More Tips For Success
- Slice the zucchini uniformly. A uniform thickness will help the zucchini and squash grill evenly.
- Slice the zucchini evenly. If your zucchini isnt straight, then it wont lay straight on the grill and wont caramelize evenly.
- Lay the zucchini on the grill horizontally across the grates. You can also lay it on a slight bias for diagonal grill marks. Either of these grilling directions will ensure the zucchini doesnt slip into the fire.
- Above all else, dont overcook! Zucchini can be eaten raw so it doesnt need much by the way of cooking. Cook just until crisp-tender and not tender-crisp. When in doubt, pull the zucchini. Slightly crunchier zucchini is better than soggy zucchini.
- Undercook the zucchini if using for leftovers. If you are planning to reheat the zucchini in another recipe like pasta or rice, then slightly undercook it by a couple minutes, then cook it to the desired tenderness in the final dish.
- Use an indoor grill pan in the winter or if you dont have a grill. This one works great.
How Do You Grill Zucchini Without It Becoming Soggy
If youve suffered through soggy or mushy zucchini, youve probably never wanted to touch it again. But please keep in mind not all grilled zucchini is created equal. When grilled correctly, zucchini and squash are crisp tender, lightly caramelized and injected with flavor. There are three keys to success for tender-crisp zucchini every time:
- Set yourself up for success and choose small to medium zucchini. Larger zucchini have larger seeds which makes them waterier and pulpier not the ideal conditions for that coveted crisp-tender texture.
- Slice the zucchini at least 1/3-inch thick. Thicker zucchini is harder to overcook, so it grills up tender and not mushy.
- Grill over medium high heat . This is the ideal temperature because its hot enough to deliver those beautiful grill lines while caramelizing and crisping up the outside, but not too hot that it burns the zucchini on the outside before the inside is tender.
- Dont cook the zucchini too long. This is crucial. The less time you cook the zucchini, the crisper it will be. The longer you cook the zucchini, the more tender it will be. If you dont want soggy zucchini, dont cook it past crisp-tender.
- Serve the zucchini immediately. Even if you cook the zucchini perfectly crisp-tender, it has a tendency to get a little mushy as it sits and cools so make sure you serve it immediately.
How To Cut The Zucchini
Cutting zucchini is pretty simple, but you want to be careful so that no fingers are sliced in the process.
To start, cut both ends off of your zucchini. Then, carefully cut it into 1/4-1/3 inch slices, horizontally. If you like, cut a very thin slice off of the side of the zucchini before you do that last step so that you have a flat surface to work with.
If you dont want to slice the zucchini by hand, feel free to use a mandoline just make sure to slice with caution and protect those fingers.
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Variations: Try These Flavor Combos
Zucchini and squash are mild in flavor which makes them a blank canvas to dress in the flavorings of any type of cuisine which means they pair well with every type of cuisine. While Mediterranean and Italian are always a favorite paired with lemon juice, you can also swap in your favorite seasonings or seasoning blends paired with lemon juice, lime juice, or a splash of soy sauce or balsamic. Keep the ¼ cup olive oil then add an acid and seasonings of your choosing. Here are just a few ideas:
- Asian Grilled Zucchini: rice vinegar, soy, sesame oil honey sriracha, ginger and garlic garnished with sesame seeds.
- Greek Grilled Zucchini: red wine vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, salt, pepper, then top with crumbled feta.
- Mexican Grilled Zucchini : lime juice, chili powder, ground cumin, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic, salt pepper, etc., then top with crumbled Cotija.
- Cajun Grilled Zucchini: Cajun seasoning, lime juice, garlic.
- Middle EasternGrilled Zucchini: half lemon and half balsamic, curry powder, ground cumin, smoked paprika, ground coriander, garlic, salt and pepper.
How To Grill Zucchini In Foil
Another option for grilling zucchini is to cook it in foil. You have two options for grilling zucchini in foil that will result in different textures.
The first is to wrap the zucchini in a foil packet and seal the foil around your zucchini. Simply lay out some sliced zucchini on a heavy piece of foil. Add some olive oil or butter along with any herbs, spices, or seasonings. Then seal the foil and place the packets right on the grill. Grill for 12-15 minutes. The resulting zucchini will be steamed in the foil and have a softer texture.
