Featuring a simple combination of herbs, this Grilled Zucchini recipe makes for an easy and tasty summer side dish!
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Ah, zucchini. That vegetable that seems to grow about as fast as Jack’s beanstalk. Seriously. If you see a zucchini in the garden, then you better keep a close eye on it. 2 days later that zucchini will be bigger than your arm. I have a good friend who jokes that folks need to lock their car doors during zucchini season….if they don’t, they might just find a front seat full of zukes!
While it might be tempting to leave those zucchini in the garden an extra day or two, the smaller zucchini actually have more flavor. This Grilled Zucchini is a great way to use this popular summer squash. The recipe is easy, and chances are you already have most of the ingredients hanging around the kitchen. (The fresh basil might be a bit of a stretch, but I recommend just buying a basil plant and keeping it outside of your back door. If you’ve got it there, you’ll use it…and fresh basil is delicious!)
The key to this recipe is getting that grill nice and hot. The zucchini cook quickly – just 5-6 minutes – but that grill flavor (and those grill marks!) come from making sure your grill is preheated to medium-high (~375°F) before adding the zukes.
In addition to the grill flavor itself, this grilled zucchini recipe relies on a simple combination of olive oil, lemon zest, Italian seasonings, salt and garlic powder. Sprinkle that combination on top of the veggies before grilling, and you’ve got a fantastic summer side dish!
Another key to this recipe is oiling those grates on the grill. I know the zucchini get brushed with olive oil, but it’s important to brush the grill grates with vegetable oil before adding the zucchini. Vegetable oil has a higher smoke point, so it’s a good choice for oiling grilling grates. No one wants delicious their grilled zucchini to get stuck to the grates!
Can you grill other summer squash? Absolutely! This recipe is one of our staples for summer grilling season. We’ve used the exact same process for yellow squash. In fact, a combo of zucchini and yellow squash is visually appealing when served!
What about grilling – can you use a grill pan instead? Sure thing! You might not end up with as much smoky grill flavor, but this grilled zucchini can absolutely be cooked in a grill pan instead. It’s a low-carb, delicious summer side dish! We often serve this up with a piece of grilled chicken breast or a juicy burger.
We like to garnish grilled vegetables with chopped fresh herbs whenever possible. Dried herbs add plenty of flavor, but fresh herbs bring a brightness to the finished dish.
Ways to mix it up:
Pepper : sometimes we also add a pinch of black pepper to the seasoning mixture – that’s up to your personal taste. If you like things a bit spicier, add a pinch of red pepper flakes, too!
Parmesan cheese : Grating a bit of fresh Parmesan cheese on top after grilling is a good addition to this recipe.
Balsamic vinegar : Sometimes we drizzle a bit of balsamic vinegar (or balsamic reduction) on top after grilling. It’s an easy way to add more flavor and mix things up a bit!
Lemon juice : Use that lemon (from the lemon zest) and squeeze some fresh lemon juice on top of the zucchini once they come off the grill.
I personally prefer slicing the zucchini lengthwise when making this recipe. It makes it easier to flip the zukes on the grill. However, instead of zucchini planks, you could certainly go with zucchini spears or even zucchini rounds. (If you do rounds, I recommend sliding them onto skewers to make ’em easier to flip!)
If you happen to have leftover grilled zucchini, it’s easy to store! Just place it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. (I recommend putting a paper towel at the bottom of the container to soak up any excess juices. To reheat, just microwave the zucchini for ~25-30 seconds, or until hot.)
If you’re looking for a fantastic and easy way to cook zucchini, then put this recipe on the list! It’s a staple in our house – it’s easy and delicious. Happy grilling!
Did you make a batch of this Grilled Zucchini at home? Leave a comment, or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog) – I’d love to see your version!
- Preheat grill to medium-high (~375°F) heat.
- Slice the zucchini lengthwise into ⅓”-½” pieces.
- Brush both sides of the cut zucchini with olive oil.
- Using a small bowl, combine the Italian seasonings, lemon zest, salt and garlic powder. Sprinkle this mixture evenly on top of zucchini.
- Once grill has preheated, brush the grates with vegetable oil to prevent zucchini from sticking. (If you don’t have a grill brush, an easy way to do this is to pour a bit of vegetable oil on a paper towel and use tongs to rub the towel on the grates.)
- Place zucchini in a single layer on grill; grill for 3 minutes, flip and continue grilling for 2-3 more minutes.
- Remove zucchini from grill and garnish with fresh basil before serving.
Looking for more recipes for grilled veggies? Check out these other favorites, too: