Cucumber and zucchini

What is the Difference Between Zucchini and Cucumber

October 5, 2022

by Gerandielle

4 min read

The main difference between zucchini and cucumber is that zucchini has a sweet flavor, whereas cucumber has a watery flavor due to the high content of water.

Although both zucchini and cucumber have a similar shape, there are slight differences between them, including their taste and uses.

Key Areas Covered

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

Key Terms

Cucumber, Zucchini

What is Zucchini

Although zucchini is typically identified as a vegetable, it is a fruit. Zucchini has a cylindrical shape and is usually dark green in color. The zucchini plant is also a type of gourd. Zucchinis are known as summer squashes; summer squashes are harvested when immature. At this stage, the peel of the fruit is tender and edible. Zucchini has seedy flesh inside, and the flesh is creamy white in color. Zucchini plants have big heart-shaped leaves, and the fruits protrude out of the stem of the plant.

Zucchinis have a very mild flavor with a mixture of slight sweetness and slight bitterness. The sweetness of zucchini is more prominent when it is cooked, while the bitter taste can be tasted when it is consumed raw. There are many dishes we can make with zucchini. However, the common preparation is roasting and baking alongside other vegetables. Raw zucchini is also used in vegetable salads and is sometimes cut into strips to be served with dishes like pasta. Furthermore, zucchini is rich in vitamin C and also contains vitamin K, magnesium, and potassium.

What is Cucumber

Cucumber is a vegetable that is cultivated in many parts of the world. Cucumbers are cylindrical in shape and dark green in color. The cucumber also belongs to the gourd family. They have a light sweet flavor because of their high-water content. Cucumber skin also has a refreshing taste. Nevertheless, some people remove the skin to get the texture. People consume them raw or after cooking. When it is cooked, it maintains a slight crunch. People often eat raw cucumbers in dishes like salads, sandwiches, and raita. Cucumber salads contain other vegetables like tomatoes, avocados, and red onions. People rarely cook cucumbers. Asian foods usually contain cooked cucumbers.

Cucumbers have seedy flesh, and the flesh is a pale green color. The seed of a cucumber is visible and black in color. Most cucumbers have a bumpy outward appearance, but some varieties have smooth skin. There is coolness and crunch in cucumbers. Therefore, people often serve them raw. People also use fresh cucumbers in pickles. Cucumbers have nutrient values like vitamin K, magnesium, and potassium. The fruit of cucumber hangs like grapes on a vine. There are different types of cucumbers, such as salad cucumber, Indian cucumber, Scandinavian cucumber, and lemon cucumber.

Similarities Between Zucchini and Cucumber

Difference Between Zucchini and Cucumber


Zucchini is an edible fruit/vegetable with a cylindrical shape and has a sweet flavor, whereas a cucumber is a vegetable that is in a cylindrical shape and has a watery flavor due to its high water content.


Although zucchini is cooked, cucumbers are not often cooked.


Zucchinis protrude out of the stem of the plant, whereas the fruit of cucumber hangs like grapes on a vine.


The flesh of the zucchini is creamy white in color, whereas the flesh of the cucumber is pale green in color.


Both zucchini and cucumber belong to the gourd family. The main difference between zucchini and cucumber is that zucchini has a sweet flavor whereas cucumber has a watery flavor due to the high content of water.


1. “Cucumber.” Wikipedia. Wikipedia Foundation.
2. “Zucchini.” Wikipedia. Wikipedia Foundation.

Image Courtesy:

1. “ARS Cucumber” By Stephen Ausmus, USDA ARS – Released by the Agricultural Research Service, the research agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Zucchini” (CC0) via Pixabay

About the Author: Gerandielle

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Zucchini vs Cucumber - Do You Think You Know The Difference? - By Dr.

Atray Bhatt

If placed side by side, you may confuse a cucumber with zucchini and vice versa. Given that both have dark green skin, are long and cylindrical, you wouldn’t be the only one to be confused. However, try using one in place of the other and you’ll realize your mistake in a second.

A favorite among those who want to lose weight quickly, both zucchini and cucumber have a very low count on the glycemic index. Due to their high water levels, both of them are very low in sugars, carbs, and calories, but high in essential nutrients.

Well, it is hard to tell the difference between Zucchini & Cucumber vegetables are placed right next to each other they both have the exact green skin, long cylindrical shape, and pale and seedy flesh. However, the moment you touch them you will instantly realize that what might appear as twins are actually not. Cucumbers have a cold and bumpy exterior while Zucchinis have a dry and rough exterior.

  1. Fruit or Vegetable: Though they may look similar, cucumbers and zucchini do not belong to the same family. Cucumbers belong to the gourd family while zucchini belongs to the Cucurbita family. Technically speaking, cucumbers are considered to be a fruit by many people. However, you wouldn’t really put a cucumber in a fruit salad.
  2. Know just by touching it: When you touch a cucumber, it is relatively softer as compared to a zucchini. A cucumber will also feel cool and waxy while a zucchini is more likely to feel rough and dry. Cucumbers may feel a little bumpy to touch while zucchinis are typically smoother.
  3. Zucchini vs Cucumber Taste: Cucumbers are generally eaten raw while zucchinis are cooked. However, cucumbers can also be cooked and zucchini may be eaten raw or pickled. Tastewise, cucumbers have a fresh taste and are juicy due to high water content. On the other hand, zucchinis have a heartier flavor and may even tend to be slightly bitter. When cooked, zucchini holds its shape better than cucumbers that wilt easily. However, zucchini softens when cooked while cucumbers will maintain a slight crunch. It is also important to note that zucchini flowers are edible while cucumber flowers are not.
  4. Zucchini vs Cucumber Calories: Cucumbers have a slightly lower calorific value as compared to zucchini. Zucchini is richer in vitamin B and vitamin C as compared to cucumbers. Both vegetables have relatively equal amounts of calcium but zucchini is richer than cucumbers in potassium and iron. Zucchini also has a higher amount of protein and fiber.
  5. Best Way to Eat Zucchini & Cucumber: Cucumbers are ideally eaten raw or pickled. A cold cucumber can be quite refreshing on a hot summer day. Cucumbers typically find themselves in salads or sandwiches. They can also be used to flavor water. On the other hand, zucchinis taste better when baked or stir-fried. Apart from being chopped and used as vegetables, zucchini is often made into the shape of noodles that are popularly known as zoodles. Zucchini can also be shredded and baked in loaves of bread and muffins.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

Which is healthier: cucumber or zucchini?

Everyone knows that vegetables are healthy. It is difficult to determine which one is better - each has its own set of micro and macro elements, its own amount of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. If we compare close relatives - cucumber and zucchini, which belong to the Pumpkin family, then you will not immediately guess which of the vegetables is more useful.