Poor zucchini.  It tries so hard, produces so feverishly, only to find itself the subject of gardeners’ jokes or to be enthusiastically unloaded on any willing neighbor or friend.   It gets an unfair shake sometimes, but the truth is, zucchini is one of the most versatile summer veggies in the garden.  It can be incorporated into just about anything from bread to quesadillas and it can play an undetectable supporting role just as easily as it can shine as the star of the dish.  But of all the ways to utilize this garden overachiever, this is one of my favorites and a must-include recipe for Salsa Week.

The thing I love most about this salsa is the bright, fresh flavor and beautiful straight from the garden green color.  In fact, half way through, you might even forget that this salsa verde wasn’t made with tomatillos.  It’s still tangy and spicy and most importantly, delicious.  I also love that it’s quick and easy to make.  That it helps keep the zucchini population of my refrigerator in check is icing on the cake!

In fact, you may just develop a deeper appreciation for your hard-working zucchini plant and think twice before sneaking zucchini onto your neighbor’s porch when they’re not home!

Just one thing to keep in mind: the salsa may seem a little thick at first, but it doesn’t take much time for the zucchini to release some of its moisture to improve the consistency of the salsa. If you still desire a lighter consistency after the salsa has been sitting for several minutes, you can add a little more lime juice.

Zucchini Salsa Verde

1 medium zucchini
2-3 jalapeno peppers
2 large cloves of garlic
1/2 cup scallions
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
Juice from half a lime

Place garlic and jalapenos (including seeds) in a food process and pulse until finely chopped.  Cut zucchini and scallions into 1inch pieces and add to garlic and jalapeno, along with the cilantro leaves.  Pulse until all ingredients are broken down.  Scrape down sides, add lime juice, and continue to pulse until desired consistency is reached.

Recipe adapted from Sustainable Diet


Updated August 2014: Please note that this recipe is not a canning-safe recipe.  The small amount of lime juice added to this recipe is not enough to sufficiently acidify the salsa for water bath canning.  For more information on preserving zucchini and summer squash, please see the following information from the National Center for Home Food Preservation:

Why is canning summer squash or zucchini not recommended?

Recommendations for canning summer squashes, including zucchini, that appeared in former editions of So Easy to Preserve or USDA bulletins have been withdrawn due to uncertainty about the determination of processing times. Squashes are low-acid vegetables and require pressure canning for a known period of time that will destroy the bacteria that cause botulism. Documentation for the previous processing times cannot be found, and reports that are available do not support the old process. Slices or cubes of cooked summer squash will get quite soft and pack tightly into the jars. The amount of squash filled into a jar will affect the heating pattern in that jar. It is best to freeze summer squashes or pickle them for canning, but they may also be dried.

Thanks for your comments; please, always use canning methods and recipes that have been tested and proven for safety.

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12 Responses to Zucchini Salsa Verde

  1. YUM! I wanna try this with my last group of summer farm camp kiddos this week!

  2. cathy says:

    A friend shared this recipe with me today, and it was a revelation tonight. My husband and daughter liked it! Even though it has zucchini in it! Even though it has jalapeno in it! Even though it has cilantro in it! And it was so easy to make! I made it at lunch time and kept it on the counter all afternoon. Every hour, it got better and better as the flavors melded. I would love to bring this to a potluck and watch it disappear and never tell a soul what’s in it until the very end of the party. Awesome!

    • Maria says:

      Cathy, that is so awesome – thank you for sharing such a great story! I always get a kick out of telling people that “there’s zucchini in there” after the fact too!

  3. Ray Parrott says:

    Can this recipe be canned for winter use ??

    • Kris says:

      I was wondering the same thing. Since it has citrus juice to raise the acidity it can be processed by the hot water bath method but I am not sure how long to process it. I will check my Ball canning book and see if I can find anything similar. I can hardly wait to make it. I am going to add tomatillas for a little tang.

      • Maria says:

        Hi Kris, Thanks for your comments! Tomatillos would be a great addition to this salsa, but please note that the small amount of lime juice added to this recipe is NOT enough to acidify the salsa for water bath canning (check canning-safe recipes for zucchini relish for comparison).

    • Maria says:

      Hi Ray, Unfortunately, this recipe is NOT canning-safe.

      If you are looking for a way to preserve this salsa for future use, you might want to try freezing a small amount of this salsa to see how it handles it. All of the ingredients should freeze well, though you might notice a slight change in consistency (likely a little extra water from the zucchini)after thawing.

  4. […] salt, this is a fun tasty fresh corn zucchini salsa that is bursting with flavor.  Or, if you like Salsa Verde, fill yours with some of your zuc bounty. Ohh, the ideas are […]

  5. Colleen says:

    I too am wondering if you could can this recipe? Suggestions?

    • Maria says:

      Hi Colleen, Thanks for your comment!

      Unfortunately, this recipe is not canning-safe. The only suggestion I can offer to safely preserve this salsa is to try freezing it. I have not tried this myself, but all ingredients do lend themselves to freezing. If possible, try a small amount first to see how it thaws out (zucchini tends to release a lot of water after freezing, which might effect the consistency of the salsa).

  6. Maria says:

    I appreciate all of the comments and questions about canning this recipe. Please note that I have updated this post with an excerpt from the National Center for Home Food Preservation to provide you with the most reliable information on safely preserving zucchini and summer squash. Thanks!

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