~ Such incredible flavor from a few simple ingredients! This Grilled Zucchini Flatbread recipe is perfect served as an (impressive!) appetizer, or combined with a salad for a satisfying vegetarian meal! It’s also a brilliant way to use up that bounty of late-summer zucchini and summer squash! ~
* (Our little disclaimer …) We partnered with Flatout for this sponsored post, as part of their #FlatoutIsMyCanvas campaign, but all opinions are entirely our own. Thanks for supporting brands that support Two Healthy Kitchens and our mission of healthy eating! *
National Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Day was August 8, but here in Ohio, the zucchini bounty tends to go on and on, far past early August … and it’s easy to feel desperate for ways to use that bounty, or to find friends who somehow don’t have enough zucchini of their own.
Freezers can only hold so many loaves of zucchini bread!
Too Much Zucchini!
Back when Amy and Ty were tiny and I’d become a stay-at-home mom, I embraced my inner gardener with joyous abandon (or at least as much abandon as one can have when all you’ve got is an 8×12-foot plot, tucked unobtrusively behind your suburban garage). Each year, as winter reached its most depressing depths, I’d scour seed catalogs, hopefully envisioning summer and ordering seeds for herbs, peppers, melons, squash, and gorgeous heirloom tomatoes.
The kids and I would carefully tend our little seedlings (the perfect hands-on science lesson!), and I’d dutifully prune, pinch, thin, water, fertilize and encourage those plants all summer long. Because, you know … when you have twin toddlers, what you really have a lot of is … extra time to care for MORE living things. (Ahem. NOT.) But that wasn’t the point.
Sadly, after summer upon summer of hopeful beginnings, and endless hours of careful tending, I’ve admitted defeat.
The little area where we’re able to have a garden just doesn’t get enough hours of sunlight. I knew that. But I thought, through resourcefulness and sheer force of will, I could overcome it. I couldn’t. (Meet Mother Nature: she always wins.)
Sure, I got a few amazing heirloom tomatoes, and we’d have family taste-testing sessions to debate the flavor nuances and choose our favorites (no kidding – I took notes!). But, the harvest was always pretty paltry, just not worth the endless hours I’d spent.
There was one notable exception.
Specifically, I found a couple varieties that not only tolerated our less-than-ideal sunlight, they actually adored it (as in … they tried to take over the entire yard and stake their claim to the 51st U.S. state). One type was even designed to be grown to a large (large!) size, perfect for unending batches of zucchini bread. Key word: unending.
So, yes. Devising ways to use up zucchini? I’m something of an expert.
And I’d like to introduce you to my new favorite way – Grilled Zucchini Flatbread!
Simple Ingredients, Easy Techniques
This flatbread recipe is deceptive. It may seem fancy or a bit difficult, but it’s truly easy, easy, easy!
And the short list of simple ingredients may have you wondering how amazing it could actually taste. I get that: I’d been imagining this recipe for months, conjuring it up in my mind. But even I was surprised the first time I made it.
So simple, but so outrageously good!
I think my family was surprised, too. It didn’t look like the flavors would be so complex, so deliciously satisfying. But they are!
Nutritious, easy and delicious: truly the Two Healthy Kitchens trifecta! I seriously love this recipe.
The crisp, cracker-like Flatout flatbread “crust” is the perfect counterpoint to the soft, creamy goat cheese and the succulent, smoky grilled zucchini, yellow squash and onion. Like roasting in an oven, grilling does magical things to vegetables, beautifully ratcheting up the flavors with hardly any effort. Rosemary goes hand-in-hand with grilled summer veggies, and it’s the perfect flourish to make these flatbreads truly special.
A bonus in using Flatout flatbread (you know how I adore the stuff!) is that there are so many varieties that involve whole grains, lots of fiber, and boatloads of protein. Stealthy nutrition. Gotta love it.
These Grilled Zucchini Flatbreads are a perfect appetizer or first course for a late-summer backyard party, but they also make a truly special light lunch or vegetarian dinner, paired with a nice salad and some sweet summer fruit.
It’s easy to crank out extras, too, so you can expand the recipe to feed more people (if you find a crowd gathering ’round your grill as passersby catch an irresistible whiff of what you’re cooking)!
From a technical standpoint, there’s really not much I need to tell you. But let me share just a couple of suggestions:
Grilled Zucchini or Yellow Summer Squash?
I always make this with a lovely, colorful combination of both green zucchini and yellow squash.
