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Easy Sauteed Zucchini and Onions with Parmesan Recipe


This easy Sauteed Zucchini and Onions with Parmesan recipe is and absolute side dish game changer. With sweet onions and a little garlic, this vegetable dish is cheesy and comforting. Pair it with your family’s favorite chicken or pork recipe to create a delicious dinner everyone will love.

A close up of a dinner plate with a serving zucchini topped with parmesan.
Let’s make this easy sauteed zucchini and onions recipe!

A zucchini side dish recipe you’ll love

There’s nothing better than this easy sauteed zucchini. Especially because my kids will eat it! It’s one of our most favorite side dish recipes. EVER.

It’s a vegetable. A vegetable that has been totally and completely smothered in cheese and flavor from the sauteed onions and garlic. A comfort food side dish.

With just a few simple ingredients, this recipe comes together quickly and is super versatile.

Related: Brown Butter Corn Recipe

Of course, it’s great as an accompaniment to chicken (because what isn’t, am I right?), but it also goes well with just about any other type of protein.

I mean, you could even throw this on top of a plate of spaghetti with red sauce and it would be amazing. You have to give this a try!

Printable pages on top of an image of kitchen gadgets with text next to it.


Ingredients for Sauteed Zucchini topped with parmesan.
What you need to make this sauteed zucchini with parmesan.

Scroll down to the end of the post for a printable recipe card with full measurements and more detailed instructions.

Recently I found out that my kids LOVE zucchini. So you better believe I serve it at least once a week.

While I like it roasted or simply sauteed, this recipe blankets the zucchini in parmesan cheese. YUM.

With onions and garlic, the flavor is amped up and truly delish.

Using good olive oil also adds to the flavor. This one from Cut 1886 is so flavorful.

This is not sponsored – I just kind of have a thing for olive oil. I use a drizzle as a salad dressing with just salt so over the years I’ve tasted lots of flavor profiles and love how it can finish a dish.

This one has a little bit of a bite at the back of the throat and is a touch peppery.

How to make Sauteed Parmesan Zucchini

Sliced zucchini on a cutting board next to a bowl of chopped onions and a few garlic cloves.

Step 1

Slice the zucchini and chop the onions and get the garlic ready.

There are a few steps to this recipe but I always like to get the prep work ahead of time to keep things organized.

Try to slice the zucchini in uniform slices so that they cook evenly and in about the same time. (A mandolin would do these for you).

One of the best things I’ve ever done (slight exaggeration but it does help me in the kitchen) is take a knife skills class.

I’m a home cook, I don’t have “techniques” but knowing how to cut an onion and use a knife more efficiently is really helpful.

Onions and garlic being sauteed in a pan.

Step 2

Add olive oil to a sautee pan and soften the onions stirring often to prevent browning.

Step 3

When almost cooked through, add the minced garlic and give it a quick stir so it doesn’t burn and cook until fragrant for about 30 seconds.

Zucchini and onions being sauteed in a pan.

Step 4

Add the zucchini to the pan and stir to coat with olive oil.

Spread the zucchini so that it’s as close to a single layer as possible. This helps it to cook evenly.

Also, crowding a pan also adds more moisture to the pan and you won’t get a nice browning of the slices.

But here’s the thing. I’m lazy. I’ve got more important things to do than to cook zucchini in multiple batches. So I’m willing to crowd the pan to get dinner on the table faster.

I make sure to stir so that the zucchini that is on the bottom gets moved to the top, vice versa.

Also, to speed up the cooking, I sometimes add a lid to trap the heat and steam it. It really just depends on how much time I have to get dinner on the table.

Sauteed zucchini in a pan topped with parmesan cheese.

Step 5

When the zucchini is just about ready, top with a large amount of parmesan cheese.

Toss a lid on the pan to help the cheese melt. You know parmesan is a really hard cheese and doesn’t melt as quickly as other types.

Parmesan Zucchini in a sautee pan.

Just look at tall that cheesy goodness. The garlic and onion add so much flavor to boring old zucchini.

I mean, let’s face it, zucchini doesn’t have a super strong flavor and really comes alive with what it’s cooked with.


  • For best results, sautee the zucchini in batches so it doesn’t get soggy. (but as I mentioned above it still works if you are lazy and do it all at once)
  • Try to get the zucchini to cook to golden brown. They will be tender and full of flavor. It can be hard to get that pretty color when you cook them all at once though.
  • Parmesan cheese can be on the salty side, so make sure you taste it before doing a final seasoning with salt and pepper.

Changing this recipe to suit your flavor preferences won’t hurt anything. Add more, take away – this recipe will be tasty no matter what.

You can also add other vegetables, like bell peppers or mushrooms. Or try another cheese.

A dinner plate with chicken and zucchini on a table next to a pan.

Serve this easy sauteed zucchini as a dinner side dish. And eat your heart out.

It also reheats well for lunch the next day. I topped mine with a little bit of red pepper flakes because it adds a nice little heat without changing the flavor.

More easy side dish recipes

Close up of a dinner plate with sauteed zucchini topped with parmesan.

Easy Sauteed Zucchini and Onions

This yummy zucchini side dish with parmesan and onions is a favorite of our whole family! This cheesy sauteed zucchini is awesome and one you'll crave!
5 from 3 votes
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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 140kcal


  • 1 TBSP Olive Oil
  • 1/2 sweet white onion chopped
  • 3 zucchini sliced (into coins with an even thickness)
  • 1 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded parmesan cheese or more, or less – the choice is yours
  • Maldon sea salt to finsh


  • Add 1 TBSP of Olive Oil to a sautee pan.
  • Add chopped onion and cook until softened about 7-10 minutes.
  • Add crushed garlic and cook, stirring often, for about 30 seconds until fragrant.
  • Add zucchini, stir to coat then spread zucchini out in a single layer or as close as you can get to one.
  • Stir often to prevent the onions and garlic from burning and to rotate the zucchini.
  • When zucchini is cooked through but not soggy (approximately 10-15 minutes) add the parmesan cheese.
  • Cover the pan with a lid to help the cheese to melt through. 5-6 minutes).
  • Serve immediately.
  • Sprinkle with Maldon sea salt to finish.


Red chili flakes are also tasty on top.
For best flavor and non-soggy zucchini consider sauteeing in batches. Crowding the pan means the zucchini will steam instead of brown up nicely. 
Get creative! Add in red bell pepper, mushrooms or other vegetables that your family may enjoy.


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 140kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 17mg | Sodium: 409mg | Potassium: 294mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 391IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 315mg | Iron: 1mg
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  1. This is a great way to make zucchini! I think if I prepare it this way, my daughter will actually eat it!

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