If you’ve ever perused a farmers’ market or grown your own vegetables, you know how abundant zucchini can be in late summer. While we have lots of ways to enjoy this summer veggie, the simplest preparations can sometimes be the best. We are quick to sauté zucchini and summer squash on any given weeknight for a fast and easy side dish. Let’s get sautéing!
How do you cut zucchini and squash for sautéing?
Using a sharp knife, slice the zucchini into 1/4″-thick coins. For particularly fat zucchini, you may want to cut those coins into halves or quarters to help them cook quickly. But as long as the zucchini pieces are all approximately the same size and thickness, they should cook evenly!
Protip: Any squash will work!
You aren’t limited to zucchini here—yellow squash and other summer squashes will work as well!
What else do I need to make this zucchini recipe?
In addition to the zucchini itself, you’ll need:
- Avocado oil or another cooking oil with a high smoke point
- Fresh garlic
- Black pepper
- A large skillet
There’s a good chance you already have all of these things in your kitchen!
How do I make easy sautéed zucchini?
- Set a large skillet over medium heat and warm the oil.
- Add the zucchini slices to the pan in a single layer. (You may need to do this in batches—it is very important that the zucchini pieces don’t overlap with each other!) Saute the zucchini for 3-4 minutes, then flip the pieces and cook for another 2-3 minutes. At this point, the squash should be tender but not mushy.
- Remove the zucchini from the pan and add the garlic to the skillet. Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring often.
- Combine the garlic and zucchini, and season to taste with salt and pepper before serving.
Protip: Batches make it better!
If you have too much zucchini to fit in a single layer in your skillet, you’ll want to do the cooking in batches. Make sure there is enough oil left in the skillet to coat the zucchini on the second batch—if not, add a little more to the skillet.
How long does sautéed zucchini take?
If you are cooking a small amount of zucchini and not working in batches, this side dish can be ready for the table in 15 minutes or less.
How do you keep zucchini from getting soggy when sauteed?
When cooking zucchini, you want to make sure that you aren’t overcooking it! That’s the number one culprit behind mushy zucchini.
How do I store the leftovers?
Leftover sauteed zucchini can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.
Can I freeze sautéed zucchini?
You absolutely can, but know that the defrosted zucchini will be much softer than it was going in. We recommend using frozen zucchini in things like soups or pasta sauces, where you won’t notice the squash’s texture as much.