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Got a ton of zucchini or yellow squash? Zucchini butter — a silky, savory spread for toast, pasta, grilled chicken, scrambled eggs, and more — is an absolutely brilliant way to transform it into something you'll crave. And it's SO easy.
Why we love this recipe
As I always say, the word "zucchini" is inherently plural. Whether you're growing it, getting deliveries from a CSA, or just went nuts at the farmers' market, sometimes you need a way to use a LOT of it without a lot of fuss.
- Turns a pound of summer squash into about a cup of creamy, dreamy spread
- In 30 minutes or less
- Is infinitely scalable: Halve it, quadruple it — it's up to you
- Is super-flexible. Spread it on toast // stir it into pasta // dollop it on grilled chicken or shrimp // use it as an omelet filling // and so much more
What you'll need
Here's all you need to make this recipe.
- The squash: Zucchini and yellow squash work equally well, or use a combination. Other varieties of summer squash with a similar texture are fine, too. If your variety has large seeds, remove them before shredding.
- Butter: I like to use a good cultured, salted butter like Kerrygold. Substitute olive oil if you like, which makes this recipe vegan.
- You can adjust the garlic, shallot, and seasonings to suit your taste.
How to make it
This is a nice, easy recipe that just requires a bit of time and attention to make sure the squash cooks down without burning.
- Shred the squash on the large holes of a box grater or in a food processor fitted with the shredding disc. If you're multiplying the recipe and using a food processor, you'll need to shred in batches.
- Use a pan that makes sense for the amount of squash. It will cook down a LOT, so it's okay —even good — if it's a bit full at the beginning, as long as you can stir it. A slightly smaller pan will help the squash not burn as it cooks down.
- Regulate the heat as the squash cooks down, so it continues to simmer gently without browning. Stir frequently and keep an eye on it.
- After about 20 minutes (for a single batch, a bit longer for more squash), the squash will have cooked down substantially and taken on a soft, spreadable consistency. That's how you'll know it's ready to use.
Expert tips and FAQs
Any summer squash variety with a texture similar to zucchini will work well, even if the skin is a little bit thicker. Yellow squash, crookneck, round zucchini, cucuzza, tatume, tromboncino, and lots of other heirloom varieties are a good bet.
Yup! Just use olive oil or vegan butter in place of the butter. It's also naturally gluten-free.
You can keep it tightly sealed in the fridge for about a week, or frozen for up to six months.
How to serve it
There's SO much you can do with zucchini butter. For starters, you can:
- Spread it on toast, a bagel, an english muffin, or a sandwich
- Add it to white pizza
- Dollop it onto scrambled eggs or use it as an omelet filling
- Serve it with grilled or roasted chicken
- Use it as a sauce for fish and shellfish
- Stir it into a bowl of rice, pasta, or savory oats
But also, this. Take a taste of it and think for a moment. You'll come up with lots of other ways to use it, too. And I hope you'll share them in the comments below.
More of our favorite zucchini recipes
If you’ve got a glut of zucchini, we’ve got your back. Here are some of our best uses for this inherently plural vegetable.
- Savory fritters with corn and feta
- Spiralized noodles with: turkey meat sauce // lemon caper butter // summer vegetables
- Chocolate cake
- Savory quick bread with cheddar
- Sheet pan pizza with pesto
- Quick curry with chickpeas
- Thai red curry with vegetables
- Disappearing orzo
- 1 pound zucchini or yellow squash
- 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
- 1 medium shallot, minced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Shred zucchini or yellow squash on the large holes of a box grater or in a food processor with the shredding disc.
- Set a 10- or 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Melt butter (or heat olive oil). Add shallot, garlic, shredded squash, salt, and pepper.
- Cook, stirring frequently, for about 20 minutes, until reduced to a soft, spreadable, silky consistency. You may need to lower the heat about halfway through to prevent browning.
- Spread is ready to use right away, or let cool and transfer to an airtight container.
- If your squash variety has large seeds, remove them before shredding.
- Spread will keep tightly sealed in the fridge for up to a week, or frozen for up to six months.
- Serve as a spread on toast, stirred into pasta, dolloped onto grilled chicken or fish, with scrambled eggs, and more.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 64Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 158mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 1g