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Zucchini “Apple” Pie (Mock Apple Pie Made with Zucchini)

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A great use for overgrown zucchini, this zucchini apple pie (zapple pie) is a twist on the classic mock apple pie using sliced zucchini.

The first time I made zapple pie, I served it for dessert when the neighbors came to visit. They didn't believe that the pie was made with zucchini and not apples. It's a great way to use up those giant club-sized zucchini. 

One zucchini about a foot long should be enough for one nine inch pie. Don't use young zucchini – they taste too much like veggies.

zucchini apple pie - "zapple pie"

The “trick” to getting the zucchini in zapple pie to taste like apple is to precook the zucchini slices with lemon and spices. (You can also use this this technique to make zucchini “apple” crisp.)

You can use all granulated or all brown sugar if you prefer, and adjust the spice level to taste.

I don't suggest swapping in honey because it would add moisture, but maple sugar, coconut sugar or xylitol should work just fine. You could also cut the sugar a bit, but I wouldn't trim it too much.

Dusting the top with sugar while baking is optional, but it adds a nice finish to the pie.

A reader noted that it reminded them of Caroline Ingalls' green pumpkin pie from the The Long Winter. While I haven't tried green pumpkin pie, I'm sure it would indeed work like a charm.

Because there's so much liquid in the zucchini slices, the zucchini apple pie slices will stay together much better if you cool the pie at least a couple hours before serving. If you don't mind messy slices, scoop it up into bowls while it's hot and slap some ice cream on to cover the mess.

I prefer glass pie plates to metal, because they are non-reactive. I also use a pie drip pan to catch any overflow, and a pie crust protector to keep the crust from browning to dark.

You can order these items using the links below:

“Zapple Pie” Zucchini Apple Pie Recipe

Adapted from The Garden Fresh Vegetable Cookbook

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

Pie crust:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup butter or lard
  • 6-7 tablespoons cold water

Filling:

  • 6 cups peeled, quartered, cored and thinly sliced zucchini or summer squash
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons instant tapioca
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, reserved until end of baking

Directions

Prepare pie dough by mixing together flour and salt. Cut in fat using a food processor or pie blender until mixture resembles course crumbs. Gently sprinkle water over flour mixture and stir together until dough holds shape. Do not overmix. Flatten into two disks and refrigerate.

If you haven't already done so, fillet your zucchini. Slices should be about 1/8 – 1/4 inch thick.

mock apple pie zucchini on cutting board with sliced zucchini in background
mock apple pie zucchini slices

Combine the zucchini and lemon juice in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the zucchini starts to soften, about 5 minutes.

Add the sugar, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg and simmer for 5 minutes longer.

Remove zucchini from heat. Stir in tapioca and let stand for 15 minutes.

mock apple pie zucchini cooking in pot with wooden spoon

Preheat oven to 425°F and place a rack in the lower third of the oven.

While zucchini is resting, roll out pie crust. I prefer to roll out my pie crust on lightly floured wax paper so it is easier to move around. Place bottom crust in 9 inch pie plate. Cut small slits in top crust for steam to escape (or wait to cut slits until after the crust is on the pie).

zucchini apple pie with top crust off

Spoon zucchini filling into bottom crust. Place top crust and crimp edges. If you didn't cut slits earlier, cut them now.

zucchini apple pie before baking with rolling pin

Place pie on rack in lower third of oven. Use pie drip pan and pie crust shield if desired. Bake for 20 minutes.

Reduce heat to 350°F and bake for 30 minutes more. Sprinkle top of pie with reserved sugar. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, more, until crust is golden and the juices are bubbling through the slits.

Remove your zapple pie from the oven and cool on wire rack.

whole zucchini apple pie fresh from the oven

More Zucchini Recipes

For more recipes beyond zucchini apple pie to use up your zucchini abundance, check out:

…and don't forget to check out “The Best Pie Crust Recipes, Plus Tips for Perfect Pies Every Time“.

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Zapple Pie – Zucchini Apple Pie – Mock “Apple Pie” Made with Zucchini

This mock apple pie is made with overgrown zucchini or summer squash. It's so close to the real deal that your family may not believe you when you tell them it's zucchini.

