This beautiful raw zucchini ribbons salad is a great vegetarian recipe and summer side dish. Shaved zucchini is paired with pine nuts, goat cheese, dill, and a simple lemon olive oil dressing. The combo is fresh, flavorful, and ready in just 15 minutes! Use up your zucchini stash without even turning on the oven.
We’ve hit the point in summer when zucchini is everywhere. Whether it’s your own vegetable garden, the farmers market, the grocery store, or a restaurant, chances are you can find summer squash without looking too hard!
Honestly, I am not the biggest zucchini fan. It’s versatile, but it’s bland. However, as a vegetable enthusiast, I am committed to experimenting with new zucchini recipes. Every year, I challenge myself to come up with something delicious using summer’s most well-known veggie.
For this zucchini ribbons salad, I wanted to use zucchini raw. Since it has such a mild taste, it’s honestly perfect to use as the base of a quick salad. Keeping it raw also means you don’t have to spend much time preparing the recipe or turn on the oven in the summer heat.
To add some flavor and fun, I paired the zucchini with fresh dill, pine nuts, and goat cheese crumbles. It’s all tossed in an easy peasy lemon squeezey dressing that has a little touch of honey to balance the tart flavors from the lemon juice and goat cheese. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Zucchini: You’ll need about 2 medium zucchini, or 1 large or 3 small ones, for the recipe. You can of course substitute yellow summer squash if that’s what you have instead.
- Dill: Fresh dill tastes delicious with lemon and goat cheese, but feel free to sub another fresh herb like basil, mint (yum!!), or even parsley.
- Pine nuts: If you need to make your zucchini ribbons salad nut-free, substitute sunflower seeds. If you don’t have pine nuts, use sliced almonds, chopped walnuts, or another nut of choice.
- Goat cheese: I like to buy a log of goat cheese and crumble it myself, but you can of course use pre-crumbled goat cheese.
- Lemon juice: Substitute white wine vinegar or even lime juice if you don’t have lemon.
- Extra virgin olive oil: I like to use Partanna brand.
- Honey: Swap in maple syrup if you don’t have honey.
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper: Flaky sea salt would be a great substitution if you don’t have kosher salt.
The full recipe card for zucchini ribbons salad is at the end of the post and includes ingredient quantities. Here’s a preview of the steps with expert tips and photos to guide you.
Prepare the zucchini ribbons using a vegetable peeler or knife. I prefer to use a swivel peeler to make thick ribbons.
Chop the fresh dill. Gather the other ingredients.
Whisk together the ingredients for the dressing: olive oil, lemon juice, honey, salt, and pepper.
Combine the ingredients in a bowl and toss with the dressing.
Raw zucchini salad is best enjoyed right away. Leftovers will get soggy, so I don’t really recommend making this recipe in advance. You can of course try to keep any leftover salad in an airtight container in the fridge, but know that it won’t be very palatable after sitting for a while.
Serve your zucchini ribbons salad as a side dish for fish, chicken, pork, or a vegetarian main course like bean burgers or tofu. It would pair well with my Spinach Feta Salmon Burgers, Vegan Crispy Panko Tofu, Garlic Bread Grilled Cheese with Heirloom Tomato, or Eggplant Gyro Sandwich on Pita. If you want to add some more oomph to the salad, bulk it up with white beans, chickpeas, shredded chicken, or even shrimp.
More Zucchini Recipes
I’d love to hear how you like this recipe! Rate/review using the stars on the recipe card or in the comments, and follow the Veg World on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. Looking for something totally different? Browse the recipe library.
Zucchini Ribbons Salad
- Swivel peeler (or a Y-peeler or sharp knife)
For the salad
- 2 medium zucchini
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
- ¼ cup pine nuts
- ½ cup crumbled goat cheese
- Prepare the zucchini by trimming off the stem and bottom. Use a swivel peeler, Y-peeler, or sharp knife to thinly slice the zucchini from one end to the other to create ribbons. I usually peel one side until I get to the center of the zucchini, flip it over, then peel the other side. You may not want to use the ribbons made from the skin, depending on your preferences, but you can if desired. If you aren't able to make pieces out of the part of the zucchini with the seeds in the center, you can discard that part or add it to smoothies to prevent food waste.
- Add the zucchini ribbons to a bowl along with the chopped dill and pine nuts.
- In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, honey, salt, and pepper.
- Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients. Toss until coated. Stir in the goat cheese crumbles at this time.
- Transfer the salad to serving plates, and enjoy!
- Leave a rating or review by tapping the stars on this recipe card (above) or in the comments section (at the end of the post)!
- This salad is best enjoyed right away, since the high water content of zucchini makes leftovers get soggy.