrown zucchini skin, seeds, or raw zucchini

Can you eat overgrown zucchini raw?

The short answer is, sure you can! 

Overgrown zucchini is not poisonous. It is still the same plant as regular zucchini. The difference is mostly in taste and texture. Overgrown zucchinis taste less intense, and the texture is softer. 

The taste of raw overgrown zucchini is not very delicate. It has a mild and soft taste.

The best way to eat it raw is to make spaghetti out of it or slice it julienne. This way, you can mix it with some herb oil, or olive oil, salt, pepper, and add some of your favorite fresh herbs. 

Raw dishes are very light and healthy, especially if you are vegetarian or vegan. 

Can you eat overgrown zucchini with skin on?

The short answer is, sure you can! 

Some overgrown zucchini tend to have softer skin, but older overgrown zucchini skin is hard. Before you decide on removing the skin, cut a small incision into zucchini with a knife, and feel the pressure. 

If the knife goes in very easy, then the skin is edible and soft. If it is hard to cut into zucchini flesh, then the skin is hard and thick. If you use hard skin in your dish, the consistency and texture just won’t be right.

I always peel the skin off of them because there aren’t many dishes that the skin from overgrown zucchini would compliment the dish.

Can you eat overgrown zucchini seeds?

The short answer is, yes, you can, but every dish you make with overgrown zucchini will be better if you take the seeds out! 

Overgrown zucchini has a lot of seeds. These seeds are hard and quite big. There are some ways you can use the seeds.

You can include the seeds in the dish you are making by not hulling the overgrown zucchini. But, be careful in which dishes you use the seeds. If you decide to include seeds, it is best to do that with soup dishes or stir fry it. Soups with overgrown zucchini are blended in the end, that is why you won’t feel the texture of the seeds in the soup. When making stir-fries, seeds get nicely browned and add a bit of crunch to each zucchini piece.

If you use them in sauces and won’t blend the sauce in the end, the zucchini texture is just not nice if you don’t hull the overgrown zucchini.

How to tell if overgrown zucchini is bad?

Overgrown zucchini has grown for a long time. Usually, there aren’t any visible signs on the zucchini to determine if zucchini is bad or not. 

Sometimes you can see the overgrown zucchini getting yellow on some parts, which could be a sign of it being too ripe or spoiled.

The only way you can tell if overgrown zucchini is bad is to taste it. The taste of a bad overgrown raw zucchini is bitter, and if you are not sure if your zucchini is bad or try a small piece before mixing it with other zucchini.

How to cook overgrown zucchini or courgette, 6 easy recipes for giant over riped zucchini 

Stuffed giant zucchini with ground beef and rice, a recipe for a large family

This is a freestyle recipe. Adapt the quantities to your needs.


Overgrown zucchini
Minced beef
Black olives
Bay leaf

Stuffed overgrown zucchini or courgette with meat rice and parmesan

Prepare the overgrown zucchini

Peel the giant zucchini and hull it. Cut a thin slice lengthwise off of the bottom of the giant zucchini. This will help the giant zucchini from tipping over. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper over the entire zucchini and place it on the parchment paper, which you previously put on the baking pan. 


Place a frying pan on a stove and put in a tablespoon of olive oil. Add chopped onion and fry it until golden brown. Before adding meat, also add some minced garlic. When you can smell the garlic frying, add minced beef, and saute everything. Add spices, dried oregano, dried thyme, bay leaf, salt, and pepper. 

Saute everything for a few minutes until the meat juices are gone. 

When you are done with the meat, add in cooked rice. Cook the rice in a large amount of salted water. When the rice is still a little hard in the middle, put it off the stove and drain it through a colander.

Add the rice into the meat and mix everything. Fill the overgrown zucchini with the meat and rice mixture. Slice some black olives and mix them with grated parmesan. Sprinkle the parmesan olive mixture on top of the meat, so the parmesan covers all the meat and rice mixture. Place your masterpiece into the oven. Bake at first for about 45 minutes to an hour, depending on the monster’s size, at 200C (400F). Then turn on the broil function to make the parmesan golden brown.


Vegetarian or vegan pan-roasted giant zucchini with red bell pepper and sesame

This is a freestyle recipe. Adapt the quantities to your needs.


Overgrown zucchini
Red bell pepper

Vegetarian or vegan pan roasted giant zucchini with red bell pepper and sesame

This recipe is best if you use overgrown zucchini that can be eaten whole without peeling and coring. 

Wash the zucchini and cut off the ends. Slice the giant zucchini into large round coins. Sprinkle them with salt and leave them in a colander, so some water is released before you put them in the pan.

