Canning Zucchini

by Merissa on August 27, 2012

in Canning and Preserving, Featured

Canning Zucchini - Little House Living


Canning Zucchini

My freezer is not in good shape this canning season. It's already full with meats and well....pretty much a lot of meats right now. I don't have room for my normal amount of frozen vegetables that I try and do so this year I had to come up with an alternative.

A few weeks ago after picking another few hundred zucchini in the garden me and my mom were talking about what we should do with it. Normally we shred and freeze to save for future Zucchini Breads and Zucchini Brownies. Even Zucchini Cakes. But with the lack of room this year we decided to can it up instead. (Head over here to check out our big page of Quick Zucchini Recipes!)

According to Putting Food By, Zucchini and other summer squashes can be canned at 10lbs of pressure for 35 - 40 minutes. (Depending on if you have quarts or pints.) Make sure to check your pressure canner for exact instructions and adjust for higher altitude as needed.

I started by shredding my zucchini and packing it very very tightly in the jars. Pack as much as you can while still leaving some headspace in the jar. After you do this, add a little salt and water to fill the rest of the space in the jar. Make sure you still leave the headspace. Clean the jars for any water before you add the lids and rims.

Can quarts at 10 pounds of pressure for 40 minutes. Make sure not to touch the canner after you'e finished until it's completely de-pressurized. (I have step by step pics for using a pressure canner over here.) Once you are done you will have lots of jars saved for winter baking and cooking and you didn't even have to take up any freezer space!

You can also can zucchini in pieces instead of shredded. Remember that when you use it, it's pretty much already "cooked" so canned zucchini is best in breads and baked goods.

Please check with your local extension office about adjustments in time/temps/high altitudes.

Have you ever tried canning zucchini? Do you have any canned zucchini on your shelf right now?

Print Friendly
Are you enjoying what you see here?
Get new articles sent right to your inbox!
Sign up for our weekly newsletters for new articles sent right to your inbox plus get a free copy of my Gardening and Preserving Journal, just for signing up! We will never spam your inbox or send more than one email each week.
Get my Gardening Journal free!

Disclaimer: This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.


{ 92 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Michele August 27, 2012 at 9:14 am

Thanks! Do you use the canned zucchini just like you would use the frozen? …. like in breads and such?

Reply

2 Merissa August 27, 2012 at 11:42 am

Yes, that’s exactly what I plan to us it for.

Reply

3 KimH August 27, 2012 at 7:13 pm

I notice there are no after photos… I’ve never canned shredded zuchs but I do can the sliced rounds. They’re pretty sad looking when they’re done but thats ok by me. They’re just going into stews over the winter. I was wondering how your jars turned out.

Another thing you might want to consider is dehydrating your zucchini if you have a dehydrator. If not, you may be able to pick a good one up for about $50/$60. I have a Nesco Jerky Maker/Dehydrator and it works fantastically. I was planning on buying a very expensive dehydrator and then I got this one for Christmas last year. I no long have any need for any other cuz this one works great.

Reply

4 Merissa August 27, 2012 at 7:14 pm

They look exactly the same after except a little more of a yellow color.

Reply

5 Wendy August 28, 2014 at 9:29 am

Do you make zucchini chips with your dehydrator, or slices and checks to use later? I have a pressure cooker but not sure if it works. (We found it in a house back when we cleaned out foreclosures.) Just wandering if you rehydrate later to cook with. Thanks.

Reply

6 KimH August 28, 2014 at 3:32 pm

I do make zuch rounds, like chips with my dehydrator. When you rehydrate them, the skins are a little bit tough but not unpleasantly so. I just toss them in soups as I said.. it gives you something to bite into I guess

Reply

7 Valerie August 28, 2012 at 9:08 am

Do you drain the liquid out of the jars before using the zucchini in recipes? I want to try this, but need to know how to use it once I’ve finished. :) Great idea, by the way…I’ve been trying to figure out how to store all of my zucchini with a packed freezer. :)

Reply

8 Merissa August 28, 2012 at 9:09 am

Yes I do.

