Garlic Butter Sauteed Zucchini

SautĂ©ed zucchini is a quick, easy, and healthy side dish. It’s delicious, too. I love this version with zucchini cooked with garlic and butter. You only need five minutes of cooking time, and it’s time to eat! Jump to the Garlic Butter SautĂ©ed Zucchini Recipe or read on to see our tips for making it.

Garlic Butter Sauteed Zucchini Recipe -- Sautéed zucchini is a quick, easy, and healthy side dish. It's delicious, too.

How to Cook Zucchini on the Stove

We love zucchini around here. Have you seen our Guilt-Free Zucchini Noodles, yet? We’ve even made a free-form lasagna using zucchini. This time, we are sharing how to cook zucchini on the stovetop. You only need five minutes of cooking time. Let me show you how.

There are lots of ways to cook zucchini, but the quickest is to pan-fry or sauté it in a pan on the stove. By cooking zucchini this way, the zucchini browns on the outside and becomes tender on the inside.

We pan fry zucchini often and especially love it when the zucchini is cooked in a little butter. The butter adds a nutty flavor and helps the zucchini to brown.

We also love adding a tablespoon of minced garlic to the pan, because butter and garlic are just meant to be, right?

The trick to sautéing zucchini is not to overcook it. Overcooked zucchini turns mushy.

How to Cook Zucchini on the Stove -- Sautéed zucchini is a quick, easy, and healthy side dish. It's delicious, too.

My Best Tips For Pan-Fried Zucchini

Use a wide skillet. By using a large skillet, the zucchini has the chance to spread out and brown. This applies to cooking most vegetables on the stovetop. We use the same tip when cooking mushrooms — by spreading the veggies out in a single layer, they brown instead of steam.

Don’t peel the zucchini. Peeled zucchini turns mushy and has no crunch.

Don’t salt zucchini ahead of time or at the beginning of cooking. Salt draws out water from the zucchini. This will make it less crunchy when it’s cooked. Since salt does make things taste good, we use it, but prefer to salt towards the end.

Cook the zucchini until crisp-tender, which means it will look wilted, but still have a crunch.

Possible Zucchini Recipe Variations

Sautéed zucchini has lots of possible recipe variations. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Make it cheesy and stir in a little bit of grated parmesan or another type of cheese just before serving.
  • We love the combination of garlic and butter, but you can use other spices. Try Italian seasoning, Za’atar spice blend, Cajun seasoning, an Indian spice blend like curry powder, or chili powder (here’s our homemade chili powder blend).
  • Add in some extra crunch with toasted sliced almonds or buttery pine nuts.
  • Throw in chopped tomatoes with the zucchini and cook until the zucchini is crisp-tender and the tomatoes collapse a little and release some of their juices.
  • Add more protein by adding cooked or canned beans — white beans, chickpeas, and black beans would be excellent.
Garlic Butter Sauteed Zucchini Recipe

More Easy Zucchini Recipes

  • These meatless Stuffed Zucchini Boats are packed with flavor. We stuff them with three kinds of cheese as well as one of our favorite ingredients: roasted red peppers.
  • Our easy, Cheesy Baked Zucchini Chips are addictive. They are perfect to serve with dinner or just as an afternoon snack.
  • How to make the Best Zucchini Bread with a lightly spiced, perfectly sweetened batter and a whole pound of grated zucchini mixed in.
  • This Mediterranean Zucchini Noodles Salad has zucchini noodles, cucumber, tomatoes, feta and a spicy yogurt dressing.
  • Zucchini stars in this Vegetable Lasagna with tender vegetables, a light tomato sauce, and lots of cheese.

Garlic Butter Sauteed Zucchini

  • PREP
  • COOK

Sauteed zucchini is a quick, easy, and healthy side. We love simply sauteed zucchini with a bit of minced garlic, salt, and pepper. That said, we have shared quite a few variations in the article above.

Makes 4 servings

You Will Need

1 1/4 pounds chopped zucchini (2 medium)

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)

Salt and fresh ground black pepper

1 scallion, thinly sliced

1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan or pecorino cheese, optional

Dash fresh lemon juice or red wine vinegar, optional


    It’s up to you as to how you cut the zucchini. You can slice the zucchini into rounds, cut into half moons or chop into bitesize pieces.

