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Zucchini Salsa

Zucchini salsa two ways! Make either raw salsa or cook it to concentrate the flavors. The raw salsa tastes light, crisp, and fresh, while the cooked salsa has a deeper, more robust flavor and is sweeter. Smoked paprika adds a smokey flavor that takes it over the top.

A tortilla chip scooping up some zucchini salsa.

Every year, our garden provides more zucchini than we can handle so I always make a ton of recipes with it. Some of my favorites are zucchini bread and Kamut zucchini muffins because they freeze so well and we eat them for months.

But I don’t just bake with zucchini. It makes fantastic savory recipes like zucchini fritters, herbed sauteed zucchini, or garlicky zucchini soup. The list is endless with the things you can do with zucchini.

If you haven’t thought of making salsa with this fruit (yep, zucchini is a fruit), then you have to try this recipe.

Here is Why You Will Love This Summer Garden Salsa:

  • Delivers a refreshing take on classic salsa
  • Versatile: use it as a dip, topping, or spread.
  • It’s a great way to use surplus zucchini.
  • Perfect balance of sweet, spicy, and savory
  • The recipe is easy to double or triple for larger quantities.

Zucchini salsa in a pot.

Ways to Use Zucchini Salsa:

The salsa is sweet, spicy, smokey, and so flavorful. Here are several ways you can use zucchini salsa.

Ingredients You Will Need:

Here is the list of ingredients you can use for your shopping list. Scroll down to the printable recipe card for all the details.

  • Zucchini.
  • Tomatoes, Bell pepper, and onion
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Jalapeno peppers
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Tomato paste
  • Brown sugar
  • Garlic cloves
  • Smoked paprika, ground mustard, cumin powder, and crushed red peppers
  • Salt
  • Tabasco sauce 

Jars of zucchini salsa.

How to Make the Recipe:

This zucchini salsa recipe couldn’t be easier. You can chop, dice, or shred the zucchini to get the look and texture you want. I did it the fast way and used my food processor. It made enough shredded zucchini for this recipe as well as a loaf of gluten-free zucchini bread.

  1. Chop, dice, or shred all the ingredients.
  2. Stir the ingredients together and give it a taste test. Adjust the sweetness or spice level to your liking.
  3. For fresh salsa: let it hang out in the fridge to develop the flavors.
  4. For cooked salsa: toss it in a pot and cook it to concentrate all the flavors.

That’s all there is to the recipe. You can store it in the fridge for about a week or freeze it for 6 months.

You can even process it in a canner and store it for a year. If you decide to can the salsa you will want to use the cooked version of the recipe.

Zucchini salsa in a dish next to tortilla chips.

If you’re looking for a healthy, flavorful dip or topping to liven up your next meal, look no further than the zucchini salsa. With so many ways to use this versatile recipe- raw or cooked, as a chip dip with baked pita chips and hummus, on top of tacos or burritos–there’s sure to be something that will make it into your weekly dinner rotation.

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Some Other Recipes We Are Sure You Will Love:

Get a hint of sweetness from the mango and pineapple in this Fresh Mango Salsa, but don’t be surprised by its kick—the chili peppers pack some heat.

Sweet and crunchy with a kick of jalapeño, this pomegranate salsa is the perfect topping for fish, pork or chicken. With distinct flavors work so well together, you are sure to love it!

Get your bacon on with this Cheesecake Factory copycat succotash recipe! There are no beans in the dish, but adding them is easy. Vegetarian? Just omit the bacon and you’re good to go.

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Zucchini salsa in a dish next to tortilla chips.

Zucchini Salsa

Yield: 3 to 4 cups
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Zucchini salsa tasted great fresh or cooked. The fresh salsa tastes crisp and vibrant while the cooked salsa has a deeper, sweeter flavor. If you wan to can the salsa in a hot water bath, make the cooked salsa and do not reduce the brine.


  • 3 cups shredded or chopped zucchini (2-3 medium)
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 yellow or orange bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped basil leaves
  • 1 to 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced
  • 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground mustard
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 to 3 dashes of Tabasco sauce


For Fresh Salsa:

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine. Taste, and add additional salt, sugar, or hot sauce if desired. 
  2. Cover the bowl and place it in the fridge for 2 to 4  hours. 
  3. The salsa will accumulate more liquid after it sits for a while. You can drain the excess liquid if desired. 

For Cooked Salsa:

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a pot. Taste, and add additional salt or hot sauce if desired. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat then reduce the heat to a simmer.
  2. Simmer uncovered for 20 minutes or until the juices reduce down to your desired thickness. If you want all of the liquid reduced then it will take about 40 minutes. 
  3. If you plan to can the salsa, do not reduce the liquid. 


  • We used a mix of yellow and green zucchini. 
  • The fresh salsa will have a crisp, fresh flavor while the cooked salsa will have a deeper, sweeter flavor and more smokiness. 
  • Store the salsa in the fridge for 5 to 7 days or freeze for up to 6 months. 
  • If you want to can the salsa in a hot water bath, use the instructions for cooked salsa and do not reduce the brine down. 
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1/4 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 26Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 141mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 1g

Nutrition information is a guideline only, is calculated automatically by third-party software, and absolute accuracy is not guaranteed.

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John / Kitchen Riffs

Wednesday 15th of September 2021

Wow, such an interesting recipe! Very creative. And very tasty looking. I bet the cooked version would make a terrific filling for burritos. Or stuffed peppers. :-) Really good stuff -- thanks.

Dahn Boquist

Thursday 16th of September 2021

Oh, yes. This would be fantastic in burritos and stuffed peppers ;)


Tuesday 14th of September 2021

I have never made zucchini salsa and love the idea! It's definitely another great way to use the zucchini.

Dahn Boquist

Tuesday 14th of September 2021

Definitely a great way to use up the last of the zucchini in the garden, thanks Angie

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