Gluten-Free/ Low Carb & Keto/ Vegetables/ Vegetarian & Vegan

Sautéed Zucchini and Onions

This last minute side is perfect for the summer. Seasoned with garlic and cooked in a skillet, it's ready to serve in minutes.
Close up of sliced sautéed zucchini mix with sliced on soft onion.

Last Updated on June 8, 2021 by Betty Davies

All cooked in one skillet and ready to serve in less than 10 minutes, this is a great recipe to make the most of the summer’s produce. These sautéed zucchini and onions are cooked with butter and garlic and simply seasoned for a delicious last minute side dish.

Sautéed zucchini and onions served on a long white plate.

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Summer is here, and that means lots of summer squash, like beautiful zucchini (or courgette if you are in Europe!).

Growing up I was never much of a fan of zucchini, but as my tastes have changed, I always look forward to the summer squash season, much like I do asparagus season!

This simple and easy sautéed zucchini and onions recipe, requires little prep and very few ingredients, but this quick cooking technique really makes the most out of this humble veggie.

This vegetable side dish will see you through the summer with ease!

Be sure to try my red onion dip and roasted onions too!

Why you will love this recipe!

  • Quick: This side is easily ready to serve in less than 15 minutes. Simple to prep and quick to cook.
  • One pan: All cooked in one skillet on the stovetop, clean up is a breeze!
  • Dietary info: Sautéed zucchini and onions are vegetarian and gluten-free as well as being low carb.
Overhead shot of sautéed zucchini and onions garnished with fresh herbs.

Ingredients

  • Oil and butter: For cooking. The butter helps to add a rich flavor and the oil helps it to stop burning. Use salted or unsalted butter, simply adjust the amount of added salt. I use olive oil, but any high heat oil will do the job.
  • Onion: I used a small yellow onion for this side. Slice it as finely as you can to help it cook quickly and mix in well with the zucchini slices.
  • Zucchini: Slice the zucchini into similar sized rounds. They brown so nicely when sautéed and their natural flavors shine through.
  • Seasonings: Garlic clove, garlic powder, salt and pepper.

How to make sautéed zucchini and onions

Be sure to scroll down for the full recipe!

  • Soften the onion and garlic (photo 1).
  • Add in the sliced zucchini (photo 2).
  • Once browned, flip over the slices of zucchini (photo 3).
  • Mix together and serve (photo 4).
Four step by step photos to show how to make the recipe.

Recipe Variations

Sautéed zucchini and onions is such a simple and easy side dish, but you can easily make it to suit your tastes.

  • Make it dairy-free and vegan by skipping the butter or use a plant-based alternative.
  • Add a sprinkle of cheese. Cheese is always a great addition to any dish, crumbled feta or goat cheese would work great, as would shaved parmesan.
  • Garnish with different herbs. I finished the dish with a sprinkle of fresh parsley, but dill, cilantro or thyme would all work well.
  • Try a different squash. Yellow squash would work great in place of zucchini.
  • Use different onions. I like the sharpness of yellow onions, but you can use white or red for a milder flavor.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you need to peel the zucchini?

There’s no need to peel the zucchini for this recipe. The skin contains the majority of the vitamins and minerals, so leave it on. I also like the color it adds to the dish. If you want to, you can remove the skin, otherwise just give it a good wash before slicing and cooking.

Can you make it ahead of time?

This dish is best served as soon as you’ve made it, but you can prep the zucchini and onions a few hours ahead of time and keep them covered in the fridge til you are ready to cook.

Do you caramelize the onions?

For this recipe, I just soften the onions rather than caramelizing them. Don’t get me worng, caramelized onions are delicious, but I find for this recipe it’s best to soften them for a lighter flavor that sits so well with the zucchini rounds. You of course can caramelize the onions if you prefer, but it will take a bit longer to get them nicely cooked down.

Sautéed zucchini and onions in a white dish garnished with fresh parsley and black pepper.

Serving Suggestions

This dish can obviously be enjoyed all year round, but it’s perfect to enjoy in the summer with chicken and seafood dinners, and it sits nicely along side some creamy pasta. Try it with:

Recipe Notes and Tips

  • Slice the onions as thinly as you can.
  • Slice the zucchini in rounds with a similar sized thickness so that they cook evenly through.
  • Take care not to overcook the zucchini. They ideally should have some bite to them rather than be mushy. I like to flip them when they are just starting to brown.
  • If you don’t have a large enough skillet, you can remove the onions from the pan to sauté the zucchini, then just mix them back in when the zucchini is done cooking.
Close up of a sautéed slice of zucchini topped with onions and black pepper.

More Vegetable Side Dishes

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Close up of sliced sautéed zucchini mix with sliced on soft onion.

Sautéed Zucchini and Onions

This last minute side is perfect for the summer. Seasoned with garlic and cooked in a skillet, it's ready to serve in minutes.
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 2 servings
Calories: 154kcal
Author: Betty Davies

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 tablespoon salted butter
  • 1 small yellow onion (finely sliced)
  • 1 garlic clove (minced)
  • 1 zucchini (sliced)
  • salt and black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • fresh parsley to garnish

Instructions

  • Heat the oil and butter in a skillet on a medium high heat.
  • Once hot, add the sliced onion and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Cook until soft, but not browned.
  • Add in the minced garlic, cook for a minute.
  • Push the onions and garlic to one side of the skillet and place the sliced zucchini flat in the skillet to cook. Sprinkle over some salt, pepper and the garlic powder.
  • Cook for about 3 to 4 minutes until the zucchini starts to brown.
  • Turn each piece of zucchini over and cook for another minute or two.
  • Mix the zucchini and onions together and serve with a sprinkle of black pepper and fresh parsley if desired.

Notes

  • Slice the onions as thinly as you can.
  • Slice the zucchini in rounds with a similar sized thickness so that they cook evenly through.
  • Take care not to overcook the zucchini. They ideally should have some bite to them rather than be mushy. I like to flip them when they are just starting to brown.
  • If you don’t have a large enough skillet, you can remove the onions from the pan to sauté the zucchini, then just mix them back in when the zucchini is done cooking.

Nutrition

Calories: 154kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 206mg | Potassium: 349mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 376IU | Vitamin C: 22mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 1mg

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