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Easy Sautéed Zucchini

Easy Sautéed Zucchini

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This is one of those recipes that is on repeat all summer long.  As a regular reader you know Lenny hates zucchini and I am always looking for ways to add it to our summer meals.  This recipe for easy sautéed zucchini is a winner!  After talking with a chef friend who suggested I try pan frying or sautéing rings of butternut squash to add some variety to our meals (I usually roast or grill our veggies), I tried it out.  It was so delicious that I adapted it to summer squash, particularly zucchini.  

Easy Sautéed Zucchini


Typically we do not fry food at home, but using olive oil over a medium heat, while quickly cooking, the zucchini does not feel greasy or “fried”.  Instead they are crisp and delicious.  I like to cook each side until it is golden brown which only takes about 1 – 2 minutes per side depending on how hot your stove is.  This gives great color while holding their shape with a slight bite (that crispy taste).  

I have found that small to medium sized firm zucchini work better for this recipe.  Larger ones have bigger seeds in the middle and I find they get soggy as well as tasting bitter.  Super simple;  wash the zucchini, dry with a clean towel and cut into 1/2″ circles.  

Use a thick bottomed frying pan with shallow sides to allow the moisture to release from the zucchini as they hold a lot of liquid.  I use either a carbon steel pan or a copper one as both are thick bottomed as well as seasoned which helps prevent any sticking for sautéing.  Add a small amount of olive oil, evenly distribute the cut zucchini in the pan and start cooking.  Do not crowd them in the pan, you want to be able to move them around easily as this helps to release the liquid and caramelize the circles evenly.  Crowding the pan creates a soggy experience as the liquid builds up, and basically steams the zucchini.

Once the zucchini are golden brown they are ready to be plated and seasoned.  I always sprinkle a little malden salt and fresh cracked black pepper along with minced fresh mint over the top;  mint adds so much brightness to a dish.  You can mix it up by using any combination of fresh herbs adding a sprinkle over the top as they come of the pan, while they are still hot enough to release the flavors of the herbs.  A zest of fresh lemon is nice too.  Or sprinkle with a little parmesan or feta cheese;  super delicious.  It really is a make it your own kind of recipe, so have fun with it!  I have a feeling this recipe for easy sautéed zucchini is about to become one of your favorites too.  

Tips for Success:

  • use small to medium firm zucchini cut into 1/2″ circle
  • a well seasoned heavy bottomed frying pan works the best for great caramelized color
  • do not crowd the pan with a lot of zucchini as this will only disappoint you with a platter of steamed and soggy zucchini (even I do not like that)
  • play with the seasonings, be creative and have fun after all that is what cooking is all about.
Yield: 2 servings

Easy Sautéed Zucchini

Easy Sautéed Zucchini

Easy to make sauteed zucchini recipe that can be seasoned with your favorite fresh herbs to make it your own. Great served alongside grilled chicken or a big bowl of pasta with summer tomatoes.

Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 18 minutes


  • 4 small zucchini, cut into 1/2" circles
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • handful of fresh herbs
  • maldon salt
  • fresh cracked black pepper
  • feta or parmesan cheese - optional
  • lemon zest - optional


  1. Wash and dry the zucchini, then cut into 1/2" circles.
  2. Heat a heavy bottomed pan over medium heat (about a 5 on our gas stove).
  3. Add olive oil, I start with 1 teaspoon and go from there.
  4. Evenly distribute the zucchini circles in the pan, do not crown, cook in batches.
  5. Cook for about 1- 2 minutes until golden brown, then flip and cook for another 1 -2 minutes. Remove from the pan and place onto a serving plate.
  6. Repeat until all the circles are cooked, and placed onto the serving plate.
  7. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper to taste, as well as a sprinkle of fresh herbs and any other additions you may want to add.
  8. Serve.
  9. Eat.


This is the perfect summer recipe and it wonderful served hot or at room temperature.

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