Sautéed zucchini and onions is an easy stovetop side dish, ready in less than 20 minutes! Cubed zucchini and onions are sautéed in butter and lightly seasoned with red pepper flakes.
On busy weeknights, something quick and easy is all you're looking for. This sautéed zucchini recipe is the perfect solution!
Cubed zucchini and onions are quick-cooked on the stove top in a combination of olive oil and butter, with a pinch of red pepper flakes and garlic. Plenty of flavor, yet simple enough to toss together in less than twenty minutes.
Ingredients and substitutions
For this recipe, you'll need about 1 and ¼ pounds of cubed zucchini (depending on the size of your pan - I used a 12 inch nonstick skillet). That would be about 2-3 small zucchini.
I use a combination of olive oil and butter - olive oil to cook the onions, then butter added later for flavor. If you'd prefer, all olive oil can be used instead.
Red pepper flakes add just a hint of heat to this dish, but they can be omitted or halved if needed for a mild flavor.
Do I have to peel my zucchini?
I do not recommend peeling your zucchini for several reasons.
First, it takes extra time to peel. Instead, give your zucchini a light scrub and rinse in the sink before cubing.
Second, the skin of your zucchini contains lots of good-for-you nutrients. Don't miss out on them by peeling the skin off! The skin cooks up nice and soft with the rest of the zucchini, and adds a beautiful green color to your dish.
How to prevent mushy zucchini
Why does zucchini get mushy when cooked? The main culprit - overcooking. That's one reason I love to sauté my zucchini on the stovetop - it cooks just long enough to become tender without getting mushy.
Plus, sautéeing helps release some moisture (in the form of steam) from your zucchini as it cooks, preventing that mushy cooked texture.
What to serve with zucchini
Zucchini has a mild flavor that pairs well with just about any main course. From beef to chicken or pork, you really can't go wrong. Here are a few of my favorite entrées to pair with zucchini:
- Pan-Seared Ribeye with Garlic Butter
- Crispy Baked Chicken Thighs
- Pizza Stuffed Chicken
- Parmesan Crusted Pork Chops
- Crock Pot Italian Beef Sandwiches
- Garlic & Herb Slow Cooker Pork Roast
Sautéed Zucchini and Onions
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion diced
- 1 ¼ pounds zucchini cubed
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- In a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, add olive oil. When hot, add diced onion and cook until it begins to turn brown, about 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add zucchini, butter, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to pan, tossing to coat and spreading into a single layer. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, flipping once halfway through, or until zucchini is tender and lightly browned around the edges.
- Add minced garlic and stir to incorporate. Cook for 30 seconds, or until garlic is fragrant. Remove from heat and serve immediately.
- 1 and ¼ pounds of zucchini = about 2 to 3 small zucchini
- Butter can be substituted with olive oil to make this dish vegan friendly.
- Leftovers will keep for 3 to 4 days in a sealed container in the refrigerator.