Add some olive oil in the pan and pan roast the coins until they are golden brown. When done, separately roast some red bell peppers. A few minutes before the peppers are done, add some salt and pepper and a teaspoon of finely minced garlic. Roast for another minute, so the garlic gets nicely incorporated on the peppers. Finish off by adding a tablespoon on of sesame seeds. Stir fry for another minute.

Arrange giant zucchini coins on a plate and add the red bell pepper mix.

Over ripe zucchini soup recipe

This is a freestyle recipe. Adapt the quantities to your needs.


Overgrown zucchini
Sour creme

Over riped zucchini soup recipe

Suppose you are making a soup from over ripped or overgrown zucchini, always hull and peel it. This way, you can avoid the crunchy texture of the soup.

Take a large pot and add in some olive oil, chopped onions, and garlic. Cut the overgrown zucchini into chunks. When the onions are golden brown, add the zucchini, salt, pepper, and mix everything. 

Peel the potatoes. Usually, I put in two medium potatoes for one large overgrown zucchini. Cut the potatoes into chunks and add them in the pot. You could add some carrots at this point if you have some. 

Saute everything until you see brown food residue starting to form on the bottom of the pot. You will achieve this by roasting the vegetable on fairly high heat. The brown residue will give the soup extra flavor. Deglaze with stock or water and, at the same time, scrape off any excess residue from the button. The quantity of water or stock should be enough to make a soup-like consistency. Add in one bay leaf and some chopped parsley.

Cook until ingredients are tender. Before blending everything, you should take out the bay leaf. Blend until you get a smooth soup consistency. At the end of blending, add one tablespoon of sour creme and blend again. Serve by topping it with some slices of red bell peppers. 

Overgrown courgette or zucchini side dish, stir fry recipe

This is a freestyle recipe. Adapt the quantities to your needs.


Overgrown zucchini

zucchini and potatoes recipe

To make the simplest side dish, hull and peel the zucchini. Cut it into cubes. Peel the potatoes and cut it into cubes. Cook the potatoes entirely in salted water. After they are cooked, drain them.

Add vegetable oil into a wok or frying pan and stir fry on high heat until the zucchini chunks are soft on the outside and still have some crunch on the inside.

A minute before the zucchini is done, add a teaspoon of finely chopped garlic, finely chopped parsley, chives, and sprinkle everything with some salt and pepper. Stir fry for a minute and, in the end, add cooked potatoes. Mix everything thoroughly and serve as a side dish.

Patties with potatoes and overgrown zucchini

This is a freestyle recipe. Adapt the quantities to your needs.


Overgrown zucchini
All-purpose flour
Oil for frying

Peel and hull the giant zucchini. Grate it with a box grater on the largest sized hole. Salt the grated zucchini and place it in a colander, so the zucchini releases water. 

Peel the potatoes and grate them on the same grater. 

Grate some cheese like gouda, parmesan, or cheddar.

Mix the grated overgrown zucchini, potatoes, and cheese and an egg or two, depending on the quantity you are making. Add in some all-purpose flour in which you previously mix in salt pepper. Mix all ingredients. 

Take a tablespoon and form a pattie in a large frying pan. Fry them on olive oil until they are golden brown on each side.

overgrown zucchini patties

Overgrown courgette sauce with tomatoes, the perfect recipe for canning and preserving overgrown courgette or zucchini

This is a freestyle recipe. Adapt the quantities to your needs.


Overgrown zucchini
Bay leaf

Peel and hull the overgrown zucchini and slice it thinly. Slice tomatoes into chunks and blend them. Finely chop onions and garlic.

Drizzle some olive oil in a large cooking pot. Add chopped onions and garlic and caramelize them. Add in sliced zucchini. A large cooking pot will come in handy because the overgrown zucchini are large and you usually have more on hand when you do this recipe. The zucchini will shrink through the cooking process, but you need a large cooking pot because there is plenty in the beginning.

At first, zucchini will release a lot of water. Cook the zucchini until the water evaporates almost completely. Then add parsley, bay leaf, salt pepper, and blended tomatoes. Cook everything until you get a sauce-like consistency, which is at least 1-2 hours. 

When the sauce is done, fill glass jars, cover them, and pasteurize for long shelf life.

Canning overgrown zucchini

Fried rice with overgrown zucchini and chicken

All ingredients and procedure are in the video:

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what to do with overgrown zucchini

Rok Jurca

I am a kind of person that would sneak a taste out of grandma’s pot when I was barely tall enough to reach it. I grew up in kitchens full of love and liveliness and have spent my whole live learning, experimenting and succeeding in the art of cooking. At Pro Family Chef, every day is an opportunity for a new meal and a brand new flavor. I created this website to connect people that love to cook, with the products designed to make their cooking easier, hassle-free and rewarding every time.

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