Follow these directions on how to saute zucchini, and you will master sauteeing vegetables in no time.
Using this method, Zucchini gets seared with lovely crispy edges in the pan. Let me tell you, sautéed zucchini is an absolute treat. And, it can handle pretty much anything from the spice rack that you can throw at it.
Here are the things to remember when making sauteed zucchini:
First, high-quality produce is always going to taste better. Select zucchinis that are firm and lightly covered in tiny bristles of hair. These are the freshest.
Second, heat the pan before putting in the oil. It helps to use an oil with a higher smoking point instead of butter.
Third, if you tend the zucchini slices too often, they won’t get browned where they sear against the hot pan. You will miss out on the flavors and texture that make this technique worth the extra effort.
Let them rest in the pan just enough to brown on one side before tossing them. The crispy bits really are the best part!
How To Saute Zucchini
Follow these directions on how to saute zucchini:
Prep the zucchini: Clean the zucchini and trim the ends. I quarter my zucchinis length-wise, then slice them into 1/4″ to 1/2″ thick pieces. The smaller they are, the faster they will cook.
Afterward, take the time to pat them dry. Excess water can result in steaming the zucchini, and prevent you from getting a good sear.
Prep the pan: Get out your largest skillet or sauté pan. For me, this Misen pan is the perfect skillet for sauteeing. Put the pan on a burner, and turn the heat up to medium-high. Let it heat up for 1-2 minutes.
Toss frequently: Sauté comes from the French word sauter (to jump) because of the way it keeps the food moving. Many cooks use the pan itself to toss the vegetables.
But, if you’ve experienced messy spills like me, you can use a utensil to stir the zucchini. Remember, let them sit long enough to brown a bit before you move them.
How Long to Saute Zucchini
Wondering how long to saute zucchini? That depends on how thin the slices are, how seared you want them to be, etc.
Expect to sauté zucchini for 4-5 minutes to reach tender crisp. Pay attention to the flesh. You want searing, but don’t cook them to the point that the white flesh turns translucent and mushy.
If they are not finished, continue checking for tenderness and flavor every 30 to 60 seconds. They are finished when tender with just the slightest crunch remaining.
I can’t overstate the importance of testing with a fork and also tasting the vegetables when trying new cooking methods.
We prefer our vegetables more firm than soft, with a solid bite to them. If you prefer your vegetables to be a bit more cooked, just add a minute or two to the provided cooking times. It’s always better to err on the side of undercooked versus overdone.
Keep in mind that cooking times are estimates and adjust them to be exactly what you like best.
How to Saute Zucchini
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 zucchini, large or 2 medium sized sliced into small pieces
- ½ tablespoon kosher salt adjust to taste
- ¼ tablespoon pepper adjust to taste
- Warm a large skillet over medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes.
- Add oil and zucchini slices to the skillet in a single layer, with minimal overlapping or layers. Cook for 4-5 minutes, allowing the zucchini to brown a bit before turning the pieces over in the skillet.
- When the zucchini is tender-crisp, remove from the heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.