This Zucchini Ribbon Salad recipe features raw zucchini, cut into gorgeous ribbons, tossed with a creamy lemony dressing and topped with shaved parmesan cheese and toasted pine nuts- it will be your new favorite summer salad!
It’s easy to forget how delicious raw zucchini can be, especially because it’s so sponge-like and absorbs so many flavors easily. This raw zucchini salad is such a delicious way to enjoy a healthy raw vegetable, and it’s so easy to whip up in only 10 minutes!
The star tool of this recipe is a vegetable peeler, which you can use to easily make the zucchini ribbons and the gorgeous shaved parmesan cheese.
And my favorite part of this recipe has to be the bright lemony dressing- a simple lemon vinaigrette made creamy and emulsified with just a little bit of mayo.
How to make zucchini ribbons
It could not be easier to make zucchini ribbons- all you need is a vegetable peeler!
- First, cut the tops and bottoms off of the zucchini.
- Then, holding the zucchini flat on a cutting board or propped up in your hand, use your vegetable peeler to catch the flat top and peel all the way down.
- As you get further down the zucchini, you’ll reach the seeds. At this point, rotate the zucchini and start on another side.
The first cut will just be the peel. The second, third, and fourth cuts will be gorgeous, perfect ribbons, with green edges and white insides. And as you rotate and keep cutting, the ribbons will be all white.
Which brings me to my point about the seeds. When you try and cut ribbons from the seeds in the center of the zucchini, you’ll notice the texture is different and the ribbons don’t look as nice.
I personally did NOT cut the seed part of the zucchini into ribbons. Instead, I saved them to chop up and use in another recipe- I like adding them to scrambled eggs or throwing them in soup. But you can definitely use the center for the ribbons!
You’ll end up with a gorgeous mix of ribbons of all different sizes and colors.
Can you use yellow summer squash ribbons for this?
Absolutely! To me, summer squash and zucchini are two peas in a pod, and are interchangeable in almost any recipe. Go ahead and use summer squash instead of, or in addition to, zucchini. The yellow and green colors together would be gorgeous in this ribbon salad.
How to make zucchini ribbon salad
Once you have the zucchini ribbons made, this salad takes only a few minutes to throw together.
Just whisk a little bit of mayonnaise with some lemon juice, salt, and pepper in the bottom of a large bowl. Then, slowly drizzle in extra-virgin olive oil as you continue to whisk. The result should be a perfectly emulsified, slightly creamy dressing.
Then, toss the zucchini ribbons into the dressing.
Arrange the ribbons on a serving platter (if you’re feeling fancy- you can also just leave them in the bowl!) and top with some parmesan shavings and toasted pine nuts.
I made my own shaved parmesan with the same vegetable peeler I used for the zucchini ribbons. And I toasted my pine nuts in a dry skillet for just a few minutes. But you should be able to buy both already prepared at the store, and you can use plain pine nuts instead of toasting them, too.
Are zucchini ribbons the same as zucchini noodles?
Kind of! You can certainly use zucchini ribbons in the same way as you use zucchini noodles. They’re just a little wider, like pappardelle instead of spaghetti.
These zucchini ribbons are great raw in this salad, but also can be sautéed or baked into a lasagna.
Other delicious zucchini recipes
- Sweet Corn and Zucchini Risotto
- Healthy Zucchini Muffins
- Shrimp and Zucchini Fritters with Yogurt Sauce
- Easy Zucchini Quiche
- Mexican Roasted Zucchini
- Teriyaki Salmon and Zucchini Noodle Bowl
- Zucchini and Corn Tacos with Fresh Guacamole
And be sure to check out all my salad recipes!
Did you make this Zucchini Ribbon Salad? Please comment below and Rate this Recipe
Zucchini Ribbon Salad with with Lemon, Parmesan, and Pine Nuts
- In the bottom of a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise (1 tablespoon), lemon juice (2 tablespoons), kosher salt (1/2 teaspoon), and black pepper (1/4 teaspoon). Gradually add the olive oil (2 tablespoons), whisking as you add it so it's emulsified.
- Cut the zucchini into "ribbons." It's easiest to use a vegetable peeler for this, but you can also use a sharp knife or a mandoline (see notes about seeds).
- Add the zucchini ribbons to the dressing and toss well to coat.
- Transfer the zucchini ribbons to a platter and sprinkle with shaved parmesan cheese (I used a vegetable peeler for this task, too) and toasted pine nuts (see notes).
- You can substitute the mayonnaise for 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt, if you prefer. You can also make it vegan by using 1 teaspoon dijon mustard instead, or a vegan-friendly mayo (and omitting the parmesan cheese).
- Money saving tip: Pine nuts can be a bit pricy- you can easily use slivered almonds, or even walnuts or pecans, instead.
- About the zucchini seeds: You can cut these into ribbons and use them in the salad. But if the zucchini is big, the seeds may not be a suitable texture to cut into ribbons. Or, it may just be too difficult to cut the seeded part into ribbons. If this is the case, and the seeds aren't TOO big, you can save the seeds and pulp for use in another use. I personally like to chop them up and add them to scrambled eggs.
- How to toast pine nuts: You may be able to find pine nuts already toasted in the store. But if you can't, just add the pine nuts to a dry skillet and toast on medium heat, shaking the pan or stirring them around frequently, until they are golden brown. Keep an eye on them, because they can burn easily!
- Traditional parmesan cheese may not be suitable for a strict vegetarian diet because it contains animal rennet. Look for a suitable vegetarian substitute, such as a parmesan made with plant rennet.
- The provided nutrition information does not include any added sodium from seasoning to taste, any optional ingredients, and it does not take brands into account. Feel free to calculate it yourself using this calculator or by adding the recipe to Yummly.