This delicious and flavorful sautéed zucchini and squash recipe is the perfect complement to any meal. It’s super easy to make and is loaded with healthy yellow squash, zucchini, mushroom, onion, and ginger. The umami flavor warms you right up, and since it is vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free, it’s perfect for gatherings!
When You Need A Side Dish But Don’t Know What To Make:
This is the perfect side dish for pretty much any dinner you make. It is filling, bright, and packed with umami flavor. Even if the meal you are serving does not have Asian accents, you will appreciate the freshness and spice in this recipe.
I like to serve it as a summer side dish since that is when the produce is in season, but you can absolutely enjoy it year-round.
It also makes a wonderful healthy side to bring to parties! Just double or triple the recipe, and I’m sure it will be a hit. It is also vegetarian, gluten-free, and vegan-friendly, so it will appeal to almost anyone on a specific diet.
How To Make Sautéed Zucchini And Squash:
Super easy you guys. Let’s get right into the best zucchini side dish ever.
- Chop up the medium zucchini, summer squash, and onion. Heat extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, or sesame oil in a large skillet over medium/high heat. Toss in the chopped zucchini, squash, onion, and mushrooms and stir.
- In a small saucepan, mix together the coconut aminos (or low-sodium soy sauce), brown sugar, garlic chili sauce, and rice vinegar. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes until reduced to 1/4 cup. Remove from the heat.
- Continue to stir the veggies until the zucchini and squash are fork-tender, about 12 minutes total. At this time, toss in the minced garlic and ginger, and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Drizzle about 1/2 of the reduced coconut amino sauce over the zucchini mixture, and mix well. Taste, and add more sauce if desired.
- Garnish with chopped cashews and parsley/cilantro and enjoy! You can also use some fresh cracked black pepper if you choose.
This is the tiny saucepan that I use to make the coconut amino reduction and I HIGHLY recommend it. It is deep enough, so the sauce doesn’t reduce too quickly. All-Clad 4201 Stainless Steel Tri-Ply Bonded 1 Quart Sauce Pan
Why I Love Zucchini Recipes:
For one, zucchini is super easy to make. When you cook zucchini, the skin quickly softens making it easily digestible. We’re talking only a 15-minute cook time, and you’re done! It’s such an easy side dish.
Plus, I love that with this recipe I always have a little leftover sauce to save. To store any leftover coconut amino reduction, allow it to cool to room temperature, then pour it into a small airtight container with a lid, like those used for salad dressings. Place it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Ginger and garlic are both powerful antioxidant-rich superfoods, and we use a lot in this recipe! The more the better!
Are Coconut Aminos Healthy?
Coconut Aminos are much healthier than regular soy sauce. Coconut aminos are derived from coconut nectar and brewed with sea salt and water to get that classic umami flavor. It tastes very similar to soy sauce with about 65% less sodium.
If you are practicing a Mediterranean diet, it is a great way to enjoy Asian flavors without the addition of highly processed and high in sodium soy sauce.
Here are some options for ingredient substitutions, just in case you are missing something but still want to make this delicious sautéed zucchini and summer squash recipe!
|Fresh Ginger and Garlic||While you can’t omit these ingredients entirely without completely changing the recipe, there are a few different forms of the ingredients that you can use. If you have a squeeze bottle of garlic or ginger paste, this can work just as well! I would use a little less than the recommended amount due to its condensed flavor. You can also use the powdered kind, just note that this will definitely change the flavors of the dish, and once again, I would use a little less.|
|Coconut Aminos||I always have a jar of coconut aminos in the fridge. It is not as rich as traditional soy sauce and has a milder and less salty flavor. But if you don’t have any, try using low-sodium soy sauce or gluten-free Tamari. It will be a bit saltier, so you may want to use a little less.|
|Baby Bella Mushrooms||This is where you can let your imagination go wild! ANY mushroom that you want to use will taste great in this recipe. That’s why mushrooms are the best, they are so versatile! I recommend trying shiitake or oyster for a more unique mushroom flavor.|
|Brown Sugar||For some reason, I always seem to run out of brown sugar at the most non-optimal times. If this happens to you, swap it out for honey or agave nectar. Granulated sugar can also work.|
Frequently Asked Questions About Sauteed Squash
Zucchini, along with other ‘spongy’ vegetables, has a high water content. If you chop the squash into larger pieces, they will maintain their integrity better and will be less likely to have excess water escape. Also, WHEN you add the coconut amino reduction is important. Since water follows salt, you want to wait until the end of the sauteeing process before adding the reduction. If you follow these steps, you will have moist zucchini, but it should not be soggy!
I truly feel like ginger and zucchini go together really well. If you are out of the fresh stuff, you can definitely use powdered ginger. But other herbs and Italian spices like thyme, oregano, and garlic also complement this veggie very well.
As far as texture is concerned, yellow summer squash and zucchini are very similar. As mentioned above, they are ‘spongy’ and retain a lot of water, so it is important to reserve any sodium until the end of the cooking process and to cut the pieces slightly larger to maintain the integrity of the veggies.
I wouldn’t! There are a lot of nutrients and fiber in that skin, and the skin helps to maintain the integrity of the veggie after it is cooked. Just make sure to give it a really good wash before using it.
More Easy Recipes You Will Love
Do you like this side dish recipe? Check out some of my other favorite recipes!
Sautéed Zucchini and Squash
- 2-3 zucchinis
- 1-2 yellow squash
- 1 yellow or white onion, peeled
- 8 ounces sliced baby bella mushrooms
- 1/3 cup coconut aminos
- 1 tsp garlic chili sauce (use less for less spice, I use Huy Fong)
- 1 1/2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 1/2 tbsp light brown sugar or honey
- 2 tbsp minced ginger
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 2 tbsp coconut oil, olive oil or sesame oil
- 1/4 cup chopped cashews
- parsley or cilantro
- Chop up the zucchini, summer squash and onion, removing the stems. Make sure the squash isn't too small to pmaintain it's integrity while cooking. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Toss in the chopped zucchini, squash, onion and mushrooms and stir. Continue to stir and cook the vegetable mixture until the zucchini is fork tender, about 10 minutes total.
- While the vegetables are cooking, in a small sauce pan mix together the coconut aminos, brown sugar, garlic chili sauce and rice vinegar. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes until reduced to 1/4 cup. Remove from the heat.
- Once the zucchini and squash is fork tender, toss in the minced garlic and ginger. Cook for another 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Drizzle about 1/2 of the reduced coconut amino sauce over the zucchini mixture and mix well. Taste, and add more sauce if desired.
- Top with chopped cashews and parsley/cilantro and enjoy!
- To store any leftover coconut amino reduction, allow it to cool to room temperature, then pour it into a small Tupperware container, like those used for salad dressings. Place in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.