Sautéed Zucchini with Gruyere

After several years of observing the results of my feeble gardening attempts, my next door neighbor Pat (76 and still going strong) graciously responded to my pleas for help and has been guiding me this spring with soil amendments, starter plants, seeds, and all around gardening advice.

As a result, here it is early June and I have a zucchini plant that is growing with wild abandon (amazing what a little water, sunshine, and organic fertilizer can do). The plant produces almost one zucchini a day and has been for about a month.

Blessed with this new bounty, we now have a very good reason to try out new zucchini recipes, so be warned, you may be seeing more zukes on this site the summer than usual. (Have a favorite zucchini recipe? Please let us know in the comments.)

Sauteed Zucchini with Gruyere

This particular zucchini sauté recipe is a take-off of my mom’s stand-by summer squash recipe. Gruyere Swiss cheese adds a wonderful nutty sophistication to this simple dish.

Gruyere is on the expensive side, but you don’t end up needing as much because the flavor is more concentrated. You can substitute another Swiss cheese if you like.

We have fresh tarragon and basil growing in the garden, which is what I used, but you could also use dried, or even Herbes de Provence. The trick to keeping the zucchini from getting soggy and overcooked, is to sauté it quickly in a rather hot pan.

Sauteed Zucchini with Gruyere

Sautéed Zucchini with Gruyere Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 12 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4


  • 1 lb zucchini (about 4 small zucchini or 1 large), sliced into 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick slices (if working with a large zucchini, cut in half lengthwise first)
  • 1-2 Tbsp grapeseed oil or canola oil
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh tarragon (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 2 ounces Gruyere Swiss cheese (can substitute other Swiss cheese), thinly sliced
  • Salt and pepper


1 Heat oil in a large sauté pan on fairly high heat. (An anodized aluminum pan works well for this purpose because it is stick resistant yet can handle high heat.) Coat the bottom of the pan with the oil, adding more if needed. When the pan is hot, add the zucchini and onions. Spread out along the bottom of the pan.

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Cook quickly on high heat, stirring frequently, until all zucchini pieces are a little browned at least on one side (about 2 minutes). Sprinkle with salt and pepper while cooking. Halfway through the cooking, add the garlic and the herbs. If there is any sticking to the pan, add a little more oil.

2 Remove the pan from the heat. Place slices of cheese over the zucchini in a single layer. Cover the pan. Let sit for a few minutes, until the cheese is just melted.

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Remove the zucchini to a serving dish. Serve immediately.

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Sautéed zucchini with spinach and basil pesto from Kalyn's Kitchen

Quick sauté of zucchini with almonds, from Deb of Smitten Kitchen

Sauteed Zucchini with Gruyere

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Showing 4 of 60 Comments

  • katy

    I love zucchini dishes in summer, and I love gruyere more than anything! I love grating it over sauteed vegetables with some butter and salt — so I would obviously adore this recipe!

  • sairuh

    We’re often inundated with zucs from the garden, so your dish looks particularly tasty! I look forward to reading your future zucchini recipes, too. (Hm, I’m thinking thinly sliced zucchini could work on pizza… ;-)

  • Allison

    I made zucchini-cashew pancakes using a banana-pecan pancake recipe. I just did a one-to-one substitution. It was too watery so I kept having to add flour. I should have been more careful and added the liquid a bit at a time. They were tasty though.

    The original Moosewood Cookbook has a recipe for a pizza crust that uses 3 1/2c zukes, so you could try that too.

  • Kalyn

    It looks fantastic! I’m imagining how well the flavors of zucchini, tarragon, basil, and Gruyere are going to go together!

    How wonderful to have a neighbor who’s full of gardening knowledge. I do have some big flowers on my zucchini, but no signs of any zucchini yet.

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