Kalyn's Kitchen

Mom’s Creamed Zucchini

Every family has their secrets, and my mom’s Creamed Zucchini is a Denny family secret, with an ingredient you probably wouldn’t ever guess! It’s unusual, but everyone in my extended family loves this recipe! 

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Mom's Creamed Zucchini finished dish in serving bowl

Every family has their secrets, don’t they? My family is actually amazingly wholesome, but we do have this secret recipe for Mom’s Creamed Zucchini, using an ingredient that’s maybe slightly embarrassing for those of us who try to be healthy eaters. If you’re concerned with not using processed foods, you might turn up your nose at a creamed zucchini recipe featuring a humble ingredient like powdered coffee creamer. But if this idea weird to you, be open minded; everyone in my huge extended family loves this dish and everyone I’ve ever made this for has loved it! And it says a lot about the recipe that in a family where there are very few coffee drinkers, every one of my siblings has a bottle of Coffee-Mate in the cupboard just to make this recipe.

And although powdered coffee creamer could hardly be considered a health food, when you make this you’re eating mostly zucchini and the small amount of creamer that sticks to the squash. (And if you check the nutritional information, you may be surprised to see how little fat and carbs the coffee creamer actually contains.) This recipe is best when made with small zucchini that aren’t more than 10-12 inches long, and you must have fresh from the garden or farmer’s market zucchini for this to really taste great, but if you’ve got a surplus of zucchini give my mom’s creamed zucchini a try!

What ingredients do you need for this recipe?

  • diced zucchini, yellow squash, or scallop squash
  • Coffee-Mate powdered coffee creamer, not fat free or low-fat (affiliate link)
  • butter
  • salt to taste
  • fresh ground black pepper

Mom's Creamed Zucchini process shots collage

How to Make Mom’s Creamed Zucchini:

Scroll down for complete recipe with nutritional information.)

  1. This time I had a mixture of zucchini, yellow straight-neck, and scallop squash.
  2. Cut the squash up into medium-sized chunks (all close to the same size.)
  3. Cook the squash in salted water for 8-10 minutes, or until it’s soft when pierced with a fork.  (Better to have it a little under-done than overdone at this point, because you’re cooking it more.)
  4. Drain squash well in a colander placed in the sink.
  5. After it’s pretty well drained, put the squash back into the pan you cooked it in. Add the butter and roughly mash the squash a few times with a potato masher. Stir in the coffee creamer until it liquifies; then simmer until most of the liquid is cooked off. 
  6. Season to taste with salt and fresh ground black pepper and serve.

More Recipes for Zucchini:

Slow Cooker and Instant Pot Zucchini Recipes ~ Slow Cooker or Pressure Cooker
50 amazing Zucchini Recipes ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Easy Cheesy Zucchini Bake ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
The Top Ten Low-Carb Zucchini Recipes ~ Kalyns Kitchen

Mom's Creamed Zucchini finished dish in serving bowl

Mom's Creamed Zucchini

Yield 4 servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 27 minutes

My Mom’s Creamed Zucchini has a secret ingredient you probably wouldn’t ever guess! 

Ingredients

  • 8 cups diced zucchini, yellow squash, or scallop squash (see notes)
  • 1/4 cup Coffee-Mate powdered coffee creamer  (see notes)
  • 4 T butter (more or less to taste)
  • salt to taste (see notes)
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Cut ends off zucchini or squash and cut into 2-inch pieces, with skin on.
  2. Put diced zucchini in large pan and cover with water with about 1/2 tsp. salt added.
  3. Bring to a low boil and cook until zucchini is very fork-tender, but not mushy, about 8 minutes.
  4. Drain zucchini in colander for 3-4 minutes, then put back in pan you cooked it in.
  5. Add butter, then mash zucchini a few times with a potato masher (just enough to release water and break it into chunks, but not enough to get a completely mashed consistency).
  6. Put in coffee creamer and a generous seasoning of salt and pepper, stir a few times, then turn heat back on and cook zucchini about 3 minutes more, until all coffee creamer is dissolved and dish is piping hot.
  7. Serve immediately.

Notes

I like a mixture of zucchini, yellow summer squash, and scallop squash for this recipe. Use original Coffee-Mate, not low fat or fat free. Everyone in my family would use Vege-Sal (affiliate link) instead of salt for this recipe.

Recipe originally from my sister’s mother-in-law, but my mom is the one who introduced our entire family to this recipe.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 172Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4.2gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 253mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 4.3gSugar: 7.2gProtein: 5g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.

If you make this recipe I'd love to hear how it turns out. Leave a star rating or share on social media with the hashtag #KALYNSKITCHEN, thanks!

