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Zucchini “Apple” Crisp (Easy Recipe Uses 8 Cups of Zucchini!)

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This zucchini “apple crisp” is easy to make and uses a LOT of zucchini. Like the zapple pie (zucchini apple pie), this zucchini crisp uses lemon juice and spices to make zucchini taste like apples.

zucchini "apple" crisp

We'll also share zucchini storage tips and more of our favorite zucchini recipes.

A reader asked, “Why not just use apples to make apple crisp?”

I'm more than happy to use apples in season, but right now the zucchini is going crazy. So we eat zucchini. The freezers are full, and I could can apple pie filling, but this is easier.

Zucchini Apple Crisp Recipe

The trick to getting the right texture for your mock apple crisp is pre-cooking the zucchini filling.

If you take the time to slow simmer the zucchini slices, they'll resemble soft cooked apples. If you are in a hurry and don't mind the squash “al dente”, you can the simmer time to 10-15 minutes.

Filling:

  • 8 cups peeled, seeded and sliced zucchini or summer squash
  • 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Crust/Topping:

  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour or gluten free flour blend like Namaste
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups oatmeal

To make the filling:

Combine the sliced zucchini and lemon juice in a large saucepan.

sliced zucchini

Bring to boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until tender, about 10 minutes.

Add the brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes, until slightly thickened. Let cool to room temperature.

zucchini 'apples"

To make the crust/topping:

Preheat oven to 400°F.

In a large bowl, mix together butter and sugar. Combine flour, baking soda and salt; stir flour mixture into sugar and butter mix. Mix in oats.

Flatten 2/3rds of crust mixture into the bottom of a greased 13x9x2 inch pan.

crust and topping

Spread will cooled zucchini mock apple filling. Top zucchini mixture with remaining crumb mixture, patting lightly.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until topping starts to turn golden brown and filling is bubbling.

Serve warm or at room temperature. Try your zucchini apple crisp with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or dollop of whipped cream, if you like.

How big should the squash be for the zucchini apple crisp?

This recipe works best with large zucchini (the ones that look like clubs). Small zucchini taste too much like vegetables, but the big monsters are a blank slate for flavor.

Can I use other squash instead of zucchini?

Sure, it's fine to use other types of summer squash, like yellow summer squash or pattypans. You can even use winter squash that didn't have time to fully mature.

I do advise peeling, because the skin tend to get tough as the squash gets bigger. Make sure to remove the seeds, too, as they will be a dead giveaway that it is zucchini apple crisp.

Zucchini Storage Tips

If you have room in the freezer, go ahead and shred or slice and freeze in portions for your favorite recipes. Thaw the zucchini before use, and drain off some of the extra liquid.

I freeze in 2 cups portions in individual bags. A friend freezes one cup scoops, then puts the scoops into one big bag.

I also like to dehydrate zucchini. Because zucchini has so much water, this is a great way to store more zucchini in less space.

Store the dried zucchini in an airtight container, preferably with a moisture absorber. (This is the brand that we use.)

If you shred the zucchini finely, dry it and blend it, you can use it as a low carb flour. It substitutes one for one in recipes that use coconut flour.

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Zucchini Apple Crisp

This zucchini apple crisp is easy to make and uses a LOT of zucchini.

  • Author: Laurie Neverman
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 20 slices 1x
  • Category: dessert

Ingredients

Scale

Filling:

  • 8 cups peeled, seeded and sliced zucchini or summer squash
  • 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Crust/Topping:

  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour or gluten free flour blend like Namaste
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups oatmeal

Instructions

To make the filling:

Combine the sliced zucchini and lemon juice in a large saucepan. Bring to boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until tender, about 10 minutes.

Add the brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes, until slightly thickened. Let cool to room temperature.

To make the crust/topping:

Preheat oven to 400°F.

In a large bowl, mix together butter and sugar. Combine flour, baking soda and salt; stir flour mixture into sugar and butter mix. Mix in oats.

Flatten 2/3rds of crust mixture into the bottom of a greased 13x9x2 inch pan. Spread will cooled zucchini mock apple filling. Top zucchini mixture with remaining crumb mixture, patting lightly.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until topping starts to turn golden brown and filling is bubbling.

Serve warm or at room temperature. Try your zucchini apple crisp with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or dollop of whipped cream, if you like.

Notes

This recipe works best with large zucchini (the ones that look like clubs). Small zucchini taste too much like vegetables, but the big monsters are a blank slate for flavor. You can also use other summer squash or immature winter squash.

Keywords: zucchini, crisp, mock apple

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zucchini "apple" crisp

More Zucchini Recipes

When the zucchinis start ripening, it's easy to get overwhelmed. Try these recipes to help you use up your bounty.

Zucchini gummy candy (sweetened with fruit juice)

Homestyle zucchini bread

Cheesy garlic zucchini bread (works with fresh or frozen zucchini)

Pickle relish sweetened with honey (substitute zucchini for cucumbers)

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8 Comments

  1. This looks like a totaly awesome recipie. A person can only make so much zucchini relish. I can’t wait to try this recipie. Thanks for putting it out there.

  2. I don’t love how the topping turned out. I was a little unsure of the topping going in, and I considered subbing the topping for a tried and true apple crisp topping that I’ve used in the past but decided to follow this recipe instead. I wish I had gone with my gut. But the zucchini ‘apples’ are really nice and a great way to use those zucchinis that hide under leaves until they’re as big as wine bottles.

    1. Once you’ve precooked the zucchini filling, you can use it with any topping you like, or in a pie crust. August wasn’t a huge fan, either, but I like it as a change from our regular crisp.

  3. Is the baking soda in the crust supposed to be baking powder?
    The filling was good but the crust/topping wasn’t quite right.

    1. No, it’s baking soda, but I may end up tweaking the recipe a little, since husband says he likes the other crisp I normally make better. That recipe is here – https://commonsensehome.com/easy-apple-crisp/

      So many people asked about this recipe since it’s zucchini season that I rushed to get it published, but I’m not 100% happy with it. The family is only wiling to eat so much zucchini crisp at once, so it will take a bit to test recipe variations.

  4. Thank you for giving me a delicious way to use those enormous zucchini! This is a great recipe and it amazing tastes just like apple crisp. The only change I’ll make next time is to reduce the added salt. I thought the crumble part was great but a little salty.

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