Sauteed Zucchini and Squash (Simple Side Dish)

You can serve Sauteed Zucchini and Squash with practically anything! It’s a simple side dish that showcases sliced and seared summer squash and savory Italian flavors.

If you’re looking for new ways to use an abundance of summer zucchini, you can’t go wrong with zucchini pizza boats, zucchini lasagna, and classic zucchini bread. However, if you’re looking for a simple vegetarian side dish, sauteing zucchini with yellow squash is as quick and easy as it gets.

This Sauteed Zucchini and Squash recipe is an easy side dish you can serve next to almost anything. Sliced yellow squash and zucchini are browned in a hot skillet, creating a lightly caramelized golden crust on the outside with a succulent, tender middle. 

To finish, the squash is coated in savory and Italian-flavored garlic butter. Talk about a great summer side dish! 

Sliced raw zucchini and yellow squash.

🥒 Zucchini vs. yellow squash

Zucchini and yellow squash are two of the nearly 100 different types of squash. They’re both grouped into the “summer squash” category and can often be used interchangeably because they’re so similar. 

Texturally, zucchini and yellow squash are practically identical. As for flavor, both are mild with a pleasant earthy sweetness. The only significant difference is that zucchini is dark green and yellow squash is, well, yellow!

🛒 Ingredients needed

Fresh yellow squash and zucchini are the stars of this recipe. Both come into season and are harvested throughout summer. When shopping, look for squash/zucchini that has a dry stem, feels firm to the touch, and has no soft spots or blemishes.

The rest of the ingredients infuse fat and flavor into every bite of sauteed squash:

📋 How to make sauteed zucchini and squash 

Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet. Once it’s hot, place the slices of yellow squash in an even layer and cook, undisturbed, until golden brown. Flip and cook on the opposite side until tender. Transfer the sauteed yellow squash to a plate. 

Add more oil to the already hot skillet. Next, add the sliced zucchini, repeating the process you used for the yellow squash. Set it aside when done.

Again, return to the skillet, but this time melt the butter. Add the garlic and Italian seasonings and saute until fragrant. This only takes about 30 seconds.

To finish, transfer the sauteed yellow squash and zucchini back into the skillet and toss gently to coat the pieces in the Italian garlic butter. Sprinkle salt and pepper on top, and enjoy!

🌟 Tips and tricks

  • Make sure the olive oil and skillet are hot before adding the squash. If you don’t hear a sizzle, it’s not hot enough. 
  • Leave space in between each squash round and lay them in an even layer in the pan. If crowded, the squash will turn mushy. Work in batches if you need to!
  • Keep an eye on the skillet. This sauteed zucchini recipe moves quickly and burns easily if left unattended.

👩‍🍳 Customize it

Here are some of the many ways you can customize this simple side:

  • Make a sauteed vegetable medley by adding sauteed mushrooms and onions. 
  • After coating the squash with the melted butter mixture, sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan cheese, parsley, and/or lemon zest. 
  • As soon as the garlic becomes fragrant, deglaze the skillet with white wine to add a tart, bright, and fruity element.
  • Swap the Italian seasoning for taco seasoning, and garnish with cilantro and crumbled cotija cheese.
  • Make this with other types of summer squash, like pattypan, zephyr, or round zucchini. Thin-skinned winter squash varieties work too, like delicata squash or honey nut!
  • Want to make this oil free? You can heat a splash of water or broth in the skillet to prevent the squash from sticking. Cook undisturbed for 2 to 3 minutes per side. 
Cooked sliced zucchini and squash in skillet with serving spoon.

🍽 Serving suggestions

Make this side a part of your summer meal rotation by pairing it with all of your grilled favorites, like:

Instead of a side, add the sauteed squash to minimal ingredients meals, like Spaghetti Aglio e Olio, Lemon Pasta, risotto, or quinoa.

🕕 Make ahead and storing

You can wash and slice the squash up to 3 days before using it. Keep the fresh-sliced rounds in a bag or glass container in the crisper drawer of your fridge and saute immediately before mealtime.

Sauteed squash and zucchini are best served immediately, but leftovers will last for 2 to 3 days in the fridge.

Reheating cooked zucchini and squash without them becoming soggy can be tricky. It’s best to do so in a dry skillet over medium-low heat or in a 360ºF oven or air fryer for about 5 minutes. 

Browned squash in skillet.

✔️ More squash recipes

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Sauteed zucchini and squash in skillet.

Sauteed Zucchini and Squash Recipe

You can serve Sauteed Zucchini and Squash with practically anything! It’s a simple side dish that showcases sliced and seared summer squash and savory Italian flavors.
5 from 6 votes
Print Pin
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes
Servings: 6 people


  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil (divided)
  • 2 medium yellow squash (sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds)
  • 2 medium zucchini (sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds)
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 6 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Salt + Pepper (to taste)


  • Heat 1 TBSP olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the yellow squash slices and sautee for 3-4 minutes, undisturbed, until golden brown.
  • Flip the squash and cook for another 2 minutes, until the squash is tender crisp. Transfer the cooked squash to a plate.
  • Add the remaining 1 TBSP olive oil to the now empty skillet, and repeat this process with the zucchini slices. Transfer the cooked zucchini to the plate with the squash.
  • Melt the butter and cook the garlic and Italian seasoning for 30 seconds, or until fragrant.
  • Return the cooked squash and zucchini slices to the pan.
  • Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Enjoy!


Sauteed squash and zucchini are best served immediately, but leftovers will last for 2 to 3 days in the fridge.
Did you make this recipe?Mention @platingsandpairings or tag #platingsandpairings!


Large Skillet


Calories: 102kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 8mg | Potassium: 359mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 384IU | Vitamin C: 24mg | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 1mg

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