Zucchini Salad is the perfect summer side dish! Made with simple ingredients, this recipe only takes 10 minutes to come together and is sure to impress. Serve it at a picnic or as part of a simple summer dinner outside.
I am so in love with this Zucchini Salad, you guys. It’s a recipe that I created years ago and I love its simplicity. The flavors come together in the most perfect way and leave you with a delightful side salad.
Fun fact: I entered this raw zucchini salad in a random food challenge, and a well-known professional chef took one bite and exclaimed how delicious it was. High praise that I will never get over.
This was delicious. I had it with grilled chicken. Plus I had some leftover and put my leftover chicken in and ate it for lunch. Delicious.
How to Make Zucchini Salad
This is a brief overview to show you how simple this salad is. For the full recipe with all of the measurements, see the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
- Prepare the vegetables. Using a vegetable peeler, slice the zucchini and carrots into thin strips. Read more about this below.
- Toss together all of the ingredients. In a bowl, combine the zucchini, carrots, salt, oil, basil, Parmesan, lemon zest, and lemon juice.
- Marinate the salad. Allow the salad to rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours.
- Taste and adjust. You may need to add more salt and pepper to taste.
Peeling Vegetables into Strips
In this recipe, we are using a vegetable peeler to make thin strips of the carrots and the zucchini. Both vegetables should be washed before starting this. The carrot should have the rough skin on the outside peeled off first, but the zucchini can be left unpeeled. These thin strips make delightful ribbons that work perfectly in this salad.
Raw Zucchini Salad
Raw zucchini is fantastic in salad. That being said, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind. It doesn’t behave the way that cucumbers do and doesn’t work as a swap for it. It doesn’t have the same moisture level or crunch that cucumbers do.
When you are adding raw zucchini to salad you want to keep in mind that it should be sliced thin. This will help whatever dressing is being used to marinate it and make it softer. It then takes on the flavor of dressing while also getting a fantastic texture. That is what we do in this salad as well as in my Zucchini Panzanella Salad.
Freshly Grated Parmesan
If you’ve been following along for a bit, you know that I’m always telling you that you need to grate your own cheese. This is especially true if you are melting it. Pre-shredded cheese is covered in preservatives that keep the cheese from melting well.
In this recipe we aren’t melting the cheese. That being said, I would still recommend freshly grated Parmesan if you can afford it. It will bring a richer flavor to this recipe, which is great because we are using minimal ingredients here.
Lemon zest is a fantastic way to add great lemon flavor to a recipe. The zest is the outside of the peel before you reach the white part. You will want to wash the lemon well, and then run the zester over it. Stop and move on to a different part of the peel when you see white.
Yes! Raw zucchini is great in a salad. In this recipe we are slicing it extremely thin and letting it marinate in the dressing to make it softer.
This salad recipe makes six half-cup servings. This is a great recipe to double if you are looking for more veggies in your life.
If your garden is bursting with zucchini this summer, here are some fantastic zucchini recipes:
- Zucchini Lasagna: This low-carb spin on classic lasagna is amazing. You will be blown away by how flavorful and delicious it is.
- Zucchini Muffins: My kids love these! I make a double batch and freeze them for easy snacks that are grab and go.
- Chocolate Zucchini Cake: The zucchini makes this cake unbelievably moist, and my kids can never even tell it has zucchini in it.
- Zucchini Soup: Deliciously creamy without using dairy, you will love this healthy soup.
If you make this amazing Zucchini Salad recipe or any of my other recipes, leave me a comment and let me know what you think.
- 2 medium zucchini peeled into strips
- 2 medium carrots rough skin peeled off, then peeled into strips
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil cut into ribbons
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese grated
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and toss.
- Place in the refrigerator, covered, and allow to marinate for at least a half hour or up to 24 hours.
- Taste and add more salt and pepper as needed. Serve with additional Parmesan on the side.