If you're looking for a delicious and healthy side dish, sautéed zucchini and onions is an excellent choice. This dish highlights the flavors of fresh zucchini, but allows for the natural sweetness of onions to shine. With just a few simple ingredients, you can create a flavorful side dish perfect for any main course.
Why You Will Love This Zucchini Recipe
- Mostly made with fresh ingredients!
- An easy recipe to use up summer zucchini!
- Onions and zucchini make a great pair.
- A flexible dish that will work paired with just about any main dish!
Here's a quick look at the ingredients you need to make this easy zucchini side dish.
- Zucchini: This sauteed onions and zucchini recipe takes advantage of summer fresh zucchini. However, you can also use yellow summer squash or a combination of zucchini and yellow squash.
- Olive Oil: My favorite choice but you can use any high heat oil like canola or vegetable oil. The oil prevents the vegetables from sticking to the pan and aids the development of a nice, golden sear on the zucchini and onions.
- Onions: Any type of onion works great. Choose your favorite or use what you have available.
- Garlic: Creates more depth of flavor but you can use shallots instead.
- Cherry Tomatoes: These are perfect to add to the dish for color and a quick burst of flavor. Alternatively, you can dice a ripe, juicy tomato and add it towards the end of your cooking time, letting it cook just enough to release its juices while maintaining its shape.
- Parmesan Cheese: Gives this dish a nice punch of flavor but you can also use mozzarella, goat cheese or feta.
See the recipe card below for the exact quantities of each ingredient.
Don't have the correct ingredients on hand? Or want to change something up? Here are some helpful tips for you to change this sauteed onions and zucchini dish.
- Spicy: Add a bit of chili pepper flakes, diced jalapeno pepper, our jalapeno powder, smoked jalapeno powder, or chipotle powder to the zucchini mixture for a bit of heat. You can also serve up our homemade hot pepper sauce on the table as well.
- More Flavor: Feel free to add a handful of chopped fresh or a pinch of dried basil, parsley, cilantro, Italian seasoning or dill for added flavor.
- Baked Zucchini and Onions: Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C), toss the vegetables with oil, seasonings, and spices. Place them on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and start to brown. Be sure to stir them around occasionally while they cooking so they cook up evenly.
- Add More Vegetables: Adding other vegetables like bell peppers, broccoli or mushrooms to the vegetable saute.
- Add Butter: Add a little butter in combination with oil for richer flavor.
How to Make Sauteed Zucchini and Onions
Here's a look at the main steps involved in making this delicious zucchini side dish.
- Slice your zucchinis lengthwise and scoop the seeds out with a spoon. Then cut the zucchinis into long, thin strips.
PRO TIP: Scooping the seeds keeps the zucchini from getting mushy because seeds are almost all water.
- Combine the zucchini, onions, garlic, salt, and pepper in a skillet.
- Cook the zucchini for about ten minutes stirring it now and then.
- Add the tomatoes and continue cooking until zucchini is tender.
- Sprinkle the zucchini and onions with parmesan cheese on top and serve.
Hint: The zucchini is done when tender-crisp and the onions should be soft and translucent. Adjust the cooking time according to your desired tenderness.
If you love recipes like this easy vegetable recipe, you may also enjoy our sauteed cauliflower.
It's best to enjoy this dish fresh or within a few days of cooking but here are some tips for how to store and reheat.
- Leftovers: Store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. I don't recommend freezing any leftovers as it may cause the zucchini to become mushy when thawed.
- Reheat: Heat in the microwave lightly covered for about 2 minutes, stirring halfway through. If additional heating is needed use 30-second intervals to prevent overcooking. You can also reheat on the stove in a skillet with a bit of water or oil added to the pan. Cook over medium heat for about five minutes.
What to Serve with Zucchini and Onions Sauteed in a Skillet
Sautéed zucchini and onions is a versatile side dish that complements a variety of main courses. Here are some suggestions to help you plan your meal.
- This dish makes a great side for grilled for chicken recipes such as this chicken paprikash or Boursin chicken.
- You can also serve it up with your favorite beef recipes or pork recipes.
- Pair with simple rice or pasta dishes such as risotto pasta or coconut rice to create great tasting meals.
When making sautéed zucchini and onions, here are a few tips to ensure you create a delicious and satisfying dish.
- It all starts with choosing fresh produce at the store. Look for zucchinis with a smooth, blemish-free surface and opt for firm yellow onions with a slightly glossy surface.
- Don't peel the skin. The skin adds color and contains nutrients. Just be sure to wash it well.
- Aim for consistently sized pieces of vegetables for even cooking of your zucchini onion saute.
- Use a large frying pan. This works best for even heat distribution because it provides adequate space for the zucchini and onions to cook without overcrowding.
- Don't overcook or you might end up mushy zucchini.
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about cooking zucchini.
The zucchini is done when they are tender-crisp and lightly browned on the edges. The onions should be soft, translucent and slightly caramelized. Adjust the cooking time according to your desired tenderness.
You can cube the zucchini, slice into rounds or cut in long strips depending on your preference. Slice the onions thinly or chop to ensure they cook evenly.
To achieve a crispy texture when cooking zucchini and onions, make sure you don't overcrowd the pan. Cook the vegetables in a single layer, giving them enough room to sear and develop a golden crust. You can also, pat the zucchini dry with a paper towel before cooking to remove any excess moisture.
More Zucchini Recipes
Do you like zucchinis? Here some recipes you may also like to try.
Ready to get cooking? Remember that you can print this recipe if you would like.
Sauteed Zucchini and Onions
- Slice your zucchinis lengthwise and scoop the seeds out with a spoon. (This will help keep your zucchini from getting mushy because seeds are almost all water.)
- Continue cutting your zucchinis into long, thin strips.
- Heat a large skillet with olive oil over medium-low heat.
- Add zucchini, onions, garlic, salt, and pepper. Continue cooking and stirring for 10 minutes.
- Add tomatoes and continue cooking until zucchini is tender.
- Sprinkle with parmesan cheese on top and serve.