Sautéed Zucchini with Dill

This sautéed zucchini with dill is such a simple and easy side dish for summer meals. Six ingredients. Takes 15 minutes. Great on its own, or serve with grilled chicken or fish.

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Photography Credit: Sheryl Julian

When the zucchini in your garden is still slender and about 7-inches long – before they get big as baseball bats — the seeds will be small and the flesh will be sweet.

Zucchini at this stage hardly needs any adornment. I like to cut my zucchini into thin coins and toss them in a hot skillet with some oil until they start to turn golden brown. That’s it!

Sautéed Zucchini with DillThis simple sauté takes just a few minutes. The zucchini can go to the table on its own, or you can use it as a bed for grilled chicken or fish. Any leftover zucchini is great served with a fried egg for breakfast the next day!

I like to use a mandoline to slice the zucchini into thin, uniform circles, but you can also use a food processor with a slicing blade. If the opening of your food processor is too small for whole zucchini, halve them lengthwise to make half-coins.

I like to add fresh dill and lemon zest to my sauté. They add just the right aromatics to the zucchini.

With only six ingredients and about 15 minutes of your time, you have a beautiful vegetable dish for your summer table.

Sautéed Zucchini with Dill Recipe

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  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6 to 8

You can halve this recipe if cooking for four or fewer people.

Ingredients

  • 6 medium zucchini (7-inches long, 2 1/2 pounds or 1.10 kg total)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • Zest from one lemon

Special equipment:

Method

1 Prepare the zucchini: Cut away the stem from the zucchini and trim the bottom end. Slice the zucchini into 1/8-inch rounds using  a mandolin, food processor, or your very best knife skills.

Sautéed Zucchini with Dill

2 Cook the zucchini in two batches: In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add half the zucchini. Cook without stirring for 4 minutes, or until some of the rounds are golden when you lift them with a spatula.

Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and 1/8 teaspoon of the pepper. Turn and cook 2 minutes more without disturbing or until more rounds are brown. Do this two more times. Not all the rounds will be browned but a lot of them will be. Transfer to a bowl.

Cook the second batch of zucchini with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in the same way. Return all the zucchini to the pan.

Sautéed Zucchini with Dill

3 Season the zucchini: Combine the dill and lemon rind on a cutting board and chop them together just to mix them. Sprinkle the hot zucchini with the dill and lemon mixture, and toss well. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if you like.

Sautéed Zucchini with Dill

4 Serve hot or warm.

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Sheryl Julian

Sheryl Julian is an award-winning writer, editor, and food stylist. She is the former food editor of The Boston Globe, co-author of The Way We Cook, and editor of The New Boston Globe Cookbook. Her food sections won Best Newspaper Food Coverage from the Association of Food Journalists in 2015.

More from Sheryl

Sautéed Zucchini with Dill

7 Comments

  1. Renee

    I can’t wait to try this! I love zucchini and am always looking for new ways to prepare it.

    • Leslie C. Babroff

      I’m going to make the zucchini dish this afternoon for early dinner. It looks delicious, as do alll your helpful recipes. So glad I found your site, Kidney disease Stage 3, trying to care of myself.

  2. Elise Bauer

    Hi Sheryl, I can’t wait to make this! Always looking for quick and easy zucchini recipes. Recipe aside though, can I just say something about your cast iron pan? Wow, what a classic! I love the handle. Who was the maker?

    • Sheryl Julian

      Elise, hello! Isn’t it wonderful! I bought the pan in a rundown antique shop in Vermont. The owner told me it was 150 years old. Always subtract 50 years from whatever they tell you. So it’s 100 years old, a real beauty. It sits on the stovetop and is never scrubbed with anything but a sponge and suds. Dried over low heat. I treat it well and it rewards me in spades.

  3. Katie C.

    I made this tonight in a “stickless” pan with maybe one teaspoon of oil. It was great! I had a bunch of fresh dill leftover from making potato salad. The lemon zest really makes it tasty. We had it with a green salad, and spinach ravioli (frozen from Costco) with homemade marinara. I’m stuffed!

  4. Paige Flamm

    Yum! We have a bunch of zuchinni that needs to be used up, this looks amazing!

  5. Ingrid Reisner

    I make zucchini on a regular basis for one of my cats, who enjoys it just par boiled or blanched. However, as I do buy zucchini often, I do look for the smaller ones, younger with deep green skin. Also, this time of year in the northeast is prime time for the vegetables! I like the idea of preparing it with dill -for people, of course.

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