Lacto fermented zucchini

How to Make Fermented Zucchini – Recipe

Want to know how to make fermented zucchini? Keep reading and grab this fermented zucchini recipe below.

Can you believe it’s the middle of May already? That means we’re heading into winter here in New Zealand and so the humble zucchini, (along with tomatoes and other ‘summer’ veg) can be found on supermarket shelves selling for huge winter prices –  generally somewhere over $8 a kilo…

But before we know it, summer will be back, vegetable prices will come down, and if I get my butt into gear early enough, I’ll have huge, abundant zucchini plants in my veggie garden again and I’ll be back making lacto-fermented zucchini. 🙂

Last summer I had an abundance of zucchinis toward the end of the season, and I was using them in everything. But it wasn’t until I made my first batch of fermented cucumber pickles that I had the inspiration to try fermenting zucchinis in the same way!

I’ve been playing around with fermented foods like my fermented papaya recipe for quite a few years now, as well as other fermented goodies like home made sauerkraut and real sourdough bread.

Can You Make Fermented Zucchini?

I was unsure if fermenting zucchini would actually work (especially cut), or whether they’d just go mushy. So I made a small batch and was happy to find that they not only worked, they tasted great!

Even hubby loves them, and he’s not such a big fan of fermented foods like I am… 😉

So I decided to leave some of my zucchinis on the plant to get a little larger than I usually would, specifically for fermenting.

When I prepared them, because they were larger, I removed the fleshy center and seeds, leaving the much firmer exterior to be fermented. I  discovered that the fleshy center tends to go a bit mushy so it’s best discarded prior to fermenting.

As long as the center is removed, the fermented zucchini pieces remain quite firm. They are sour like dill pickles, and a little spicy, and they’re really quite yummy.

The best thing is that like most ferments, they’re also really easy to make AND they’re really good for you!

Tips For Fermenting Vegetables

  1. If the mixture doesn’t remain under the brine during fermentation, you may find mold on the top. Check it regularly.
  2. If you get some mold, or funky looking stuff on the top of your ferments, you can often just remove it, and the rest will be okay. Use your sense of smell to tell you if your ferment is okay.
  3. If your ferment smells bad, or looks really funky further down in the jar, put it in the compost!
  4. I find when using grape leaves, I often get a white ‘moldy’ looking substance on the top of the ferment. This is not mold. It is a yeast from the grape leaves. I have found that this is not a problem and I just remove it.
  5. Use an air lock or purpose made fermenting jar with air lock to get a more consistent, reliable result.
  6. Use fermenting weights to hold your vegetables under the liquid.
  7. If you want to add essential oil to your ferment (doTERRA’s Dill oil tastes amazing and is perfect for zucchini or cucumbers), leave adding it until after fermentation is finished.

I hope you love this recipe as much as I do! Let me know how you get on in the comments below or if you have any questions, please also pop them in the comments.

Fermented zucchini recipe

Lacto-fermented Zucchini

Sue Woledge
This easy recipe is very similar to making cucumber pickles, however we're fermenting zucchini instead.
No ratings yet
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Fermented


  • 2 large zucchinis or several smaller ones
  • 3 grape leaves
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2-3 tbsp pickling spices
  • 3 or 4 small red chilies
  • 4 large teaspoons chopped dill leaves (or seeds)
  • 2 tbsp Himalayan salt
  • 2 cups filtered (chlorine free) water


  • Wash and slice zucchinis lengthways, removing the seedy centre.
  • Pack the sliced zucchini and grape leaves into a large jar, adding garlic, chilies, dill and spices. NOTE: Keep one large grape leaf to cover the mixture while fermenting.
  • Combine filtered water and salt to make brine then pour over the zucchini, ensuring that the zucchini is submerged under the brine.
  • Cover the contents of the jar with the remaining grape leaf, ensuring it also is submerged under the brine. (You may need to push it down regularly during the fermentation process to ensure it stays under the brine).
  • Allow to ferment on your bench for one week or longer.
  • A taste test will tell you when it’s ready! Once ready, refrigerate and enjoy.
Keyword Lacto Fermented, pickles
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

2 thoughts on “How to Make Fermented Zucchini – Recipe”

  1. Good morning Sue,

    I understand that the vegetables are from your own garden, You lucky lady !
    Many Thanks for the post, I will try ! Does the vegetable become soft on time ? how long can you keep ?

    I eat kimchi, made on Himalayan salt only ( no fish sauce addition ) which is carrot – ginger – turmeric – cabbage – broccoli -celery – leek ( fermented for a few months in the cellar )

    II keep a 1/2 liter pot for daily use , in the refrigerator, and when I re fill, I add raw seaweed which re hydrate in the brine … hmm delicious !

    Have you ever tried to ferment seaweed ?

    best regards


    1. Hi Pierre. Yes, we’re lucky to be able to grow some of our own vegetables! The zucchini doe soften a little, but still stays quite firm with the tannin from the grape leaves. If you leave the seedy center on the zucchini, that will go soggy and not so good. I must try Kimchi again! I did it a long time ago and yes I’ve added (dried) seaweed to ferments in the past. Fermenting and experimenting is such fun! 🙂

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