Sautéed Zucchini and Squash is a combination of fresh zucchini, yellow squash, sweet onions, and garlic, quickly sautéed together in butter for a delicious summer side dish.
Sautéed Zucchini and Squash
Vegetables always taste better in the summer, don't they? Whether they're from your own garden, a farmer's market, or your local grocer, summer-time vegetables are always just a little bit sweeter and flavorful.
Sautéed Squash and Zucchini is among my favorite recipes to make in the summer. It's fast, easy, taking only about 15 minutes top to bottom. Plus, it goes with basically everything, and it tastes so amazing that I can't be trusted alone with the skillet (Seriously. It's so good, I could easily eat it all myself).
But don't just take my word for it! Make it yourself. Just 15 minutes, and you'll be just as hooked as I am!
Is Zucchini a Squash?
All zucchinis are a type of summer squash, or simply a squash that's harvested in the summer. When most people say "summer squash," they're actually referring to a crookneck or yellow squash.
What's the Difference Between Zucchini and Squash?
Zucchini is a type of squash that's harvested in the summer. It's typically green, although there are some yellow and yellow-green varieties.
Summer squash is any squash (including zucchini) that can be harvested in the summer. They all taste fairly similar, but have different shapes and colors.
The crookneck squash we're using here is yellow and has a rounder base with a skinny top, while the zucchini is a deep green with a more uniform cylindrical shape.
Do You Have to Peel Zucchini or Squash Before Cooking?
No. I always leave the peels on. It adds color, nutrition, and helps hold the shape so it doesn't get mush.
How Do You Cook Zucchini and Squash So It's Not Soggy or Mushy?
There are several ways to prevent your zucchini and squash from getting soft, mushy, or soggy.
- Slice the zucchini and squash thicker. Think closer to ⅓ to ½ inch instead of the standard ⅛-inch. This will help it from cooking too fast and get a more evenly cooked bite.
- Don't overcook. The most common reason that zucchini or squash get soggy is that it's been cooked for too long. As soon as it's heated through and slightly tender, remove it from the heat to prevent further cooking.
- Serve right away. Food continues to cook after it's removed from heat due to the radiating heat inside. Serve this dish right away so that it doesn't overcook and get soggy while it sits.
Sauteed Zucchini and Squash Variations
This recipe is already our favorite as-is, but one of the best parts about it is that it's extremely versatile to taste preferences or what you have on hand. Try these simple variations.
- Squash - This recipe will work with all zucchini or all yellow squash, depending on what you have on hand.
- Potatoes - Thinly sliced potatoes work well in this dish and make it a little more hearty and filling as well.
- Mushrooms - I love adding mushrooms sometimes to change up the flavor, and add a little extra meaty flavor.
- Add a little spice - Up the spice factor by adding more red pepper flakes, a few dashes of hot sauce, or even some minced fresh or jarred jalapenos.
- Herbs - Put your fresh garden herbs to good use too by adding some fresh basil, thyme, parsley, or oregano.
What to Serve with Sautéed Zucchini and Squash
The good news about sautéed zucchini and squash is that it goes with basically everything, so you really can't go wrong! That also means that you might have trouble narrowing down the options! Start out with some of these tried-and-true favorites!
Some of our favorite main dishes to serve alongside this recipe are these Cheesy Italian Pork Chops, Grilled Maple Mustard Chicken, or Pesto Chicken Kabobs.
It also goes well with beef dishes or even served over rice or pasta (such as this Garlic Parmesan Angel Hair with Shrimp).
More Zucchini Recipes You'll Love
- Zucchini Fritters - classic fritters that are pan-fried to crispy perfection with a warm, soft inside.
- Vegetable Tian - you will love this recipe if you love this sauteed zucchini and squash. It's a little more work, but so worth the effort.
- Air Fryer Zucchini Fries - quick, delicious, and best served with your favorite sauce.
- Lemon Zucchini Bread - a classic zucchini bread with a dash of bright lemon.
