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a room temp salad of zucchini tomato and onion on a silver plate

Zucchini and Tomato Salad

Zucchini and tomato are bumper crops right at the end of summer! If you’ve got lots hanging around, make this Zucchini and Tomato Salad inspired by the flavors of Morocco. It comes together quickly and can be eaten cold, warm, or at room temperature for best flavor.

a room temp salad of zucchini tomato and onion on a silver plate

About This Zucchini and Tomato Salad

This Zucchini and Tomato Salad recipe was part of my food collaboration with Mel Joulwan. It first appeared in a past issue of Paleo Magazine. The flavors in this salad were inspired by Moroccan salad plates. For other recipes from this feature see Moroccan Carrot Salad and Orange Salad with Mint & Olives.

The flavors in this salad are very unique! Saffron gives it a wonderful fragrant taste and beautiful yellow color. The cinnamon gives it warmth. Meanwhile, the mint, parsley, and lemon brighten up the flavors.

Can You Eat Zucchini Raw in a Salad?

Absolutely! Zucchini is a veggie that is often cooked. However, it can be eaten raw without cooking. Zucchini is best eaten raw when it’s shaved or cut into fine pieces. When made into raw zucchini noodles, lightly salted to remove excess moisture, then rinsed, zucchini takes on a pleasant texture. However, big chunks of raw zucchini are usually not very nice to eat.

lightly cooked zucchini and tomato made into a salad

What is Saffron?

This Zucchini and Tomato Salad recipe calls for saffron which is optional. But what is this mysterious ingredient? In a nutshell, saffron is considered a spice and comes from a special kind of flower. It has a fragrant aroma and gives a bright yellow color to whatever you cook it with. If you can’t find saffron in your local store, simply omit it from this dish. Or, you can find saffron online here. Keep in mind, little goes a long way.

How to Make Zucchini and Tomato Salad

This salad is really easy to make. However, it’s probably different from most salads you’ve made because you’ll cook the zucchini and tomato first to take the raw edge off. Then you’ll combine with the herbs and lemon juice before serving.

  • Cut up the zucchini and onions.
  • Cook them with the spices and garlic until tender.
  • Toss with the tomatoes, parsley, and mint.
  • Cool to room temperature.
  • Season with lemon juice, salt, and pepper.

Other Zucchini Recipes To Try

Zucchini takes on so many different flavors. If you’ve got a bunch of zucchini hanging around, here are some other recipes you might like:

zucchini and tomato salad on a silver plate

a room temp salad of zucchini tomato and onion on a silver plate

Zucchini and Tomato Salad

Course: Salad
Cuisine: Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Ethnic, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Paleo, Plant-Based, Vegetarian, Veggies, Whole30
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4
Zucchini and tomatoes are a classic combination, but they take an exotic spin with the addition of saffron and bright, grassy herbs. This salad also combines cooked and raw veggies for a texture that's surprising and satisfying.


  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb zucchini cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 2 medium sweet onions cut into 1/2-inch wedges
  • 4 large garlic cloves minced
  • 1 cinnamon stick broken in half
  • 1/4 tsp crushed saffron threads optional
  • 12 oz tomatoes cored, cut into 1/4-inch wedges
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves coarsely chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • pinch salt
  • pinch ground black pepper


  1. Heat the oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat, 2 minutes. Add the zucchini, onions, garlic, cinnamon stick, and saffron. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the zucchini and onions are just tender, about 8 minutes.
  2. Remove the pan from heat. Add the tomatoes, parsley, and mint, tossing to combine. Allow the salad to cool to room temperature.
  3. When it's cool, add lemon juice, salt, and pepper; toss, then taste and adjust seasonings. Serve at room temperature.

Recipe Notes

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2 Responses

  1. I was just thinking I have so many little zucchini’s growing out in my garden bed and I wished I could think of some fresh way to use them! This looks great and I can’t wait to try it. Thank you!

Steph Gaudreau

Hi, I'm Steph Gaudreau (CISSN, NASM-CPT)!

Nutrition and fitness coach for women, Lord of the Rings nerd, and depending on who you ask, crazy cat lady. My mission is to help you fuel for more: bigger muscles, strength, energy, and possibilities. We’ll do it with my signature blend of science, strategy…and a little bit of sass.


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