Zucchini Ribbons Salad

Zucchini Ribbons Salad – with Shaved Lemon & Parmesan

The second best thing you can do with raw zucchini.

I’ll get to #1 in a sec. For now, let’s talk about this fresh and easy Zucchini Ribbons Salad… it tastes amazing, it uses up a good amount of your zucchini garden explosion, it’s a crowd pleaser (my kids ate this and loved it – mostly because they thought it was cucumber at first, but still, they kept eating!) and it takes about 5 minutes to make. Long silky ribbons of zucchini tossed with paper thin slices of lemon and showered with salty Parmesan cheese, fresh herbs and buttery toasted pine nuts. Divine.

Zucchini Ribbons Salad

I’m sure now you want to know what I think the number one best thing to do with raw zucchini is and I can’t believe you even have to ask because it’s obviously using it to make chocolate anything. So, after you polish off this yummy zucchini salad, congratulate yourself for eating one of the healthiest dishes you’ve eaten all summer and reward yourself and by making one of these…

Technically not truly raw because we’re baking it. Sue me.

Thinly shaved zucchini and lemon with mandolin

Zucchini Ribbons Salad with Shaved Lemon & Parmesan, how to make it…

It’s easy. So easy. You can make your zucchini ribbons salad using a standard vegetable peeler, preferably one of the Y-shaped ones, but I like to use my mandoline slicer because it makes the job so quick. Pro-tip: I never ever use my mandoline without a cut-resistant glove. Anymore. I used to think I was good enough and cool enough to use my bare hands, but that one time when I lost a good percentage of my thumb skin cured me of that mistaken belief. I am not good enough. Or cool enough.

So, if you use a mandoline, I strongly advise you learn from my mistakes and use a glove (the ones I use can be found here).

After the zucchini is shaved I set my mandoline blade as thin as it will go and slice up about 1/4 of a lemon. That’s right, the whole thing, peel and all. There is a bit of bitterness with this, but that’s a good thing, and that’s why we want it thin, thin, thin. If you can accomplish this with a knife you go for it friend.

The dressing is more of a shower of really good ingredients. I like to use a good extra virgin olive oil because it really does shine here. A good squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Salt. Don’t skimp on the salt! Dress and salt your salad and taste it. Does it taste good? If it doesn’t, add a little more salt. This is one of those recipes where you’ll use a little more salt than you think you need (this is every recipe for me and it is a gosh darn miracle that my sodium levels are normal).

Once the ribbons are dressed pile them on a plate and shower the salad with buttery toasted pine nuts, chopped fresh herbs (I like basil and mint) and good, shaved, parmesan cheese.

Zucchini Ribbons Salad with Lemon, Parmesan and Pine Nuts

Zucchini Ribbons Salad Recipe ingredients, tips, substitutions:

Zucchini – I find small-ish zucchini are best for making the ribbons and I use green ones because that’s what I grow. Yellow zucchini, or yellow summer squash, works well too.

Lemon – the shaved lemons are bright, tangy and a tiny bit bitter, which I find quite lovely in this salad. If it’s not your thing, no worries! Just add a little extra lemon juice and add some lemon zest as well.

Pine nuts – I get that you might want to keep your bank account stable and therefore will not be purchasing any pine nuts. Good substitutions for pine nuts are walnuts, slivered almonds or pistachios.

Parmesan – go ahead and try some other cheeses with your zucchini ribbons. Asiago, manchego, extra sharp cheddar or feta are all good substitutes.

Zucchini Ribbons Salad with Lemon, Parmesan and Pine Nuts

interested in more good zucchini recipes? try these…

Raw zucchini ribbons
Zucchini Ribbons Salad

Zucchini Ribbons Salad with Shaved Lemon, Parmesan and Pine Nuts

An incredibly flavourful summer salad made of shaved raw zucchini ribbons, extra thin & delicate lemon slices, buttery toasted pine nuts and rich Parmesan cheese.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Servings 4


  • 1-2 small zucchinis
  • 1 lemon
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp Olive oil
  • Salt
  • 1-2 Tbsp toasted pine nuts
  • 1-2 Tbsp fresh herbs chopped
  • 2 Tbsp parmesan shaved


  • Very thinly slice the zucchini lengthwise, using a mandolin or a vegetable peeler. Place in a bowl.
  • VERY thinly slice about 1/4 of the lemon and add in to the bowl with the zucchini.
  • Drizzle over the olive oil and add a big squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Toss.
  • Season well with salt. Very well. Taste. Does it taste good? If not it probably needs more salt.
  • Pile onto a serving plate and top with the pine nuts, herbs and parmesan. Serve.
Keyword Raw zucchini ribbons salad
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Let me know what you think below and if you like this Rice Krispie Treats with Marshmallow Fluff Recipe I know you’ll also love my Turkey Smash Burgers because I think they would be the perfect meal to eat with these!

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