Sautéed Zucchini and Yellow Squash is a quick and easy recipe ready in just 20 minutes! Squash and onions are cooked in a skillet with oil for a low-carb side dish. This simple vegan and Whole30 Summer dish is one of the best zucchini and yellow squash recipes! 

Cooked zucchini and squash with parsley sprinkled on top.

Quick and Easy Zucchini and Squash

A few years ago I discovered the magic of this super simple sautéed squash recipe.

It was the beginning of summer and the zucchini and yellow squash were beautiful! And wanting an easy meal, I grabbed my skillet.

“Sautéed zucchini and squash?” I thought. Up until this moment I had only ever enjoyed them in casseroles, like this Healthy Summer Squash Casserole or as Baked Parmesan Zucchini Fries.

I got to work on the chopping board and starting cooking.

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. And then with a little caramelization, they became almost… sweet?!

I fell in love instantly and have been making sautéed zucchini ever since! It’s one of the best ways to cook up these veggies in a hurry.

It’s so easy to put together and makes an excellent side dish for just about any meal. It’s become my favorite way to simply enjoy this fresh vegetable.

Zucchini, yellow squash, salt, pepper, onion, oil, and garlic ingredients for a side dish recipe.
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Ingredients

The simple ingredients needed to sauté squash and zucchini include: 

  • Squash. A mixture of both fresh 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!) Confused about the difference between the two? This post on Squash versus Zucchini should clear things up.
  • Onion. Finely diced sweet onion was originally used in this dish and is preferred. Feel free to substitute with white, red onion, or yellow onion.
  • Garlic. Fresh minced garlic cloves are the secret to giving this recipe a punch of flavor. You can swap out garlic powder if absolutely necessary, but it’s not recommended.
  • 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.

How to Cook Zucchini and Yellow Squash

The basic steps for making this easy sautéed zucchini and squash recipe are simple to follow:

Cut the Squash

Remove the blossom and stem ends of both the squash and zucchini, then slice each vegetable in half lengthwise, and again into quarters. Make cuts about ½-¾-inch apart to get bite-sized pieces.

Then, dice the onion. You want small pieces of all the vegetables so every bite is full of flavor.

Cook the Onions

Heat oil and onions in a large skillet over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. 

Stir in the minced garlic and sauté for 1 minute.

Onion is cooked in a skillet.

Add in the Squash and Zucchini

Stir in the slices of yellow squash, zucchini, sea salt, black pepper, and butter. Try to get them in as much of a single layer as possible. Cover the hot skillet with a lid and cook for 5 minutes.

Uncover and stir. Continue cooking for 5-7 minutes or until the squash is cooked to your liking.

If you would like to lightly brown and caramelize your squash, let sit in the hot skillet for 1-2 minutes before stirring.

The total time will vary based on how large the slices are and how done you prefer this summer squash side dish.

Expert 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.

Meal Prep and Storage

  • To Prep-Ahead: Finely chop the onion and store it separately from the cut squash. Keep uncooked vegetables in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
  • To Store: Keep leftover sautéed squash in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
  • To Freeze: Allow to cool, then transfer to an airtight freezer-safe container, freeze up to 3 months.  
  • To Reheat: While you can always pop it back in the microwave, the best way to reheat this yellow squash and zucchini is to add it to a skillet with a touch of oil or butter. Cook over medium-low heat until heated through.

How long to sauté zucchini and squash?

Depending on how caramelized you like the veggies, you will need to cook this simple side dish for 10 to 20 minutes. Start out by sautéing the onions for a couple of minutes, then add in the squash for about 5 minutes, covered. Cook uncovered for another 5 to 7 minutes.

Yellow squash cubes and diced zucchini that have been cooked and sprinkled with parsley.

Do you peel zucchini before sautéing?

It is not necessary to peel squash and zucchini before cooking. The peel adds a nice color, texture, and fiber to the dish. But you can remove it if you’d prefer in this delicious side dish.

Can you freeze sautéed zucchini and squash?

You can freeze sautéed zucchini and squash for up to 3 months. You will want to cook this summer side dish again with butter and oil upon thawing.

Expert Tips and Tricks

  • Fresh is best. Find zucchini in your Summer garden, or from a farmer’s market. 
  • Make it sweet. Use sweet onions instead of white or yellow.
  • Use a large skillet. You want enough room so the sautéed squash pieces aren’t on top of each other.
  • Let it sit. The squash will caramelize, which results in a deeper flavor. 
  • Leave the peel. This adds color, texture, and extra nutrition.
  • Top it off. Add some grated Parmesan cheese, fresh herbs, Italian seasoning, or even red pepper flakes for some extra flavor.
Sautéed zucchini and yellow summer squash in a white bowl with a serving spoon.