Reply

9 Amanda E August 28, 2012 at 12:27 pm

just an FYI according to the National Center for Home Food Preservation canning zucchini is not recommended. Here is what their website says:

Why is canning summer squash or zucchini not recommended?
Recommendations for canning summer squashes, including zucchini, that appeared in former editions of So Easy to Preserve or USDA bulletins have been withdrawn due to uncertainty about the determination of processing times. Squashes are low-acid vegetables and require pressure canning for a known period of time that will destroy the bacteria that cause botulism. Documentation for the previous processing times cannot be found, and reports that are available do not support the old process. Slices or cubes of cooked summer squash will get quite soft and pack tightly into the jars. The amount of squash filled into a jar will affect the heating pattern in that jar. It is best to freeze summer squashes or pickle them for canning, but they may also be dried.

Reply

10 Merissa August 28, 2012 at 12:28 pm

I have seen this online but for anyone that would like to know my information above comes from a 2010 Edition of Putting Food By.

Reply

11 kim August 29, 2012 at 1:52 pm

There is no 2012 edition. The book you have was published in 2010, therefore as to the canning of zuchinni, it is wrong. I had issues with this post on a canning site. They thought because you posted this, it makes it safe. Thanks for posting, it helps us all learn.

Reply

12 Merissa August 29, 2012 at 1:57 pm

I stated that I have the 2010 Edition. I feel as though it is safe to can zucchini and we have never had an issue with it. I know many many canners that can things that the government declares “unsafe” all of the time. I’m sorry that this post is disappointing to you but I’m simply stating what works for me and many others, not what the government believes we should do.

Reply

13 Briana August 29, 2012 at 2:04 pm

The government also says many things are SAFE that are clearly unsafe for us!!! You really think the government wants to know how to grow, can, and cook our own food? Then how will they get us to depend on them if they did that?

14 Aubryn July 23, 2014 at 1:11 pm

I am frankly sick to death of the government thinking it can or should tell us what to do. The government is our employee, we tell it what to do. The government has no special wisdom about canning and states that virtually all canning is scary and unsafe! Could this be to cause unthinkers to buy into the fear and dependency culture?

15 Jen August 29, 2012 at 4:26 pm

Merissa is simply showing what works for her family- she is not saying she is the authority on canning. She is simply showing what her family has done for years. It is up to people to do their own research and make an informed decision on what they feel will work best for their family. I appreciate the time she takes to explain her process. She puts a lot of thought and time into her post and I greatly appreciate all her handwork!
Thank Merissa!

Reply

16 Jennie August 29, 2012 at 5:07 pm

I so appreciate all of your knowledge and hard work on this Merissa. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could trust everything the government said? :)

17 KimH September 2, 2012 at 9:53 am

From what I’ve read, the USDA actually LOST the data on canning zucchini and didnt/couldnt/wouldnt do the research over. It was easier for them to simply eliminate it.

We have a large Amish population in our area who can a lot of things in ways that “our government” doesnt recommend as did my own grandmother & great grandmother. They’ve been doing them that way for as long as canning has been used and their methods are perfectly safe, unless you only follow what the USDA says.

The data from the USDA is a GUIDELINE and for folks who have & use common sense, that is how its used.

18 Valli February 24, 2015 at 7:52 am

Well said Jen.

19 KimGB August 28, 2012 at 2:40 pm

Merissa, How long would i process the pints, i know you said 40 mins for quarts.

Reply

20 Merissa August 28, 2012 at 2:42 pm

Putting Food By says 30 minutes for pints. (But of course, adjust for higher altitudes if needed.)

Reply

21 Erin August 16, 2013 at 3:15 pm

So are you at sea level?

Reply

22 Merissa August 16, 2013 at 4:31 pm

We are at 3200 feet.

Reply

23 Erin August 17, 2013 at 7:16 am

Also have you ever forgotten the salt? If so is that terribly bad? Thank you!

24 KimGB August 28, 2012 at 2:48 pm

thank you

Reply

25 Michelle Wimp September 2, 2012 at 6:32 am

thanks so much i was wondering what to do with all my zuchinni! lol! also i nominated you for the versatile blogger award. check out my blog for it (i would post the link directly but didnt know if it was ok with you or not). i
L-U-V your blog, it’s on my check first thing in the morning list!

Reply

26 Merissa September 2, 2012 at 11:03 am

Feel free to post a link. Thanks for asking!

