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Kalyn's Kitchen

Marinated Zucchini Salad with Olives, Artichokes, and Red Pepper (Video)

This Marinated Zucchini Salad with Olives, Artichokes, and Red Pepper is one of the Top Ten Most Popular Low-Carb Zucchini Recipes on Kalyn’s Kitchen, and this is the perfect low-carb alternate to pasta salad. And this tasty summer salad is also Keto, low-glycemic, gluten-free, meatless, and South Beach Diet Phase One! Use the Diet-Type Index to find more recipes like this one.

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Watch the video to see if you’d like to make
Marinated Zucchini Salad with Olives, Artichokes, and Red Pepper!

Marinated Zucchini Salad with Olives, Artichokes, Red Pepper, and Red Onion [found on KalynsKitchen.com]

I’m not sure when I first came up with this recipe for Marinated Zucchini Salad with Olives, Artichokes, and Red Pepper but I know it was one of the first recipes I posted on my blog in 2005, and I remember sharing the recipe with people at the Utah Education Association when I was on the Board of Directors there, probably in about 1999. So obviously I’ve been making this for a long time now!

I remember that when I finally took some photos of the salad in 2010, the recipe had been lurking in the archives of Kalyn’s Kitchen since 2005 without a single photo! Recently I was making this again for a family party and decided to take better photos for this salad that’s one of my favorite things to make when I have a lot of zucchini. And if you happen to end up with monster zucchini in the garden, they can be used in this if you scoop out the seeds and trim away most of the pithy white part, then cut the zucchini into small pieces before you steam or saute it.

This time when I made the salad I decided there was plenty going on without the red onion that was in the original version, so you can use onion or not depending on your preferences. And by all means, use this recipe as merely a starting point, because there are lots of other raw or cooked vegetables that would be good here, so have fun with this one!

(Marinated Zucchini Salad with Olives, Artichokes, and Red Pepper was updated with better photos in July 2016.)

Marinated Zucchini Salad with Olives, Artichokes, Red Pepper, and Red Onion [found on KalynsKitchen.com]

Cut up zucchini into bite-sized pieces, steam or saute for about 3 minutes, and then drain. (If you’re using older zucchini, cut away the large seeds and most of the white part before you cut it into pieces.) Whisk together the salad dressing, lemon juice, Parmesan, basil, and oregano to make the dressing.

Marinated Zucchini Salad with Olives, Artichokes, Red Pepper, and Red Onion [found on KalynsKitchen.com]

Dump one can pitted olives into a colander and drain well. Drain artichoke hearts and cut them up if they’re large.  Chop up red bell pepper into bite-sized pieces. Put the barely-cooked zucchini, olives, peppers, and artichokes (plus chopped red onion if using) into a Ziploc bag or a plastic container with a tight-fitting lid, and pour over enough dressing to completely moisten ingredients. Let salad marinate 4-8 hours in the fridge.

Marinated Zucchini Salad with Olives, Artichokes, Red Pepper, and Red Onion [found on KalynsKitchen.com]

When you serve, stir in a bit more dressing and sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan cheese. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for a few days, but you might want to add more dressing to brighten the flavors!

Make it a Meal: For a low-carb meal, this would taste great with Rosemary-Mustard Grilled Chicken, or Marinated Flank Steak.

More Tasty Ideas with Zucchini:

The BEST Slow Cooker Zucchini Recipes ~ Slow Cooker or Pressure Cooker
50 Amazing Zucchini Recipes ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Marinated Zucchini from A Life (Time) of Cooking
Raw Summer Squash Salad with Arugula, Feta, and Herbs from Kalyn’s Kitchen

Marinated Zucchini Salad with Olives, Artichokes, and Red Pepper

This Marinated Zucchini Salad with Olives, Artichokes, and Red Pepper is the perfect low-carb alternate to pasta salad.



  • 4-5 small zucchini, cut into half moon slices about 1/2 inch thick (or bite sized pieces)
  • 1 can large pitted black olives, drained very well
  • 1 jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained very well
  • 1 red or green pepper chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 red onion chopped into bite-sized pieces (optional)

Dressing Ingredients:

  • 1 cup your favorite Italian dressing with no sugar (see notes)
  • juice of half lemon (2 T)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan, Asiago, or Romano cheese
  • 1 T dried basil (or use 2 T basil pesto or 3 T. chopped fresh basil)
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • Optional: additional 1/4 cup grated parmesan to sprinkle over salad just before serving