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
If you make this with 1/4 stick of butter, this would be a “once in a while” treat for the original South Beach Diet. Admittedly, the Coffee Mate is not exactly a health food ingredient, but if you check the nutritional information, you may be surprised to see how little fat and carbs it actually contains so you could probably eat this for any low-carb diet plan.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use the Diet Type Index to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You can also Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Historical Notes for this Recipe:
This recipe was first posted in 2006, and everyone in my family had been making it for years at that point. The photos were updated in 2015, and the recipe was updated with more information in 2021.

Pinterest image of Mom's Creamed Zucchini

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    25 Comments on “Mom’s Creamed Zucchini”

  1. I buy coffee creamer in the winter to make hot cocoa mix – but THIS use is genius!

  2. I think I will try it tomorrow with combination of Cauliflower and Zucchinis.
    Thanks for a great recipe!

  3. This is very interesting sounding!! Have you ever used the same method with other vegetables? I love creamed spinach and I'm wondering if it would work for that!

    • I haven't tried this with any other vegetable, but I am intrigued. I'm not sure the spinach would absorb the creamer in the same way the zucchini does, but it might work. If you try it I'd love to hear what you think!

    • I understand what you're saying…however, I think I'll try it and I'll let you know ?

  4. Oh my gosh, Aunt Kalyn! YES! YES! YES! This is by far one of the BEST ways to eat summer zucchini and squash. This recipe is so simple and such a fun and different way to use up all those garden veggies!

    • Becca, I know. When I realized I hadn't made it once yet this summer I went to the farmer's market and got some zucchini!

  5. I think the addition of coffee creamer is original and creative – sometimes you stumble upon unusual ingredients when you are improvising. I'm willing to try it!

  6. Alyce, fun to hear from a Denny but I don't think we have any relatives from there that I know of.

  7. Kaylyn: I've been seeing your posts for a long time from Lydia. I never saw your last name before today. My Mom was a Denny from near Macomb, Mississippi. Where's the fam from?

  8. Lydia, there is no shortage of squash aroun here!

    Thanks Stef (it is mutual!)

  9. on our house, coffee creamer powder is called "spackle." No matter how many times I try to move over to all real all the time foods, I can't get away from my spackle. :-0

    LOVE this; adore you.

  10. Family favorite recipes are the best, no matter how unusual those secret ingredients! Love the variety of squash coming from your garden.

  11. For example, when I make a bechamel sauce, I start with the usual flour & butter (about 3 T each) then add skim milk, only much more than the flour would thicken (probably about 5 cups)- bring to almost boil, then add some disolved cornstarch to thicken it, then a heap of lite non-dairy creamer (I use the generic store brand and find no difference) to give it that same "cream" taste/texture. I use this as a base for spin/artichoke dip to make it more cost effective and healthier, rather than using a base of mostly cheese products. I also use this same base to make cream soups. Have fun experimenting!

  12. Anonymous, interesting ideas. I never thought of using it for anything else!

  13. I am so happy to find someone else who uses powdered coffee creamer instead of cream!! I use the "lite" which has even less fat. I use it to give a nice creamy texture to cream soups, hot dips (like spin & artichoke), and basically any cream-based sauce. Try it out with more stuff! It's a fantastic healthy way to enjoy rich tasting foods!

  14. Agua-Fresca, thanks for visiting.

    CC – Hey, the zucchini is local.

    Emily – good to hear from someone who has eaten it. (Ok, she’s my niece!)

    Chocolate Lady – 1 tsp. of coffee mate original has .5 grams fat and 1.0 grams carbs. The two main ingredients are corn syrup solids and vegetable oil (not the good kind I’m sure). I’m not claiming it’s a health food, and I would not use it every day in coffee, but I don’t think this small amount is anything to worry about, and it tastes WONDERFUL with the zucchini.

  15. Is coffeemate low-fat? Doesn’t it have trans-fats? Maybe I am thinking of coffee-rich.

  16. Was excited to see that creamed zucchini made the famous Kalyn’s Kitchen food blog. It’s definitely one of my very favorite ways to eat zucchini! How can you go wrong with anything creamy?

  17. I am glad to hear that my friends don’t think this sounds like a weird idea. I never use coffee creamer, but it’s great in this. TCL, I don’t know how the recipe got started, but I know that my mother started making it when my dad was having some health problems and couldn’t eat much fat. She made it with no butter for a while. Then he started doing better and she started adding butter, which only improved the dish of course!!

  18. I would love to know how this recipe got started–Was it invented by a non-coffee drinker? If so, How did she happen to have coffeemate handy? I just can’t imagine she went out and said something like
    –I’ll pick up some of this coffeemate; looks like it might go well with zucchini.

    Oddly enough, I just had an incredible craving for coffee, something I almost never make anymore. Ah that was nice.

  19. I love this!!!! An ingredient can come from anywhere. And I agree with Alanna, if you don’t have creamer–you will surely find it at other homes. And what a conversation it would cause making a delicious dish with creamer. :):)

  20. So do I just bookmark this to “zucchini EZ” or to a new folder called “make at Dad’s where I know there’ll be coffee creamer right there on the counter next to the Sanka”?