How to Can Zucchini

Zucchini plants are known for being prolific growers, and you can only make so much zucchini bread!

bread and butter zucchini pickles
bread and butter zucchini pickles

For years, I only shredded zucchini and kept it in the freezer for occasional bread, muffin, and brownie recipes. There are more ways to preserve zucchini that I never realized, and now I know I could’ve added more to my stockpile over the years!

The thing is, you can’t necessarily can zucchini – it’s not safe. At least, not by itself. With the addition of a simple ingredient, though – vinegar – it is often safe to pickle and can zucchini.

And you don’t have to rely on just ONE recipe – there are a few safe ways you can use it up.

Keep reading to learn more!

Can Zucchini Be Safely Canned?

One of the first questions I had was: Is it safe to can zucchini? It didn’t come to mind as an option. Here’s why you shouldn’t do it…

Unclear Food Processing Times

Here’s the problem with canning zucchini in a pressure canner.

First of all, there’s no proven recipe from the National Center for Home Food Preservation by the USDA to do this, and old recommendations say it’s best just to leave it for some other preservation method.

It’s unclear what amount of squash would need to be canned and for what known period of time.

Squashes are a low-acid vegetable, and they would require pressure canning for a particular length of time to ensure any bacteria is killed off. However, there isn’t enough evidence yet to determine that appropriate length of time.

Releases a Lot of Liquid and Gets Soggy

Not only that, but when canned in a pressure canner, zucchini tends to release a ton of liquid.

That means you’ll be left with a large pot of mushy garbage at the end of the processing times. Not appetizing.

Benefits of Eating Zucchini

When I add something to my stockpile, I want to make sure it plays a purpose. I sometimes add fun things – like mint or basil jelly – that don’t serve as much of a purpose, but my stockpile is also my pantry.

It serves one overarching job – to feed my family. So, I want to make sure what I add has some nutritional benefits.

You may not think of zucchini as a survival food because it is low in calories. An average zucchini has only 31 calories, and it has no fat or cholesterol. That doesn’t make it ideal; you want fats and calories!

However, the strength of adding zucchini to your stockpile lies in the fact that a medium zucchini has over 50 percent of your recommended daily dose of vitamin C. You also receive 11% of your daily vitamin K intake.

Zucchini is a source for many vitamins and minerals, such as Riboflavin, Vitamin B-6, Folate, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Potassium, Manganese, Magnesium, and Phosphorus.

Supplies Needed

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Before you get started, you need to have a few supplies on hand, aside from veggies and herbs. You will need:

  • A water bath canner
  • A stockpot
  • A grater
  • Stirring spoons
  • Funnel
  • Jar Lifter
  • Canning jars, lids and rims
  • Magnetic lid lifter
  • Bubble Popper
  • Kitchen Towels
  • Hot pads
  • Cutting Board
  • Sharp Knife

Preparing to Can

Here are a few canning tips for this recipe in no particular order…

  1. Fill the water bath canner with water and bring to a boil. The water must be boiling in order for you to can. Starter your time when the water is at a rolling boil!
  2. Clean your jars. You want clean jars, and make sure to inspect them. It’s easy for jars to get small chips in them. Those jars can be used for dry storage of beans, but you don’t want to put a chipped or cracked jar in a canner.
  3. Heat up the lids and jars. After I clean my jars, I fill up the sink with hot water and store the jars in there until it’s time to can. You should also boil a small pot of water and place the lids in the water until its time to can.
  4. Set on a towel. Once you process the jars, you need to remove them from the canner. It’s best to place them on a tea towel on your counters. Don’t move them for 24 hours. At that time, it’s safe to remove the rims to check the seal and label for storage!

These steps are easy but don’t forget them. If you plan to do two batches, make sure you don’t forget to heat up the lids and clean your jars!

What to Do With Zucchini

If you find yourself with a surplus of zucchini, there are several things you can do with it. These recipes incorporate zucchini and won’t take up any space in your freezer – but they’re safe and preserve the quality of your zucchini at the same time.

