I’m always on the hunt for delicious zucchini recipes to help put our end-of-summer harvest to use. While it’s always fun to toss it into pasta or bake a loaf of zucchini bread, there’s something so satisfying about enjoying raw zucchini as-is. Freshly picked zucchini has the best delicate flavor & tender-crisp texture that’s worthy of celebrating all on its own – this Shaved Zucchini Salad recipe does just that!
By running a vegetable peeler along the length of the squash, it’s easy to slice raw zucchini into beautiful ribbons. From there, just toss it up with EVOO, fresh lemon juice, & a few complementary add-ins (parmesan! basil! pistachios!) for an absolutely stunning summer salad, no cooking involved!
Aside from its gorgeous presentation, what I love most about a ribboned zucchini salad is its versatility. As-written, the recipe is how we like it most, but you can easily swap in any cheeses, nuts, or fresh herbs you might have hanging around your kitchen – check the blog post, above, for more guidance!
An always-delicious dish that tastes just the way August should. I hope you love it as much as we do! ♡
- 2 medium zucchini (approx. 12–16 oz)
- 1 lemon, zested & juiced (approx. 2–3 tablespoons juice)
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped or grated
- ½ cup fresh basil leaves, sliced fine
- ½ cup shaved parmesan
- ¼ cup pistachios, toasted & roughly chopped
- 2–3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- kosher salt & ground black pepper, to season
- for serving, as desired: additional grated cheese, leafy basil, crushed red pepper, etc.
- Shave the zucchini: Trim the ends off the zucchini. Run a vegetable peeler down its length, shaving it into thin ribbons. I typically turn the zucchini as I go & discard the center if it’s especially seedy. Transfer the shaved zucchini ribbons to a large bowl.
- Shaved zucchini salad assembly: To the bowl with the shaved zucchini ribbons, add the lemon zest & juice, garlic, basil, parmesan, pistachios, & olive oil. Season with ½ teaspoon kosher salt & ground black pepper as desired. Working gently to keep the delicate zucchini ribbons in tact, toss to combine well. Taste & adjust seasonings as desired.
- Serve immediately, garnished with extra basil & shaved parmesan as desired. This zucchini salad is a great potluck dish & it’s also a super easy side for any weeknight dinner – we enjoy it all the time with this simple Grilled Lemon Chicken or alongside this beautiful Marinated Tomato Pasta.
- Jess’ Notes & Tips:
- Zucchini: Zucchini is the star of the show here! For best results, use small-to-medium summer zucchini, which is going to be more tender, more flavorful, & better textured than large zucchini or off-season zucchini.
- Easy Swaps & Substitutes: The beauty of this zucchini salad is its versatility. If you prefer not to use parmesan, feel free to swap it out with pecorino romano, feta, or goat cheese. Similarly, the pistachios can easily be swapped with walnuts or pine nuts to create a salad that best suits your tastes. Have fun with it!
- Recipe variations: This shaved zucchini pasta recipe is naturally meatless. To ensure it’s vegetarian, be sure to use your favorite rennet-free parmesan. To take it a step further & make it vegan, opt for your favorite non-dairy parmesan.
- Make-Ahead & Storage: This shaved zucchini salad is best enjoyed immediately upon assembly, before the texture of the zucchini changes much, though leftovers will keep, stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. If making ahead for a party or cookout, measure & prep all ingredients according to the Ingredients List, above, then shave the zucchini right before serving.