There are few vegetables more typical of the summer months than zucchini. Bountiful in the warmer months, this simple summer squash is an incredibly versatile addition to a number of dishes. While there are numerous ways to prepare zucchini (sautéing and roasting to name just two), the best way to get the most out of this versatile green veggie is with the sous vide cooking method. The steady and precise sous-vide cooking process results in perfectly tender and al dente zucchini that retains all of its glorious summery flavors.
Follow this simple guide to prepare perfectly cooked zucchini every time.
Temperature and cooking times for zucchini
|Suvie||175°F||30 – 60 Minutes|
|Immersion Circulator||185°F||15 Minutes|
Zucchini, like other similar veggies, are best cooked at a very high temperature. For al dente zucchini we recommend cooking for 15 minutes at 185°F. If using Suvie we recommend cooking the zucchini for at least 60 minutes at the maximum temperature of 175°F.
Ingredients and Tools
- 2 medium-sized zucchini
- Olive oil or butter
- Suvie or immersion circulator
- A large pot (if using an immersion circulator)
- Vacuum sealer and bags or freezer safe recloseable bags
If you’re using a sous vide immersion circulator, pre-heat your water bath to the desired temperature.
Wash the zucchini and cut away and discard the ends on both sides. Slice the zucchini into 1/4 inch discs. Place the cut zucchini into a bowl and toss with some salt and pepper.
Place the zucchini into a plastic bag. Try and pack the zucchini discs in a single layer to ensure they cook evenly (you might need to use two bags). Add a few small wedges of butter or a dash of olive oil. Vacuum seal the bag. If you’re using a recloseable bag, follow our guide on the water displacement method.
Lower the bag into the water bath and cook.
If you are using Suvie, place the bag into a Suvie pan and cover completely with water. Place in the top right zone of Suvie and use the following settings:
My Cook > Multicook Settings
Protein: 175°F, 30-60 minutes
Vegetable: 0 minutes
Starch: 0 minutes
Once the cook is done remove the bag from your Suvie or water bath.
Remove the zucchini slices from from the bag. Garnish with some freshly gratted parmesan cheese and serve immediately.
Recipes to try
Chicken Sausage with Summer Squash
Creamy Spinach-Tomato Chicken with Zoodles
Zucchini and Mushroom Lasagna
Zoodles and Meatballs
Are the cooking temperatures safe?
Our recommended cooking temperatures for Sous vide and Suvie are lower than what the USDA recommends, however, cooking times and temperatures are long enough and high enough for “pasteurization” to make your food safe. The USDA recommendations indicate the temperature needed to instantly kill food pathogens. By cooking for a longer time at a lower temperature we are able to achieve the same effect. However, high-risk populations should use extra caution when preparing foods below the USDA recommended temperatures.
Can I use any type of plastic bag?
You can, however, make sure that they are made from polyethylene. Brand name recloseable bags are made using polyethylene which is a BPA and dioxin free plastic that can safely handle sous vide cooking temperatures up to 190°F. Some generic branded plastic bags are made using cheaper polyvinyl chloride (PVC) which cannot handle high temps and contains chemicals that can leach into food.
The bag with the zucchini won’t stay under water, what do I do?
This is often a problem with certain proteins and vegetables. There are a few ways to prevent the bag from floating at the top of the water bath. A layer of ping pong balls in the immersion bath will keep the food underwater, alternatively, you can try and weigh down the bag with a metal spoon.
Can I leave my food in the water bath indefinitely?
You can, but you shouldn’t. Leaving zucchini in sous vide for long periods of time will have a negative effect on the overall texture of the vegetables.
Can I cook other vegetables in the same bag as the zucchini?
You can! Fortunately, most vegetables can be cooked at around the same temperature so feel free to add other similar veggies. However, avoid mixing the zucchini with starchy vegetables like carrots and potatoes which require much longer cooking times.