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Cinnamon and Nutmeg Zucchini Applesauce 1

Are you getting to the point where you’re starting to have a little too much zucchini on hand? If you’re not there yet, you probably will be soon…

If you’re a gardener, maybe you’ve already dropped off a bag (or two) at a neighbor’s house…or maybe you’ve been the recipient of a bag or two from a neighbor who gardens. Or maybe you heard the doorbell ring early one random evening only to get to the front door and find a gigantic bag of zucchini looking up at you, which might as well have sprouted legs and walked there itself because there wasn’t a trace of anyone in sight. (True story.)

There are definitely worse things than fly-by-night zucchini drive-bys though.

Cinnamon and Nutmeg Zucchini Applesauce 2

One of my favorite things to make when zucchini season rolls around is Middle Eastern Stuffed Zucchini or Kousa Mahshi. I also love what I call Zucchini Coins because my mom made them all the time growing up (zucchini coins can be found here). Zucchini bread is my absolute favorite of all the quick breads (which is weird because I have recipes for pumpkin and cheese spice bread and the best banana bread, but no zucchini bread on the blog!).

But I’m always looking for new zucchini ideas, and one day this one came to me after I had made Kousa Mahshi for dinner and was wondering what to do with all the zucchini pulp.

Although it doesn’t taste exactly like applesauce, the taste is quite similar and the consistency is spot-on. I think you might even be able to fool certain family members if there are those who claim not to like zucchini!

Cinnamon and Nutmeg Zucchini Applesauce 3

Cinnamon and Nutmeg Zucchini “Applesauce”
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: 1 serving (about ¾ cup)
  • 1 medium (200 g) zucchini, peeled and chopped
  • 1-2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup (more or less to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 pinch (1/16 teaspoon) sea salt
  1. The night before you want to make this (or up to 3 days in advance), add the peeled and chopped zucchini to a food processor and process until it forms a chunky paste (see photo below). Cover the zucchini and store it in the fridge until you’re ready to make the “applesauce” so the juices seep out.
  2. Transfer the zucchini (with the liquid that has seeped out) and all other ingredients to a small saucepan.
  3. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then turn heat down to low and simmer (uncovered) until the zucchini is tender and the juices are mostly evaporated, about 15 minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Serve however you like your applesauce – hot, warm, or cold.

Pureed Zucchini

Process the zucchini in a food processor until it forms a paste like what is shown in the photo above.

Faith, author of An Edible Mosaic.
About Faith

I’m the writer, recipe developer, photographer, and food stylist behind this blog. I love finding the human connection through something we all do every day: eat! Food is a common ground that we can all relate to, and our tables tell a story. It’s my goal to inspire you to get in the kitchen, try something new, and find a favorite you didn’t know you had.

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  1. Sbarletta says:

    This was AMAZING! I didn’t think ahead, so I peeled and grated the zucchini and squeezed the water out with my hands. I thin put the pulp into the blender. Came out perfectly. Not watery at all!

  2. I liked this recipe. My sauce ended up too thin (didn’t take time to drain it overnight.)Now I’m cooking it down to make zucchini butter, will can it. So glad I found your recipe!

  3. This sounds wonderful! I’m definitely going to try this. I am wondering if this could be preserved like I do my regular applesauce? Thanks

    1. Alicia, Thanks so much, I’m happy you want to try this recipe! It’s delicious and a fun use for zucchini. The pressure canning method may work to preserve it, but I can’t say for sure because I haven’t tried it. I did freeze some of this and found that it fared well (I just thawed it at room temperature when I was ready to use it). Please let me know how it goes if you decide to can it!

  4. I’ve mixed chopped zucchini and apples to make APPLE CRISP. (well sort of anyways) I make sure to remove the seeds from zucchini so the kids and picky eaters won’t know. Add enough cinnamon to disguise it.

  5. this is quite clever, and i can see how it’d work–i once made an ‘apple’ pie with zucchini and only the really shrewd eaters realized it. :)

  6. What a neat idea! I’m a fan of throwing zucchini in smoothies, so this is right up my alley! I am loving everyone’s creative ways at getting more vegetables in our diets. Thanks for sharing!

  7. I love this idea! I gotta try this next time I go out to the garden to pick zucchini since there’s a ton every time I go out!

  8. I used to have these gigantic zucchini as I was a weekend gardner — zucchinis grew madly when I was gone during the week. I hated the idea of tossing them but eating them regularly was out.. the skin was tough and the interior had lost its tender texture.

    I would bake it like a pumpkin (split in half) and puree it.

    Then I made zucchini pie just like pumpkin or added it to minestrone. It worked well and I no longer felt bad about throwing them away.

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