From classic green to zephyr zucchini, we’re covering the most popular types of zucchini from A to Z in this helpful guide to courgette!
All types of squash plants (including zucchini) originated in the Americas. When early explorers discovered these starchy plants, they brought them back to Europe and started growing and cultivating them there.
We can credit Italy with creating the modern-day zucchini. They dubbed it the zucchino (little squash). The zucchini made its way back to America in the 1920s, but it was ignored by most consumers for about 50 years. We just didn’t know what we were missing!
But it ended well as today we have volumes of zucchini recipes from zucchini noodles to stuffed zucchini and zucchini dessert crisp! And, there are more than a few varieties of zucchini to choose from.
Zucchini is a popular summer squash that is loved by many for its mild flavor and versatile nature. It can be eaten raw or cooked and is often used in salads, soups, stews, roasted as a side, and even as a substitute for pasta. Today we are going to look at 15 different types of zucchini.
What Does Zucchini Taste Like?
Zucchini has a mild flavor that seems almost sweet. I wouldn’t say the taste is even memorable, but that is the beauty of zucchini. It takes on the flavor of whatever you cook it with!
The French largely ignored zucchini until it was used in this classic French dish. Can you name the dish? (the answer is at the end of this post!)
- Bianco di Trieste Zucchini
- Black Beauty Zucchini
- Classic Green Zucchini
- Cocozelle Zucchini or Striped Zucchini
- Costata Romanesco Zucchini
- Gadzukes Zucchini
- Green Bush Zucchini
- Green Egg Squash
- Lebanese Zucchini
- Magda Zucchini
- Pattypan Squash
- 8 Ball Zucchini or Round Zucchini
- Tromboncino Zucchini
- Yellow Zucchini
- Zephyr Squash
Bianco di Trieste Zucchini
This is a pale green squash that also has beautiful and glossy skin. This zucchini type is not very long and usually grows to only half the size of many of the longer squashes. Bianco means white in Italian, and Trieste is the Italian city where this squash became popular.
Black Beauty Zucchini
This zucchini is named for its dark green color. They tend to be long and on the thin side, but can be used in the same way as any other zucchini. Black beauty is a great option for baked zucchini slices or air fryer zucchini.
Classic Green Zucchini
The classic green zucchini is the most common type of zucchini found in grocery stores. It has a dark green skin with white flesh and is oblong or cylindrical in shape. The classic green zucchini is the perfect all-purpose summer squash, and it’s great for grilling, sautéing, baking, or even frying. They are also easy to grow in a home garden. Just be careful to cut them before they grow too large as the skin gets tough and the seeds large.
Cocozelle Zucchini or Striped Zucchini
Cocozelle zucchini is a classic Italian variety that hails from Naples and has been popular since the early 1900s.They are long and cylindrical with green and white stripes, and have a firm texture and slightly sweet, nutty flavor. Cocozelle zucchinis are ideal for grilling or roasting, and they can also be used in soups, stews, and casseroles.
Costata Romanesco Zucchini
The Costata Romanesco zucchini, also known as the Romanesco zucchini, is an heirloom variety that, like most, originates from Italy. They have a ribbed, dark green skin and a firm, meaty texture that makes them ideal for grilling or roasting. Costata Romanesco zucchinis have a slightly nutty flavor and are great for slicing into rounds or using as a substitute for pasta in lasagnas and as baked zucchini pasta.
Gadzukes zucchinis are a hybrid variety that is a cross between a zucchini and a cucumber. They are similar in appearance to regular zucchinis, but they have a slightly lighter green color and a more cylindrical shape. Gadzukes zucchinis have a crisp texture and a refreshing, cucumber-like flavor, making them ideal for salads and sandwiches.
Green Bush Zucchini
Green bush zucchini (also known as simply bush zucchini), Unlike other varieties of zucchini, grow on sprawling vines. Bush zucchini plants form a more compact, bushy shape that takes up less space in the garden if you want to grow your own. Green bush zucchini are a cylindrical dark green zucchini typically picked when between 6-8”. Use them like other zucchini as they are great in baked zucchini squash recipes.
Green Egg Squash
Green Egg Squash look very much like a round or 8-ball zucchini. They are an oval squash typically 5” long. They are fatter than normal zucchini, but not as round as the 8 ball zucchini. Their taste is largely the same, so they can be used in any recipe calling for zucchini.
Lebanese zucchini, also known as cymling, cousma, or kusa, is a small, cylindrical squash with a pale green skin and creamy white flesh. It has a sweet, nutty flavor and a firm texture. Lebanese zucchini are a shorter pale green variety of zucchini grown in the Middle East. There they are most commonly served stuffed often at feasts and special occasions.
Magda zucchinis are a Middle Eastern variety that is popular in Mediterranean cuisine. They have light green skins and a long, slender shape. With a tender texture and a sweet, delicate flavor magda zucchinis are great for grilling, sautéing, salads, and stir-fries.
Pattypan squash, also known as scallop squash, is a type of zucchini that is shaped like a small squat pumpkin. It has a slightly sweet flavor and a tender, delicate texture. Pattypan Squash are the small yellow or green squash with scalloped edges you often see used decoratively in table displays. They have a soft skin, so they can be eaten raw, but are more commonly roasted, grilled or used in stir fry. They’d be perfect to replace the zucchini in this Corn Succotash!
8 Ball Zucchini or Round Zucchini
8 Ball Zucchini, also known as round or globe zucchini, is a unique type of squash that is spherical in shape. It has a smooth green skin and a mild, nutty flavor. These softball-sized zucchini are great for stuffing. Just scoop out the insides, stuff, and roast! Their unique round shape would make them the perfect fit in Stuffed Zucchini Boats (3 Ways). You can bake any of these three recipes in the oven or make air fryer zucchini boats.
The tromboncino zucchini got its name as it is shaped like a trombone. Its name translates from Italian into “little trumpet”.They are typically pale green, but can grow into a cream color and up to 3’ long. This is not surprising as zucchini will grow extremely large if you don’t pick them when they are small (hint, pick them small as the skin gets extremely hard and the seeds can be huge).
Tromboncino have a nutty flavor that some liken to butternut squash. They have an additional advantage that they store better than most summer squash. As a rule winter squash store much longer than summer squash.
Yellow zucchini, also known as golden zucchini, is similar to the green variety despite its bright yellow skin. They are a bit sweeter than standard green zucchinis, but take on the taste of what they are cooked with like other varieties do. Use yellow in conjunction with green zucchinis in salads or stir fry to add a splash of color.
The zephyr squash is a rather unique summer squash looking like a yellow squash on the top half but green zucchini on the bottom half making a unique presentation. This unique look is the result of its hybrid cross between yellow crookneck squash and green zucchini. Use it like you would other yellow squash or zucchini.
Is Zucchini a Fruit?
Yes, zucchini is a fruit. Fruit contains seeds on the inside and a vegetable doesn’t. This said, we tend to eat zucchini like a vegetable.
Do You Peel Zucchini?
No, you don’t need to peel zucchini. Well, I suppose you could, but why? Like most summer squash the peel is perfectly edible and loaded with fiber.
Are there other names for zucchini?
There are several other names for zucchini. The most common is “courgette”, the French word for zucchini that is commonly used around the world. In Spanish, a zucchini is called a “calabacin”.
The answer is ratatouille, a popular French dish that includes zucchini! See our version of ratatouille (or tian provencal) here.