  • Author: Laurie Neverman
  • Yield: 68 servings 1x

Ingredients

Scale

Pie crust:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup butter or lard
  • 67 tablespoons cold water

Filling:

  • 6 cups peeled, quartered, cored and thinly sliced zucchini or summer squash
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons instant tapioca
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, reserved until end of baking

Instructions

  1. Prepare pie dough by mixing together flour and salt. Cut in fat using a food processor or pie blender until mixture resembles course crumbs. Gently sprinkle water over flour mixture and stir together until dough holds shape. Do not overmix. Flatten into two disks and refrigerate.
  2. If you haven't already done so, fillet your zucchini. Slices should be about 1/8 – 1/4 inch thick.
  3. Combine the zucchini and lemon juice in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the zucchini starts to soften, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the sugar, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg and simmer for 5 minutes longer.
  5. Remove zucchini from heat. Stir in tapioca and let stand for 15 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven to 425°F and place a rack in the lower third of the oven.
  7. While zucchini is resting, roll out pie crust. I prefer to roll out my pie crust on lightly floured wax paper so it is easier to move around. Place bottom crust in 9 inch pie plate. Cut small slits in top crust for steam to escape (or wait to cut slits until after the crust is on the pie).
  8. Spoon zucchini filling into bottom crust. Place top crust and crimp edges. If you didn't cut slits earlier, cut them now.
  9. Place pie on rack in lower third of oven. Use pie drip pan and pie crust shield if desired. Bake for 20 minutes.
  10. Reduce heat to 350°F and bake for 30 minutes more. Sprinkle top of pie with reserved sugar. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, more, until crust is golden and the juices are bubbling through the slits.
  11. Remove pie from oven and cool on wire rack.

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mock apple pie with zucchini

Originally posted in 2017, updated in 2018.

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33 Comments

  1. Made this 2 years ago for my husbands co workers they didn’t know the difference till they tasted it and mad mention that the texture was different but the taste was amazing.
    Also made a zucchini mock apple crisp and brought to my mother in law and she doesn’t really care for zucchini and loved it.

    1. Hi Sabrina,
      I grew up on a farm. We homesteaded before it was a thing since neither parent worked. Literally lived off the land.

      My step-mom made zucchini pie all the time. It’s so good. Most people would never know it’s not Apple. I prefer it because it isn’t mushy and gritty like apples are.

      I hope you try it!!

      Leah

    1. You should be able to substitute an equal amount of corn starch, although I haven’t tried it. Mix the cornstarch in with the sugar mix so it blends evenly and doesn’t form lumps.

      1. I used corn starch and ran out and then started using flour. That’s what we always used. Kind if like a roux. It’s gooey and perfect.

    1. I have not tried it, but they do gel and hold things together like tapioca, so it should work. You may want to grind them before adding them to the recipe for a smoother texture – unless you enjoy a little extra texture.

    2. Amy, I would actually use a small amount of xanthan gum instead of chia seeds. You might have to test it a bit, but I suspect 1 tsp. would probably do it. It will get nice and thick without the grittyness that can come from the chia seeds. Much closer to traditional pie filling.

  2. Oh my gosh, I never imagined that you could make a pie out of zucchini. I followed your recipe and made my husband one for Father’s Day. I didn’t tell him what the filling was and asked him what his favorite apple was (to put the thought in his head). He muttered something and I offered him a piece of zucchini pie. He greedily gobbled it up and asked for another slice. Amid yummy sounds and “oh my, this is so good” he asked what kind of apples was the pie made from. I finally told him that the filling was zucchini. He still does not believe me. I’ve managed to trick my son who tells me that he hates zucchini, but can’t get enough of this pie. Thank you for sharing this recipe with me. Your pie recipe has become a cherished addition to our home. God bless.

  3. not very likely risk but want to mention anyway that xylitol is very toxic to dogs. as my granddaughter is a vet tech she has seen a couple dogs succumb to injesting xylitol by way of accessing chewing gum. on the chance that some people treat their animals from leftovers i thought it worth mentioning

  4. We made the “zapple” filling without the tapioca and added a crisp topping. Even knowing it was zucchini no one could believe it. Thanks for the great use for those giant zucchini- I’m so glad to have a use for them!

    1. I wouldn’t recommend it. Zucchini lacks the natural acidity of apple, plus I think the canning process would turn it into goo, since you’d need to somehow figure out a safe processing time for pressure canning.

      Freezing would give you softer filling, but it would be safe.

  5. I was very skeptical, but it was amazing. I used one of my monster zucchinis from my garden. My only substitution was corn starch instead of tapioca. I gave the pie to my father-in-law. He called and said it was the best apple pie he has had. And when I told him it was Zapple, he couldn’t believe it.

    Thank you!!

  6. This was fantastic!! I told my husband it was an apple pie, he asked where did you get the apples. I didn’t answer him until he first tried it, he couldn’t believe it was zucchini. I was wondering if you could cook up the filling and then freeze it for later?

  7. oh my this is the best substitute for ApplePie . My husband is allergic to apples , we are so happy to find a pie that taste Like Apples. We rate it as a 5-star.

  8. THIS WAS SOOO DELISH. I just finished cutting up about 20 cups to make for the freezer !!
    thank you for Sharing this.
    We love it !!
    to you thinks its possible to make with yellow squash??

  9. Been making this for years and no one ever guesses it’s zucchini and I get many compliments. Like your version better though. I use refrigerated pie crust when in a hurry.

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