Will Zucchini Turn Brown When Cut?

Zucchini is a favorite of many individuals when it comes to eating fresh vegetables. Not only do they taste good, but they can also be used in various ways, making them versatile vegetables. Some people even like to eat it raw. However, a hectic daily routine always makes cutting them fresh difficult. So will zucchini turn brown when cut? 

Yes, like most other vegetables, zucchini will brown if you leave them open on the counter after cutting. It might take longer than other veggies to brown, but leaving them out is still not a good idea. But, if you can wrap them properly in a plastic bag or box and keep them away from external moisture, they can stay pretty fresh for up to 4-5 days, or even more. 

It is also important to taste the zucchini first, even if you have stored them properly before you use them, because sometimes they can go bitter.

So even if the zucchini has not oxidized, it might not be safe to eat. So let’s check out how to keep your zucchini fresh and when to throw them out. 

Will Zucchini Turn Brown When Cut?

Yes, if cut-up zucchini is left at room temperature for too long, it will begin to brown. But if you store the cut zucchini properly, sealing them in an airtight bag and storing them in the refrigerator, you can make them last much longer and get more use. 

When you slice open a zucchini, you expose the inner moisture to the air and do not allow the outer skin to protect the zucchini.

So, with time, the air in the room reacts with the surface of the zucchini and starts to oxidize. That is why zucchini and other vegetables and fruits begin to brown if left out for too long. 

Can You Cut Up Zucchini Ahead Of Time?

Yes, you can cut up zucchini ahead of time, as long as you store it properly in the refrigerator. Many people like to meal prep and cut up their fruits and veggies beforehand to save themselves the hassle. It is good practice to keep your veggies in separate containers and put them in the refrigerator as soon as you can. 

When cutting up zucchini beforehand, it is also essential to taste-test and sees if it tastes good. Sometimes zucchini can go wrong in the freezer if left alone for too long. Or you might have just gotten a bad batch from the grocery store. So check if the taste isn’t too bitter.

You might think it’s okay to eat this, but if you cook with zucchini that’s gone bitter, it can cause diarrhea. 

How to Store Zucchini?

There are different ways to cut and store your zucchini to get the best shelf life. You can also try a few fun, innovative ways to store them. Let’s check out how to keep them properly in different ways.  

Storing Sliced Up Zucchini 

Start by washing your zucchini properly, then drying it off with a paper towel or napkin. Chop the zucchini into whichever shape or size you want to. Then pat the zucchini dry with some paper towels.

Take an airtight jar or container, or even a ziplock bag. It must be airtight. Put the cut zucchini in it and put the container or bag in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. Remember to avoid the freezer if you are using this method. 

Pickled Zucchini 

If you don’t want to go through the trouble of cooking your zucchini, you can make a pickle out of it, making it a great, healthy snack for you to chew on. You can even add pickles to your meals. 

Figure out what kind of flavors you’d want and put them in a heat-proof jar. You can add black peppercorns, garlic cloves, coriander seeds, or dill.

You can buy brine from the store and make your own. Put the brine on the stove to heat up while you prepare the jar. Once all the spices are in the jar, add your sliced zucchini and the brine.

Leave it out to cool for a while, then you can pop it in the refrigerator, and it will stay for two weeks! 

Freezing Zucchini

If you want to store your zucchini for much longer, you can try freezing them. It is best to blanch and freeze your zucchini first. It will preserve the freshness and stop the enzymes from breaking down the zucchini. 

Start by bringing a pot of water to a boil, and then add your cut zucchini to the pot. Keep an ice bath nearby.

After 2 minutes, drain the zucchini and put it immediately into the ice bath. After about 5 minutes, you can remove them and pat them dry with a paper towel.

Try to get as much moisture from them as possible. 

Next, just put them in a freezer-safe bag or container, and they will stay fresh for up to ten months. You can put them into small bags so you can regularly take them out to cook them or use them in meals.

Frozen zucchini is best for cooked meals, as the texture is slightly different. So it’s best not to eat them raw. 

Storing Whole Zucchini

Another great way to make your zucchini last is to store them whole. They will be fresh for much longer and won’t lose their texture. Wash them properly and then dry them with a paper towel.

As with all other methods, get the moisture out as much as possible. Then place them in a plastic bag that is open at the top, and store them in the crisper drawer.

You can keep checking them every few days and dry them to remove any condensation that may form inside the fridge. Remember to check for mold as well. 

Zucchini Noodles 

Zucchini noodles or zoodles are becoming very popular among the fitness crowd. Cutting them up every time can be tiresome, so many people want to store them for future use.

If you like zoodles and want to store them, it’s best to keep them in the refrigerator. They do not freeze well at all. 

Take a glass bowl or a container and line it up with paper towels. Then put your zoodles in the container, cover the top with paper towels, and seal tightly with a lid.

Put them in the refrigerator, and they will last a few days. You can switch out the paper towels every two days to prolong their life. 

How Long Does Cut Zucchini Last?

When sliced up into pieces, zucchini can last about 1-2 hours if left at room temperature and exposed. After that, it will start to become softer and go brown. If you store it in the refrigerator, raw and cut, it will last about a week. If you cut it and cook it, it can last only 2-3 days. 

On the other hand, if you use your cut-up zucchini to make a pickle, you can get a longer shelf-life, which is about two weeks.

But if you want something even more long-term, you can blanch the cut zucchini and freeze them. It will last about ten months!

If you skip the blanching, you can get about three months out of them. 


So the answer to the question, “Will zucchini turn brown when cut?” is yes. It will if you leave it out at room temperature. 

However, if you know how to store it properly, you can increase its shelf life and get more use. Happy cooking!