This zucchini salad recipe is a stunning summer side dish! Made with under 10 ingredients, it's a fresh, delicious recipe that comes together in minutes.
This zucchini salad recipe is a feast for the eyes as well as the taste buds! I love the way the raw zucchini ribbons curl around the crunchy pine nuts and fresh herbs. Parmesan cheese gives it a salty bite, and a lemon vinaigrette fills it with bright flavor. Oh, and did I mention? It calls for under 10 ingredients and comes together in minutes.
Fittingly, the recipe comes from my friend Amanda’s new book Simple Beautiful Food. I’ve been a fan of Amanda since we first met while celebrating the launch of the Staub Cookbook, which she also authored. Since then, I’ve kept up with her fun “fridge foraging” series on Instagram Stories. She believes in simple, straightforward cooking, but her recipes are super creative and pack a huge punch of flavor. You can whip them up in no time, and you’ll always go back for seconds because they taste so good.
Her new book is chock-full of delicious ideas for quick weekday breakfasts, slow Sunday suppers, and everything in between. It’s not entirely vegetarian, but it includes gorgeous vegetarian recipes in every section. I’ll be making the Maitake Mushroom Frittata with Crunchy Microgreens for our next weekend brunch and the Parsley Pesto Pasta for an easy weeknight dinner. And as soon as peaches appear at the farmers market, I have to make the Peach, Oatmeal, and Thyme Pie for dessert!
If you’re someone who loves making inventive, flavorful food without spending hours in the kitchen, check out Simple Beautiful Food! And in the meantime, make this zucchini salad recipe. It’s gorgeous, flavorful, and easy to make. We haven’t been able to get enough of it lately, and I think you’ll love it too.
Zucchini Salad Recipe Ingredients
This zucchini salad recipe is the epitome of “simple, beautiful food.” It’s so pretty and flavorful, thanks to these simple ingredients:
- Zucchini – When you make this recipe, steer clear of large zucchini. They tend to be seedy and watery, while smaller zucchini are tender and delicate. Use a sharp knife, vegetable peeler, or mandoline to slice them vertically into long, thin strips. For a brighter variation, use a mix of shaved zucchini and yellow squash.
- Pine nuts – For crunch! Toast them before adding them to the salad to bring out their rich, nutty flavor.
- Fresh herbs – Amanda recommends fresh basil or chives. I use both, and I also add mint leaves for extra fresh flavor. Parsley or tarragon would be great here too.
- Parmesan cheese – For rich, umami flavor. Make this recipe vegan by using vegan Parmesan or dollops of creamy vegan pesto in its place. Crumbled feta cheese or goat cheese would also be delicious.
- Lemon vinaigrette – Drizzle it over the zucchini ribbons for bright, zesty flavor. Amanda recommends using Meyer lemon juice here, but I substituted regular lemon juice, and it came out great.
Assemble the salad on a platter, and season it with salt and pepper to taste!
Find the complete recipe with measurements below.
Zucchini Salad Serving Suggestions
This zucchini salad is a wonderful summer side dish. Serve it with your favorite protein, a simple Caprese sandwich, or homemade pizza. It’s also fantastic with pasta (bonus points if the noodles are homemade!). Pair it with one of these pasta recipes for a simple, delicious dinner:
- Spaghetti Aglio e Olio
- Easy Pesto Pasta
- Linguine with Lemon and Tomatoes
- Creamy Pasta Pomodoro
- Fettuccine Alfredo
- Roasted Vegetable Pasta
- Best Vegetarian Lasagna
- Or any of these 25 Easy Pasta Recipes!
Round out the meal with a slice of focaccia or good crusty bread. Enjoy!
More Favorite Zucchini Recipes
If you love this zucchini salad, check out Simple Beautiful Food! Then, use any leftover zucchini in one of these recipes:
- Zucchini Noodles
- Stuffed Zucchini Boats
- Perfect Grilled Zucchini
- Zucchini Lasagna
- Creamy Pasta Pomodoro
- Chocolate Zucchini Bread
For more zucchini recipes, check out this post, and find more of my favorite summer salad recipes here!
