by Olena

Sauteed Zucchini

by Olena

5 from 1 reviews

I could talk about this Sauteed Zucchini for days! How it takes 3 minutes. How simple are the ingredients. How tasty it is. And healthy. But don’t trust my words. Try for yourself!

This zucchini recipe is the quickest way to use up an abundance of summer squash. Also try not less amazing Parmesan zucchini sticks and if you have time, a low carb zucchini lasagna.

sauteed zucchini in a skillet garnished with dill and Parmesan

Sauteed Zucchini Recipe

This sauteed zucchini recipe is easy as ABC.

In fact, this is how we cooked all summer veggies growing up in Ukraine. Simple, easy and tasty.

High heat softens zucchini outside yet keeping it firm and not mushy. Freshly grated garlic and dill add a ton of flavor at the end. And a sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan cheese seal the deal.

I make this true Ukrainian side dish all summer long. Because it takes 5 minutes.

Ingredients

5 simple ingredients. 5 minutes. No lengthy list of ingredients. No grocery store run. Use what you have.

I bet you 100% if you have zucchini on hand, you can make this sauteed zucchini recipe right now.

  • Zucchini
  • Garlic
  • Oil
  • Herbs
  • Salt and pepper

zucchini, cheese, garlic, oil, salt and pepper

If you have garden or farmer’s market zucchini, chances are it is probably large in size. You want to chop summer squash into 1/2 inch thick cubes or quarter moons.

If zucchini is medium size, half moons are perfect. And baby zucchini could be sliced into rounds.

sliced zucchini on a cutting board

How to Cook Sauteed Zucchini

  1. Make sure skillet is hot. While it’s preheating chop zucchini.
  2. Swirl oil and add zucchini.
  3. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring a few times.
  4. Grate garlic, chop dill and add on top. Stir and grate Parmesan cheese on top again.
  5. Enjoy!

how to make sauteed zucchini step by stephow to make sauteed zucchini step by step how to make sauteed zucchini step by stephow to make sauteed zucchini step by step

How Long to Cook Zucchini?

Zucchini is truly a magic vegetable with 95% water content. That is why it makes muffins and bread moist without cups of oil. When making pan fried zucchini, keep this fact in mind.

Saute zucchini for a total of 3 minutes, not more. Stir maximum 2 times. Let zucchini touch the hot skillet surface for at least a minute to really get that sear.

Don’t stir constantly to avoid pale “steamed” zucchini. And don’t stir cooked zucchini to make it mushy too much. Remember, 95%?!

What is a Good Herb for Zucchini?

After zucchini is cooked, sprinkle with herbs, freshly grated garlic and Parmesan cheese. Fresh is the keyword here. Not dried herbs, not garlic powder and not Parmesan from a shaker.

The best fresh herbs for zucchini are fresh dill, Italian parsley or basil. And if you can get flat leaf Italian parsley versus curly parsley, it’s better. I find curly parsley has a coriander taste to it.

Green onion or cilantro can be used too. They are just OK herbs for sauteed zucchini recipe, in my opinion.

sauteed zucchini recipe in a pan

Tips and Variations

  • You can use olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil or any other oil you like for sauteing. Here I share about 3 oils I use and why.
  • As for the skillet, larger skillet with tall sides is better. I’m using ceramic non-stick skillet. It means more zucchini will be fried rather than just cooked.
  • You can add mushrooms. Make sure to fry them on high heat with a bit of salt first before adding zucchini. Whole mushrooms would be better as they will keep their water inside. Yes, mushrooms is another 92% water veggie.
  • You can also add tomatoes. Just like with mushrooms, cook them first before adding zucchini. Grape or cherry tomatoes will keep their shape better than larger sliced tomatoes. You might end up with more of a saucy zucchini side dish like my chicken breast with tomatoes.

How to Store And Serving Suggestions

Sauteed zucchini will last 1-2 days in the fridge. It does get a little bit more soggy. Again, 95% water content. But will be delicious nonetheless.

You cannot freeze zucchini because once thawed all water will escape the flesh resulting in very limpy sauteed zucchini. You don’t want to eat that.

Serving ideas? Oh my, simple sauteed zucchini goes with pretty much everything! That’s why I love it so-so much! Here are a few suggestions from Ukrainian me:

More Quick & Easy Zucchini Recipes

Print

Sauteed Zucchini

5 from 1 reviews

  • Author: Olena of ifoodreal.com
  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings (as a side) 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stove
  • Cuisine: Ukrainian
Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs zucchini
  • 1 tbsp avocado or olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • 12 garlic cloves, grated
  • 2 tbsp dill, basil or Italian parsley, finely chopped
  • Parmesan cheese, to taste

Instructions

  1. Chop garden or farmer’s market large zucchini into 1/2 inch thick cubes or quarter moons. If zucchini is medium size, half moons are perfect. And baby zucchini could be sliced into rounds.
  2. Preheat large ceramic non-stick skillet with tall sides on high heat and then swirl oil. Add zucchini, salt and pepper. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring maximum 2 times. Let zucchini touch the hot skillet surface for at least a minute to really get that sear. Don’t stir constantly to avoid pale “steamed” zucchini. And don’t stir cooked zucchini to make it mushy too much.
  3. After zucchini is cooked, sprinkle with herbs and freshly grated garlic. Stir and grate fresh Parmesan cheese on top.
  4. Serve warm or cold.

Store: Refrigerate covered for up to 2 days. Do not freeze.

Notes

  • The best fresh herbs for zucchini are fresh dill, Italian parsley or basil. And if you can get flat leaf Italian parsley versus curly parsley, it’s better. I find curly parsley has a coriander taste to it.
  • Green onion or cilantro can be used too. They are just OK herbs for sauteed zucchini recipe, in my opinion.
  • You can add mushrooms. Make sure to fry them on high heat with a bit of salt first before adding zucchini. Whole mushrooms would be better as they will keep their water inside. Yes, mushrooms is another 92% water veggie.
  • You can also add tomatoes. Just like with mushrooms, cook them first before adding zucchini. Grape or cherry tomatoes will keep their shape better than larger sliced tomatoes. You might end up with more of a saucy zucchini side dish like my chicken breast with tomatoes.

 Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating in the comments.

olena osipov in the studio

Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys and a wife to Alex. And this is our healthy family recipes blog. I grew up in Ukraine on real food. As an adult, I tried many diets without results. Now for over 10 years, I cook quick and easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

What You Will Find Here

Healthy family recipes with simple ingredients. Many are inspired by my Ukrainian heritage. I share mostly dinner recipes because it just never ends... I’m obsessed with healthy freezer meals. And more than in love with my Instant Pot.

A Little More About Me

Originally from Ukraine, I now reside on magic Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada with my family. I started this blog in 2012 when I ended up at home with 2 small kids unemployed and a wee bit chubby.

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