What is the Difference Between Zucchini and Squash

The main difference between zucchini and squash is that squash is a plant species that belongs to the gourd family, whereas zucchini is a summer squash that belongs to the same species.

The Squash family is divided into two main varieties called winter squash and summer squash. Zucchini is a type of summer squash. In brief, all zucchinis are squashes, but not all squashes are zucchinis.

Key Areas Covered

1. What is Zucchini  
     – Definition, Features
2. What is Squash
     – Definition, Features
3. Similarities – Zucchini and Squash
     – Outline of Common Features
4. Difference Between Zucchini and Squash
     – Comparison of Key Differences

Key Terms

Squash, ZucchiniDifference Between Zucchini and Squash - Comparison Summary


What is Zucchini

Zucchini is a young fruit that belongs to the Cucurbitaceae plant family, just like gourds and cucumbers. Zucchini is a summer squash that is totally edible. Generally, farmers harvest zucchini before they are fully matured. Moreover, zucchini’s flesh, skin, and seeds all contain phytonutrients. Colour-wise, it can have an array of colours, ranging from a dark green to a yellowish hue.

Zucchini vs Squash

Zucchini has a mild taste with a little bit of sweetness to it. However, the taste and the texture of a zucchini fruit may vary according to the culinary technique used in cooking. For instance, if you sauté zucchini in olive oil blended with a little garlic, it turns crispy and gives your taste buds a taste of savoury flavour. Zucchini purée is an excellent source that brings a natural sweetness to your muffin batter. Zucchini is an extremely versatile fruit that can be blended with many dishes. This is mainly due to its mild and less overwhelming flavour.

Zucchini brings you loads of health benefits. It is a non-starchy fruit with a high-fibre content and is rich in vitamin A and C. Therefore, it is low in calories and has no fat. If you are planning to shed some pounds, boost your immune system, keep your blood sugar levels down and regulate bowels, zucchini is the ideal choice due to its rich fibre content.

What is Squash

Squash is a fruit that belongs to the genus Cucurbita of the family Cucurbitaceae. There are two main types of squash: winter squash and summer squash. Winter squash include varieties like butternut, corn, delicata, hubbard, and kabocha, while summer squash varieties include varieties like spaghetti squashes and zucchini.

Compare Zucchini and Squash

Most squash varieties share bright colours. They usually taste both mild or savoury based on the variety. Therefore, squashes are both used as fruits and vegetable dishes. Some species of squash possess a natural sweetness even though they are not as sweet as typical fruits. Most squash varieties incorporate an earthy flavour and are cooked as a savoury ingredient together with other vegetables.

Similarities Between Zucchini and Squash

  • Zucchini and squash come from the genus Cucurbita of the family Cucurbitaceae.
  • Both are incorporated into hundreds of sweet and savoury dishes by both Eastern and Western chefs.
  • Both zucchinis and squashes grow on vines.
  • In addition, they bring you high nutrients beneficial for your body health.

Difference Between Zucchini and Squash


Squash is a variety of fruit that belongs to the genus Cucurbita of the family Cucurbitaceae, whereas zucchini is a summer squash, a subspecies that falls under the main plant variety of squash.


Summer squash varieties like zucchini can be consumed raw, while other squash varieties are cooked alongside other vegetables.


The main difference between zucchini and squash is that squash is a fruit of the genus Cucurbita while zucchini is type of summer squash. Since zucchini is a summer squash, it can be consumed raw, but we do not consume other squash types uncooked. However, both zucchini and all other winter and summer squashes are rich in fibre and other nutrients such as vitamin A, B, C, and potassium.


1. Cassoobhoy, Arefa. “Zucchini: Health Benefits, Nutrients, Preparation, and More.” WebMD, 22 Sept. 2020.
2. Brennan, Dan. “Squash: Health Benefits, Nutrients per Serving, Preparation Information, and More.” WebMD, 19 Sept. 2020.

Image Courtesy:

1. “Zucchini-green-vivid-vegetable” (CC0) via Pixabay
2. “Butternut-squash-produce-gourd” (CC0) via Pixabay

About the Author: Anuradha

Anuradha has a BA degree in English, French, and Translation studies. She is currently reading for a Master's degree in Teaching English Literature in a Second Language Context. Her areas of interests include Arts and Literature, Language and Education, Nature and Animals, Cultures and Civilizations, Food, and Fashion.

Leave a Reply