Zucchini holds a special place in my heart. Simple and humble, yet absolutely divine when sautéed to perfection. They take on a delicate tenderness that few veggies can rival. Plus, that golden-brown hue? Talk about irresistible! So, let’s dive in, because we’re about to elevate the humble zucchini with a touch of buttery goodness and the comforting embrace of Italian seasoning. Let’s get cookin’! 

Sauteed Zucchini

Zucchini Zen: Why This Dish Delights

  • Simplicity Shines: With minimal ingredients, the natural flavors of zucchini are allowed to shine. The olive oil and butter combo not only ensures even cooking but enhances the veggie’s subtle taste, making it a star on the plate.
  • Perfect Textural Balance: The method used ensures that the zucchini remains slightly firm and doesn’t turn mushy. That gentle browning? It’s the sweet spot where crispness meets tenderness.
  • Italian Seasoning Magic: A sprinkle of this aromatic blend transforms the dish. It doesn’t overshadow but complements the zucchini, adding depth and a hint of the Mediterranean, ensuring every bite is both flavorful and familiar.

Ingredients for Sautéing Zucchini

  • 2 zucchini
  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons of butter
  • 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning
  • Optional: chopped parsley 
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Fresh organic zucchini sliced in bowl on wooden table

Choosing The Right Zucchini For the Job

Zucchini is a summer squash star, and while you might think that all zucchinis are created equal, there’s a little more to it when aiming for sautéed perfection. When choosing your zucchini for this dish, here’s what to keep in mind:

  1. Size Matters: Smaller zucchinis, around 6-8 inches long, are generally more tender with a milder flavor. They tend to have fewer seeds and a firmer texture which stands up well to sautéing. Giant zucchinis may be fun to show off, but they can sometimes be more watery and have a less pronounced flavor.
  2. Skin Integrity: The skin of the zucchini should be bright and glossy. Avoid those with dull or wrinkled skin, as they may be old and have a bitter taste. The skin contains a lot of nutrients and adds a delightful textural contrast in your sautéed dish.
  3. Firmness is Key: Gently press the zucchini with your thumb. If it yields slightly but doesn’t leave a dent, it’s fresh. If it’s soft or squishy, it’s past its prime.

In a nutshell, for the best sautéed zucchini experience, look for smaller, firm zucchinis with shiny skin. Happy sautéing!

How to Saute Zucchini

  1. Slice the zucchini into even slices.
  2. In a large skillet, turn heat to medium-high. Add the zucchini, olive oil, and butter. Cook for five minutes, until liquid has been released and zucchini are starting to brown.
  3. Add the Italian seasoning and salt and pepper to taste, then stir. Cook for five more minutes, until zucchini is cooked through, then cool. 

Pairing Partners: Complementing Your Sauteed Zucchini

Oh, sautéed zucchini! So versatile, so delightful. While it’s absolutely scrumptious on its own, zucchini’s mellow flavor makes it the perfect sidekick to a range of dishes. Here are some recommendations to elevate your next meal:

  • Grilled Proteins: The slight char of grilled chicken, steak, or fish contrasts beautifully with the tender zucchini. The herbs from the Italian seasoning also play off well with the smoky flavors of the grill.
  • Pasta Delights: Toss your sautéed zucchini into a pasta dish. Whether it’s a light aglio e olio or a rich Alfredo, these green gems add a fresh touch.
  • Grain Bowls: Mix in your zucchini with quinoa, bulgur, or farro. Throw in some cherry tomatoes, feta cheese, and a drizzle of your favorite dressing for a Mediterranean-inspired bowl.
  • Egg Dishes: Elevate your morning omelette or frittata by adding in sautéed zucchini. The buttery softness of the zucchini complements the fluffy eggs perfectly.
  • Stuffed Breads & Pitas: Sandwiches, wraps, or pitas; zucchini adds moisture and a hint of summer to every bite. Pair it with some hummus or tzatziki for a refreshing twist.
  • Rice Dishes: Whether it’s a simple steamed rice or a spiced pilaf, sautéed zucchini lends a lovely texture and color contrast.

No matter how you choose to enjoy your sautéed zucchini, it’s bound to bring a fresh, vibrant touch to your plate. So, next time you’re pondering what to pair with your zucchini, let your culinary creativity run wild!


Frequently Asked Questions: Sauteed Zucchini Edition

  • Can I use yellow squash instead of zucchini? Absolutely! Yellow squash can be a great substitute for zucchini. It has a similar texture and will take on the flavors of the Italian seasoning just as well. Just ensure you adjust the cooking time if needed, as sizes and thickness can vary.
  • How do I store leftovers? Store any leftover sautéed zucchini in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It should stay fresh for up to 3 days. Just give it a quick reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop before enjoying.
  • Can I freeze sautéed zucchini? While you technically can freeze it, it’s not always recommended because zucchini contains a lot of water. Freezing might change its texture, making it more mushy when thawed. If you do opt to freeze it, make sure it’s stored in an airtight container and consumed within a month.
  • Why is my zucchini releasing so much water? Zucchini naturally contains a lot of water. When it cooks, it releases moisture. To combat this, you can try patting the zucchini dry after dicing or salting the zucchini and letting it sit for a few minutes before cooking. This can help draw out some of the moisture.
  • Can I add other veggies to the mix? Of course! Sautéed zucchini pairs beautifully with bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, and even cherry tomatoes. Feel free to experiment and make the dish your own.
  • What if I don’t have Italian seasoning on hand? No worries! You can substitute Italian seasoning with a mix of dried herbs like oregano, basil, thyme, and rosemary. Or even just a sprinkle of dried basil or oregano can do the trick.
Sauteed zucchini with herbs on plate

Sauteed Zucchini

Savor the flavors of fresh zucchini with this simple and delicious sautéed zucchini recipe. Thin zucchini slices are cooked to perfection in a blend of olive oil and butter, seasoned with Italian herbs, and a pinch of salt and pepper. This quick and easy side dish is perfect for adding a burst of flavor to any meal. Optional fresh herbs provide a delightful finishing touch.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Side Dish
Servings 4 peopple
Calories 45 kcal


  • 2 zucchini
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Optional: Fresh Parsley chopped


  • Slice the zucchini into thin even slices.
  • In a large skillet, turn heat to medium-high. Add the zucchini, olive oil, and butter. Cook for five minutes, until liquid has been released and zucchini are starting to brown.
  • Add the Italian seasoning and salt and pepper to taste, then stir. Cook for five more minutes, until zucchini is cooked through, then cool.


Calories: 45kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 1gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.3gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 5mgSodium: 24mgPotassium: 263mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 267IUVitamin C: 18mgCalcium: 24mgIron: 1mg
Keyword sauteed, zucchini
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