  1. Cut zucchini into quarter slices or bite sized pieces. (If you’re using large zucchini, cut away the seeds and most of the white part.)
  2. Steam or saute zucchini until barely tender/crisp, about 3 minutes for steaming and slightly longer for sauteeing, then drain very well. (You can plunge the hot zucchini into water with ice cubes to stop the cooking if you’re in a hurry, but I don’t always do that.)
  3. While zucchini is cooking, open olives and artichoke hearts and dump into a colander to drain well. (Draining the zucchini and olives well is essential or the finished salad will be watery.)
  4. Chop the red bell pepper (and red onion if using) into bite-sized pieces.
  5. Combine zucchini, olives, artichoke hearts, red pepper (and red onion if using) in  Ziploc bag (or plastic or glass container with a snap-tight lid.)
  6. Pour dressing over, just enough to cover veggies, and stir gently. (I only use part of the dressing to marinate the veggies and then stir in a little more dressing when I serve it.)
  7. Marinate in refrigerator 4-8 hours.
  8. If you can turn it over once in a while to keep the vegetables covered with dressing that would be great, but it’s not essential.<
  9. Just before serving stir in a little of the reserved dressing.
  10. Sprinkle the salad with more freshly grated Parmesan cheese when serving if desired.
  11. At the risk of sounding like a cheese snob, let me say that this is best with freshly grated cheese. I like to grate it on the large side of the grater for the final 1/4 cup and serve the salad with the grated cheese not mixed in. However if all you have is pre-grated Parmesan, not to worry. It will still be yummy.


I use Newman’s Own Olive Oil and Vinegar Dressing to make this salad.

This recipe created by Kalyn many years ago!

All images and text ©

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
This Marinated Zucchini Salad is perfect low-carb and low-glycemic eating plans and for any phase of the South Beach Diet, but be sure to choose a dressing with less than 2 grams of sugar per serving.

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

Nutritional Information?
If you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you. Or if you’re a member of Yummly, you can use the Yum button on my site to save the recipe and see the nutritional information there.

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38 comments on “Marinated Zucchini Salad with Olives, Artichokes, and Red Pepper (Video)”

  1. Pingback: Keto Caesar Salad - Kicking Carbs

  2. How many cups or what weight of summer squash would this be? 4-5 small is a bit ambiguous. Thanks.

    • I didn’t weigh or measure the zucchini so I can’t answer that. But this is a recipe where you don’t need a specific amount of zucchini. I consider to a small not more than 8-9 inches long; maybe that will help.

  3. Pingback: 20 Best Summer Salad Recipes to try this Summer |

  4. This was AMAZING! Even better that it can be made easily in winter!
    I used a homemade Italian dressing recipe and combined it with everything in my smoothie maker. I also added a crumbled block of feta. There was nothing to ‘drain’ from the zucchini because I only nuked them 4min.
    This is supposed to marinated until dinner but I kept spooning it into my mouth! Thank you!

  5. 'jar of marinated artichoke hearts'–there are numerous sizes–can you give the specific size? or a general range? Thank you.

    • Shirley this is not a salad where you need specific amounts of any of the ingredients except for the dressing ingredients. I would use more artichokes if you really like them and the budget permits, and less if you are not as big of a fan. I don't have a jar in the pantry right now so I can't say what size I used, sorry, but more artichokes is always a winner in my book!

  6. This recipe is quite impressive and perfect for me. I love salads and especially Marinated Zucchini. Thanks Kalyn for sharing my favourite recipe. Keep posting 🙂

  7. Thanks for sharing the idea!

  8. For those who don't like the harshness of the red onion, but like the subtle flavour and crunch, try slicing the red onion into thin rings or half moons and cover with the juice of 2 limes or a lemon and leave to soak for 10-15 minutes. The onion and citrus juice can then be used in the dressing. The lime worked perfectly for this recipe to my mouth, and the red onion turns fluorescent pink, mild and crunchy, no harshness! Love this salad! Thanks for sharing so many great ones!

  9. Thanks so much Amy, glad you enjoyed it. (And I will add it to my long list of recipes that could use new photos!)

  10. Made this yesterday to use up some yellow squash and it was DELICIOUS! I added tomatoes, used green onions instead of red, and used feta as suggested by another comment-er and my husband loved it! This deserves another mention and some new pictures!

  11. It does sound good to me with cucumbers!

  12. I bought all the stuff to make this the other night and accidentally bought cucumbers instead of zucchini… this happens to me ALL the time. LOL.
    ANYWAY, it was still delicious with the cucumbers! haha
    Thank you!

