You can’t argue that comfort foods have some type of wonderful power that warms your soul by bringing you to simpler times. Unfortunately, many comfort foods pack some major calories as their mouth-watering taste can be attributed to high amounts of unhealthy fats and carbs. However, did you know you could still have your nostalgia-fest dishes with zucchini comfort foods?

Zucchini is low in saturated fat, sodium, and cholesterol- making it a perfect addition to comfort food recipes. The squash is also filled with lots of nutrients such as protein, fiber, folate, and magnesium. With these 10 recipes, transform your favorite comfort foods with the power of zucchini. 

1. Healthy Zucchini Nachos

vegetable, salad, pepper, seafood
Dara Ades

Instead of munching on nachos full grease, try these healthy zucchini nachos. Since they're not made with tortilla chips, they are much lighter. But no worries, they still have that amazing, zesty taste of normal nachos.

#SpoonTip: For a sweeter twist, try these nachos with sliced mango and avocado.

2. Zucchini Lasagna Rolls

vegetable, meat, sauce, seafood, fish
Emma Lally

At this point, I think most of us are aware of the zoodle craze. Zucchinis are great for replacing lasagna noodles too, though. Thinly slice and wrap with your typical ingredients, and bake. You'll get a dish that tastes just as good as the real thing.

3. Zucchini Parm Burger

Maria Serghiou

This zucchini-based veggie burger covered in sauce and topped with melted mozzarella will instantly become your new favorite meatless Monday dish. It is leaner than your average burger, yet still satisfying. This recipe is actually pretty easy to make; the cook time is under an hour.

4. Vegetarian Zucchini Meatballs

vegetable, tomato, meat, sauce, beef
Rebecca Simonov

Vegetarian or not, these meatless meatballs will satisfy anyone. They are lighter than your average meatball, but still pack a ton of comforting flavor. I would recommend serving these hot, paired with your favorite pasta (and maybe some zoodles).

5. Creamy Zucchini Soup

Sofía Vainesman

On a cold or rainy day, you could agree that a warm bowl of soup just makes your life a hundred times better. Instead of buying canned soup from the store, try this simple-to-make recipe. With only five ingredients, it is fairly easy to whip up on a budget.

6. Mini Gluten Free Zucchini Pizza Bites

pizza, cheese
Caitlyn Heter

If you loved those Bagels Bites as a kid, these zucchini pizza bites are essentially the grown-up version. They take about the same time to make as the original, plus they are a great gluten-free alternative.

#SpoonTip: If you want to make them without the meat, try substituting pepperoni with a veggie like banana peppers.

7. Shrimp Scampi with Zucchini Linguini

pasta, shrimp, vegetable
Maddie Cole

You don’t need to worry about eating a ton of pasta with this lighter scampi recipe. By using a spiralizer, you can instantly swap wheat linguine with zucchini noodles. It’s got the same spicy kick and warm, comforting taste as the original version.

8. Spaghetti Squash and Zucchini Taco Shells

Emma Lally

Switch up your Taco Tuesday with these veggie taco shells. They still have the satisfying crunch of a wheat or corn tortilla, but better yet, they are infused with cheese. I don’t know about you, but a crunchy taco with more cheese and fewer carbs seem like a win-win to me. 

9. Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

chocolate, sweet, candy, coffee, cake, cookie, pastry
Julia Rose Camus

Finally, a dessert that is actually healthy for you! The combo of chocolate and zucchini pair well together; the zucchini adds texture, moisture, and nutritional value to the recipe. They are great to way to make your 8 am a bit more manageable or to treat yourself after a long day of class. 

10. Baked Breaded Zucchini Sticks

sauce, cheese
Brianna Sutherland

French fries could only dream of being as delicious as these baked breaded zucchini sticks. They are so easy to make that a college student could do it, plus it only takes about 30 minutes to make a batch. They are great for entertaining a large crowd or enjoy as a snack for one.

spaghetti, zucchini, courgette, pasta, garlic, vegetable
Katie Jannotta

When cooking with zucchini, it’s helpful to keep in mind the squash’s high water content. If not prepared properly, it tends to get mushy really fast. Slice, sprinkle with salt and let “sweat” to remove some moisture. Also, cook on high heat to let it caramelize and develop a “meaty” texture.

When cooked right, zucchini is the perfect substitution in any comfort food dish. It’s packed with nutrients and is low in carbs and unhealthy fats. So when you're in the mood for a feel-good kinda dish, but want to keep it low carb, give some zucchini a try.