How to Store Zucchini (Fresh, cooked, after cutting)

Zucchini is a type of pumpkin that can be added in sweet or savory recipes, although it is used more in salty recipes. Today, as I understand that zucchini forms part of most people’s diet, I want to teach you how to store zucchini for longer.

Zucchini can last two days at room temperature if it is not very ripe, although it is better to store it in the fridge for 5 to 7 days or freeze it for 10 or 12 months. Also, you can keep it in oil or dehydrate it for at least one year.

Store Zucchini

Just read on to know the proper way to preserve zucchini.

How to correctly choose zucchini

Knowing how to select a good zucchini will help you keep it for much longer. You will recognize when zucchini is fresh because of its firm, soft, shiny, and vibrant green skin.

The more wrinkles the zucchini has, the older it is, so avoid them as those that have imperfections, such as cuts or holes.

If the zucchini still has part of its stem, buy it over those who do not, as they tend to last longer. In addition, the best zucchinis are small but heavy for their size.

Can zucchini be kept at room temperature?

It is not ideal, but yes, you can leave the zucchini at room temperature by following these indications:

  • Step 1: Dry the zucchini with a towel.

Moisture is the main enemy of zucchini, so when you get home, do not wash it with water. Instead, remove its dirt and dry it with a tea or paper towel.

  • Step 2: Put the zucchini in a paper bag or basket.

You can place the zucchini in a paper bag so it can keep breathing while leaving it out of sight of insects and vermin or place it in a basket and cover it with a clean tea towel.

  • Step 3: Save the zucchinis in a dark area.

It would be best to keep the zucchinis in a dry, dark, and somewhat ventilated area. In this way, the zucchinis can be at room temperature for two days if it is very cool; otherwise, it is better to refrigerate them.

Another aspect to consider in keeping the zucchinis in this way is that the temperature is not higher than 25°C (77°F).

How to store zucchini in the fridge

Refrigerate should be the first option to consider when thinking about storing fresh zucchinis, so you will keep them for much longer, although only if you follow the instructions:

  • Step 1: Dry the zucchinis.

The first thing you should do when you get home with fresh zucchini is to dry them and remove the dirt with paper towels. Please wash it when you eat it and not before.

  • Step 2: Wrap the zucchinis with absorbent paper.

An excellent way to keep zucchinis fresh is to wrap them with paper towels. Another option is to put them inside paper bags.

  • Step 3: Label the zucchini.

Write the storage date of the zucchini on the towels or bag to control storage.

  • Step 4: Store the zucchinis in the fridge.

Put the zucchinis in the compartment or drawer to store vegetables and avoid the bottom part. That way, the zucchinis will be kept refrigerated for 5 or 7 days. [1]

If the zucchini is chopped, put it inside an airtight container and place it on the bottom of your fridge. The chopped zucchini will last about 2 or 3 days in the refrigerator.

How to freeze zucchini

Can zucchini be frozen? Yes, but first, you must blanch it unless you cooked it previously. 

  • Step 1: Wash and chop the zucchinis.

Here if it is essential to wash the zucchinis since you will freeze them, so before chopping them, wash them with plenty of water. Then chop them into slices or cubes. 

You could also grate it and be sure to squeeze it into a gauze-type fabric to remove all the water, although its shelf life is less.

  • Step 2: Blach the zucchinis.

Bring a pot with water to the stove, and when it boils, add the chopped zucchini (except the grated one). Bleach for a minute or two and remove. Break the cooking by immediately pouring the zucchini into a large bowl with cold water and ice.

  • Step 3: Dry the zucchinis.

After stopping the cooking, do not leave the zucchini in the cold water for more than a few seconds, so strain them and dry them with paper towels.

  • Step 4: Bag the zucchini.

Put the chopped or grated zucchini in an airtight bag or container suitable for freezing. A trick that will make it last longer in the freezer without the risk of frost burns is to divide the zucchini into several bags and then put it in a larger one.

  • Step 5: Label the container.

Write the storage date of the zucchini on the bag.

  • Step 6: Save the zucchini in the freezer.

You may freeze zucchini for 10 to 12 months. However, grated zucchini only remains frozen in good conditions for up to 3 months. [2]

To thaw it, you can put it in cold water for a few hours at room temperature or let the bags in the fridge overnight, although you can also cook it directly frozen. 

Of course, after thawing, use it all because it cannot be re-frozen or refrigerated.

How to preserve cooked zucchini

If you cooked zucchini, roasted, sautéed, or baked it and have a little leftover, you can store it in the fridge or freezer.

First, wait for it to cool before putting it in an airtight container or bag. If you are going to freeze it, place the storage date.

To store the cooked zucchini in the fridge, place it in the coldest part, and there it will stay for 3 to 4 days

On the other hand, if you freeze the cooked zucchiniit will last about 4 or 6 months, since as it will be very soft, it will not be able to resist long inside the freezer as the raw one.

How to preserve zucchini in vinegar

If you have a lot of zucchinis and want to get the most out of them but don’t want to freeze them, at least not all, you can pickle them. 


  • 1kg (2.2lbs) of zucchini.
  • 500ml (17oz) of vinegar.
  • 160g (0,35lbs or 1 cup) of sugar.
  • Two teaspoons of salt.
  • Two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.
  • Two garlic cloves.
  • The herbs you want (mint, bay leaf, etc.).

You will also need a glass jar with an airtight or screw cap as they are special to keep this type of food.

  • Step 1: Sterilize the jars and their lids.

First, put the jars and lids in a pot with boiling water and let them sterilize for 15 minutes. Then remove them with tweezers and let them drain on a rack until they dry.

  • Step 2: Wash and chop the zucchini.

Wash the zucchinis with plenty of water, rub the skin, and chop them.

  • Step 3: Prepare the mixture.

Pour the vinegar and sugar into a pot, simmer until the sugar has melted, and stir from time to time. Then add the rest of the ingredients (but zucchini) and cook for 8 minutes. 

Then add the chopped zucchini and cook for 2 or 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Then let stand until cool.

  • Step 4: Fill the jars.

Add layers of zucchini and spices, and finally, fill with the mixture. Leave one finger free and close the lid well. 

  • Step 5: Vacuum seal.

In a large pot, place a clean kitchen towel at the bottom, arrange the jars on top to prevent them from colliding with each other, and cover them with water.

Please turn on the stove and let it cook for 20 minutes when it boils. After that, turn off the heat and let the water warm before taking out the jars.

  • Step 6: Remove the jars and let them stand.

Please remove the jars when the water cools and let them sit where direct sunlight does not hit them.

  • Step 7: Label the jars.

Write the preparation date on a label and then stick it in the jar.

  • Step 8: Save the jars with pickled zucchini.

Place the jars with pickled zucchini in a dry, dark, and cool place. If it is sealed, you can keep it for a whole year at room temperature. However, once opened, you must refrigerate them for 3 or 4 weeks. 

You can keep the bottle sealed with zucchini in vinegar in the fridge for 12 to 18 months.

How to preserve zucchini in oil

Another method you can use to maintain zucchini for a long time is to preserve it in oil, and here you have the steps to do that.

  • Step 1: Sterilize the jars and their lids.

Again, sterilize the jars and their lids in a pot with boiling water and let it cook for 15 minutes. Then remove them with tweezers and let them drain on a rack or absorbent paper until they are completely dry.

  • Step 2: Wash and chop the zucchini.

Wash the zucchinis with plenty of water, rub the skin well to remove dirt, then chop them into thin or thick slices or squares.

  • Step 3: Blanch the zucchinis.

In a pot with boiling water, blanch the zucchinis for one or two minutes; immediately after, pour them into a bowl with cold water to stop the cooking, leave them for a few seconds and drain. Then dry the zucchinis with paper towels.

One way to add more flavor is to roast the zucchinis, or instead of blanching them with water, you could prepare a brine with white wine vinegar, some garlic cloves, a tablespoon of salt, and spices.

  • Step 4: Fill the jars.

Now, fill the jars by placing a layer of zucchini, then the spices of your choice, and cover it with olive oil until you leave one finger of space free before closing the lid tightly. 

  • Step 5: Vacuum seal.

Place a clean kitchen towel at the bottom of a large pot, arrange the jars inside it to prevent them from colliding with each other or with the pot, then bring water until the jars overflow.