Reply

27 Becky September 5, 2012 at 11:55 am

I had no idea you could can zucs! I’ve been freezing them, same as you. But since we lose power with every hurricane that passes through, canning is my preferred method to preserve everything. Definitely doing this next year!

Reply

28 Jennifer November 9, 2012 at 5:03 pm

Could you do this with chunks also? I’ve canned all my spaghetti sauce, but I’d like to add some zucchini to it later on if I could can it this way. Thanks!

Reply

29 Merissa November 9, 2012 at 5:19 pm

Yes you can!

Reply

30 Jennifer November 9, 2012 at 5:26 pm

Thanks for the quick reply!

Reply

31 Live Peachy July 3, 2015 at 4:52 pm

It never even crossed my mind to can shredded zucchini! I usually can slices or chunks. I say can it however you will need to use it later!

Diana

Reply

32 Jennifer November 9, 2012 at 5:30 pm

Sorry, one more question. I’m canning as I ask, lol…so this is a cold pack? You don’t need or want to blanch? Thanks again!

Reply

33 Merissa November 9, 2012 at 7:35 pm

No you don’t need to. In fact I think if you do you would make it really quite soggy.

Reply

34 April April 4, 2013 at 9:06 am

So now that you’ve used it all winter do you like the texture and outcome? I thought shredded zucchini would be too delicate to pressure can without disintegrating.

Reply

35 W.GLENN SOMERS June 19, 2013 at 11:41 am

as for your over filled freezer don’t you can meats? we can anything from ribs to london broil keeps a lot safer and just as good and you don’t need to worry about power outages.

Reply

36 Kori August 8, 2013 at 5:38 pm

We actually found a few recipes for canning meats with a pressure cooker. We can portions of our venison each hunting season for each winter.

I have been using my great grandma’s recipe (similar to this one) for canning my zucchini.

Reply

37 Pam June 29, 2013 at 9:59 pm

Loved reading about the canning of zucchini. Just finished canning potatoes (7 quarts) and will have more to can ( half a wheelbarrow full!).

Reply

38 kellen August 3, 2013 at 7:06 pm

How much headspace should you leave?

Reply

39 Merissa August 3, 2013 at 7:19 pm

At least 1/2 – 3/4 inch.

Reply

40 fillippa August 6, 2013 at 5:04 am

How much salt per qt or pt?? Want to try this, as I have way to much zucchini not enough freezers space

Reply

41 Merissa August 6, 2013 at 9:04 am

I would say about 1/2 teaspoon of salt per quart.

Reply

42 fillippa August 6, 2013 at 5:11 am

My grandmother taught my mom how to can, she used any kind of jar (Mayo, fluff, mustard, ext..) to can in as long as the lid and collar fit to seal. But the USDA will say only to use jars made for canning.

Reply

43 colleen August 28, 2013 at 5:28 pm

Have you ever tried zucchini pineapple. I am hoping to try this out this year.

http://hickeryhollerfarm.blogspot.com/2011/09/pineapple-zucchini.html

Reply

44 Merissa August 28, 2013 at 6:35 pm

I haven’t. If you try let us know!

Reply

45 Mindy September 28, 2013 at 8:47 pm

I made pineapple zucchini this year and it turned out great. My daughter who hates veggies will eat an entire pint in one sitting. The zucchini will have the texture of a pear but tastes like pineapple.

Reply

46 Geri September 9, 2013 at 12:19 pm

Thanks. Lve this site
. First time here. As I’M sheddig zucc to make bread I was wondering if you could can zucc. Send me recipes. I love old ones. I am little house on prairie :-)

Reply

47 Betty September 18, 2013 at 11:30 am

I don’t have a pressure cooker. Can I water bathe zucchini if I do it for a long time without any problems?

Reply

48 Merissa September 18, 2013 at 12:14 pm

Zucchini must be pressure canned because it’s a low acid vegetable to be safe.

Reply

49 Rachel September 30, 2013 at 6:35 am

I am wondering if you have had lots of space in your jars after you process them? I canned these yesterday, and its almost like they cooked down or settled more after (I made sure to pack fairly tight, and get all of the air out-I left 1/2 an inch of headspace) processed for higher altitude-thoughts?

Reply

50 Merissa September 30, 2013 at 7:18 am

They do cook down some when they are processed.

Reply

51 Rachel September 30, 2013 at 9:19 am

good to know :) thank you!

