Wondering what to do with all that extra zucchini in your garden? Use up your squash haul by making this delightful zucchini salsa recipe. With an abundance of zucchini in the summer, this salsa is the perfect way to enjoy and showcase this fresh produce. This original recipe is a great way to utilize the zucchini in a refreshing manner. Inspired by the vibrant flavors of Mexican recipes, this zucchini salsa is a must-try for anyone seeking a delicious twist on traditional favorites. It's the perfect addition to any meal or as a delightful appetizer for your next gathering. Savor the goodness of summer produce with every bite of this scrumptious zucchini salsa. The best part is that there's no canning involved!
When to make this zucchini salsa recipe
The ideal time to make this recipe is during the late spring and summer months when zucchini is in season and readily available. This summer squash is at its peak freshness and flavor during this time, making it the perfect ingredient to showcase in your salsa. This versatile vegetable adds a subtle sweetness to the salsa, complementing the rest of the ingredients perfectly.
During the peak zucchini season, you can find a wide variety of zucchini (even yellow squash) at your local farmers' markets or grocery stores, ensuring you have access to the freshest and highest-quality produce for your salsa. Embrace the season's bounty and whip up a big batch of zucchini salsa to enjoy the vibrant tastes of summer and elevate your meals with this delicious and nutritious condiment.
Note: The heat of this salsa is on the mild side. I know everyone's personal preferences are different so feel free to add extra heat!
Here’s why the following ingredients were chosen for this recipe:
- Zucchini: As the star ingredient, zucchini provides a mild and slightly sweet flavor. Its delicate taste allows it to absorb the flavors of other ingredients, making it a perfect base for the salsa.
- Tomatoes: Tomatoes add a rich, juicy, and tangy element to the salsa. They provide a vibrant red color and contribute a refreshing acidity that complements the zucchini well.
- Onions and Garlic: These aromatic ingredients infuse the salsa with a depth of flavor. Onions add a mild sharpness, while garlic brings a savory note that enhances the overall taste.
- Jalapeño or Chili: For a spicy kick, jalapeño or chili is added to the salsa. The level of heat can be adjusted based on personal preference, adding a delightful heat that balances the other flavors.
- Lime Juice: Freshly squeezed lime juice provides a zesty and tangy element to the salsa, adding brightness and enhancing the flavors of the other ingredients.
- Cilantro: Cilantro brings a burst of freshness and herbaceous aroma to the salsa. Its bright and crisp flavor complements the overall profile and adds a touch of brightness.
- Salt: An essential seasoning to help bring out the flavors of all the ingredients, ensuring a well-rounded and balanced taste.
- Cayenne Pepper: For an extra touch of spiciness and heat, we’ve added a bit of cayenne pepper to the dish. It complements the other flavors in the salsa by adding depth and complexity to the overall taste.
- Cumin: Cumin is used to add depth of flavor and a warm, earthy aroma to this dish.
- White onion
- Cayenne pepper
- Olive oil
See recipe card for quantities.
Below, you will find process shots along with step-by-step instructions on how to make this zucchini salsa recipe.
Thoroughly wash all your vegetables. Cut raw zucchini into quarters. Cut onion (you're only using half) and roma tomatoes in half. Cut jalapeño in half and remove the seeds. Peel garlic cloves. Add vegetables to a baking sheet lined with foil. Toss veggies in olive or vegetable oil.
Place sheet on the top rack in the oven. Broil veggies on high for 8-10 minutes. Take the sheet out and flip veggies over. Broil for another 3 minutes. Check and continue to broil until they are slightly charred.
Pour broiled zucchini mixture into your food processor. Add your cilantro, lime juice, salt, cumin, and cayenne pepper.
Blend ingredients until smooth.
Hint: After preparing this salsa, cover it and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving. This resting period allows the flavors to meld together and intensify, resulting in a more delicious and well-balanced salsa.