- Lemon Vinaigrette, plus 1/4 cup minced shallot mixed in
- 3 small-medium zucchini
- 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
- 1 tablespoon chopped chives
- Handful of basil
- Shaved Parmesan, optional
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Use a vegetable peeler to peel the zucchini into thin strips. Place the zucchini in a large bowl, toss with drizzles of the dressing, then transfer the zucchini to a platter.
- Top with the pine nuts, chives, basil, and a few shavings of Parmesan, if using. Drizzle with more dressing and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
This is so delicious and fresh! I absolutely love this.
I’m so glad yo loved it!
I made this for lunch today–I subbed sliced almonds for the pine nuts(didn’t have any). It was a delicious side dish with tomato sandwiches and grilled corn!
I made this today, exactly to the recipe. I loved it. I will make it many more times, as long as I still have small zucchini in my garden.
Hi Sharon, I’m so glad it’s been such a great use for your zucchini!
can you prep this ahead of time?
Hi Erika, I would make the components in advance (the dressing, peel the zucchini) and toss it all together when you’re ready to serve so it doesn’t get too soggy.
I love this salad. It tastes organically refreshing and pure, minus the pine nuts and cheese because of last minute grocery and dinner preparation. I add in sections of small mandarin oranges and dry cranberry instead as I hv both in the fridge. Absolutely perfect!
Delicious and a lovely presentation. I used pistachio nuts and some capers topped with shaved Romano and cilantro The lemon vinaigrette is a keeper.
I’m so glad you loved it!
We absolutely love this recipe. I used in on pasta topped with artichoke hearts, hearts of palm, capers, sundried tomatoes and fresh basil. Since I don’t use refined oil I substituted aquafaba for the oil. This is my new go to dressing.
I quintupled this recipe for a large Garden Luncheon. Used a mandolin to slice so many zucchini. I may have been a little heavy on the garlic, but it was a HUGE HIT! The extra vinaigrette I used to marinate some cremini mushrooms before grilling – also delicious. Impressive recipe all around!
Absolutely delicious–as I suspected it would be from reading the recipe. Thanks for a lovely dish I will DEFINITELY make again!
Both tasty and beautiful. My husband was impressed. I used walnuts instead of pine nuts.
I prefer raw zucchinis and came home with a bumper crop from my mom. Whipped this up last night with pantry herbs and juice I had on hand. I couldn’t wait for it to meld before digging in. So yummy, and I bet it would be better with all fresh ingredients! The leftovers should be fantastic! (I sliced my zukes into 1/8 inch coins to sustain an overnight soak).
Hi Linda, I’m so glad you enjoyed the salad!
So simple and fresh! I had never tried raw zucchini in thin slices before, and this is an elegant way to serve it. Pine nuts are quite expensive right now, but flaked almonds work well. Loved the brightness added by the mint!
Delicious, light, and super flavorful crowd pleaser! Super easy to compile. I used pecorino in place of the Parmesan and doubled the basil. Liked it so much I made it twice in a week. Great As a side for BBQs or dinner at home.
Hi Caroline, I’m so glad the salad was a hit!
It was a hit! Perfect summer salad, so fresh and full of texture. A great change from greens and an excellent way to get more veggies in our diets.
Zucchini salad on love and lemons says 1/4 cup minced shallots. But gives no instruction for what to do with it. Does it go in the dressing?
Doesn’t seem like it would be sprinkled on the salad separately esp. minced. Please clarify. Thank you.
Yep, I’m step 1 I mix the shallot into the dressing.
Thank you. When I went to the dressing recipe I moved to step 2 after making it.
Serving it tonight. Will submit review later. It is beautiful to look at.
I hope you enjoy! Apologies if that was confusing, I’ll clarify it, thanks for pointing that out.
so beautiful and SO simple 😍 how do you prevent the zucchini from getting soggy/watery?
since it’s raw, it has a crisp bite. The dressing softens it just enough. Watery/soggy zucchini mostly happens when it’s cooked.