Reply

52 Magic and Mayhem October 9, 2013 at 10:32 pm

I’ve never canned zucchini but I’ve heard that it gets mushy that way. I typically freeze it shredded and use it for quick breads (squeezed). Canning guru Jackie from Backwoods Magazine’s “Ask Jackie” column says: “Shredded zucchini doesn’t can up very well; it gets mushy. It’s better frozen or dehydrated. Or best used fresh from the garden, of course.” I’m curious what you use it for and how it performs later. I’m guessing it would still be okay for quick breads, even if it did get mushy? I don’t know if it would get waterlogged and perform badly though. I’d love to hear how you use the canned stuff. Thanks.
~Alicia

Reply

53 Merissa October 10, 2013 at 6:13 am

I use the canned the same way we use frozen, in breads, cookies, ect. I personally don’t think any canned or frozen zucchini is good for much else, it just doesn’t taste the same when you try and fry it.

Reply

54 Debbie Miller March 25, 2014 at 11:50 am

I never thought to can zucchini, thank you so much! I’m sure I will have lots to can this yr.

Reply

55 Lisa April 6, 2014 at 5:43 pm

I use zucchini as noodles for chicken noodle soup. Was wondering if you can zucchini in noodle shapes could they be added to broth and chicken for soup? My kids can’t wait to have zucchini from the garden. This would be awesome if it would.

Reply

56 Merissa April 6, 2014 at 5:53 pm

It may end up being too soggy, I’ve found that canned zucchini works best for baked goods.

Reply

57 Diana April 15, 2014 at 11:46 am

Wow! Am so excited I found this site, look forward to preserving my zucchinis because they are among my favorite veggies and I’ve not had good luck with freezing. Thanks!

Reply

58 Big Mama Blue July 19, 2014 at 8:53 pm

I was very excited to see your zucchini canning experiment. Wonder how all turned out and was used up? It is very difficult not to reach for a fresh veggie or fruit in the grocery store when most everything is available year around. I have to “hold my own hand” not to pick up some imported stuff, but go home and look all the full shelves I packed and packed all summer and fall. I religiously try to not plant more zucchini than we eat during the season, but last year my two plants got sick, so this year I doubled them. Of course now we have loads! Anyway, I think I’ll try the canning, but will salt it and let it stand first. Rinse and put in hot jars mixed with chopped dill and a spoonful of lemon juice or vinegar, fill it with hot water. I’ll try the 10 pound of pressure and see how all that works out. In the winter I’ll sauté some onion, mix some flour (make rough) with it, pour the zucchini on top have it boil and see what happens. I’m not afraid of canning, making chick broth, turkey and fish broth every year. It works great for me. Never be afraid to try anything!

Reply

59 Merissa July 19, 2014 at 10:20 pm

It’s great! I think canned zucchini is best for baking (similar to frozen zucchini). I’m not sure I would want it fried but that’s just my personal taste :)

Reply

60 Julie B July 27, 2014 at 5:22 am

I have canned zucchini to use as a substitute for crushed
Pineapple. Found the recipe on Recipezaar ( which
Has since changed their website name )
I unfortunately am having issues with squash bugs killing my plants

Reply

61 Wendy August 28, 2014 at 9:39 am

I have used DE (diatomaceous earth) my squash plants to kill the squash bugs. You have to reapply every other day or so, but it is worth it since it isn’t a chemical. I also put it on my dogs food to kill parasites and dust them with it in the summer to kill fleas and ticks. I also put it in my chicken coop to kill mites. Great stuff! (My cousin got bed bugs from a rent house and this stuff killed them.)

Reply

62 Monica Jertson Cateron July 29, 2014 at 2:37 pm

Interesting idea. I know the USDA doesn’t recommend canning zucchini but last fall I had some leftover and canned chunks with chunks of tomatoes and garlic and I use it for a quick pasta sauce. It’s delicious and small enough chunks that I’m not worried about the density issue (which is the subject the “research that was lost”).

Reply

63 Erica August 5, 2014 at 2:09 pm

Hello, LOVE your blog and I see you have tons of comments and questions already answered, but I was wondering if you peel your zucchini before you shred it, or if you just can it skins and all? also, do you think this will work for all squash? I have yellow squash that looks like zucchini (not sure what it is) that was given to me and want to can that too. Thanks for all this great info :) definitely following your blog!

