Types of Zucchini & Summer Squash

  • 01 of 10

    So Many Varieties of Summer Squash

    Zucchini and Other Summer Squash
    Summer Squash. Photo © Image Source/Getty Images

    We all know zucchini, but there are many types of summer squash out there - learn more about them here. Depending on where you are, you may also know these prolific summer and early fall lovelies as courgettes or marrows.

    Note: While they're named "summer squash," these vegetables tend to have a fairly long harvest season and be available well into fall in most areas - overlapping in the most delightful way with winter squash.


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  • 02 of 10

    Chayote Squash

    Pear Squash
    Chayote Squash. Photo © John Lawson, Belhaven/Getty Images

    Also known as pear squash, these light green numbers are excellent examples of the close botanical relationship between squash, cucumbers, and melons. Like other summer squash, it's tasty raw (sliced or chopped) in salads or added to soups, popped in stews, thrown on the grill, or added to sautés or stir-frys.

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  • 03 of 10

    Crookneck Squash

    Yellow Summer Squash (Crookneck)
    Crookneck Squash. Photo © pixhook/Getty Images

    Mild in zucchini flavor, often bright yellow in color but others times a delicate pale green, and with a distinctive narrowing at their tops and often a seductive curve to their shape, crookneck squash add a little flair to the summer squash family. Use just like zucchini. 

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  • 04 of 10

    Cocozella Di Napoli

    Cocozella Di Napoli. Photo © Molly Watson

    This light green-striped Italian heirloom zucchini variety has great flavor and the bonus of not turning woody and bitter as it grows. Use in any recipe that calls for zucchini, but its lovely flavor works particularly well in a raw Shaved Zucchini Salad.

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  • 05 of 10

    Pattypan Squash

    Pattypan Squash. Photo © Rob Melnychuk (Getty Images)

    Pattypans come in yellow, dark green, light green, cream, and even a ghostly white. They also come in sizes from teeny tiny to up to 4 or 5 inches across. They can be chopped or sliced and cooked like any summer squash, hollowed out and stuffed to lovely effect, or halved and grilled like their long and green brethren.

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  • 06 of 10

    Yellow Zucchini

    Yellow Summer Squash
    Yellow Zucchini. Photo © BruceBlock/Getty Images

    In a lucky twist of vegetable fate, yellow zucchini keeps its bright sunny color when cooked, so you can use just like green zucchini but to a brighter, sunnier, more colorful effect. I particularly like to use yellow zucchini in this Zucchini Frittata, since the yellow blends in with the eggs in a cool way, making the summer squash flavor a bit of a surprise to plenty of less observant diners.

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  • 07 of 10

    Green (Call It Classic!) Zucchini

    Zucchini. Photo © Molly Watson

    This is the one most of us picture when we hear the word "zucchini." They have a mild flavor and wonderfully delicate and smooth texture when picked on the smaller side. If left to grow too big, however, they turn tough and woody.

    There is a lot to be done with green zucchini, but one of my favorites is definitely these pickles and another is this simple but utterly delicious Zucchini Pasta.


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  • 08 of 10

    Round (Eight Ball) Zucchini

    Eight Ball Zucchini
    Round Zucchini. Photo © Sara Rosso/Getty Images

     They are small, very round zucchini. That's it. Use them just as zucchini, although it is worth noting that the round ones are particularly good for hollowing out, stuffing, and roasting or baking. 

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  • 09 of 10

    Zucchini with Flowers

    Summer Squash with Flowers Attached
    Zucchini with Flowers. Photo © Wolfgang Feiler/Getty Images

     During the height of summer, you can find zucchini and summer squash at the market that still have their flowers attached. It's a fabulous two-fer—remove the flowers, chop them, and add them to salads (click to the next slide for more ideas), and use those ultra-tender zucchini to make a simple shaved, raw zucchini salad.

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  • 10 of 10

    Zucchini Flowers

    Summer Squash Flowers
    Zucchini Flowers. Photo © ingwervanille/Getty Images

    Zucchini flowers—and the flowers attached to other summer squash—have a delicate but distinctive zucchini/summer squash flavor. They are traditionally battered and fried, but are also good chopped and tossed into salads. Find more zucchini flower recipes here.