Yellow Squash and Zucchini are sautéed with onions in a skillet for a quick side dish recipe that can be on your dinner table in under 20 minutes! This easy and healthy summer squash recipe is made with only a few simple ingredients and is gluten free, vegan, vegetarian, Whole30, and Paleo friendly.
Sautéed Zucchini and Yellow Squash
A few years ago I discovered the magic of this super simple sautéed squash recipe thanks to my sweet mother-in-love.
I had to have ACL surgery after a not-so-great fall off of a bouldering wall. (Wah, Wah!)
By the fourth day of being constrained to the couch, I went on a little adventure to our local grocery store with my grandmother and mother-in-loves. My one and only time to get to use the motorized grocery cart for a legitimate reason. (And it stopped working halfway through the store!)
It was the beginning of summer and the zucchini and yellow squash were beautiful! My mother-in-love grabbed a few and said she was going to sauté them up.
Simple Squash Side Dish
Crutches and all, I hobbled into the kitchen to man the chopping board while my mother-in-love worked her magic on the stovetop.
To be honest, I was expecting it to taste a bit, well, boring. After all, there weren’t too many flavors that went into the recipe.
Boy, was I completely wrong!
The zucchini and squash absorbed the flavors from the fats and garlic, caramelized, and then became, almost, sweet?!
As I mentioned previously, the ingredients for this recipe are so incredibly simple, chances are you probably already have them all on hand!
Squash – A mixture of both zucchini and yellow squash are used in this recipe. If you only have one or the other, feel free to use all of that instead! (And if you have any leftover, you can always learn how to freeze zucchini!)
Onion – Finely diced sweet onion was originally used in this dish and is my personal preference. Feel free to substitute with white, yellow, or red onion.
Garlic – Fresh garlic clove are the secret to giving this recipe a punch of flavor. While yes, you can swap out garlic powder if absolutely necessary, but I wouldn’t recommend it.
Oil & Butter – A mixture of oil and butter is used when sautéing these vegetables.
- If you’re vegan or dairy-free, feel free to use a vegan butter substitute (such as vegan buttery sticks) or all olive oil instead.
Is Zucchini a Squash?
This question comes up quite a bit so I wanted to make sure to clarify when referring to the ingredients in this recipe.
Yes. Zucchini is a variety of squash. But no, not all squash are zucchini.
If you live outside of the United States, you might also refer to these “squash” as corguettes.
In this recipe, feel free to use either all zucchini, all yellow summer squash, or a mixture of both.
Cutting and Preparing
Before you start cooking, a key factor in executing this simple recipe is how you cut the squash and what size they are.
In order to cook this up quickly, you will want to cut your squash pieces no larger than about ½-¾ of an inch.
- Cut and remove the blossom and stem ends of the yellow squash and zucchini.
- Slice the vegetable in half lengthwise, and then again into quarters.
- Make cuts about ½-inch apart to get bite-sized pieces.
Cook’s Tip: If you have a mandoline slicer you can also use this to make the chopping process a bit faster.
How to Sauté
In order to cook your zucchini and squash you’ll want to follow these steps:
- Heat a large skillet to medium heat and add olive oil and diced onions. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add crushed garlic and sauté for 1 minute.
- Stir in squash, zucchini, salt, pepper, and butter. Cover skillet with a lid and cook for 5 minutes. Uncover and stir.
- Continue cooking for 5-7 minutes or until squash are cooked to your liking.
- Serve with additional salt and pepper to taste and a sprinkle of fresh parsley. Enjoy!
Cook’s Tip: If you leave the zucchini and squash in the skillet a little longer at the end and crank up the heat, they get this beautiful brown caramelization that makes them slightly sweet and full of flavor.
How long will leftovers last?
You can store any extra leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
Can I meal prep this?
Yes, this recipe meal preps wonderfully. Finely chop the onion and store separately from the cut squash. Keep uncooked vegetables in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
What’s the best way to reheat?
While you can always pop it back in the microwave, the best way to reheat this sautéed squash is to add it to a skillet with a touch of oil or butter. Cook over medium-low heat until heated through.
Is this squash recipe healthy?
Unlike other summer squash recipes that are laden with heavy cream and cheese, this recipe is made with only a bit of oil or butter. Because of this, it’s naturally gluten free, vegetarian, Whole30, Paleo, and can easily be made vegan.
Have more zucchini or yellow squash you want to use up? Here are a few more recipes you might enjoy:
Sautéed Zucchini and Squash in 20 Minutes!
Yellow Squash and Zucchini are sautéed with onions in a skillet for a quick side dish recipe that can be on your dinner table in under 20 minutes!
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 Tbsp. butter or additional oil
- ¾ cup sweet onion finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- 2 cups summer squash* cut into ½-inch cubes
- 2 cups zucchini* cut into ½-inch cubes
- ¾-1 tsp. salt to taste
- ¼ tsp. pepper to taste
- Parsley finely chopped, optional
In a large skillet over medium heat add 2 Tbsp. olive oil and onions. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
Add crushed garlic and saute for 1 minute.
Stir in squash, zucchini, salt, pepper and butter. Cover skillet with a lid and cook for 5 minutes.
Uncover and stir. Continue cooking for 5-7 minutes or until squash are cooked to your liking. (If you would like to lightly brown and caramelize your squash, let sit for 1-2 minutes before stirring.)
Serve zucchini and squash with additional salt and pepper to taste and a sprinkle of fresh parsley. Enjoy!
- Feel free to substitute with all yellow squash or all zucchini.
- Use oil or vegan butter in place of regular butter if dairy-free or vegan.