This Zucchini Ribbon Salad is a light and refreshing side dish that’s fresh and full of flavor. The ingredients are simple, but the textures and flavors are heaven together!

I can’t stop eating this salad lately, which is a good thing because it happens to be quite healthy. We’ve had a few 100 degree days lately and this dish really hits the spot when it’s too hot to cook. It’s even better with cold leftover Grilled Chicken Breast.

Zucchini Ribbon Salad - With Basil, Walnuts, and Grana Padano in Blue Bowl

One of the strengths of this salad is its elegance. There aren’t many ingredients here, and the whole is definitely more than the sum of its parts. I also think it’s pretty enough to serve for company.

If you haven’t made salad with zucchini ribbons before, it’s actually quite easy. Trust me, I am not a fan of tedious tasks in the kitchen, but prepping zucchini ribbons is much quicker and easier than it seems. It only takes me two minutes to prep two zucchinis.

Then you toss the zucchini ribbons in a quick lemon dressing, and sprinkle over some grana padano cheese, toasted walnuts, and basil. If you’ve got 10 minutes, you’ve got time to make this dish.

Zucchini Ribbon Recipe in blue bowl with Walnuts, Parmesan, and Basil

Also, if you’ve never had zucchini raw before, I thin you’ll be surprised by how lovely it is. It has a subtle sweetness to it, and a great texture. Raw zucchini also makes for great pickles, prepared like my friend Brenda’s wonderful Pickled Squash.

How to Make Zucchini Ribbon Salad:

First, wash a couple small zucchinis and use a peeler to cut thin ribbons:

Shaved Zucchini Ribbons on Cutting Board with Peeler

I just run a Y-peeler down the length of the zucchini, leaving the stem on at the top so I have something to grip. Using a peeler like this, it only takes a minute or two.

To make the dressing, combine extra virgin olive oil, fresh lemon juice, Dijon mustard, garlic, salt, and pepper in a bowl:

Olive oil, vinegar, garlic, Dijon in glass bowl

Whisk that together to emulsify the dressing:

Lemon Vinaigrette in mixing bowl

Toss the zucchini ribbons with the dressing, then arrange them on a plate.

Then sprinkle some toasted walnuts, shaved grana padano cheese, and fresh basil on top:

Zucchini Ribbons Tossed with lemon dressing, basil, and cheese

Enjoy the salad immediately, as the zucchini will get weepy if it sits for too long.

If you don’t know how to pick good zucchini from the store, how to store it, and more, check out my Ultimate Guide to Zucchini. I also have 60+ recipes for cooking with it, including Zucchini Fritters and Greek Zucchini Salad. Happy cooking!

Zucchini Ribbon Salad With Basil, Walnuts, and Grana Padano in Blue Bowl

Zucchini Ribbon Salad

This Zucchini Ribbon Salad is a light and refreshing side dish, with walnuts, grana padano, and basil.

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For the dressing:

  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove pressed
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper

For the salad:

  • 14 oz zucchini cut into ribbons (I had two)
  • 1/4 cup toasted walnuts
  • 2 ounces shaved Grana Padano or Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • 10 fresh basil leaves thinly sliced


  • To make the dressing, whisk together the extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, mustard, salt, and pepper, for about 20 seconds, until emulsified.
  • Place the zucchini ribbons in a bowl, and toss with the dressing. 
  • Arrange the dressed zucchini ribbons in a serving bowl or low dish, and sprinkle on the walnuts, cheese, and basil.
  • Serve promptly and enjoy, as the zucchini ribbons will start to weep if left for more than 10-15 minutes.


Calories: 357kcal, Carbohydrates: 8g, Protein: 10g, Fat: 33g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Cholesterol: 29mg, Sodium: 518mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 5g

Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.

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