Go Back
+ servings
cooked zucchini in a white bowl
Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Pan-Seared Zucchini with Garlic and Basil

With a side dish this delicious and simple you’ll never wonder what to do with that bumper crop of zucchini or summer squash again. Serve sautéed zucchini with garlic and basil as a side dish to your favorite foods off the grill, summer sandwiches, or as a healthier side for burgers and hot dogs.
To adjust the servings in this recipe, click on the number next to servings.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time7 mins
Total Time37 mins
Course: Side Dish
Keyword: easy side dish, easy vegetable side, summer, vegetables, vegetarian
Servings: 4
Calories: 146kcal
Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
Cost: $4.00


  • Mixing Bowls
  • Half Sheet Pan
  • Paper Towels
  • Skillet


  • 1 lb Zucchini or Summer Squash, halved lengthwise and sliced into ½-inch thick pieces
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt (see note)
  • 2 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 tablespoon Red or White Wine Vinegar
  • 1 clove Garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoon Cooking Oil (I use any neutral oil like vegetable, grapeseed, or avocado oil)
  • 10 leaves Fresh Basil, thinly sliced or chopped


  • In a mixing bowl, toss zucchini with kosher salt until the salt has coated most of the slices.
  • Line a sheet pan with a clean dish towel or paper towels. Spread zucchini out on the paper towels and let rest for 20 minutes. (This will draw out moisture to give the zucchini a more concentrated flavor and better texture as it cooks.)
  • Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl (you can use the same one you used to salt the zucchini, but wipe it out first), whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, and garlic.
  • After zucchini has been resting for 20 minutes, roll it up in the dish towel / paper towels and gently rub it to remove moisture that gathered on its surface.
  • Heat a large skillet with cooking oil over medium heat until the oil begins to shimmer.
  • Add zucchini to the heated skillet in a single layer (do this in batches if needed; be careful not to crowd the pan or it won’t brown). Let it sit in the hot pan, without turning, until golden brown on the bottom, 4 to 7 minutes. Gently flip the zucchini and continue cooking, stirring occasionally until tender, 6 to 7 minutes more.
  • Add warm zucchini to the bowl with the olive oil dressing and toss gently to combine.
  • Just before serving, fold in basil.


Kosher Salt - I use Morton’s Kosher Salt to test recipes. If using table salt, reduce by about half. If using Diamond Kosher Salt, increase by about 25%. Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to salt, so be sure to taste and adjust as you go.


Calories: 146kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 591mg | Potassium: 306mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 293IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 1mg