Freeze Drying Zucchini

diced vegetablesZucchini is one of those wonderful vegetables that is easy to grow, and grow plenty of. It has a fairly bland flavor, which makes it the perfect vegetable to sneak into recipes that range from bread and muffins to soups, stews, and scrambles. Nutritionally, zucchini is a good source of protein, Vitamin A, Thiamin, Niacin, Phosphorus and Copper, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Magnesium, Potassium and Manganese.

If it’s harvest time where you are and you’ve got these little green wonders coming out of your ears, here’s what to do with all that zucchini:

  • Make chips – just slice thinly, freeze dry, then toss with seasoned salt or sea salt.
  • Preserved chunks for soups, stews, ragu, and ratatouille – place a single layer on the freeze drying trays and preserve in airtight containers until you’re ready to use. You don’t need to rehydrate before adding to moisture rich recipes such as these – they’ll absorb everything they need from the broth.
  • Preserve shreds for pancakes, fritters, muffins, and quick breads. The magical thing about using freeze dried zucchini in quick bread, fritter and muffin recipes is that most require that you dry out the squash and remove as much moisture as possible before adding it to the batter. Freeze drying does that for you automatically, which makes the end result much more flavorful and moist.
  • Preserve chunks for dog treats – most dogs love zucchini, and munching on fibrous vegetables can help clean their teeth. Cut your chunks to the appropriate size for your dog, remembering they’ll shrink just a little when the moisture leaves. Keep them in an airtight cookie jar and dispense liberally.

And it’s not just zucchini that can be freeze dried – onions, melons, peppers, tomatoes, just to name a few. Nothing tastes better than fresh garden produce…with a home freeze dryer, now you can keep that taste year-round!


For things like zucchini, squash, etc, that we turn into healthy “chips”, we quickly parboil them (for just a few minutes) first. Then we add a small amount of oil and seasonings, then freeze dry. We don’t use these for longterm storage because Doug Wright eats them too fast to store for years. 🙂

I’ve sautéed freeze-dried yellow squash in butter with onions and garlic.

I blanch all my veggies before freeze drying. When rehydrating, I usually let them sit for a little bit longer (to soak up more water) because I think it makes the texture a little better. I’ve used a lot of freeze-dried yellow squash for casseroles and I like that it holds its texture better. When making casseroles with fresh, it seems to get almost too mushy. For zucchini, I have grated it and freeze dried it, rehydrated it (not quite completely) and used it in zucchini bread and it works great.

I freeze dry peppers all the time. No need to blanch first. Most other vegetables will perform better blanching prior to freeze drying.

I usually cut zucchini into rounds, dip in egg and then fry. How would I do that with the freeze dryer? Can I dip the zucchini in egg and then freeze dry, or would it be better to just dry the zucchini and add egg later?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *