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Here’s how to make the BEST sauteed zucchini that will have everyone talking! Just 10 minutes in a hot pan makes this green vegetable truly irresistible.

Sauteed zucchini
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If zucchini doesn’t sound like a vegetable to sing praises about…you haven’t met this zucchini recipe. Yes, this really is the perfect sauteed zucchini. Just 10 minutes in a hot pan and this vegetable goes from tasteless to tender! Oregano and garlic make a pop of savory flavor, and grated Parmesan cheese takes it over the top. It’s beyond easy, and the best zucchini side dish we’ve had. In all honesty, this vegetable is not my favorite. But when we made this zucchini recipe, I could not stop sneaking bites of the stuff. Here are all our secrets!

Ingredients for sauteed zucchini…the best seasonings

Growing up, my mom used to make a sauteed zucchini recipe that the entire family loved. This recipe steals a bit of what I remember from that recipe, pairing the green vegetable with Italian style seasonings. Here’s what you need for this recipe:

  • Zucchini: Use small to medium to get the best-looking rounds, but you can also use large if it’s all you have. (If you have one of those massive summer zucchini, cut the slices into half circles.)
  • Olive oil or butter: Make it vegan with oil, or use butter for intense savory flavor.
  • Garlic powder & onion powder: Many sauteed zucchini recipes use onion, but who wants to spend time cutting and sauteing one? You’ll get big flavor with onion powder here.
  • Oregano: Oregano and zucchini are a match made in heaven.
  • Parmesan cheese: It’s optional, but it adds savory flavor.
Easy sauteed zucchini

How to saute zucchini: a few tips!

Making sauteed zucchini is easy, and takes only 10 minutes in a hot pan. With zucchini you will have to babysit the pan for the entire time, because you’ll want to make sure the layers of rounds cook evenly. Here’s what to know:

  • Use your largest skillet. Even in your largest skillet, the zucchini will have to be stacked in a few layers when cooking.
  • Continue to move zucchini to the bottom of the pan as you cook. The zucchini at the bottom of the pan cooks the quickest and will brown quickly. Because there are layers of zucchini, continue to flip and move rounds to the bottom of pan so they can brown evenly.
  • Cover in the first 2 minutes. Covering the pan helps to steam the entire pan and cook the zucchini on the top layer at the same time as the bottom layer. You’ll just do this for a few minutes at first, then do a traditional saute for the remaining time.
Sauteed zucchini

Ways to serve sauteed zucchini

Once you’ve sauteed it up, add that Parmesan cheese and a little chopped basil if you like. It makes a stunning side dish that goes with just about anything: especially in the summer! Here are a few ideas:

How to saute zucchini

More with zucchini

Summer is all about lots of garden zucchini! If you’ve got too much of it, we’ve got zucchini recipes. Here are some ideas for ways to use it up:

This sauteed zucchini recipe is…

Vegetarian and dairy-free. For vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free, omit the Parmesan cheese.

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Sauteed zucchini

Perfect Sauteed Zucchini

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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


Here’s how to make the BEST sauteed zucchini that will have everyone talking! Just 10 minutes in a hot pan makes this green vegetable truly irresistible.


  • 1 3/4 pounds zucchini (2 medium large or 3 to 4 small)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or butter
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • Finely chopped fresh basil, if desired (optional)


  1. Slice the zucchini into 1/4-inch thick rounds.
  2. In your largest skillet, heat the olive oil or butter over medium high heat. Add the zucchini slices, then stir in the garlic powder, oregano, and salt, flipping and stirring to get all the slices covered.
  3. Cover the skillet and cook for 1 minute, then uncover and stir. Cover again for 1 minute and uncover and stir, moving slices to the bottom layer as necessary so that they can get browned.
  4. Keep the pan uncovered and cook about 6 to 8 more minutes until most of the zucchini are tender and browned, continuing to flip the zucchini and move them to the bottom layer so they cook evenly.
  5. Serve immediately, topped with Parmesan cheese and fresh basil if desired.
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Sauteed
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian

More sauteed vegetables

Turns out, sauteing vegetables is one of the quickest, tastiest ways to get food on the table! Here are a few more of our favorite flavor-popping sauteed vegetables:

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Viola Copsy says:

    Found zucchini in my vegetable bin. This was great with striped Bass!

  2. raymond scucci says:

    I tried this recipe but didn’t have the fresh basil on hand, so I used dry basil. I also mixed both extra virgin olive oil and butter. It turned out GREAT! I had it as a side dish, along with my baked Salmon with the oil, lemon, fresh garlic, crushed and fresh Italian parsley, with just a touch of kosher salt and black pepper.

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      So glad you enjoyed it!