How to Avoid Soggy Zucchini

Zucchini can turn a dish into a watery mess. Here’s how to steer clear of the problem. 

Published June 7, 2022.

As anyone who’s ever suffered through a plate of squishy, waterlogged zucchini (or summer squash) can attest, dealing with zucchini’s ample water content and spongy texture can be a challenge. Luckily, we’re here to help.

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10 ingredients. 45 minutes. Quick, easy, and fresh weeknight recipes.

Linguine with Chickpeas and Zucchini

To achieve a creamy sauce with plenty of body, we broke out the potato masher.
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3 Ways to Avoid Soggy Zucchini

  1. Start with smaller zucchini (around 8 ounces). Larger specimens have a higher percentage of water; smaller zukes have less.  
  2. Slice and salt zucchini in advance of cooking to draw out some of the vegetable’s excess moisture (while also seasoning it more thoroughly). To do this, cut up a pound of zucchini and toss it with ½ teaspoon of table salt. Let it drain in a colander for about 30 minutes before patting it dry and cooking it. 
  3. You can embrace zucchini’s plump nature by cooking it for longer and letting it turn soft and silky. If you cook zucchini until it releases its moisture and keep cooking until that moisture evaporates, you’re left with buttery-soft pulp, which can add creaminess and sweet vegetal flavor when stirred into pasta or rice dishes, like this Skillet Chicken, Zucchini, and Cheesy Rice. 

Skillet Chicken, Zucchini, and Cheesy Rice

A layer of broiled Parmesan cheese ties chicken, rice, and zucchini together.
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Summer Squash Gratin

Summer squash is mostly composed of water. So how could we turn it into a casserole that wasn’t wet and bland?
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Or, if you’re going to grill your zucchini, check out this article on crosshatching, a cool technique to encourage the vegetable to give up some of its water. 

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