What to Serve with Sautéed Zucchini and Squash?

You can go as fancy or as simple in your dinner plans as you want. Try any of these healthy recipes alongside this easy side dish.

Have a date night at home with Olive Garden Chicken Marsala or Chicken Cordon Bleu.

Try some spice with Hot Honey Chicken and Honey Sriracha Glazed Salmon.

Air Fryer Shrimp is a super simple dinner.

More Zucchini and Squash Recipes

Have more zucchini or yellow squash you want to use up? Here are a few more perfect side dish recipes along with some vegetarian meals you might enjoy.

Crispy Zucchini Fritters will quickly become one of your family’s favorite recipes.

Get dinner on the table fast with Air Fryer ZucchiniAir Fryer Zucchini Chips, and Grilled Zucchini.

Dinner got a whole lot healthier with Zucchini Lasagna Roll-Ups and Taco Stuffed Zucchini Boats.

Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread Recipe

You won’t even know you’re eating veggies with this Lemon Zucchini Bread.

Or, try your hand at Zucchini Noodles.

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3.88 from 32 votes

Sautéed Zucchini and Squash

Sautéed Zucchini and Yellow Squash is a quick and easy recipe ready in just 20 minutes! This simple vegan and Whole30 Summer dish is one of the best zucchini and yellow squash recipes.
Cooked zucchini and squash with parsley sprinkled on top.
Yield 4 servings
Prep 5 minutes
Cook 15 minutes
Total 20 minutes
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Ingredients 

  • 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

Instructions 

  • 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!
Last step! If you make this, please leave a review letting us know how it was!

Tap stars to rate!

3.88 from 32 votes

Notes

  • 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.

Meal Prep and Storage

  • To Prep-Ahead: Finely chop the onion and store it separately from the cut squash. Keep uncooked vegetables in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
  • To Store: Keep leftover sautéed squash in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
  • To Freeze: Allow to cool, then transfer to an airtight freezer-safe container, freeze up to 3 months.  
  • To Reheat: While you can always pop it back in the microwave, the best way to reheat this yellow squash and zucchini is to add it to a skillet with a touch of oil or butter. Cook over medium-low heat until heated through.

Nutrition

Calories: 142kcal, Carbohydrates: 9g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 11g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 370mg, Potassium: 548mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 390IU, Vitamin C: 36.1mg, Calcium: 39mg, Iron: 0.8mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Comments

  1. I grew up in a Italian household so zucchini and squash was always a part of my diet but this recipe is to die for! Absolutely no regrets on making this and I will make it again

    1. Yay!! So happy to hear you enjoyed the dish, Laura. Funny how something so simple can be so good! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment and rating! 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    I made this today for supper and we loved it. It’s easy and like you said not at all boring even though there’s not a lot of ingredients. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Yay! So happy you enjoyed it, Linda. Isn’t it incredible how simple flavors can taste so good?! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment and rating! 🙂

  3. This recipe was delicious. I cooked my garlic and onion in a little bit of butter, but instead of cooking the vegetables in the butter I added chicken stock to the pan and steamed the veggies. The vegetables came out terrific with the garlic and onion, Since my husband and I are watching our weight I served the veggies with a nice piece piece of grilled salmon on top.

    1. What a great idea, Terri! I’m glad you and your husband enjoyed the dish. Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment!

  4. 5 stars
    Love this recipe! I make without garlic because I am very sensitive to it along with just using extra olive oil to make dairy free! It is so delicious!

  5. 5 stars
    This was so easy to do and the taste was wonderful. I added some green pepper at the very end of cooking so it would be a little crisp. Also some basil from my garden added a great flavor! Thank you!

    1. What a great idea to add some green pepper, Toni! I bet it was delicious. Thanks for your comment and rating!

  6. 5 stars
    This dish is WONDERFUL!!!!! I have been looking for more fresh vegetable sides, and this fit the bill- and then some! I think I will pan sear some chicken to add in and make it as a main dish in the future. Absolutely divine!

    1. What a great idea, Megan! So happy to hear you enjoy the recipe so much. Thanks for the comment and rating 🙂

  7. 5 stars
    I have been looking for a recipe to use up our garden veggies. Thanks for this recipe. I can’t wait to make it!

        1. Sorry for the typo! It should say “saute”. I have updated the recipe to reflect this. Thanks for letting me know!