zucchini alla scapece
Gluten free Veggies

Zucchini Marinated alla Scapece

Zucchini alla Scapece is a summer typical Neapolitan-based dish of fried zucchini and marinated in vinegar, oil, fresh mint leaves, and garlic. Absolutely to try!  

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Raise your hand if you don’t like zucchini. During summertime, I always have tons of them and I love to prepare them every time in a different way!

If there are dishes that cannot be categorized, Zucchini Marinated alla Scapece fully falls into this category!

Excellent to serve as a summer side dish, or to accompany meat or fish main courses or why not, to be used to season a whimsical pasta dish. In Capri, many restaurants use often to serve them even with mozzarella, a real delicacy!

The execution of this dish is very easy and requires just daily ingredients. Believe me, the flavor of zucchini thus prepared is fresh and unmistakable!

zucchini marinated alla scapece

Zucchini alla Scapece Origins

The recipe for Zucchini alla Scapece has ancient legacies.

According to some historians, this dish was even prepared already during the Roman Empire. The recipe was invented by Apicius, cooker of the emperor Tiberius and author of “De Re Coquinaria“, the first known treatise on gastronomy. In ancient Rome, marinating was often used to preserve food for longer.

Scapece would derive from the combination of “esca” a word which in Latin means “dish” and Apicii, from the name of the cooker Apicius.

According to others, Scapece comes from the Spanish ” escabeche ” which means “to soak in the vinegar”.

One thing is certain, whatever the origin, Zucchini Marinated Alla Scapece is, by far, a popular Italian summer side dish. That’s because they are so quick to prepare and delicious. You just have to take fresh zucchini, slice, fry and season them. That’s it!!

How to cook Zucchini alla Scapece

zucchini alla scapece close up with wooden spoon

The original and traditional preparation foresees that the zucchini are strictly dip fried in hot olive oil

At the same time, there are other ways to cook this recipe that keep zucchini equally crunchy outside and soft inside. 

Grilled: for this version grill the zucchini on a hot cast iron plate for about 5 minutes on each side or until the crust forms on the surface;

Baked: bake zucchini in the oven, placing them on an oiled baking tray or over a baking paper at a temperature of 220-230 C° for about 30 minutes.

Air-Fryer: I recently purchased my first air fryer and am testing it on my favorite dishes. 

To make Zucchini Alla Scapece with the Air-Fryer pour the zucchini into a bowl and add a teaspoon of oil. Mix well to grease all the slices. Heat the air fryer to 200 C ° for 3 minutes, pour the zucchini into the basket, and cook for 15 minutes; halfway through cooking, remember to shake the basket.

My useful tips for an excellent result

The more or less strong flavor of the marinade depends on personal tastes and the type of vinegar used. Consequently, if you like a stronger sour taste, use white wine vinegar. If instead, like me, you like a more rounded taste, choose the apple cider vinegar.

Furthermore, take in mind that Mint is a crucial element for this recipe. So choose fresh green mint leaves, better if just picked on the spot.

Another tip, if you want a more intense flavor, is to add 1/2 fresh chili chopped.

Lastly, remember that Zucchini alla Scapece should be enjoyed cold and marinated after the right time. So you can prepare them in advance and keep them up to 4 days in the refrigerator in an airtight jar.

Yield: 4

Zucchini Marinated alla Scapece

Zucchini Marinated alla Scapece

Zucchini alla Scapece is a summer typical Neapolitan-based dip fried zucchini dish marinated in vinegar, oil, fresh mint leaves and garlic. 

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 28 minutes


  • 8 Zucchini
  • 1 clove of Garlic
  • 15 ml Olive oil for frying
  • 15 mint leaves
  • Salt
  • 5 sp  Water
  • 5 sp Vinegar
  • ½ chili pepper (optional)


  1. Reduce zucchini into round about 4 mm thick (1/8 or 1/4 inch).
  2. Pour the zucchini rounds into a bowl with 1 tbsp of salt, stir and let rest about 20 minutes to remove excess of water.
  3. Thoroughly dry with a cotton cloth or absorbent paper.
  4. Heat oil in a large, non-stick pan so as not to overlap the round slices during frying.
  5. When the oil is hot (170 C° or 340 F°) fry the zucchini, turning them continuously until they are golden brown (about 4 minutes each side).
  6. Repeat the process to fry all zucchini.
  7. Place cooked zucchini on tray with absorbent paper to drain the oil in excess.
  8. Put a small pot on the stove and heat water and vinegar with the garlic clove. When is almost boiling, add 2 tablespoons of the frying oil. Let stay for 1 minute then turn off the heat.
  9. Pour the drained zucchini into a bowl or a hermetic jar and toss the vegetables with the marinade. 
  10. Add the mint leaves and stir for a few minutes to season well. 
  11. Zucchini alla Scapece is excellent to eat cold, so let it rest a few hours.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 122Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 186mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 8gSugar: 8gProtein: 7g

Nutrition Data is automatically calculated and may be not accurate.

Want to give other tasty zucchini-based recipes a try? Take a look to these recipes as well: Baked Crispy Zucchini, or Stuffed Zucchini with Tuna and Anchovies.

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  1. Thanks for sharing, these look very yummy, a great way to cook courgettes 🙂

    Nic | Nic’s Adventures & Bakes

  2. charlinemliu94 says:

    This sounds delicious! I have to admit I don’t usually like zucchini either but this sounds like something I would want to try. Thanks for sharing!

  3. I have to confess I’m not a fan of courgettes (as we know them over here) but I’ve never tried marinating them with mint, which I think would make ALL the difference. Next time I’m given some by our neighbour I’ll have to try your recipe, thank you!

  4. I am not a huge fan of Zucchini but I do like to add extra veg where possible. My partner loves it so I will definitely give this a go!

    Thanks for sharing x

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