Sautéed zucchini is low cal, low-carb and has great flavor.

Thick coins of zucchini squash are seasoned with garlic, butter, and basil. This side dish cooks up quickly in a skillet and is as easy as it is delicious!

This side dish pairs well with salmon, steak, grilled chicken, or other roasted meats.

Sauteed Zucchini in a bowl work a fork and spoon

A Quick Zucchini Side Dish

  • This is a healthy side dish that is really quick to prep (and can be prepared up to 2 days before cooking).
  • This easy sautéed zucchini recipe has just a few ingredients and lots of flavor.
  • Add in your favorite seasonings or fresh herbs if you have them on hand.
  • Make this zucchini recipe as a side dish or add sauteed zucchini to a casserole or pasta dish!
zucchini , oil , garlic and salt and pepper to make Sauteed Zucchini with labels

Ingredients for Sautéed Zucchini

Zucchini – Choose squashes that are full and heavy with intact skin. Mix it up with a few slices of yellow squash for color.

Add-Ins – Zucchini has a mild flavor and partners well with many other veggies. Try adding sliced red onions, mushrooms, corn, tomatoes, or red peppers!

Seasonings – We like to keep seasonings simple in this zucchini saute. If you’d like, add some fresh dill, lemon juice or zest, or other herbs like thyme, or red pepper flakes. If you have fresh herbs like parsley or basil, they should be added at the end of cooking.

Or toss with parmesan cheese before serving.

cutting slices of zucchini to make Sauteed Zucchini

Prep Tip

If using extra large garden zucchini, cut it in half lengthwise and remove the seeds with a spoon.

Cut the zucchini slices thicker if you prefer it to be crisper, we find ½-inch gives the perfect texture while getting a little bit of brown color on the outside. Zucchini will continue to soften a little bit once removed from the pan so be sure not to overcook it.

How to Sauté Zucchini

Ensure you use a large skillet so most of the zucchini is in a single layer. This helps it cook evenly and allows the slices to caramelize a little bit.

  1. Slice the zucchini into rounds (or moons if it’s large) per the recipe below.
  2. Toss with oil, basil, salt, & black pepper and cook until tender crisp.
  3. Move the zucchini to the side of the skillet & cook the garlic in butter. Toss it all together and enjoy!


Keep leftover sauteed zucchini in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Reheat on the stovetop.

Sauteed zucchini can be frozen but won’t be firm once it’s thawed. Simply stir it into a soup or add it to a stew!

Extra Garden Zucchini?

Did your family love this Sauteed Zucchini? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!

Sauteed Zucchini in a bowl work a fork and spoon
5 from 18 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Sauteed Zucchini

With butter, garlic, herbs, & seasonings, Sauteed zucchini is the best way to use up all that garden bounty!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4


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  • 2 medium zucchini about 12 ounces
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon dried basil optional
  • ½ teaspoon Kosher salt or to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cloves garlic minced


  • Slice zucchini to ½ inch thickness.
  • Heat olive oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Toss zucchini with oil, basil, and salt & pepper.
  • Add zucchini and cook 3-4 minutes or until tender crisp.
  • Move the zucchini to one side of the pan and add butter and garlic. Cook until zucchini is tender, about 2 minute more.
  • Season with salt & pepper to taste.


Extra large garden zucchini can sometimes have large seeds. Cut larger zucchini in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds with a spoon.
Cut ¾-inch if you prefer firmer zucchini.
Sprinkle with parmesan cheese before serving if desired.
Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. 
5 from 18 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 75 | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 321mg | Potassium: 266mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 285IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 0.5mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
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cooking Sauteed Zucchini and plated with writing


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About the author

Holly Nilsson is the creator of Spend With Pennies, where she creates easy, comforting recipes made for real life. With a passion for nostalgic flavors and simplified techniques, Holly helps busy home cooks create delicious meals that always work. She is also the author of “Everyday Comfort,” which promises to inspire even more hearty, home-cooked meals.
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  1. I have printed and used so many if your recipes…thank you! Is there a way to save these in a recipe box so I don’t have to print them!

    1. Hi Linda, you click on the heart at the top right of the page to save this recipe as your favorite. Then using your email address, it creates a virtual recipe box so everytime you visit the site you can use the same email address and access your favorite recipes. I hope that helps!