No matter how you slice it, we just can’t get enough of zucchini. The more ways you can cut it, the more ways you can enjoy it, so we’ll teach you how to cut zucchini five different ways so you can make almost any zucchini recipe out there. Then test out each cut for yourself in our favorite recipes for zucchini bread, zoodles, and more.

By Andrea Beck
Updated August 10, 2020
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There’s definitely more than one way to cut a zucchini, and how you cut it can determine how you use it. Shredded zucchini is best for baking, cored zucchini is ideal for stuffing, and zucchini noodles deserve their own spotlight entirely. If you’re unsure of how to take full advantage of your zucchini this summer, we’re here to help with tips for each different cutting method (and a few zucchini recipes for a taste-test, of course).

Left: Photo: Andy Lyons
Right: Photo: Blaine Moats

How to Slice Zucchini Into Coins

Probably the most common way to cut zucchini, zucchini coins are crosswise slices of zucchini. Use a knife to cut the two ends off the zucchini, then make cuts across the zucchini to slice coins. You can also use a mandoline ($42, Crate & Barrel) by cutting off one end of the zucchini, then dragging it across the mandoline. You can solely use a knife to slice your zucchini, though the mandoline will ensure that all of the squash coins are the same size.

Try Our Easy Skillet Zucchini Recipe
Left: Photo: Jason Donnelly
Right: Photo: Blaine Moats

How to Make Zucchini Noodles

The trick to making your own zucchini noodles is to invest in a spiralizer ($23, Amazon). Follow the instructions for your model of spiralizer for the best results, but you can usually follow a few basic tips. There’s no need to peel your zucchini before making zucchini noodles, but it does help to trim both ends. This will create an even surface for anchoring the zucchini to the handle and the blade of your spiralizer. Use even pressure when you turn the handle to push the zucchini through the blade so your noodles are the same size and shape. Spiralizer blades can create varying thicknesses of the zucchini noodles, but in most instances when you're cooking the zoodles prior to serving, you'll want them to be about the same thickness as fettuccine. This way, the zucchini holds its shape without becoming limp.

Try Your Zoodles with Saffron And Cream
Left: Photo: Andy Lyons
Right: Photo: Blaine Moats

How to Slice Zucchini into Strips

Slicing zucchini into long strips might seem daunting, but with help from a mandoline ($42, Crate & Barrel), it’s super easy! Just like you would for zucchini coins, drag the zucchini lengthwise across your mandoline (be sure to use the handguard for safety!) to create uniform slices. Slices that are about ⅛-inch thick are great for pickling because they’re thin enough to absorb brine but thick enough to still maintain their crunch. You can also create thin ribbons of zucchini using a vegetable peeler ($10, Bed Bath & Beyond). If you don’t have either of those tools, just use a knife to cut the zucchini lengthwise, and do your best to make the slices similar in thickness.

Put Those Zucchini Strips to Good Use By Pickling Them
Left: Photo: Andy Lyons
Right: Photo: Blaine Moats

How to Core Zucchini

You may not have tried coring zucchini before, so don't miss out! Slice both ends off the zucchini, then use an apple corer ($10, Amazon) or sturdy spoon to core from both ends to get to the center of a medium zucchini. For longer veggies, halve the zucchini crosswise first for easy handling. You can stuff cored zucchini with meat, cheese, or other veggies, or cut it in half lengthwise to make zucchini boats.

Fill Your Squash with Delicious Meatballs
Left: Photo: Kristada Panichgul
Right: Photo: Andy Lyons

How to Shred Zucchini

Shredded zucchini is excellent for using in baked goods like zucchini bread and zucchini cakes. There’s no need to peel your zucchini before shredding, just slice off one end. Then push the zucchini through the large holes of your box grater ($14, Amazon) or plane grater, starting from the top of the grating surface and moving your zucchini to the bottom of the grater. If you want more finely shredded zucchini, push it through the smaller holes of a box grater or use a plane grater with smaller holes. To avoid cutting your fingers once you’re down to the last small piece of zucchini, cut the remaining piece by hand into small strips using a sharp knife ($16, Target).

Get Our Best Zucchini Bread Recipes
Blaine Moats

Bonus: Cooking with Zucchini Flowers

Don’t stop at just using the veggie! You can put even more of your zucchini plant to good use when you learn how to cook with squash blossoms and zucchini flowers. You can do just about anything with them, including deep-frying, adding them to cake, and even making zucchini flower tacos. If you grow your own zucchini and squash, learning to cook with squash blossoms puts them to use and makes your plate even prettier.

As if we didn't already give you enough ideas, try using your sliced zucchini in even more fresh squash recipes that are sure to please the entire family all summer.

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