Sautéed Zucchini with Gruyere

Side DishQuick and EasyLow CarbZucchini

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

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 pound 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 tablespoons extra virgin olive 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 Sear zucchini rounds and onions in olive oil: 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.) Swirl the pan to coat the bottom of the pan with the oil, adding more oil 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

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

More from Elise

46 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Joi

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


  2. Garrett

    Made this using parmesan cheese and it was good. Still not sure if I am a big zucchini fan, but I found a way to like it, even enjoy it, whereas before I would gag at the stuff. =)

  3. Patti


    I just had to let you know that I prepared this dish tonight for Father’s Day dinner to go along with filet mignon. What a wonderful dish. I will be preparing it again and again. Thank you so much for sharing.

    Hi Patti – Awesome! I’m so glad you liked it. ~Elise


  4. Michelle

    My last semester in college I lived in Guadalajara Mexico. My favorite dish made by the Mom in the house I lived in was called “calabasa” (which I believe is the spanish word for squash)

    She would slice small zucchini lenghtwise, and dig out a little channel which is then filled with cheese, put the zucchini back together and secure with a couple of toothpicks, then batter and fry them. Then she would simmer the fried, cheese-stuffed zuchinni in a homemade enchilada sauce. (I can’t remember how she made the sauce but it involved oven roasted fresh tomatoes and a braun hand blender)

    I’m going to try to recreate this recipe (using canned enchilada sauce) and see if it comes out as good as I remember.

    I think the Spanish word you’re looking for is “calabacita”, which means summer squash. Mexican summer squash is a little different than what we are used to. You can see a photo of one in our vegetarian tamale recipe. Your Guadalajara recipe sounds terrific! I think we’ll have to give that one a try. ~Elise

  5. Diane C

    I am getting a basket a week of fresh seasonal organic veggies from a CSA, but already can’t keep up with eating the amount of zucchini coming in my basket. I appreciate these great recipes, but do you have suggestions on what I can make to freeze for the future?

    My neighbor Pat makes stuffed zucchini which she freezes. You can also make zucchini bread which freezes well. ~Elise

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