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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.

zucchini butter in a jar and spread on toast
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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.

This recipe:

  • 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.

garlic, shallot, butter, yellow squash, salt, and pepper
  • 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 and dairy-free.
  • 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.

grating yellow squash and cooking it down
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Regulate the heat as the squash cooks down, so it continues to simmer gently without browning. Stir frequently and keep an eye on it.
  4. 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

What kinds of squash can I use?

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.

Can I make it vegan?

Yup! Just use olive oil or vegan butter in place of the butter. It’s also naturally gluten-free.

How long does zucchini butter keep?

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.

zucchini butter in a jar and spread on toast

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zucchini butter in a jar and spread on toast
4.81 from 36 votes

Zucchini Butter Recipe

By Carolyn Gratzer Cope
Got a ton of zucchini or yellow squash? This silky, savory spread is a phenomenal way to turn it into something not only manageable but absolutely craveable. Spread it on toast, toss it into a bowl of pasta, or dollop it over grilled chicken or fish.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 8
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Ingredients 

  • 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

Instructions 

  • 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.

Step-by-step video

Notes

  1. If your squash variety has large seeds, remove them before shredding.
  2. Spread will keep tightly sealed in the fridge for up to a week, or frozen for up to six months.
  3. Serve as a spread on toast, stirred into pasta, dolloped onto grilled chicken or fish, with scrambled eggs, and more.

Nutrition

Serving: 1, Calories: 64kcal, Carbohydrates: 5g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 8mg, Sodium: 158mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 3g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Cuisine: American
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Carolyn Gratzer Cope Bio Photo

About Carolyn Gratzer Cope

Hi there, I'm Carolyn Gratzer Cope, founder and publisher of Umami Girl. Join me in savoring life, one recipe at a time. I'm a professional recipe developer with training from the French Culinary Institute (now ICE) and a lifetime of studying, appreciating, and sharing food.

4.81 from 36 votes (36 ratings without comment)

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