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!
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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