Reply

64 Merissa August 5, 2014 at 3:32 pm

I do peel it but that’s just may family’s preference, you don’t have to. I haven’t tried this with yellow squash but it sounds like you just have a yellow zucchini :)

Reply

65 Brian August 7, 2014 at 7:05 am

I tried this, and it did work. I then actually used one of the quarts, as I was short on fresh for a zucchini cobbler. It worked fine. A quart of canned yielded about 2.5 cups of usable in the recipe.

I did have one small issue in the canning process. I added the boiling water to the packed zucchini, and the air kept bubbling up. I would add more water, and it would slowly soak in. I didn’t know when to stop. After I canned it, I had almost 2 inches of head space. So this next time, I will not be as concerned about not having enough head space, and fill the jar to the brim with water, knowing in the processing, more air will rise to the top.

Reply

66 Shannon August 7, 2014 at 9:55 am

Every year I plant way too much zucchini, and end up with a ton. A few years ago I started canning Zucchini Pineapple. It is basically cubed, seeded, peeled zucchini simmered in a sugar/pineapple juice. It absorbs the taste of the juice, and tastes exactly like pineapple chunks! My kids eat this (they used to actually think it was pineapple a few years ago), and I even make pineapple upside-down cake with it.

Thanks for this post……….I will try shredding and canning plain zucchini this week! Always welcome a new way to use my zucchini.

Reply

67 Kiren August 8, 2014 at 5:20 pm

Do you use regular salt of canning salt?

Reply

68 Merissa August 8, 2014 at 6:52 pm

I use regular salt.

Reply

69 Cindy August 10, 2014 at 5:40 pm

I am canning my first zucchini ever right now. I sliced them rather thick, then cubed or quartered the slices. I have 3 quarts in, and 3 quarts of cabbage (another “government says” no-no), but people have been doing this for years, and I feel it’s just as safe as canning just about anything else. I LOVE eating just plain old boiled zucchini, so I think this will be great when it’s done.
I will have to find a recipe for the pineapple zucchini. I wonder how it would be when dehydrated? I’m going to try it anyway. I’m not a big fan of pineapple, but will eat it. So, gotta try it at least once, might be better than pineapple even!

Reply

70 Gail August 25, 2014 at 2:51 pm

Tried both of the ways you suggested for canning zucchini. I believe the slices turned out the best.
The grated don’t look as good; seems a lot of the water content somehow got out during the processing. They lost a lot of volume, too.
Many thanks for getting these recipes out.

Reply

71 Karen R August 27, 2014 at 6:31 pm

Do I need to peel my zucchini or potatoes before I can it can it with the skin on?

Reply

72 Merissa August 27, 2014 at 7:24 pm

You can preserve them with the skin on.

Reply

73 Jen August 29, 2014 at 4:26 pm

I am canning a tomato paste/sauce right now. It is mostly tomatoes but I threw in red pepper, spicy peppers, carrot, onion, garlic and zucchini. I look to see which ingredient has the longest process time and then go by that. Half pint and pint jars of hot peppers, for example, are processed for 35 minutes so I am processing my half pint sauce (I added citric acid too) for 35 minutes. I am at sea level so I will be using 10 lbs of pressure. Just thought I’d share!

When in doubt throw it out. I don’t accept canned foods from strangers/others and if I have a question I stick to the USDA tried (lab tested) and true recipes. I haven’t lost anyone yet ;).

Reply

74 MaryJo September 3, 2014 at 3:16 pm

I’d like to thank you for the info on zucchini. I’ve frozen it for yrs and did a lot already so the idea of canning it made my day. I got 8 quarts done today and look forward to using it this winter. I’m hoping this is the end of it. I’ve got zucchini cakes and bread in the freezer and gave lots away. Again Thank You for sharing this.

Reply

75 Merissa September 3, 2014 at 6:31 pm

No problem MaryJo, glad I could help!

Reply

76 RosemaryBayless September 16, 2014 at 9:53 am

My first time on this site,i love it..so helpful.thank you. I will be caning zucc. today.

Reply

77 Darcy September 23, 2014 at 6:28 pm

I was wondering if you have ever canned spaghetti squash like you do the shredded zucchini. I can freeze it, but would love to keep freezer space for other items if I can.

