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      How Long Does Zucchini Last in the Fridge (Shelf Life)

      So you just bought some zucchini at the grocery store and are wondering how long zucchini lasts in the fridge. This article goes into detail about the shelf life of zucchini as well as the best practices to keep your zucchini fresh as long as possible. 

      how long does zucchini last in the fridge

      How long does zucchini last

      Raw zucchini’s shelf life largely depends on at what temperature it is stored. Storage times will vary depending on if it’s held at room temperature, in the refrigerator or in the freezer. 

      At room temperature

      ​Whole raw zucchini keeps for about 4-5 days at room temperature. While this isn’t the ideal place to keep zucchini, if you are going to use it within a few days, leaving it on the counter is fine. Quality diminishes over time so the sooner you eat it the better.

      If your zucchini comes pre-refrigerated at the grocery store, I would recommend storing it in the refrigerator at home. If you purchase it at room temperature, then storing it on the counter for a few days is acceptable. 

      In the fridge

      The best way to store raw whole zucchini in the fridge. It should last about 1-2 weeks in these conditions. Again, quality worsens over time, even in the refrigerator, so it’s best to consume it within a week for peak freshness. 

      If you slice your zucchini beforehand, it will have a shorter shelf life. Cut zucchini should only last about 1 week in the refrigerator before going bad. This is because it will be exposed to more oxygen. 

      In the freezer

      Freezing zucchini is the best method to ensure your zucchini stays fresh and unspoiled for the longest period of time. Frozen zucchini lasts for about 6 months before losing quality. 

      I recommend cutting your zucchini into slices and blanching it before freezing. Make sure to store it in a freezer safe bag or container and squeeze out excess air. Once you are ready to eat your zucchini, defrost it in the refrigerator and cook as usual.

      how long does zucchini last in the fridge

      How to clean zucchini

      Zucchini is actually very simple and straightforward to clean, taking only a few simple steps. You don’t need any fancy soups, just cold water and a clean sponge or vegetable scrubber. Make sure your sponge or vegetable scrubber is clean and doesn’t contain debris from other vegetables.

      Hold the zucchini under the water and gently scrub the vegetable.Once thoroughly cleaned, dry off the excess water with a clean kitchen towel or paper towel. Then, you can proceed to using your zucchini in your recipe of choice.

      Avoiding washing your zucchini before storing it in the refrigerator. The excess moisture from the washing process may accelerate molding. 

      Where to store zucchini in the fridge

      It’s best to store your whole zucchini in the crisper drawer, typically located at the bottom of your refrigerator. You can store it directly in the drawer or in a bag or container. 

      Make sure to leave the bag or container slightly open to encourage air flow. This will ensure the zucchini stays as fresh as possible and avoids wilting. 

      how long does zucchini last in the fridge

      How to store cooked zucchini

      The best way to store cooked zucchini is in an airtight container or sealed bag. While raw zucchini requires some air flow to stay fresh, this is not the case for cooked zucchini.

      If using a bag, make sure to press out the excess air. Also, after cooking try to lay out your zucchini in the thinnest layer as possible before moving it to the refrigerator. This will ensure it cools as fast as possible, reducing the likelihood of bacteria growing. 

      Signs the zucchini has gone bad

      There are several signs you can look out for to determine if your fresh zucchini has become bad zucchini. Old zucchini may have rotten spots, an unpleasant smell, soft spots and mold growth. It will feel slimy and rubbery, leaving a gel-like texture on your fingers. 

      When you cut the zucchini open, it should be a very light green color. If it is brown and discolored, or has spots of discoloration, the zucchini has gone bad. If you notice any of these signs, it’s best to toss the zucchini. 

      how long does zucchini last in the fridge

      Best storage containers for zucchini

      As mentioned earlier, it’s best to avoid storing whole raw zucchini in a sealed container or bag. Instead, leave it naked in the crisper drawer or store it in a slightly open plastic bag or slightly ajar container. 

      This encourages air flow which will in turn keep the zucchini fresher for longer. Be sure to check your zucchini for signs of spoilage (read the section above) before preparing it to ensure it’s still good. 

      How to freeze zucchini

      Freezing zucchini is one of the best ways to extend your zucchini’s shelf life. For the best results, you will want to cook your vegetables slightly before freezing them. Blanching is the best method.

      First, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add your cut zucchini slices and boil for 1-2 minutes. Remove from the boiling water and place into a bowl of ice water until cooled down. 

      Gently press off the excess moisture and transfer to a baking sheet. Spread out the slices to a single layer and transfer to the freezer. 

      Once solid, transfer the frozen zucchini to a freezer bag and press out any excess air. This frozen zucchini should last about 6 months until it begins to lose quality. 

      how long does zucchini last in the fridge

      How to store

      Zucchini bread

      Zucchini bread can be left out on the counter for about 2-3 days in an airtight container or plastic bag. If you haven’t eaten all your zucchini bread by then, transfer it to the refrigerator. It should last for about a week. 

      If you want your zucchini bread to last even longer, you can also freeze it. If you choose to store it this way, keep it in a sealed plastic bag or wrap it in plastic wrap, removing any excess air.

      Zucchini noodles

      Raw zucchini noodles should last about 4-5 days in the refrigerator if stored in an airtight container or sealed plastic bag. If you steamed or cooked your zucchini noodles, they will only last about 2-3 days. 

      You can also freeze your zucchini noodles by storing them in a plastic bag and pressing out any excess moisture. If raw, the texture will be off, so if you choose to freeze them I recommend boiling or steaming them beforehand. 

      Summer squash

      Summer squash will be stored very similarly to zucchini. They are almost identical vegetables with exception of the color, of course, and also the size depending on where you get them.

      You can store summer squash for 4-5 days on the counter, 1-2 weeks in the refrigerator and about 6 months in the freezer (after blanching). Follow the same storage methods as zucchini.

      Butternut squash 

      Butternut squash is a winter squash, not a summer squash so its storage methods differ slightly. It lasts much longer out on the counter, about 1-3 months before going bad.

      You can also store it in the refrigerator. I recommend peeling and cubing it and storing it in an airtight container for about 3-5 days. 

      Freezing is another acceptable method. You don’t need to blanch it beforehand. Just cube it, lay it out on a sheet pan to freeze, then transfer it to a sealed freezer bag. It should last about 3-6 months before losing quality. 

      Spaghetti squash

      Spaghetti squash has similar storage times as butternut squash. It should last out on the counter for about one month before spoiling. It can also be stored in the refrigerator for 3-5 days after cutting or peeling. 

      The large seeds in winter squash can also be saved. I love tossing them in olive oil, salt and spices and baking them at 400 degrees Fahrenheit until they reach the level of crispiness I desire. 

      how long does zucchini last in the fridge

      Origins of zucchini

      Zucchini is native to parts of North America, Central America and Mexico. It traveled to Italy in the 1500s, where it received its name. Now, it is commonly used in a variety of traditional Italian dishes, but is also commonly consumed around the world. 

      Technically, zucchini is biologically a fruit, but is considered a vegetable in both culinary and nutrition terms. It is commonly used in savory dishes across the world. 

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      tia glover rd

      My name is Tia and I am a registered dietitian and content creator.

      My goal is to help young people learn how to eat a nutritious, balanced diet without restriction or giving up cultural foods. 💛

      Hapa/Japanese American 🇺🇸🇯🇵

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