The second option is to grill the zucchini on a piece of foil on the grill. This is basically a workaround if you don’t have a grill basket. Simply grab some heavy duty foil, create a small basket, and add the zucchini. Toss with your oil of choice and any seasonings. Grill for 8-10 minutes, shaking the foil 1-2 times during cooking.
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Grilled Zucchini Recipe Ingredients
This easy grilled zucchini recipe uses just a few ingredients, but its loaded with tangy flavor and lots of yummy textures. Heres what you need to make it:
- Zucchini! A mix of yellow squash and zucchini would work here too.
- Lemon. I squeeze the juice over the hot grilled zucchini and mix the zest into the creamy yogurt base.
- Greek yogurt. An extra-thick yogurt makes the perfect tangy, smooth base for the grilled veggies.
- Garlic. I finely grate one clove to give the yogurt an extra kick.
- Feta. Sprinkle the platter generously with the feta for tangy, salty flavor.
- Mint leaves. Theyre a delightful fresh garnish for the bright zucchini and tangy yogurt.
- Red pepper flakes. A pop of color and a little heat are the perfect finishing touches for this recipe.
Thats it! Slather a platter with the lemony yogurt, and pile it high with the grilled zucchini, feta, fresh herbs, and red pepper flakes.
Find the complete recipe with measurements below.
Other Ways To Cook The Zucchini
If you dont want to grill the zucchini. You can cook it on your stove top or in your oven as well. If your are going to use your stove top you will need a grilling pan. Over medium-high heat cook each piece 3-4 minutes on each side until tender.
If you are going to use your oven. Set it to broil and place the zucchini on a baking sheet with a cooling rack in it. Broil for 2-3 minutes then turn zucchini and broil for another 2-3 minutes.
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Quick & Easy Grilled Zucchini
When the weather gets warm, the grill comes out! We love grilling up juicy pork chops, flavorful salmon, tender steaks, etc. All of those delicious main courses require a nice, light side dish, though, and thats where Grilled Zucchini comes in!
Grilled Zucchini is so easy to make, and it tastes fantastic, too. Long strips of squash are brushed with a garlic and soy sauce marinade, and then grilled to tender and charred perfection. One of the reasons I love cooking zucchini so much is because it really allows the flavors to shine.
Another reason I love cooking fresh zucchini is that it only takes about 15 minutes to complete! That way, most of my time and energy can be focused on plating the main course, but I know that I still have a filling and flavorful side dish to offer.
Should I Salt Zucchini Before Grilling
Although it isn’t necessary to salt zucchini before tossing it on the grill, it can make it come out even more delicious. Salting the zucchini pulls out some of the moisture. This leads to a firmer texture that won’t get mushy or have more of a steamed vegetable texture.
To salt zucchini, simply sprinkle the zucchini with salt and place in a colander. Let sit for ten minutes and then wipe dry with a paper towel. Then they are ready for the grill.
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What To Serve With It
This marinated grilled zucchini is the perfect summer side dish for just about any meal. But since youre already firing up the grill, might as well throw the rest of the meal on there as well! I like to pair the zucchini with grilled meats and sometimes another grilled vegetable.
Here are a few of the recipes weve made to pair with the zucchini over the last two years!
How Make Grilled Zucchini
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How To Make Perfect Grilled Zucchini:
How To Make Grilled Zucchini
This is a super simple recipe and if you dont have a grill, dont worry, you can use an indoor grill pan to make the grilled zucchini.
- First, cut the ends of the zucchinis off. Cut in half lengthwise and then cut each half into spears.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic.
- Place the zucchini spears in a large bowl or in a large Ziploc bag. Pour the olive oil mixture over the zucchini. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste.
- Toss until zucchini spears are well coated. Let sit while you preheat the grill or grill pan.
- Remove the spears from the bowl or bag and place directly on the hot grill, cut side down. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes per side, until the zucchini is tender and there are nice grill marks. Dont over cook, you dont want mushy zucchini!
- Transfer to a platter and garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and fresh basil.
- Pro tip-zucchini tends to get a little mushy as it sits and cools so make sue you serve it immediately.