Ways to serve and enjoy this zucchini salsa recipe
- Summer BBQs and Picnics: Zucchini salsa adds a refreshing twist to grilled meats and vegetables at outdoor gatherings, making it a perfect addition to your summer BBQs and picnics.
- Taco Tuesdays: Elevate your Taco Tuesdays with zucchini salsa as a flavorful and crunchy topping for your tacos, adding an extra layer of freshness to your Mexican-inspired dishes.
- Potluck Parties: Bring a large bowl of fresh zucchini salsa to potluck parties as a tasty and unique contribution that will impress your friends and family with its vibrant colors and bold flavors.
- Game Day Snacks: Serve zucchini salsa with tortilla chips as a healthy and flavorful game day snack option, perfect for munching on while cheering on your favorite sports team.
- Family Dinners: Include zucchini salsa as a side dish or condiment during family dinners to add a burst of freshness and enhance the overall meal experience.
- Brunch or Breakfast: Use zucchini salsa as a flavorful topping for omelets or scrambled eggs, huevos rancheros, inside breakfast burritos, or as a side to complement breakfast dishes with a touch of zesty goodness.
- Appetizers for Gatherings: Create a platter of zucchini salsa with other dips and spreads as an appetizer option for gatherings, providing a healthy and delicious alternative to traditional dips.
Overall, zucchini salsa is a versatile and flavorful addition to various occasions, making it a delightful choice to elevate your meals and gatherings.
Below are a few substitution options you may consider when making this zucchini recipe.
- Zucchini - instead of using zucchini, you could use yellow squash or Mexican squash.
- Lime juice - you can use lemon juice in place of lime juice.
- Roma tomatoes - you can use other tomatoes that are comparable in size.
- Fresh garlic - you can use garlic powder instead of fresh garlic.
Below are a couple variations you may want to consider when making this simple recipe.
- Extra spicy - add more jalapeño peppers or a bit of chipotle chili powder for a more spicy zucchini salsa.
- Kid friendly - omit the jalapeños and cayenne pepper.
Salsa will keep well in the refrigerator for about 5 days. Store in a container with a lid.
Allow the salsa to sit for a little while before serving. This resting period allows the flavors to meld together and intensify, resulting in a more delicious and well-balanced salsa. After preparing this salsa, cover it and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving. This will enhance the taste and ensure you get the full flavor experience when enjoying this delightful summer condiment.
It can typically last in the refrigerator for about 5 days when stored properly in an airtight container. To ensure its freshness and optimal taste, refrigerate the salsa promptly after making it and keep it tightly sealed. As with any homemade salsa, it's essential to use your best judgment and examine the salsa for any signs of spoilage, such as off odors or changes in color or texture. Be sure to look for those signs before consuming it after the recommended storage period. Enjoy your spicy zucchini salsa while it's at its freshest and most delicious!
While you're here, don't forget to check out our latest post for what to eat with waffles!
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Be sure to wash all produce thoroughly before prepping.
- 1 zucchini
- 1 jalapeño
- 3 roma tomatoes
- 3 garlic cloves
- ½ white onion
- 1 lime
- handful of cilantro
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ tsp cumin
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Line a baking sheet with foil. Set aside. Thoroughly wash all your vegetables. Cut raw zucchini into quarters. Peel and cut onion (you're only using half) and roma tomatoes in half. Cut jalapeño in half and remove the seeds. Peel garlic cloves.
- Add veggies to baking sheet and lightly toss in olive or vegetable oil. Place sheet on the top rack in the oven. Broil veggies on high for 8-10 minutes. Take the sheet out and flip veggies over. Broil for another 3 minutes. Check and continue to broil until they are slightly charred.
- Add broiled zucchini mixture, and cilantro, into a food processor. Add juice from 1 lime, salt, cumin, and cayenne pepper. Blend until smooth. After preparing, cover it and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving. This resting period allows the flavors to meld together. Serve in a bowl with your favorite chips!