Skip to Content

How To Sauté Zucchini

How To Sauté Zucchini

This quick and easy recipe for how to saute zucchini is perfect for busy evenings when you need a simple yet delicious side dish.

From start to finish you can have a healthy side dish in less than 15 minutes. Quick and easy!

Ok, let’s be honest! 

When you think of zucchini do you think to yourself “Now, that is a vegetable that I just love?” 

Do you even think of zucchini at all?

Personally, I feel like zucchini is a vegetable that doesn’t get enough attention. It is steady and reliable. It is almost always easily found at the grocery store. 

I say that we stop taking zucchini for granted and cook some beautiful dishes with it. 

3 cheers for ZUCCHINI.

How to cut zucchini for sauteing

You have options on how to cut zucchini for sauteing. We prefer to saute zucchini in a round, coin-shaped pieces with the skin on. You can also dice the zucchini and saute them that way as well.

How we cut zucchini into rounds is to start by washing and drying the zucchini. You can peel it first if you want but you get a bit more fiber by eating the cleaned skin. Then we cut about an inch of the ends off and discard those. Then we start cutting rounds that are about ¼” thick.

Note that it is important to cut slices that are as consistent in thickness as possible. This will help in the cooking process because they will cook more evenly.

Can you prepare sauteed zucchini in advance?

You can prepare sauteed zucchini in advance but we don’t advise it. It doesn’t take long to saute it from start to finish and it is much better served fresh. However, if you are trying to speed up the process for later, we do have a tip for you. We recommend that instead of sauteing in advance, you just do the prep work in advance. This will save a bit of time and mess when you are ready to cook dinner.

So go ahead and wash and dry the zucchini in advance. Then cut the zucchini into round slices that are about ¼” thick. Then place those slices in an airtight container and store them in the fridge. Clean up the area so that you have a clean area when you start cooking dinner.

Remove the container about 10 minutes before you plan to cook to bring it close to room temp. The zucchini will saute up nice and fresh.

How to reheat sauteed zucchini

You can reheat sauteed zucchini the next day. The method that we prefer is to put a skillet over medium temperature and heat it up. Once the skillet is hot, add a teaspoon of olive oil to the pan along with the leftover zucchini. Stir constantly until the zucchini is warmed to your liking. A quick tip: Allow the zucchini to come to room temperature before you reheat it.

Ingredients needed to saute zucchini

Sauteing vegetables is so easy because you only need a few ingredients to have a delicious meal. For sauteing zucchini you only need sliced zucchini, olive oil, and salt. We prefer to add minced garlic to the recipe but that isn’t required.

Zucchini – You don’t have to peel zucchini to saute it. We prefer not to do so but the choice is yours. You can either dice the zucchini or cut it into round slices. This is a forgiving vegetable that is very easy to work with.

Olive oil – We prefer to saute vegetables with olive oil. It handles the varying heat better than butter does. However, we also love the flavor of butter, so we will sometimes add a teaspoon of butter at the very end of the cooking process.

Salt – Salt isn’t technically required in this recipe but it enhances the flavor so much that we always add in a dash. Feel free to experiment with cooking this dish with and without the salt. You can always add it at serving.

Minced garlic – This is another optional ingredient for this recipe, but it mingles with the zucchini so well that we always use it.

What kind of pan is best for sauteing zucchini?

We prefer to saute the zucchini in a large non-stick skillet that has sloping sides. The sloping sides help in flipping the zucchini as it cooks. Our favorite skillet these days is the Le Creuset large frying pan

You can saute in a cast-iron skillet and we love the flavor that it adds to the dish, but if you use this, pay close attention and stir the zucchini often. Also, you may need to use a tad bit more olive oil.

How to saute zucchini

This is an overview of how to saute zucchini with a few additional tips. Below you will find the detailed instructions in the recipe card that includes measurements.First, gather all of your ingredients and supplies needed. This will make the process much easier.

Supplies needed:


  • Zucchini
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic
  • Salt and pepper


Step 1: Zucchini is a hearty vegetable but it’s easy to cut. Start by washing and drying the raw zucchini. Be sure to dry it before you start cutting it. If it is wet, it is more likely to slip on the cutting board.

Then cut the ends off of the zucchini. Cut off about 1/2” past the root and the tip (stem) of the zucchini. Next, slice it into ¼” thick coin-shaped pieces. If you would prefer, you can dice the zucchini and saute it like that.

Step 2: Mince the garlic. We love to keep a jar of minced garlic in the refrigerator but freshly minced garlic will always taste the best. So for us, this is always a battle between time and flavor. The jar of minced garlic is still quite tasty, so it often wins. 

Step 3: Place your large skillet over the heat. Allow the skillet to get hot but be safe and don’t walk away from it. It shouldn’t take too long for it to heat up.

Step 4: Add the olive oil, salt, and zucchini to the skillet. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Step 5: Add the garlic to the pan. Cook the mixture for another 3 minutes stirring occasionally. It is done when the zucchini is tender with slightly charred edges.

How To Saute Zucchini

How To Saute Zucchini

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 13 minutes

How to saute zucchini with just 3 ingredients. This recipe includes zucchini, olive oil and salt. We like to add minced garlic and a dash of pepper but not required.


  • 2 lb zucchini
  • 3 T olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 T garlic (optional)


  1. Wash and dry the zucchini. Cut the zucchini into ¼” coin-shaped rounds.
  2. Mince the garlic.
  3. Place a large non-stick pan over medium heat and allow it to heat up about a minute.
  4. Add the zucchini olive oil, zucchini slices, and salt to the hot skillet.
  5. Spread the zucchini out in the pan and cook for 5 minutes stirring occasionally.
  6. Add the garlic to the pan and cook the mixture for another 3 minutes stirring occasionally.
  7. Cook until the zucchini is tender and starting to crisp on the edges.
  8. Add pepper to taste and serve warm.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Skip to Recipe