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Zucchini vs. Courgette: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Updated on October 10, 2023
Zucchini and Courgette refer to the same vegetable; "Zucchini" is commonly used in American English, while "Courgette" is preferred in British English.

Key Differences

Zucchini is the term that people in North America predominantly use to describe this dark green, elongated vegetable. The word "Zucchini" has its origins in Italian. On the contrary, Courgette is what people in Britain, Ireland, and other parts of the world call the same vegetable. "Courgette" has French origins, stemming from the word "courge," which means gourd or marrow.
When it comes to cooking, Zucchini and Courgette are used interchangeably since they refer to the same vegetable. Whether a recipe mentions Zucchini or Courgette depends largely on the region where the recipe originated. So, a cookbook from the U.S. might list Zucchini in its ingredients, while a British cookbook will likely use Courgette.
The distinction between Zucchini and Courgette highlights how language and culture influence the names of common items. In the U.S., where there is a significant influence of Italian culture, especially in culinary contexts, Zucchini is the accepted term. In contrast, countries with stronger French ties lean towards Courgette.
While both Zucchini and Courgette refer to the same vegetable, their differing etymologies reflect the historical and linguistic paths of American and British English. Over time, as cultures interacted and exchanged knowledge and culinary traditions, the two words emerged to describe the same item, making Zucchini and Courgette perfect examples of regional linguistic variations.

Comparison Chart

Linguistic Origin


Predominant Use

North America
Britain, Ireland, and other parts of the world

Associated Culture

U.S., influenced by Italian culture
U.K., influenced by French culture

Culinary Context

Recipes in the U.S. will often use this term
Recipes in the U.K. will prefer this term


American English
British English

Zucchini and Courgette Definitions


A popular ingredient in salads and grilled dishes.
Grilled Zucchini is one of my favorite side dishes.


Often grilled, fried, or used in stews.
The grilled Courgette tasted fantastic.


Often used in baked goods for added moisture.
She baked delicious Zucchini bread.


The fruit of a variety of summer squash.
Courgettes are in season during the summer.


The fruit of a variety of summer squash.
The farmer's market had fresh Zucchini on sale.


A green-skinned, slender summer squash.
Could you pass me a Courgette from the basket?


A green, elongated vegetable of the squash family.
I added some sliced Zucchini to the stir-fry.


Commonly used in British and European cooking.
The recipe calls for two medium-sized Courgettes.


A variety of summer squash (Cucurbita pepo) having an elongated shape and a smooth, thin, dark green rind.


Can be made into ribbons for salads or cooking.
I made a refreshing salad with Courgette ribbons.


A courgette; a variety of squash, Cucurbita pepo, which bears edible fruit.


A zucchini.


The edible fruit of this variety of squash.


A particular variety of Cucurbita pepo, a small marrow/squash.


Marrow squash plant whose fruit are eaten when small


The edible fruit of this marrow/squash.


Small cucumber-shaped vegetable marrow; typically dark green


A marrow squash plant whose fruit are eaten when small; - called also zucchini.


Can be spiralized to make vegetable noodles.
I replaced pasta with Zucchini noodles for a low-carb meal.


A small cucumber-shaped vegetable marrow; typically dark green; - called also zucchini.


Marrow squash plant whose fruit are eaten when small


Small cucumber-shaped vegetable marrow; typically dark green


Can I use Zucchini if a recipe asks for Courgette?

Absolutely, since they're the same vegetable.

Is Courgette a French word?

Yes, "Courgette" has French origins, coming from the word "courge."

Are there any other names for this vegetable?

In some regions, it's simply referred to as "green squash."

Why is it called Zucchini in America?

The term "Zucchini" has Italian origins, reflecting the Italian influence in American English.

Is there any taste difference between Zucchini and Courgette?

No, there is no taste difference as they are the same vegetable.

Which is more popular globally, Zucchini or Courgette?

It depends on the region; for instance, the U.K. prefers "Courgette" while the U.S. uses "Zucchini."

Can I use Courgette in place of Zucchini in a pasta dish?

Yes, they can be used interchangeably in any recipe.

Is there a color difference between Zucchini and Courgette?

No, they can be dark green, light green, or even yellow, regardless of the name used.

How did the term "Zucchini" become popular in the U.S.?

Italian immigrants and the influence of Italian culture likely popularized the term in the U.S.

Are Zucchini and Courgette the same?

Yes, they are the same vegetable but with different names based on the region.

Why are there two names for the same vegetable?

Different names emerged due to linguistic and cultural differences between American and British English.

Do Zucchini and Courgette have different nutritional values?

No, they have the same nutritional values as they are the same vegetable.

Which term is older, Zucchini or Courgette?

Both terms have been in use for centuries, with their origins in Italian and French, respectively.

Is "Zucchini bread" the same as "Courgette bread"?

Yes, they're the same type of bread, just with different regional names for the primary ingredient.

Why do British recipes use "Courgette"?

Due to the French influence on British English, "Courgette" became the preferred term.

Are there different varieties of Zucchini or Courgette?

There are various cultivars, but they all fall under the Zucchini or Courgette category.

Can you eat both Zucchini and Courgette raw?

Yes, both can be eaten raw, often in salads.

Which term should I use if I'm writing for an international audience?

It's best to mention both, e.g., "Zucchini (Courgette)," to ensure clarity for all readers.

In which dishes is Courgette commonly used?

It's versatile and used in stir-fries, grills, stews, and even baked goods.

Is Zucchini the male form and Courgette the female form of the vegetable?

No, both terms refer to the vegetable itself and are not gender-specific.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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