Reply

78 Merissa September 23, 2014 at 9:44 pm

I actually haven’t tried that yet. If you do try it I’d love to know how it goes!

Reply

79 jeanie5751 December 8, 2014 at 3:29 am

Just found your site today, I love that all are welcome to comment and its a relaxed atmosphere, while I understand and agree with checking with what the latest Govt expert of the week is saying I know many things that my Grandmother canned all her life for her large family of 12 and no one ever got sick, but to read the Govt experts now days if you do it her way and take one bite you will all die…I look for common sense in all things and although I am new to canning I have her old recipes and will use the ones that make sense to me… thanks for a great site, I will be a regular reader.

Reply

80 Sara Nissen January 15, 2015 at 6:52 am

Thanks for this great info!! I do have a question though… Being the incredibly lazy canner I am, i started just pureeing zucchini in the blender and using it in baked good the same way as shredded. I also add it to chili and stew…things like that. So my question is can i can it using the same canning method with pureed zucchini?

Reply

81 Merissa January 15, 2015 at 7:12 am

I’m not sure, I haven’t ever pureed zucchini. I do know that some foods aren’t meant to be canned in a pureed state (like pumpkin) because they are too thick but that’s a question I would ask your local extension office.

Reply

82 Michael May 3, 2015 at 8:43 am

Nice article Merissa!! I have the same issue…my freezer is full of fish and deer meat, so this is a welcomed article.

I am glad to see that as I was reading thru the comments that I am not the only one that knows that our government works for us and that they are trying as hard as they can to brainwash most people into dependance on the government.

Keep learning and teaching the old, good ways. ;^)

Reply

83 Marina July 1, 2015 at 10:24 pm

The book you referenced is out dated with it’s information. It is not recommended to can squash. Just so everyone is aware!

Reply

84 Rebecca July 3, 2015 at 1:22 pm

So what can we do with the zucchinis that grow super big before picking? I ask because I have access to these but am not sure if they are even still edible? Would they taste the same shredded as younger fruit? Or at least still tasty?

Reply

85 Merissa July 6, 2015 at 7:56 am

We always shred the big zucchinis, either for canning or for freezing. It works perfectly for baking! Just make sure to scoop out the seeds.

Reply

86 JANNETTE July 18, 2015 at 4:13 pm

Love your column. this is the first time for me to can zucchini. Sounds easy enough. I do can a lot of meat. Wild pig is great. I cut it in cubes and cook it and then can it. already when you want Chile Verde burritos, chile, anything. I also make sausage, Fry my patties, put in jars with broth and can terrific. I can just about anything I can get my hands on, that is why I am now canning zucchini I do venison the same way, grind it and make patties and can. Frying before canning is the trick. Thanks for the good info. Keep up the good work.

Reply

87 Ox July 22, 2015 at 8:04 pm

Love your blog! I’m a zucchini canning newbie and was just wondering what altitude you’re at? P.s. I know I’m late to the commenting party, don’t judge me lol. Since canning zucchini isn’t “recommended” anymore, I can’t find good info on altitude/PSI/time anywhere. Thank you!

Reply

88 Merissa July 22, 2015 at 8:33 pm

We are at about 1500 feet.

Reply

89 Rene' July 29, 2015 at 1:39 pm

Do you skin them 1st? I didn’t notice any green ends. Also, it looks like you spread them pretty thick, is that correct?

Reply

90 Merissa July 29, 2015 at 3:05 pm

I do because that’s how my family eats zucchini, you don’t have to if you don’t want to. Did you mean shred instead of spread? If so, yes I did shred these a little thicker than I would have a normal cheese grater but either way would work.

Reply

91 Merissa September 2, 2012 at 11:00 am

Very interesting Kim!

Reply

92 Merissa August 17, 2013 at 9:00 pm

I haven’t but I’m guessing it wouldn’t matter much.

Reply

Leave a Comment

Thanks for taking a moment to share your thoughts and your story. I love to hear from you and love when you are able to add something constructive to the conversation! Please remember this is a supportive and encouraging community. LHL reserves the right to delete any personal attacks, rude or offensive language, or anything not deemed family friendly. If you don't have anything nice to say, please keep it to yourself.

See our Comment Policy for more information.