But then, I can afford to mix it up a bit, now that I’ve scaled back my gardening ambitions to just a few containers on my sun-drenched deck. I no longer desperately look for ways to get rid of so much zucchini each year! No more need to thrust zucchini into the hands of every neighbor I pass.
But if you’re truly experiencing zucchini overload, fear not: you can make this recipe with only zucchini (or, for that matter, with only yellow squash). It won’t be quite as colorful, of course, but when the zucchini plants begin applying for statehood and you’ve lost your garage underneath the vines … well, you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do.
The Balsamic Vinegar Conundrum
I wish I could give you a specific direction on whether or not you should include the optional balsamic. I always try to test, test and re-test each recipe, until I feel like I can answer every question you might have and tell you exactly how I most like to make each dish.
But this question … I simply can’t decide. This Grilled Zucchini Flatbread recipe is so delicious either way. The balsamic adds a certain little something, but the recipe is equally outstanding, in my opinion, without it, too (although Ty absolutely swears that he loves it even more with the balsamic).
Just be sure you use only a light sprinkle – you don’t want big pools of vinegar. And definitely use a good-quality vinegar. You’ll be rewarded by the smoothness and complexity of flavor, in a way that you simply won’t with a cheap, acrid, acidic vinegar. In fact, if you have a sweet, syrupy balsamic reduction on hand, I’d suggest you try that option, too. Terrific with grilled zucchini (or oven-roasted veggies).
So, I leave the “vinegar conundrum” entirely up to you. But I know you won’t be disappointed either way. Balsamic or no – at my house, we’re only disappointed when there’s no more flatbread left on the serving platter.
I should probably feel a little guilty, shouldn’t I? Sharing recipes like this may put an end to all the fun of Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Day. You’ll be too busy with your grilled zucchini, making these flatbreads, won’t you? And you may not feel quite so much like sharing anymore, either! Now you’ll know just what to do with that bumper crop!
I hear ya! But just to keep fun, un-official holidays going, maybe you should sneak just one zucchini onto the porch next door. I’ll let you decide.
Love Grilled Zucchini But Need More Ways to Use Up Your Bounty? Try …
- Quinoa and Hummus Stuffed Zucchini from Kathryn at Family Food on the Table
- 6-Ingredient Zucchini Bagels from Maya at Wholesome Yum
- Grilled Quesadillas with Avocado, Zucchini & Basil from Dara at Cookin’ Canuck
- Spicy Asian Zucchini from Courtney at NeighborFood
- Sesame Almond Butter Zucchini Noodle Bowls from Kristin at Iowa Girl Eats
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- 1 medium yellow squash (about 8 ounces), sliced into ¼"-thick rounds (to yield about 1½ cups)
- 1 medium zucchini (about 8 ounces), sliced into ¼"-thick rounds (to yield about 1½ cups)
- ¾ cup thinly sliced (about ¼" thick, half-rounds) red onion (from about ½ a small onion)
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1½ teaspoons minced fresh rosemary, divided
- ¾ teaspoon coarse kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon finely crushed black pepper
- 2 Flatout flatbreads (we use Light Italian Herb)
- All-natural nonstick cooking spray or sprayed canola oil
- 1½ ounces crumbled goat cheese (to yield a heaping ⅓ cup)
- ½ - ¾ teaspoon good-quality balsamic vinegar or balsamic syrup, for drizzling, if desired
- Prepare and preheat grill.
- If any of your zucchini or yellow squash rounds are very large in diameter, you can cut those rounds in half to yield smaller semi-circles. In a medium bowl, combine yellow squash, zucchini, and onion with olive oil, 1 teaspoon rosemary, salt, and black pepper. Toss well until the mixture is thoroughly combined and the vegetables are evenly coated all over with oil and seasonings.
- Spread vegetable mixture in an even, single layer on a grill topper that's large enough that the vegetables don't have to overlap too much (ours is about 11" x 14").
- Grill vegetables over medium heat for about 15 minutes, stirring about every 5 minutes. You want the vegetables to develop areas of seared brown grill marks, without becoming too mushy or burned.
- Meanwhile, spray both sides of each flatbread lightly with nonstick spray. Grill over medium heat for 2 minutes on each side, until they develop lightly browned grill marks.
- Top grilled flatbreads with grilled vegetables, and sprinkle evenly with goat cheese and remaining ½ teaspoon rosemary. Lightly and evenly drizzle balsamic vinegar over top, if desired.
- Cut into wedges and serve immediately.
Grilling: Remember that grills vary widely in temperature settings, so the settings and times you use may need to be adjusted according to your specific grill.