  13. Tara, so glad you liked it. I love the addition of grape tomatoes. Thanks for sharing your variations.

  14. I made this and it was excellent. I added grape tomatoes, sliced in half, and used marinated kalamatas instead of black olives, which I don't like. I also sweated the onions in some salt before adding (then washed under water to remove salt) to take that spicy onion edge off. I wish I had a microwave because Linda's time- (and dishes-) saving tip sounds good. This is so easy it will surely become a standby recipe for me.

  15. Linda, glad you liked it! Good idea to use the microwave to cook the zucchini.

  16. Wow, this is great! I'm allergic to raw peppers so I left those out, but the rest is exactly as written and it IS yummy. Having it for lunch "as we speak".

    A quick tip for cooking the zucchini – I put the chunks in a covered glass casserole and microwaved it on high for 1 minute. Came out perfect, didn't need the ice water bath.

    Thanks for another great low carb recipe, Kalyn!

  17. I see I am getting behind on replying to comments here, but so glad people are liking this one, even if it's an "oldie."

  18. Oh, I love everything about this! te texturem the colour, the flavours… just yummy!

  19. looks so fresh and delicious, love it!

  20. This salad looks so appetizing, so colorful and of course, it's highly nutritious. I like the salad dressing.

  21. Marinating everything would certainly bring the flavours out and this is already one tasty sounding salad!

  22. Oh my gosh…this looks amazing. I've put it on my menu list for this weekend. I have some zucchini in the fridge right now calling my name!

  23. Hi Chigiy,
    I'm doing fine, but not spending nearly enough time weeding and my garden is getting over-run with weeds! It's been so hot here, I keep hoping for some cooler days so I feel like getting out there. After your snakebite horrors, I can imagine your garden has suffered. Hope you are getting back to normal. I do think roasted red peppers would be fantastic in this!

    Shirley, I like the barely steamed zucchini in this, although I do like raw zucchini in some types of salad. Yep, another old post updated, but hundreds more to go!

  24. I have been wondering about using zucchini in salads. I didn't really want to eat it raw so steaming a bit is perfect. Looks and sounds delish, Kalyn. I love the raw red onion! And, you're so right about the Parmesan cheese affecting photos. A little also seems to look like a huge amount in photos. Pursuant to our discussion yesterday, looks like you've checked off another blog post for a photo fix. 😉


  25. Hi Kalyn,
    How are you?? This salad looks good. My garden sucks this year, so I'm going to have to rely on the kindness of my neighbors for Zucchini. Hey, how do think roasted peppers would taste in this? I roast them and keep them in the frig all the time.

  26. Karri, thanks. I've been making this salad for a long time, and now Creatively Domestic has given me the idea to try the dressing on other things!

    Rebecca, me too!

    Zesty, thanks!

    Donna, great idea to add the juice from the marinated artichokes!

  27. We are going to have tons of cauliflower in our garden this year – I'll bet this would be good marinated the same way as the zucchini.

    I love the liquid that comes in those little jars with the artichoke hearts. Could you add that in to your marinade?


  28. This looks awesome! I bet it is just as flavorful as it is colorful 🙂

  29. Looks perfect for a summer picnic! I am loving all the fresh veggies!

  30. I absolutely love raw zucchini. This salad looks gorgeous- and I imagine it is super flavorful. Wonderful combo, Kalyn. Love the dressing ingredients.

  31. Creatively Domestic, I haven't used this dressing on anything else, but I think it would be good on lots of other things, especially salads with tomatoes or peppers. I'd like it drizzled over roasted or grilled veggies too.

    Lydia, good ideas for getting rid of the raw onion taste.

  32. I'm not a fan of raw onions, so here's what I do: either soak them in cold water for 30 minutes, or saute very lightly, just to take the raw edge off. I prefer to cook them just a bit, but soaking in water also eliminates some of that very raw onion flavor. This salad looks delicious, and I'm going to try it with some of the wonderful parsley from my garden.

  33. I think the dressing alone could be a great post! Have you used this salad dressing recipe in other salads? If you could recommend any other salad options I'd appreciate it.

  34. JoAnn so glad you liked it. It's funny because I just made a note of this yesterday to make so I can take photos!

  35. Oh my gosh!! This is SO GOOD! I have a ton of zucchini right now, and I'm always in the market for a new yummy recipe. THIS IS FABULOUS! I kicked it up a notch by using Feta cheese (TO DIE FOR in this salad, I promise!). Yum!! Thanks for posting this! Oh… and PS… is it still SB friendly if you eat all of it? 🙂

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