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A Little Sauce Makes A Big Difference
Many sauces have the ability to transfer an otherwise good meal into something great, and chimichurri is definitely one of them. The South American sauce is incredibly easy to make, and while traditionally paired with steak it also goes well with chicken or fish and, as we had here, grilled butternut squash and zucchini.
Grilling gives the first flavor lift, and the chimichurri takes an otherwise quick and easy throw-together meal into delicious, almost restaurant-rivaling dining.
This is a meal that partly came about from what I had in the house, but I was tempted to try grilled butternut squash anyway, since sweet potato works so well . Both have that great ability to take on various different flavors well and go with a broad range of herbs and spices.
Zucchini is one we often grill as well and I was pretty sure it would be good with chimichurri too. And that was certainly the case.
What To Serve With Zucchini
This grilled zucchini recipe can be served year-round because it can be made with squash in the winter AND you can use an indoor grill pan so the better question might be, what not to serve with zucchini?
- Need a side for your comfort food dinner? Serve grilled zucchini and squash with Beef Brisket, Spice Rubbed Steaks, Baked Pork Tenderloin,French Dips, Chicken Cordon Bleu or Oven Fried Chicken.
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Ways To Use Grilled Zucchini
You can eat grilled zucchini as-is as a side dish, but I often make extra grilled zucchini to use in other recipes during the week.
- Pasta: This zucchini recipe is the perfect addition to fettuccine alfredo.
- Salad: Coarsely chop your zucchini and add it to a green salad.
- Sandwiches: Layer grilled zucchini with roasted peppers, fresh mozzarella and pesto for an amazing sandwich.
- Pizza: Chop your zucchini and add it on top of a frozen cheese pizza.
Best Way To Cut Zucchini For The Grill
There are a few different ways to cut zucchini for grilling it! Either way, you can get away with putting them right onto the grates: no grill basket needed! In our Grilled Squash recipe we chose to cut into rounds, but for grilled zucchini we cut into planks. Its really your choice for how youd like to serve it!
- Planks. Zucchini looks beautiful cut width-wise into long planks.
- Rounds or diagonal rounds . You can slice the squash into 3/4-inch thick rounds. Or cut on the bias , and you get larger, most interesting shapes.
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How To Grill Zucchini
Grilled is one of the healthiest ways to eat zucchini, because the grill imparts big-time flavor without the need for extra fat.
However, all grilled zucchini is not created equal.
If youve been a victim of soggy, mushy zucchini, you know what Im talking about.
To grill zucchini without it getting soggy, you need to do two things:
How To Grill Zucchini And Squash
Now, lets get to the grilling! Grilling zucchini is very simple as long as you pay attention to the thickness of your zucchini slices, grill temperature and general timing. Heres how to grill zucchini :
- Slice zucchini. Cut the zucchini lengthwise into 1/3-inch-thick planks.
- Whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic and seasonings together ina freezer size resealable bag. Add the zucchini and turn to coat. Marinate for 20 minutes at room temperature or up to 2 hours in the refrigerator.
- Preheat a grill to medium-high heat. Thats about 400 to 450 degrees. Clean the grill with a wire grill brush and generously grease with oil.
- Grill on the grates for 3 minutes per side, turning once. Cook just until crisp tender, dont overcook!
Serve immediately. Transfer the zucchini to a platter. For extra flavor, brush with some of the marinade left behind in the bag. Dig in!
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What Goes With Grilled Zucchini
Zucchini is a very versatile side. You can serve it with pretty much anything. Here are a few of my favorite dishes to serve grilled zucchini with:
- Grilled Meat: Grilled zucchini is the perfect side to grilled/barbecue anything. I like to serve it with meals like Chimichurri Steak Skewers, or Honey Mustard Chicken.
- Grilled Seafood: Zucchini also goes great with seafood! Make it alongside something like Grilled Salmon with Avocado Salsa, or Garlic Basil Shrimp Skewers.
- Pasta: You can also serve up some of this squash next to a plate of pasta. Try this Garlic Butter Pasta with Spinach if youre looking for ideas!
- Salad: If youre looking for a super light summer meal, make a leafy green salad, and chop up this grilled zucchini to throw it on top.