Please turn on the stove and let it cook for 20 or 30 minutes when it starts to boil. Then, turn off the heat and let the water warm before taking out the jars.

  • Step 6: Remove the jars and let them stand.

Please take out the jars when the water cools and let them sit in a shady place so that the jars feel completely cold to the touch and are dry. It may take a few more hours.

  • Step 7: Label the container.

Write the preparation date on a label and then stick it in the jar.

  • Step 8: Store the jars with zucchini in oil.

Place the jars with zucchini in oil in a cool, dry, and dark place, so it will remain for 10 to 12 months at room temperature, as long as the climate does not exceed 77°C (25°C). 

In that case, it is best to store the jar with zucchini in oil in the fridge, and there you can be about 18 months

How to dehydrate zucchini?

Dehydration is also an excellent option to store zucchini for a long time and be a great and healthy snack.

  • Step 1: Wash and chop the zucchini.

Wash the zucchinis with water, rub the skin well to remove any dirt, then chop them into thin slices half one finger thick.

  • Step 2: Prepare the tray.

Place parchment paper on a tray and arranges the slices of zucchini, side by side, without piling up. 

If you have a food dehydrator, place the zucchini slices directly in the inner trays of the same. 

  • Step 3: Dehydrate the zucchinis.

To dehydrate in the oven, put it at the lowest temperature. For example, it can be between 160°F – 190°F (70°C and 90°C). And bake for 2 to 5 hours.

With the food dehydrator, adjust it to about 124°F – 134°F (51° – 57°C), and dehydrate for 6 and 11 hours. They will be ready when they become dry and brittle.

  • Step 4: Place the zucchinis in airtight bags or containers.

Wait until they are cold since the internal steam could create moisture inside the container, and you do not want that in dehydrated food.

Then, you can already place them inside airtight bags or containers. It is best to use glass jars.

  • Step 5: Label the container.

Place the date you prepared the dehydrated zucchini in the container.

  • Step 6: Store the dehydrated zucchini.

To do this, place the bags or containers in a dry place, where the heat or light does not stick directly, so the dehydrated zucchini can be kept in good condition for a whole year.

If you freeze it, use freezer-resistant containers, and you can freeze the dehydrated zucchini for 18 to 24 months.

How do you know if zucchini spoiled?

Zucchini is in poor condition if it has any of these characteristics: 

  • The smell of rotten fruit.
  • Bad taste.
  • White or black spots/lint (mold).
  • It became very watery, and it is easy to pierce it with your fingers (in case it is fresh).

If any of these characteristics occur in the zucchini you have stored, the best thing you can do is avoid eating it and throwing it away so as not to suffer any poisoning.

Why is zucchini spoiled?

Zucchinis are fruits composed of a large percentage of water, which makes them tend to rot quickly if you leave them too long outdoors.

In addition, its flavor usually attracts many insects and vermin that seek to feed on this fruit.

On the other hand, microorganisms will find the ideal environment to develop and reproduce in the zucchinis. 

Keep in mind that, like any other natural food, it has a life cycle that will lead it to mature until it rots.

How long does zucchini last?

Fresh zucchini at room temperature2 days
Fresh chilled zucchini5 – 7 days
Chilled chopped zucchini2 – 3 days
Frozen zucchini10 – 12 months
Frozen grated zucchini3 months
Cooked zucchini in the fridge3 – 4 days
Cooked zucchini in the freezer4 – 6 months
Pickled zucchini at room temperature (sealed)12 months
Pickled zucchini in the fridge (sealed)12 – 18 months
Pickled zucchini in the fridge (opened)3 – 4 weeks
Zucchini in oil at room temperature10 – 12 months
Zucchini in oil refrigerated18 months
Dehydrated zucchini at room temperature1 year
Dehydrated zucchini in the freezer18 – 24 months

What is the best way to preserve zucchini?

Fresh zucchini keeps very well inside the fridge, much more than leaving it at room temperature.

Freezing zucchini involves chopping and bleaching it to retain some nutrients, but it will no longer be fresh.

Among the ways to lengthen the shelf life of zucchini, you can pickle it or preserve it in oil, adding a lot of flavors. You can also dehydrate it for quite some time.

If you would like to preserve some other product, you have to look for it on this website because I have an exhaustive list of topics on food preservation. 



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