Sautéed Zucchini with Gruyere

Simple sauteed zucchini recipe with onion, garlic, fresh tarragon, basil, and Gruyere Swiss cheese.

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Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

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.

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.

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

Showing 4 of 47 Comments

  • Joi

    Wow! I just cooked this dish and it is delectable!

  • Ali

    I love zucchini! But in terms of zucchini recipes, Zucchini muffins totally rock! I got this recipe from someone back in high school, and it hasn’t disappointed me once. They are both moist and sweet, and of course, slightly healthy as well!
    Beat together:
    3 eggs
    1 cup sugar
    1 cup oil
    2 cups grated zucchini
    2 teaspoons vanilla essence
    2 cups flour
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    1 teaspoon salt
    Add 1 cups sultanas
    1 cup walnut pieces
    Spoon into greased muffin tins and bake at 350 deg F (180 deg C) until done, about 15 minutes.

  • Mai

    My favorite zucchini recipe is the vegetarian Zucchini ‘Crabcakes’. A tasty way to enjoy Old Bay and zucchini without overfishing.

  • Rick DeLisi

    Looks good. If you like fettucini alfredo I got a little personal recipe for you.

    this is my recipe that evolved with me during my vegan times that makes for a good italian treat to anyone who is a pasta lover.with vegatarian dinner guests ;)

    DeLisi Fettucini Zucchini Alfredo

    Ingredients :

    1 tablespoon butter
    2 tablespoons Olive oil
    1 Zucchini quartered
    1 1/2 cup of cream
    3 or 4 cloves of crushed garlic
    1/4 cup dry white wine
    half a crushed buillon cube
    1/2 cup grated parmesan
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    peper to taste

    the sauce should just about be ready by the time the water is boiling. so in full the cooking and prep for this is 20 minutes max.

    Then melt the butter with the olive oil in a sauce pan on med high heat
    fry the zucchini for 5 minutes and add the crushed garlic.
    cook the garlic & zucchini together for 1 minute add the crushed buillon make sure it is well distributed through thte pan then add the wine let the alcohol cook out for about 1 minute.
    Now add the cream , salt & peper.
    after 2 minutes add the grated parmesan.
    let simmer until fettucini is “al dente”

    then drain pasta and add to sauce let cook for 1 min max.
    and serve.

    preferably with a simple salad

    hope you like!

  • Alison

    Hi Elise,
    My name is Alison and I work for Everyday Food magazine’s blog, Dinner Tonight ( I did a google search for Everyday Food to see what was out there on the web about us and found your review of your magazine. I was wondering if you had made it to the blog to check out yet? We are working on figuring out what all we want our blog to be and hope to set up a simple Everyday Food community with our subscribers and website users. If you get a chance to stop by, let me know your thoughts, either via email or commenting.
    Alison S.

    Hi Alison, Looks good! ~Elise

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