This easy sautéed zucchini recipe allows the crisp, fresh flavors of zucchini squash to shine. The mildly sweet, nutty flavors of zucchini are deepened over the heat.
It's served with fresh herbs, garlic, salt, pepper, and lemon juice for maximum flavor.
While you can typically find zucchini in the grocery store year-round, it's at its peak in the hot summer months when it's bountiful backyard gardens, farmers' markets, and the supermarket.
This simple side dish is ready in minutes. This is my favorite way to enjoy zucchini and I'm sure you'll love it too. It's truly our best zucchini side dish.
You can also use this recipe to make sautéed yellow squash the exact same way!
Here's what you'll need to make this easy zucchini recipe.
- Fresh Zucchini
- Olive Oil
- Fresh Garlic
- Fresh Parsley
- Fresh Basil
- Lemon Juice
- Sea Salt
- Black Pepper
See the recipe card for quantities and the full recipe.
Cut the ends off the zucchini and slice it in half lengthwise. Cut out the center seeds or dry areas if necessary. Then cut into ¼-inch half-moon slices.
Slice the basil, roughly chop the parsley, and mince the garlic.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and butter.
Once the oil is hot and the butter is bubbling, add the zucchini slices to the hot skillet. Stir the zucchini to coat them in the butter and oil. Try to spread out the zucchini pieces so they are in a single layer. Sauté for 5 minutes.
Stir again and flip the zucchini pieces over and cook for 4 more minutes. Reduce to medium heat if the zucchini is cooking too quickly or burning.
Add the minced garlic to the pan. Stir to combine and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
Remove the zucchini from the heat and add the chopped parsley, chopped basil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
Stir and serve immediately in a medium bowl or platter.
More Great Zucchini Recipes
Want more great zucchini recipes? Try some of our favorites!
- Zucchini Spaghetti (Zoodles with Marinara) - this easy recipe with zoodles and an easy tomato sauce is a fantastic light dinner.
- Shaved Zucchini Salad Recipe - this easy side dish is made with long ribbons of zucchini, cheese, and pine nuts.
- Baked Cotija Zucchini Fries - tasty and crunchy zucchini fries!
Substitutions & Variations
Need to make some swaps to this healthy side dish? Here are some optional changes you can make.
- Oil – you can use grapeseed oil or avocado oil in place of olive oil. You can also use an olive oil spray if you’d prefer.
- Spices – you can add additional flavors by adding your favorite seasonings or spice blends like red pepper flakes, cajun seasoning, Italian seasoning, lemon pepper seasoning, or a spicy seasoning like an adobo blend.
- Toppings - you can add lemon zest, parmesan cheese, or nuts like slivered almonds or toasted pinenuts to top this dish.
You can save the cooked squash in the refrigerator for up to 3 days in an airtight container.
Tips for Making this Recipe
Cooking Tips - Zucchini cooks quickly and can become a soggy mess when overcooked. Make sure to watch your squash closely while it's cooking. An additional minute or two of cooking can take zucchini from perfectly tender to overdone. If your zucchini starts releasing a lot of water, remove it from the heat.
Recommended Tools - I like using a large nonstick skillet for this recipe.
Reheating Tips - The zucchini will become a little soggy when you reheat it, so consider adding it to something like risotto or pasta that would benefit from the moisture.
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- 3 medium zucchini
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- 10 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Cut the ends off the zucchini and slice it in half lengthwise. Cut out the center seeds or dry areas if necessary. Then cut into ¼-inch half-moon slices.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and butter.
- Once the oil is hot and the butter is bubbling, add the zucchini. Stir the zucchini to coat them in the butter and oil. Sauté for 5 minutes. Stir again and flip the zucchini pieces over and cook for 4 more minutes.
- Add the garlic to the pan. Stir to combine and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
- Remove the zucchini from the heat and add the chopped parsley, chopped basil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Stir and serve immediately.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 84Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 295mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 2g