- Zucchini and Farfalle Pasta Salad - fresh pasta salad full of fresh summer garden vegetables.
- 44 MORE Zucchini Recipes to Love - an epic compilation of ALL of the best zucchini recipes to use up all of that fresh summer zucchini.
Sauteed Squash and Zucchini
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 yellow summer squash halved and sliced (about ⅓-inch thick)
- 2 zucchini squash halved and sliced (about ⅓-inch thick)
- ½ an onion sliced
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- a dash of red pepper flakes
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan
- In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter.
- Add zucchini, squash, onion, and garlic.
- Cook over medium heat until the zucchini is just cooked through and beginning to brown, about 10 to 15 minutes.
- Remove from heat. Season with salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste. Sprinkle parmesan. Cover to allow to melt.
- Serve immediately.
- Don't stir too frequently. Allow it to sit in a smooth layer to allow a little caramelization and prevent sogginess.
- Make it vegan or dairy free by using olive oil or avocado oil instead of butter.
- Storage: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop.
- Freezer Directions: Zucchini and squash freezes well. They can be sliced, transferred to a freezer bag, and frozen for up to 3 to 6 months. To use, follow recipe and just add the frozen zucchini and squash into the recipe at the specified time. Cook time will increase to account for the frozen vegetables.
UPDATE INFO: This recipe was originally published in June 2015. It was updated with new pictures, tips, and video and republished in July 2022.
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Mindy Fewless says
So much flavor!! I could eat the whole batch of veggies!
I have a ton of zucchini and yellow squash to use. I substituted vegan parmesan and it worked great!
This is just the recipe I've been looking for to use my garden vegetables in. So delicious and so easy to make too!
My husband and children eat squash, zucchini and French squash (smaller and thinner than Zucchini). I cut them up and use bacon fat to fry them in. When they are browned I cover them with a mix of white and yellow cornmeal and continue to fry them until the cornmeal is cooked. I can cook enough squash for a crowed for my family and not have any leftovers. I don't care for squash but I sure make a bunch for my family (MY husband calls me a Yankee because I don't like squash or cornbread (I will eat cornbread in my poultry dressing).
I love the yellow and green colors of this dish! It turned out delicious and we loved the flavor of Parmesan cheese with this. Thank you!
This is a great veggie recipe. I loved the flavors and it was simple to make too. Thanks for sharing.
This is truly the best summer side dish recipe! So easy and love the garlic parmesan flavor!
Summer squash goes so great with a bit of Parmesan! A perfect summer side dish, that goes great with any main.
Made this sauteed zucchini and squash recipe and it was amazing. Not soggy at all, and delicious!!
This was such a quick and easy recipe to make and turned out really delicious! Perfect for summer time and all of the fresh squash I have on hand!
Luci Petlack says
We do a similar zucchini dish all summer long, but I hadn't thought of adding garlic! I can't wait to add it next time!
This is one of my favorite side dishes! I love your suggestion to add mushrooms or potatoes to this mixture!
Gina Abernathy says
I make this dish all of the time during the summer months when we have squash and zucchini running out of our ears. So much flavor and a great way to use those veggies.
This is the perfect side dish! It's so delicious, I could eat a whole plate all to myself! It's so good over pasta too!
I am in my 40s and eat like I'm a kindergartner, so I am always looking for new ways to make vegetables. These were really delicious and I enjoyed them! (I did add a little extra cheese!)
I have an abundance of summer squashes when fall comes around. This looks like a great way to use some of them up! Thanks so much for sharing!
Ana F. says
This side dish was incredible easy to make and turned out so delicious! Super juicy and flavorful but not mushy. My family devoured them and will definitely be on rotation. Thanks for the recipe!
Gina Abernathy says
My favorite side dish! I added a few red pepper flakes and ended with the right amount of heat. So good!
This zucchini is fantastic! Even my husband who isn't a big fan of the vegetable took seconds- a winner for sure!