Make a sweet zucchini crisp with those extra garden zucchini - it tastes just like apple crisp! Sliced zucchini, brown sugar, lemon juice, and cozy fall spices are tossed together and topped with a crunchy oat crumble.
If you have some extra garden zucchini this summer and are looking for a unique new recipe to try, then give this zucchini crisp a whirl. It tastes like apple crisp but is made entirely with zucchini!
Brown sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon, and nutmeg add that classic apple pie flavor to the zucchini filling. Crumbled on top is a sweet oat crisp that brings the whole dish together.
Serve zucchini crisp at your next family meal for dessert on its own or along with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Zucchini - You'll need about 2.5 pounds of zucchini, or about 4 to 5 medium zucchini, for this recipe.
- Brown sugar - Adds sweetness to the filling and topping.
- All-purpose flour - Thickens the filling, creating a gooey, brown sugar sauce (perfect for pairing with ice cream!). You'll also need some flour for the crisp topping.
- Lemon juice - Turns the zucchini a yellowish color in the oven and adds some acidity, mimicking an apple pie flavor.
- Vanilla - Adds depth of flavor to the filling.
- Spices - Cinnamon and nutmeg add cozy flavor to the filling. They can also be substituted with apple pie spice if you have some on hand.
- Oats - I recommend using old fashioned oats or quick cook oats. They add a chewy, crunchy texture to the topping. I don't recommend using steel cut oats because they're a bit too thick for this recipe.
- Salt - Enhances the flavor of the crisp and cuts the sweetness.
- Butter - Unsalted butter can be substituted with salted butter (you'll want to cut the listed salt in half).
Tips and tricks
Baking dish size - Use a 2 to 2.5 quart baking dish, like a 7x11 oblong glass baking dish (shown above) to perfectly fit your crisp. A 9x13 dish is a bit too big for this recipe.
Peel your zucchini - Before slicing, give your zucchini a quick peel. Otherwise, the peel adds a noticeable texture to the baked crisp.
Don't skip the flour - Adding a bit of flour to the filling helps thicken the liquid released from the zucchini while it bakes, creating a thick, gooey brown sugar sauce. It's great paired with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!
Bake until golden brown - Your crisp is done when the entire top is golden brown and the filling is bubbling in the middle.
Allow resting time - Straight from the oven your crisp will be very hot and the sauce will look thin. Allow it to rest for at least 20 minutes before serving. Zucchini crisp can be served warm or room temperature and the sauce will continue to thicken as it stands.
Frequently asked questions
No. Zucchini has a mild flavor that takes on the flavors its paired with, like the cinnamon, nutmeg, and brown sugar in this recipe.
The main giveaway in this recipe is the texture. I found that while the flavor tastes just like apple crisp, the texture is just a little different (but not in a bad way). Cooked zucchini has a slightly chewier, spongier texture when compared to cooked apples.
For this recipe I recommend peeling your zucchini beforehand. The peel of the zucchini is harder than the flesh and will add a noticeable texture to the crisp.
If you're using large zucchini, I recommend scooping the seeds from the middle before slicing. Larger zucchini have larger, hard seeds that add a noticeable texture.
I'd recommend assembling the filling and the crumble, storing separately, then baking just before serving. Otherwise the crisp topping will soften.
Leftover zucchini crisp will keep for 3 to 4 days in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator.
- 2.5 pounds medium zucchini, peeled and sliced into half moons
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup old-fashioned oats
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease a shallow 2 to 2.5 quart baking dish (like a 7x11 glass dish) and set aside.
- In a large bowl, add zucchini, brown sugar, flour, lemon juice, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Toss to evenly coat. Pour into prepared baking dish and spread into an even layer. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, add dry ingredients for your topping: flour, oats, cinnamon, brown sugar, and salt. Add melted butter and stir until combined. Mixture will be thick and crumbly.
- Crumble topping evenly over zucchini filling. Bake, uncovered, for about 50 to 60 minutes, or until browned across the top and filling bubbles in the middle of the dish.
- Allow to cool for 20 minutes before serving. Crisp can be served warm or at room temperature.
- Crisp can be served on its own, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or with a dollop of whipped cream.
- Leftover crisp will keep for 3 to 4 days in a tightly sealed container at room temperature.
- If using large zucchini, scoop the hard seeds from the middle before slicing.