    Melt the butter in a wide skillet over medium-high heat. Add the zucchini and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally until the zucchini is browned in places and tender, 3 to 5 minutes.

    Season with a pinch of salt and black pepper. Stir in the scallions and cheese, if using. Serve immediately with a spritz of lemon juice.

Adam and Joanne's Tips

  • Nutrition facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA database to calculate approximate values. We did not include cheese or nuts in the calculations.

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #inspiredtaste — We love to see your creations on Instagram and Facebook! Find us: @inspiredtaste

Nutrition Per Serving: Serving Size 1/4 of the recipe (just over a cup) / Calories 32 / Total Fat 2.9g / Saturated Fat 1.8g / Cholesterol 7.6mg / Sodium 292.2mg / Carbohydrate 1.5g / Dietary Fiber 0.3g / Total Sugars 0.2g / Protein 0.4g
AUTHOR: Adam and Joanne Gallagher

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter with easy, delicious, and fresh recipes and receive our eCookbook with 16 of our most loved recipes for free! Click Go to signup for free!

15 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Linda August 30, 2021, 6:52 pm

    Hello Adam and Joanne, Thank you for your recipes. I made zucchini today. I fried up some brown sugar bacon added onions, fresh zucchini yellow and green. Fresh garlic fresh tomatoes. I let that fry up a little bit then I added salt and pepper. Delicious! Thank you for all your ideas. I’m looking forward to more recipes thank thank you both. Linda

  • Daniel Ford July 23, 2021, 9:26 pm

    One of the best zucchini side dish that you can make it as the dinner. Also, it was easy and quick to make the dish. Chop, chop, chop, slice, slice, slice and toss together. LA LA LA! All done in less than 15 minutes! Plus this recipe is very helpful to use up the glut of zucchini that my wife and I grew in our garden. Wink!

  • Stacie Holliday June 19, 2021, 10:37 am

    This recipe is so good!!!!

  • Mrs Badali December 13, 2020, 5:32 pm

    I love this, it’s so delicious. I’ve made this 3 times in 4 days! I added beyond sausages to mine. The second time Tuscan kale and broccoli. Delicious🤗. Thank you.

  • Debra August 8, 2020, 7:54 pm

    My neighbor is growing zucchini and pots on his picnic table and they are great looking and he gave me a very large one that I plan on making this recipe and the rest making zucchini muffins that I will share with him. This recipe looks totally awesome I will cut mine into bite-sized pieces and I have freshly grated Parmesan cheese to add. Thank you so much for all these recipes. ?

  • Anu July 13, 2020, 6:43 am

    This is gorgeous, and so simple! I think I did end up overcooking the zucchini a bit, but it still tasted wonderful, and the lemon juice takes it to the next level. I didn’t have any scallions so I used chives instead, and that seemed to do the trick. I will definitely make this often, thank you so much for sharing the recipe.

  • msV2uboo May 5, 2020, 7:15 pm


  • Jamie April 25, 2020, 10:07 pm

    Delicious! Will make it again.

  • Gayle March 23, 2020, 5:56 pm

    Made this last week and added bacon pieces. Amazing. Making it again tonight. Thanks for the recipe!

  • Esther Eigege January 29, 2020, 3:38 am

    This is awesome and sweet. I enjoyed it very much.

  • minnie quilloy January 15, 2020, 9:47 am

    Thank you..

    I will follow your your recipe

  • Micki July 10, 2019, 2:31 pm

    Wow. Really good! I overcooked the zucchini (quick which gave it just a hint of blackened flavor) in a cast iron skillet and added a little Italian seasoning, parmesan and lemon juice Delicious

  • Sylvia July 1, 2019, 11:02 am

    I’m excited to try it. It looks really good.

  • Deb January 30, 2019, 4:08 pm

    Loved it

  • Margaret December 18, 2018, 8:58 pm

    This is just the zucchini recipe I have been looking for. I made it tonight for dinner, and it was delicious! All your recipes are winners. Thank you.


Leave a Comment/Review

Cancel reply

All comments are moderated before appearing on the site. Thank you so much for waiting. First time commenting? Please review our Comment Guidelines. You must be at least 16 years old to post a comment. All comments are governed by our Privacy Policy & Terms.

* Required fields (Email address will not be published)

Did you make it? How was it?:


Previous Post: Next Post: