Simple Sautéed Zucchini Recipe

To make simple sautéed zucchini, coins of zucchini are browned in a pan. The thing that makes this version special is the toasted gold slivers of garlic combined with lots of fresh dill or scallions. Finish with a sprinkling of almonds for a bit of crunch.

Simple Sautéed Zucchini

I saw a table at the market the other night groaning under the weight of a mountain of summer squash. Squash that looked like it wanted to avalanche its way into my basket. I took pity, grabbed a bunch, and made my way home. I ended up using a couple in a favorite nothing-to-it sautéed zucchini recipe. It's pictured here served over a simple plate of spaghetti.
 Simple Sauteed Zucchini Recipe
The sautéed zucchini? It's a single-skillet kind of thing. Coins of zucchini are browned in a pan, but what makes it special is the toasted golden slivers of garlic combined with lots of fresh dill. Throw in a sprinkling of almonds for crunch, and you're all good. Prep takes five minutes, if that, and you can treat this as a side dish, or use it as a component of something else...
Simple Sauteed Zucchini Recipe


I often cook up a pan of the zucchini like this, and then use it to top off a frittata. Or toss it with a platter of pasta. Over farro with some harissa-spiked vinaigrette? Not bad. Baked as a hand-pie in a simple pastry with a smudge of goat cheese? Even better. Anyhow, it's really adaptable. And for those of you who don't use much dill in your cooking...let me just say, dill is under-rated and under-utilized. The more I cook with it, the more I love it - fingers crossed you like this spin as much as I do. 

Simple Sauteed Zucchini Recipe

Different Types of Zucchini

You can sauté just about any kind of zucchini! Or a blend of zucchini / summer squash, as pictured here. A pro tip - attempt to slice it all the same 1/4-inch thickness. As far as shape goes - you can slice full coins, or half coins. You can slice zucchini straight across, or angle it, and slice on a bias. Feel free to experiment!

Simple Sauteed Zucchini Recipe

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Simple Sautéed Zucchini

4 from 28 votes

I hate to say this, but if you want to do a larger amount, double the recipe, but divide and cook the zucchini in two pans. If you crowd the squash too much, it steams rather than browns, and loses too much structure, which isn't what you're after.

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 3 medium shallots or new red onions, thinly sliced
  • fine grain sea salt
  • 2 medium zucchini, sliced into 1/4-inch thick coins
  • a good handful of dill and/or scallions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup Marcona almonds or toasted almond slices
  1. In your largest skillet heat the oil over medium-high heat. Stir in the garlic and cook until it starts to take on a hint of color. Stir in the shallots and a big pinch of salt, and cook until they start to soften, a couple minutes. 

  2. Add the zucchini, stir to get it coated with a bit of oil, and arrange the coins in as much of a single layer as your pan permits. Dial the heat up a bit if needed, add another pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally until the zucchini browns - ten minutes or so. Remove from heat and fold in the dill and almonds before serving. Taste, and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
20 mins
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4 from 28 votes (27 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating


This is the simplest and easiest way to enjoy zucchini. I loved it so much. I am a great fan of veggie and buy loads of them always and flavors from the sauteeing was amazing. Thanks for sharing this simple idea.5 stars

Ann Omega

Hi Heidi,
I loved this recipe. I made it with pine nuts and almonds. I meant to set it aside but ended up having it as a single portion. I’ve noticed this side-effect from many of your recipes.
On a side note I am looking forward to your new book coming out in April ’11 (I think). Do you think you would have a kindle version released as well?
HS: Hi Suba, I’m not entirely sure what the plan is for digital editions of my books. I promise to let you know when I know!


Hi Heidi, Just wanted to drop you a note and let you know that I’ve posted (and credited) an adaptation of this zucchini. It is, hands down, one of the finest things I’ve eaten all summer. Fantastically good.
Cheers, Molly


    xo Molly!

    Heidi Swanson

I’m recently back from vacation and missed this recipe when you posted it … however my CSA boxes have been full of zucchini and yellow summer squash and last week’s had a big bunch of dill. Made this for dinner last night and the flavors were amazing… loved the crunch of the toasted almonds too. No complaints from my hubby, either, who is not a zuc or squash fan. Now can’t wait to try the pickled zucchini recipe.
I’m a long time lurker and have tried many of your recipes and always love them. Have shared your site and gifted your book!
Thanks for everything… you are my first go to site/cook/chef and have turned me onto taking photos of dishes that turn out pretty!

carrie s-b

This recipe sounds and looks so delicious! I’m a vegetarian and I’m always trying to look for savory, vegetarian dishes. I noticed I tend to eat the same thing over and over again and there’s not many restaurant with good vegetarian options in the Phoenix area. Plus, it’s difficult for me to cook with a busy schedule, I’m a full-time student at ASU, but I am definitely interested in trying some of these vegetarian recipes on a free weekend.
Right now, I’ve been trying to start up a blog for a post where I can not only post some healthy, vegetarian recipes, but also post research on the food industry. As a vegetarian, I noticed that there’s a lot of unhealthy food choices for us out there and we really have to search for good choices and read our labels in order to eat healthy.
Thank you for your posts! As an aspiring photographer and aspiring healthy eater I am interested in keeping up with your blog. 🙂

Perla Farias

Hi! First time log-on-r. Found your site awhile back, have been downloading recipes and trying lots of them! Want to let you know how FANTASTIC the sauteed zucc. was. My husband and I cook for our church. We had a memorial service for about 100 people. Served zucc. and had sooo many comments from those that hate zucc.– and had THREE helpings!!! (we tweeked it with thyme instead of dill–YUM) Keep on posting!!! THNX


I made this last night. It was so good that I decided to make this intended side dish into a pizza. I topped 2 Naans with this and added raclette to one and feta to the other. We liked the raclette best and decided it would be amazing grilled. Goat cheese would also be great.
(I was having flashbacks of nasty zucchini that I had as a child in the 70’s while cooking it, but even my pickiest child loved it. Awesome.)


I made this the other night. My CSA had sent me both zuchinni and dill, so clearly the universe was conspiring in my favor. It was dee-liccc-ious. I didn’t have almonds, or shallots, so I just used a combination of baby onions and scallions.



Chelsea Hoffman

Delicious! I made this the other night and could have just eaten the sauteed zucchini straight from the pan. Instead, I made hand pies as you suggested and they turned out fab. Even better the next day. Still had some fresh zucchini tonight, so I sauteed some more, along with red and yellow bell peppers, wilted some spinach in and mixed with pasta, lemon juice and parm. Yum. Thanks for the recipe!


I have dill and I have both squashes. I can’t wait. I also have goat cheese and am already thinking of how to serve it. But I think I could probably just eat it right out of the pan. Thanks!


I am going to make this for a veggie friend on Wednesday, with a bit of goats cheese stirred through some wholewheat spag!


Yum – thanks for helping me be ready for the onslaught of garden zucchini!


That squash looks great! I also love zucchini on pizza – I actually thought that your frittata was a pizza at first glance. And the crunch of the almonds would round it out so nicely, too. Thanks!

Appetite for Conversation

I just planted a second round of vegetables and have a batch of zucchini in there, with no inspiration for recipes. I decided to start gathering some today and this looks perfect.


I just got home from my CSA with a load of zucchini, only to find more zucchini from last week, still in the refrigerator! What to do with all of this squash… of course 101cookbooks, Heidi has never let me down and then I find this post! I guess the squash epidemic has hit us all!


Thanks for the recipe! Our CSA has been loading us down with zucchini and I’m always looking for tasty ways to prepare it! We loved the flavor of the dill and took your recommendation of adding some feta cheese.


summer squash is also dynamite when browned in the leftover cumin brown butter from the squash soup you had up a few weeks ago. talk about simple and delicious!


Adding the almonds is a brilliant little twist, one that I’m sure the zucchini (and my tastebuds) will appreciate.

tom @ tall clover farm

I appreciate your comment regarding not overcrowding the pan, as I do tend to steam my zucchini- causing them to become overly moist. I will try this recipe and rebuild my confidence in the area of zucchini/squash. Also- thank you for the great ideas on variation! We always have an abundance from our garden and need many ideas!
…And I share your thoughts exactly in regards to dill. I discovered this (the fact that I love it and how underused it is) in Tyler Florence’s recipes- specifically an omelet recipe and a salad (both w/ dill and absolutely fantastic).

Torrie @ a place to share...

You can make anything taste good when you cook it in an iron skillet, even vegetables. I guess I am still a kid at heart.


Sauteeing is my favorite way to prepare zucchini. I love your addition of almonds and dill though. yum.


Dill is one of my favorite go to herbs. I recently tried a similar zucchini recipe with mint…it was good. But I must say dill sounds like an improvement and the almonds are great finishing touch!

Gluten Free Test Kitchen

dill came to life for me when i was pregnant last year. i skipped the pickles and went straight to using dill as much as i could. still love it now.
And i have a zucchini begging to be cooked.
so, i say, perfect recipe.


While on holiday on a Greek island recently, we had tempura zucchini and eggplants. Possibly the best thing you can do with both vegetables, crisply fried and served with perhaps dill mayonnaise.

Martin Yarnit

Oh wow, this has inspired me to eat cooked zucchini again:) I usually eat it raw but this is a great recipe! I love it grilled with some extra virgin olive oil and lemon pepper as well! Thanks for the inspiration!

Heather McClees

mmm, I LOVE dill… so good with zucchini. We had some dill on beets a few nights ago, and it was lovely – hadn’t tried that combo before!

Heather Loves Healthy Vegan Recipes

Perfect timing as summer zucchini and squash bounties are plenty. I love garlic and dill in the recipe. Have you tried oven roasted zucchini, I love those too.

Pam @ best Cookware set

I made this last night. It was wonderful all by itself. Thank you!


great idea. i’ve had some extra squash from our CSA and last night i diced it up and tossed in some potatoes and pearled barley, some fresh corn and cherry tomatoes. and a nice scallion vinaigrette with extra mustard to finish it off – potato-ish salad, i suppose!

heather @ chiknpastry

Yummy! This looks delish!


I love that you used good sized zucchini–the baby ones have little flavor. I’ve long been a summer squash fan and I can always use more zucchini ideas. Your pictures are always so inviting.


Looks fantastic!

The History Chef!

Heidi, thank you so much for the comment about steaming v. browning. I often make so much at once that I have had that very thing happen, and it is good to know why. Sauteed zucchini is one of my very favorite foods, and look forward to trying this new technique.
Love your simple veggie recipes. More please!
I am a big dill fan too.
Thanks for the links–great blog post.


Love your recipe. I will try it tonight! thanks so much for sharing.


With each idea you throw up, I think in my head “genius! genius!” I absolutely love zucchini and this post is bound to be one I keep coming back to =)

Shaheen {The Purple Foodie}

I love squash, but can’t, for the life of me, come up with new and creative ways of cooking it. This recipe certainly helps. My stomach just did a summersault and the thought of eating it.


i just took a vacation via the internet and it started here…india, amsterdam, brooklyn…your zucchini recipe took me back to my friend mika’s kitchen in roma…grazie heidi!


Sometimes I love dill, and sometimes it’s too overpowering for me – I’ve been obsessed with sage lately, I’m looking forward to trying this dish with both.
One question: any particular reason why you used almonds and not another nut?
HS: Hi Cara Mae, I had them on hand. I can imagine toasted pine nuts would be nice, or even walnuts….but the Marcona almonds are pretty great.

Cara Mae

yum! Will have to come back to this recipe when it’s summertime here in NZ. Always on the look out for new things to do with Zucchini, they grow like weeds! Nice and simple… I like.


I have been all about zucchini lately!


Our garden is overflowing with zucchini at the moment, so this provides some very timely variation to our zucchini menu. Thanks for sharing.

April the Smoothie Recipe Girl

I know people groan about the abundance of zucchini at this time of year, but I cannot get enough sauteed zucchini. I cooked it with dill, though–sounds worth a try!

The Rowdy Chowgirl

Thanks Heidi! I have a potluck tomorrow and a fridge full of summer squash–this solves my side dish dilemma!


one day our paths will cross, and we can have quinoa falafels for lunch, thank you 🙂 Great list, I love when you do favorites, great resources!


Just caramelized a mess of zukes for lunch today, with heaps of onions, thyme and basil, plus one olive-oil fried egg, to top.
But almonds! I love the idea of their crunch, here.


I am determined to come up with as many delicious ideas as you do for using one simple (and presumably equally delicious) dish. Seriously, do you ever have any bad ideas?!

Georgia Pellegrini

Looks fantastic! I love the frittata idea. And I’m with you on the dill thing, it is horribly under-rated


I don’t cook with a lot of dill, I wonder if it’s easy to grow in Texas…. It’s one of those herbs I just don’t have on hand unless a recipe specifically calls for it.

Home with Mandy

I have just eaten and this has still made my mouth water!


When it’s summer–that means LOTS of zucchini and lots of experimenting! There never seems to be too many recipes–either for main meals or desserts for this veggie. The almonds are a great idea–love adding all kinds of nuts to other recipes but this is a new twist. Thanks Heidi!


This looks delicious! My roommate and I jsut made Zucchini Parm last night with fresh picked zucchini from her grandmother’s garden. We have plenty more zucchini left so we’ll have to try this!


Thanks for another creative, easy, and super tasty recipe! Tried it tonight, over penne topped with feta, and loved it. This will be a summertime staple.


Beautiful pictures! I’d love to try this.

Caitlin @ Amuse-bouche

I love zucchini. This sounds like a great recipe to try.

The Food Hunter

Ooh, dill in cooked veggies just brightens a hot dish into a summer one. Thanks for the reminder, as I am still swooning over your carrot dill and bean dish.
And thanks for the links! Chocolate covered walnuts! I am so into that!

Amanda at Enchanted Fig

When I saw this recipe, I knew I had to make it — my local market is bursting with zucchini and has been selling young red shallots (maybe they turn into red onions?) for the past few weeks. The dill is fabulous. Definitely underrated! I also like how the almonds don’t toast but get soft. Thanks for the great recipe.


You always have great zucchini recipes. Zucchini, courgette, yellow squash, love it all. So versatile, in savory or sweet. I’ve made raw pasta out of zucchini shredded it for omelets, and paired it with chocolate. Yum. And a smudge of goat cheese? Yes, please!


I am growing to love dill more and more as well. I am actually growing dill for the first time, and it is ready for harvesting. Happy to have this inspiration to put it to good use.

Sarah S.

I love zucchini; great recipe, Heidi!

The Healthy Apple

Love to eat Zuchini fried … raw…. in a slaw .. or bread. Love that green wonder !


This sounds delicious! And I always wind up with too much zucc. The single layer tip is a good one! Thanks.

the French

Thank you!! I am making dinner for my dad’s 60th birthday party tomorrow, and I decided to make a sauteed summer squash recipe, but I was not positive how I was going to do it. The universe is absolutely amazing. Thank you for your continuously inspiring posts!


Sometimes the simplest recipes are best! I’ve never thought to keep them in a single layer but I bet that really helps.

Michelle @ Find Your Balance

I am just learning to love zucchini – I hated it as a kid and was forced to eat it all summer long, when my grandmother had too much in her garden to put up with childish pickiness (not that she would have anyway).
I started with zucchini bread, moved on to my husband’s sautéed zucchini with hot pepper, onions, garlic, and pasta, and now I’m trying to branch out to things that, you know, taste like zucchini.
I am currently fridge-busting and will be making your buttermilk squash soup tonight, I think, but this dish looks delicious, too. I can really see it layered with phyllo dough and feta and baked until crispy…


Looks simply delicious and versatile! Thank you for the different options for serving!

madge @ vegetariancasserolequeen

Dill is my favorite herb! I have been making grilled/sautéed zucchini all summer and I cannot believe I never thought to add dill. Thanks for the wake-up call.
Also I am now obsessed with teux-deux.


Looks delicious !!

Hari Chandana

Curiously, I haven’t yet received ridiculous amounts of summer squash in my CSA share. I’ll have to seek some out this week! (And for what it’s worth, my Russophile boyfriend adores dill on everything.)


I think I’ll try this on pasta with lemon zest and parmesan. Mmmmmm….

Anne Marie

I’m growing some gorgeous round yellow courgettes (zucchini) in Scotland this year – this will be a great recipe to use.
How do you avoid the garlic going bitter when frying?


I love using dill with zucchini. The flavors are so fresh, clean and just delicious.
This seems like its going to quickly become a staple in my Summer weeknight meals. I think I’ll try it tonight with on a fritatta. Thanks Heidi!


This sounds easy and delicious. I have never cooked zucchini before, but it seems about time for me to start! 😉


Simple and lovely! I just made oven roasted patty pan squash and zucchini for my 7 month old. I took a little of her puree, added coarse salt and ground black pepper and plopped a few spoonfuls on top of some wide tubular noodles for me and my husband. Was sensationally sweet and fresh – and simple!

nithya at hungrydesi

my mother used to boil zucchini and drown it with dried dill which to this day (i’m 50) leaves a bad taste in my mouth. but this looks tasty and if i moderate the dill i think it could be quite good.
another quick, easy recipe: quarter and slice 1 lb. of zucchini along with 2 yellow bell peppers cut into 1-inch pieces, a pint of grape or cherry tomatoes and a couple of smashed garlic cloves and saute in a bit of olive oil for about 6-8 minutes. add salt and pepper. it’s delicious!


Courgettes… that’s what we call them from my side of the Atlantic. It is the season for them. Great recipe as usual!


Fantastic! I have been trying to figure out more creative ways to use all the squash I am seeing!

Belinda @zomppa

I do something similar but use basil or mint and add fresh lemon. Also, fresh corn kernels are a tasty “supplement.” As Heidi notes, the key is that things get browned.


Looks yummy – just picked up some zucchini and yellow squash at the market and have been wondering what I felt like doing with it. This will be perfect!
About the dill – my husband would never eat brussel sprouts until I roasted them with balsalmic vinegar and then just before serving sprinkled them with some fresh squeezed lemon juice, sea salt, freshly ground black pepper and fresh dill! Oh, just the BEST!!


My favorite thing to do with zucchini is to saute it with some mushroom slices and toss a little seasoning and parmesan cheese on it. Putting that with some pasta sounds like a great idea. I will be doing that soon. (will skip the dill though. not a fan, sorry)


Double the recipe? How about quintuple – my zucchini’s going nuts! This will help abate the invasion: Killer Zucchini Overtake Vancouver. Does it keep well in the fridge if I make lots?


Heidi, you must have read my mind because I was just not 10 minutes ago staring at the bag of zucchini I have in the fridge and looking for some inspiration. I already love simple, saute vegetables but I’m so excited to try it with the addition of almonds, slivered garlic, and dill! Thank you!


I love the idea of zucchini in a homemade crust with a dab of goat cheese. A sort of savory hand pie. Yum! Thanks for tonight’s dinner idea-I’m overwhelmed with squash 🙂


Thanks for the links. I have a feeling I will be obsessed with teuxdeux very soon. 🙂
Sorry for the anonymous comment right before this! whoops!

Teri [a foodie stays fit]

Yum! this looks great! I’ve been making zucchini flatbread and find it’s the perfect use for this wonderful vegetable!

Simply Life

Almond? It’s a brilliant idea. Lovely recipe, thank you!


Dill is one of my favourite herbs. My grandpa used it in alot of his Doukhobor recipes, and it always reminds me of his house.


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