12 Types of Zucchini That are Easy to Grow & Cook
Author: Jen Worst | Editor: Omar Alonso
Review & Research: Jen Worst & Chris Miller
All types of zucchini are actually a sub-type of squash, and summer brings on a splendid bounty of squashes that can lend flavor and umami to any dish. The juicy, crispy flavor of any squash is something that adds pop to a stir fry or roast, but zucchini are especially great for this purpose.
Zucchini, also known as courgettes or melons depending on where you are in the world, are summer squashes that originate in the Americas. However, many of the popular zucchini varieties were developed and made popular in Italy, from where they also derive their names.
Types of Zucchini
There are several varieties of zucchini in the world today and some are available even in the winter. The following are the 12 types of zucchini that will add texture and flavor to any dish they are added to.
All Green Bush Zucchini
All green bush zucchini is, as the name indicates, a green squash. This variant of the zucchini plant grows like a bush which is why this particular species of the squash gets its name.
This zucchini can grow up to 8 inches when it's fully grown, though it's usually harvested at about half its size as this is when you will find the maximum crunchy goodness of this fruit. It's at this point that you can enjoy the skin of the zucchini as well before it becomes too tender to cook.
Black Beauty Zucchini
This zucchini is called black beauty because of its brilliant dark green skin that almost looks black in color. These are long and slender squashes that can be enjoyed through the season.
No matter when you pick them, they'll be delicious. What's also incredible about this species of zucchini is that the plant produces high yields through the summer.
If taken care of well, this can be a very rewarding squash plant to grow in your yard while backyard farming. There are several things that the ‘beauty’ of this shiny and dark squash can be attributed to, but the yield is my favorite.
Nero de Milano Zucchini
As the name may have already given away, this exotic-sounding zucchini comes from Italy, particularly the Lombardy region of the beautiful country. This is a zucchini plant that is especially rewarding for home growers and gardening enthusiasts.
Nero de Milano translates to ‘Black of Milan’ in English, which is a reference to the color of this squash’s skin—so dark that it can look black.
These zucchini types grows as long as 8 inches and should be picked as soon as the squash hits maturity. In fact, the more fruits you pick from this plant, the more you encourage the plant to grow more fruits.
Bianco di Trieste Zucchini
The Bianco di Trieste zucchini is a pale green squash that also has beautiful and glossy skin. These zucchini types are not very long and usually grow only to half the size of many of the longer squashes.
‘Bianco’ means white in Italian and Trieste is the Italian city the squash became popular in. They also tend to be slightly more swollen towards the bottom, giving you ample space to make a stuffed zucchini treat.
These zucchini varieties are also known for their quick yield as they are one of the earlier fruits in the season to blossom. The pale green of their skin can almost look white, making them look striking on a plate of salad.
The tromboncino zucchini derives its name from the fact that it looks like a trombone or at least a wind instrument in the brass family. Its Italian name translates to ‘little trumpet’ though this squash is often also known as zucchetta.
This squash is very long and slender. The bottom of these different types of zucchini turns upwards giving it the look of the instrument. They can grow as long as three feet!
These squashes are usually a pale green though as they mature, they become even lighter and can take on a creamy color. These plants are also known as climbing zucchini as opposed to the regular bushy zucchini plant variety, since they're one of the climbing vegetables.
A cocozelle zucchini is usually among the less watery varieties of zucchini but still has amazing flavor. It has distinct dark green stripes on its body which is what sets it apart from a dark green cucumber, though otherwise, the two can look quite alike.
Since cocozelle zucchini are not as watery as most other varieties, they need to be harvested at the right time or they may become too dry for cooking.
If you pick and cook this zucchini at the right time, the flavor can be delicious. This variety is often recognized as a classic Italian heirloom zucchini that was first made popular in the region of Naples.
Gourmet Gold Zucchini
Gourmet gold zucchini derive their name from their beautiful golden-yellow color. While most types of zucchini that have been listed so far are in the green family—whether dark or pale—these have a striking yellow color.
They're a very bright addition to any dish or plate of salad. The taste of this zucchini isn't too different from the traditional green zucchini, but the color certainly packs a punch.
The gourmet prefix to its name is certainly because of the exotic flavor and look it adds to even a regular zucchini frittata.
The striking thing about this delightful Italian variety of zucchini is the star shape it makes when you splice it in round discs. The body of the fruit has a striped texture which lends it the shape of a star when you cut the intersection.
This zucchini also has a delightfully sweet taste that is great in a curry, stir fry, or even as spiraled zucchini noodles.
They're also easy to grow and bear fruit quite quickly, making them a favorite for home growers. You can usually harvest them after 50 days and they are never too tender to eat, even if you got to them a little later in the season.
Rampicante zucchini are a very versatile variety as they're available even in the winter, making them an evergreen squash. These zucchini types are usually tall and will usually grow in length for as long as you leave it on the vine. As the vine grows, the zucchini also grows in length.
If you want it to be shorter, you can simply harvest them at your preferred length. However, before harvesting, you should ensure that the skin of the zucchini has taken on a lime green color and darker stripes have started appearing on the body.
Magda zucchini is a variety that has a distinct pale green color. The skin is thick and has a unique nutty flavor. If you are looking to make a fresh stir fry or want to add a splash of a bright-tasting squash in a curry, this is a great zucchini to go for.
It can be enjoyed even in a grill as the juices that secrete give it a crisp and crunchy flavor, perfect for a summer barbecue. The magda zucchini plants thrive the most when you have a small harvest.
The smaller the harvest, the healthier the vine will be. So make the most of your small batch of Magdas.
A striking and bright-yellow zucchini, the crookneck squash gets its name because of the distinct shape of its neck—crooked. It has a long and slender shape, but the neck often has a distinct curvy shape. It can be plain yellow or green and can often also be a mix of both colors.
It's often mixed with the tromboncino variety because of the crooked shape, but the former tends to be much longer than the crookneck squash. It has a sweet, mild flavor and is usually harvested when they are a little short of two inches in length.
While so far all the zucchini that have been mentioned above have been long and slender in shape, these zucchini have a distinct round shape. However, their flavor is usually not too different from any of the longer varieties of zucchini.
Having said that, the round zucchini do lend themselves to more variety when it comes to dishes. Their wider surface area makes them more suitable for stuffing and you can experiment with an endless variety of stuffing options!
They can simply be hollowed out, stuffed with ingredients of your choice, and popped into the oven. Within minutes, you'll have a delicious roasted zucchini cup oozing with flavor.
Types of Zucchini for Every Preference
The different kinds of zucchini that have been described above are some of the most exciting and flavorful varieties. Many of them are easy to grow and will thrive in your vegetable patch with the right type of care.
The origins of all these types of zucchini may be different, but the one thing they have in common is their meaty texture and the sweet crispiness they add to most dishes.