This Easy Grilled Zucchini is garlicky, lightly charred summer side dish that requires 5 simple ingredients. Great way to use up garden-fresh zucchini!
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If anyone comes to visit during summer, then chances are that they’ve tried this simple grilled zucchini recipe.
With simple seasonings like garlic, salt, and pepper, it is delicious and literally goes with everything! Or at least the garlic-loving Ukrainian in me certainly thinks so.
Plus, you probably have all the ingredients on hand already. All you need to buy or pluck from the garden is zucchini.
Why You Will Love This Grilled Zucchini Recipe
In my humble opinion, this is the perfect grilled zucchini recipe. Here’s why:
- Simple: You just need 5 ingredients, and that’s including oil, salt, and pepper.
- Tasty: The garlic, salt, and pepper seasoning perfectly enhances the flavor of the squash without taking over.
- Quick: This grilled zucchini recipe requires just minutes of prep and cook time! Slice the zucchini in half, season them, then grill. Zucchini grill time takes just a few minutes of cooking per side to be grilled to perfection.
- Versatile: This recipe works the same for both zucchini and summer squash. From baby zucchini size to giant garden zucchini cut in slices.
Ingredients and Notes
- Zucchini: You can use any size and any color zucchini. It is all about slicing it into correct size. I am using 7 small-medium zucchini about 5 inches long, about 3 lbs total. But this recipe is very forgiving.
- Garlic: If you don’t have garlic cloves, you could also use garlic powder instead. Though fresh is best.
- Oil: Any mild tasting high-heat oil will work well. I often use avocado oil. Grapeseed oil or light olive oil should also work.
- Salt and pepper: To season the zucchini to your desired level.
How to Cook Zucchini on the Grill
The prep: First, rinse the zucchini and pat with a towel to remove excess water. Cut off both ends, then slice zucchini in halves, quarters or coins based on its size.
If using small-medium zucchinis, cut them in half lengthwise. If they’re larger, you can quarter them lengthwise instead or cut into 2 inch thick rounds.
You could also use baby zucchini and cook them for a couple of minutes less.
Season zucchini: Find a dish with a lid that will fit the zucchini pieces and can comfortably be shaken.
Then in a small bowl, whisk together oil, garlic, salt and pepper and pour over the zucchini. Close the lid and give it a good shake until all the pieces are evenly coated. Or just mix with hands.
Alternatively, you can brush each slice with the seasoning but it will take longer that way.
Grill zucchini: Grill it covered for 4-5 minutes, then flip and cook uncovered for 2-3 minutes.
It’s ready when tender to the touch with nice grill marks. If you want it to be a little firmer, remove the zucchini from the heat before it becomes tender, as it will continue to cook a little from the residual heat.
Expert Tips and FAQs
You don’t have to dry it completely but it also shouldn’t be drenched in water as oil and water do not combine well. Just give it a quick pat dry.
Aside from making sure the pieces are thick enough, about 1/3 to 1/2-inch thickness, the actual way you slice the zucchini is up to you. For these small-medium zucchinis, I sliced them in half. For larger zucchini, you could cut zucchini spears, lengthwise slices, or rounds.
#1 reason for soggy zucchini is over-cooking it. Unlike firmer veggies, zucchini has high water content. It means that if you overcook it, water starts to seep out. Cut it into larger pieces because they are hard to overcook.
If you prefer, you can toss plain grilled zucchini in this marinade for grilled vegetables. A little balsamic vinegar will pack a ton of flavor and helps to elevate the zucchini.
How to Store and Make Ahead
Make ahead: You can cover the zucchini in the dressing and refrigerate covered for up to 24 hours before grilling.
Storing: Once cooked, the grilled zucchini can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.
More Easy Zucchini Recipes to Try
You can also browse through a collection of 45 healthy zucchini recipes for more inspiration!
- Add zucchini to a large bowl with a lid or a large baking dish. In a small bowl, whisk together oil, garlic, salt and pepper.
- Pour dressing over zucchini. Mix by either shaking the container with the lid on it or by using your hands. You can also brush the dressing onto the zucchini.
- Preheat grill on medium-high heat and spray with cooking spray. Place zucchini in a single layer on the grill, close the lid and cook for 4-5 minutes. Flip the zucchini once, cover and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Zucchini should be tender to the touch with nice grill marks when it is done.
- Serve warm or cold.
- Make ahead: Cut up zucchini and cover with dressing for up to 24 hours prior to grilling.
- Store: Refrigerate in a glass airtight container for up to 3 days. Do not freeze.
- Slicing: Aside from making sure the pieces are thick enough, about 1/3 to 1/2-inch thickness, the actual way you slice the zucchini is up to you.
- Garlic: If you don’t have garlic cloves, you could also use garlic powder instead.