Remember, you can’t can zucchini by itself, but by adding vinegar and other “pickling” ingredients, it IS safe for processing in a water bath canner. Give these easy canning recipes a try!

Canned Pineapple Zucchini

The NCHFP offer a few ways to safely can zucchini, which is their zucchini pineapple recipe. It is actually quite delicious, and the reason it works is that of the high level of acid in the pineapple juice.

So, I knew I couldn’t just can cubes of zucchini. When you think about it, cubes of zucchini packed into water will get soggy fast and probably not too desirable.

As I was researching the best ways to can zucchini, I stumbled across NCHFP recommended recipes for bread and butter zucchini pickles!

Canned pineapple zucchini is a safe, delicious way to enjoy the summer harvest.

For best results, choose firm, ripe fruit and wash it thoroughly before canning.

Once canned, the fruit will keep for up to a year. Enjoy it as a topping for ice cream or yogurt, or use it to make muffins, breads, and other sweet treats.

With its sweet flavor and juicy texture, canned pineapple zucchini is a summertime favorite that can be enjoyed all year long.

Here’s a recipe.

Zucchini Salsa

Are you looking for a new and exciting way to enjoy zucchini? If so, then you should definitely try making zucchini salsa!

Zucchini salsa is a delicious and healthy alternative to traditional tomato-based salsa. It’s perfect for those hot summer days when you don’t want anything too heavy or spicy.

Plus, it’s super easy to make. Here’s a recipe.

Pickled Zucchini

Zucchini can also be preserved for the winter months by pickling. When pickled, zucchini becomes a tasty addition to sandwiches and salads. In addition, pickled zucchini can last for several months when stored in a cool, dark place.

As result, pickling is an excellent way to enjoy zucchini year-round. There are a variety of ways to pickle zucchini, so you can experiment until you find a method that suits your taste.

Here’s a recipe to get you started.

Zucchini Relish

Zucchini relish is a versatile condiment that can add flavor to a variety of dishes. It is made from finely chopped zucchini and onion, as well as vinegar, sugar, and spices.

This combination of ingredients results in a sweet and tangy relish that is perfect for topping hot dogs and hamburgers. In addition to being delicious, zucchini relish is also healthy.

Zucchini is a low-calorie vegetable that is packed with nutrients, including vitamins A and C. Here’s a recipe.

Bonus: Zucchini Salad (Not A canning Recipe)

You might not think “salad” when you think of something that comes in a can, but this healthy and flavorful recipe is a great way to make the most of what’s left of summer!

It has vinegar and other pickling ingredients, making it safe for a water bath canner. Plus, it will use up all your other garden leftovers, like tomatoes and peppers, too.

Here’s the recipe.

Zucchini Canning FAQ

Can you can squash puree?

No. This is because zucchini is made up mostly of water, and when it is canned, that water turns to mush, creating a puree rather than chunks or slices. In addition, zucchini has a very delicate flavor that is easily overpowered by the other ingredients in a canned recipe.

For these reasons, it is best to avoid canning zucchini and instead focus on other methods of preservation, such as freezing or pickling.

Can you can zucchini noodles?

No, you cannot can zucchini noodles.
Zucchini noodles are made from thinly sliced zucchini squash. They have a high water content and are very perishable.

As a result, they are not safe to be canned and will turn to mush if you try to can them. If you want to store zucchini noodles for an extended period of time, your best bet is to freeze them.

Freezing does not sterilize food like canning does, but it does prevent the growth of new microbes and slow down the activity of existing ones.

Canning Zucchini Wrap-Up

Zucchini may seem like an unlikely addition to your stockpile, but it’s tasty!

Zucchini can also be dehydrated and fermented, so don’t give it all away to neighbors and friends when your plants overflow. Use one of these ways to zucchini or try a different preservation method.

how to can zucchini pin

4 thoughts on “How to Can Zucchini”

  1. Regarding your recipe for bread and butter zucchini pickles, can that same recipe be used for bread and butter pickles instead of zucchini? Same ingredients and amounts? Thank you.

    1. I have done this. Yes it is the same. Just substitute one vege for the other. It’s the acidity provided by the vinegar that’s crucial.

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