This sautéed zucchini and tomatoes recipe is the perfect summer side dish! Light and healthy, it’s packed with fresh veggies, the perfect blend of seasonings, and beautiful, vibrant colors.
Pin this recipe now to save it for laterPin Recipe
Sometimes you need just a little something extra to round out a meal. In the fall, it might be Roasted Brussels Sprouts. In winter, maybe Air Fryer Sweet Potato Fries. And when you need a back pocket side dish for summer, sautéed zucchini and tomatoes is it.
This is one side dish that looks as good on the plate as it tastes. The bright red tomatoes and gorgeous green zucchini definitely make you want to take a picture of this incredible summer dish. I would say, without a doubt, that sautéed zucchini and tomatoes are Instagram-worthy.
Summery Sautéed Zucchini and Tomatoes Recipe
Of course, food should also taste great, not just look picture-perfect. You don’t have to worry about that! I have made this recipe countless times and tweaked the ingredients to give you the most flavor in every bite. The fresh zucchini, sweet cherry tomatoes, and blend of garlic, onions, and seasonings are truly delicious.
The whole recipe takes about 20 minutes from start to finish, but the best part is that you can make it in just one large skillet. That means fewer dishes, less mess, and more time outside enjoying the summer sun! So fire up your grill to make some BBQ chicken and toss your zucchini and tomatoes into the pan to cook. You will have a show-stopping summer meal in no time!
Ingredients for Sautéed Zucchini and Tomatoes
See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.
- Olive oil
- Garlic – I like to use fresh chopped garlic, but you can also use 1 teaspoon of garlic powder instead.
- Red Onion – I like the subtle flavor of red onion for this zucchini and tomato recipe.
- Zucchini – Make sure your zucchini has a nice, dark green color.
- Italian seasoning – Italian seasoning is a blend of dried basil, oregano, and parsley. Be sure to grab a seasoning that is unsalted.
- Red pepper flakes – Skip the red pepper flakes if you’re not a fan of heat.
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper
- Tomato paste – If you have extra tomato paste, freeze it! You only need a little for this recipe, so save the rest of the can for later.
- Cherry tomatoes – Cherry tomatoes are sweeter than large tomatoes, which I love for this recipe.
- Lemon juice
- Parmesan cheese
Here are a few ingredient substitutions and recipe tweaks that you can try.
- Use two green zucchini and two yellow squash. Yellow squash has a mild flavor that goes well with the zucchini and tomatoes. It also adds a nice pop of color to the summer side dish.
- Replace the cherry tomatoes with one large, chopped tomato. Cut your large tomato into pieces that are about one-inch in size. You don’t want to dice the tomato too small or it will turn to mush as it cooks.
- Skip the parmesan cheese to make this recipe for sautéed zucchini and tomatoes vegan.
How to Make Sautéed Zucchini and Tomatoes
- Saute the garlic and onions: Star by heating the olive oil in a large skillet. Sauté the onions and garlic for about 7 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions are soft.
- Add the zucchini: Stir the chopped zucchini into the hot skillet and toss it in the oil. Add the seasonings and sauté for another 6 minutes until the zucchini is tender.
- Add the tomatoes: Stir the cherry tomatoes and tomato paste into the skillet. Let the tomatoes cook for about 4 minutes to soften.
- Enjoy hot: Add the lemon juice and Parmesan cheese, stir, then serve while the tomatoes and zucchini are hot.
Try making this zucchini and tomatoes recipe on the grill. Toss all of the ingredients except the cheese in a large bowl. Add the seasoned veggies to a grill basket and cook over a high-heat grill for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to grill the veggies evenly. Divided the vegetables onto plates and sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese.
How to Store Sautéed Zucchini and Tomatoes
If you have leftover zucchini and tomatoes, store them in an airtight container in the fridge. The veggies will keep for 4-5 days. To reheat, place the container in the microwave and heat in 30-second increments, until the veggies are hot. You can also add the cooked zucchini and tomatoes back into a large skillet and reheat them on the stovetop.
If you are worried about your zucchini being soggy, you can remove the seeds. The seeds are edible, but they contain a lot of water. The water from the seeds will come out as the zucchini cooks, which can cause it to be soggy. Scoop the seeds out for a crisper zucchini side dish.
No! You do not need to peel zucchini before cooking. In fact, the skin has lots of nutrients and it adds a pretty green color to the dish.
Zucchini will be tender when it is cooked. You will be able to easily pierce it with a fork when it is ready.
Sautéed Zucchini and Tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 red onion, diced
- 4 medium zucchini, diced into 1 inch cubes
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoons dried red pepper flakes
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- ½ teaspoons ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- Add the olive oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and onion, then sauté 6 to 7 minutes until the onions start to brown. Add the zucchini, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, then continue to cook for another 6 to 7 minutes.
- Once the vegetables are tender enough to be pierced gently with a fork, add the tomato paste and tomatoes and stir together. Heat until the tomatoes start to break down slightly and are heated through, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and mix in the lemon juice and cheese. Serve immediately.