Summer is the season of vibrant and flavorful vegetables. And when it comes to sautéed squash and zucchini, you’re in for a delightful treat. This quick and easy dish combines fresh zucchini, yellow squash, sweet onions, and garlic, sautéed in butter for a burst of summer flavors. It’s the perfect side dish that pairs well with just about anything. Get ready to be hooked by the incredible taste of sautéed squash and zucchini!
The Summer Sweetness of Sautéed Squash and Zucchini
Vegetables always taste better in the summer, don’t they? Whether they come from your garden, a farmer’s market, or the local grocer, summer-time vegetables are a little bit sweeter and more flavorful. Sauteed squash and zucchini happens to be one of my favorite recipes to make during this season. It’s fast, easy, taking only about 15 minutes from start to finish. And trust me, it tastes so amazing that I can’t be trusted alone with the skillet. Seriously, it’s that good! But don’t just take my word for it. Try it yourself, and you’ll be just as hooked as I am!
Is Zucchini a Squash?
You might be wondering if zucchini is a type of squash. Well, the answer is yes! All zucchinis are a type of summer squash, which means they are harvested during the summer season. When people refer to “summer squash,” they are usually talking about crookneck or yellow squash.
What’s the Difference Between Zucchini and Squash?
Zucchini is a specific type of squash that is harvested in the summer. It’s usually green, although there are some yellow and yellow-green varieties available. On the other hand, summer squash refers to any squash, including zucchini, that can be harvested during the summer. They all have a similar taste but differ in shape and color. The crookneck squash used in this recipe is yellow with a rounder base and a skinny top, while zucchini is deep green with a uniform cylindrical shape.
Leaving the Peel On for Color and Flavor
Do you have to peel zucchini or squash before cooking? The answer is no! I always leave the peels on because they add color, nutrition, and help the vegetables retain their shape instead of turning mushy.
Tips for Perfectly Cooked Zucchini and Squash
Here are some handy tips to prevent your sautéed zucchini and squash from becoming soggy or mushy:
Slice the zucchini and squash thicker: Instead of the standard ⅛-inch slices, go for ⅓ to ½ inch thickness. This will ensure a more evenly cooked and less mushy result.
Don’t overcook: One common reason for soggy zucchini or squash is overcooking. As soon as the vegetables are heated through and slightly tender, remove them from the heat to prevent further cooking.
Serve right away: Food continues to cook after being taken off the heat due to residual heat. Serve sautéed zucchini and squash immediately to avoid overcooking and maintaining the perfect texture.
Versatile Variations to Try
While the basic sautéed zucchini and squash recipe is already a winner, you can easily customize it to suit your taste preferences or what you have on hand. Here are some simple variations to explore:
Squash: You can use all zucchini or all yellow squash, depending on what you have available.
Potatoes: Thinly sliced potatoes work well in this dish and add a heartier and more filling element.
Mushrooms: For an extra meaty flavor, consider adding mushrooms to your sauté.
Add a little spice: Increase the spice factor by incorporating more red pepper flakes, dashes of hot sauce, or minced jalapenos.
Herbs: Make use of your fresh garden herbs like basil, thyme, parsley, or oregano to enhance the flavors.
The beauty of sautéed zucchini and squash is that it complements almost any main dish. Here are some tried-and-true favorites to serve alongside this delightful recipe:
- Cheesy Italian Pork Chops
- Grilled Maple Mustard Chicken
- Pesto Chicken Kabobs
You can also enjoy it with beef dishes or serve it over rice or pasta, such as Garlic Parmesan Angel Hair with Shrimp. The possibilities are endless!
More Zucchini Recipes to Fall in Love With
If you’re a fan of zucchini, here are some additional recipes that you’re sure to love:
- Zucchini Fritters: Classic fritters that are pan-fried to crispy perfection with a warm, soft inside.
- Vegetable Tian: If you enjoy sautéed zucchini and squash, you’ll adore this recipe. It requires a little more effort but is totally worth it.
- Air Fryer Zucchini Fries: Quick, delicious, and perfect when paired with your favorite sauce.
- Lemon Zucchini Bread: A classic zucchini bread with a bright lemon twist.
- Zucchini and Farfalle Pasta Salad: A fresh pasta salad loaded with the goodness of summer garden vegetables.
- 44 MORE Zucchini Recipes to Love: An epic compilation of the best zucchini recipes to make the most of fresh summer zucchini.
This recipe was originally published in June 2015 but has been updated with new pictures, tips, and a video. Enjoy it now and savor the flavors of sautéed squash and zucchini!
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