Sautéed Zucchini is an easy, healthy side dish that’s perfect for serving with grilled meats, pasta and more! Garlic, thyme and Parmesan cheese bring lots of flavor to this quick zucchini recipe.
Best Sautéed Zucchini
When I want a quick and easy way to cook zucchini, I turn to this sautéed zucchini recipe. Fresh zucchini is sliced and cooked in a skillet with a little olive oil until it’s golden brown and tender. I toss the seasonings together with the zucchini right in the skillet so that there’s only one dish to wash at the end. Start to finish, this easy sautéed zucchini takes just over 10 minutes to make.
This healthy zucchini recipe is as delicious as it is easy. I recommend cooking more zucchini than you think you’ll need because chances are everyone is going to want to go back for seconds!
You’ll need 5 ingredients, plus salt and pepper, to make this sautéed zucchini recipe.
- Zucchini: Small to medium sized zucchini have more flavor than large zucchini.
- Olive Oil: Keeps the zucchini from sticking to the pan and adds flavor.
- Garlic Powder: Using garlic powder is an easy way to add garlic flavor to the zucchini.
- Dried Thyme: Thyme complements the flavor of the zucchini. Italian seasoning also works well here.
- Salt and Pepper: Adjust the amounts to your tastes. I like to use Kosher salt for its coarser grains. If you use table salt, you’ll want to start with half of the amount listed in the recipe.
- Parmesan Cheese: Grated Parmesan cheese adds salty, cheesy flavor. You can omit the Parmesan for a dairy-free recipe.
Find the full recipe with ingredient amounts in the recipe card below.
How to Make Sautéed Zucchini
Learn how to cook zucchini in a skillet until it’s perfectly tender and flavorful.
- Start by slicing the zucchini into rounds. Aim to make the rounds a little over 1/4-inch thick.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the zucchini to the pan and sprinkle the seasonings evenly over the zucchini.
- Cook the zucchini for 4-5 minutes, until it is crisp tender and golden brown on the edges. Toss/flip the zucchini occasionally to help it cook evenly.
- Remove the pan from the heat and sprinkle the grated Parmesan evenly over the zucchini. Then serve and enjoy!
Sautéed Zucchini Recipe Tips
- Don’t slice the zucchini too thin, since thin slices are more prone to turning mushy. I aim to cut rounds a little thicker than 1/4 inch.
- Be careful to not overcook the zucchini or it may get mushy.
- You can sprinkle on some red pepper flakes along with the Parmesan if you like spice.
- This recipe also works well with yellow summer squash. You can use a combination of zucchini and yellow squash.
Storage and Reheating Instructions
Leftover sautéed zucchini is best eaten within 1-2 days. I like to heat it up and serve it alongside eggs for breakfast. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
The best way to reheat sautéed zucchini is in a skillet with a little olive oil over medium heat, heating a few minutes on each side. Place the zucchini in a single layer in the pan to help it crisp it back up. The skillet method is much preferred over using the microwave, which can make the zucchini soggy.
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Easy Sautéed Zucchini
- 4 medium zucchini
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- Slice the zucchini into rounds that are a little thicker than ¼-inch thick.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add the zucchini to the pan. Sprinkle the garlic powder, dried thyme, salt and pepper evenly over the zucchini.
- Cook for 4-5 minutes, tossing the zucchini occasionally to cook both sides evenly, until zucchini is crisp-tender and golden brown.
- Remove the pan from the heat. Sprinkle the grated Parmesan evenly over the zucchini in the pan. Serve.
- This recipe also works well with yellow squash. You can use a combination of yellow squash and zucchini.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat in a skillet with a little olive oil over medium heat, heating a few minutes on each side. Place the zucchini in a single layer in the pan to help it crisp back up.