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I’ve always believed in the magic of turning simple things into something utterly delicious. My latest love is this perfectly charred, flavor-packed grilled zucchini recipe. Although oven roasted zucchini and sauteed zucchini are some of my favorite go-to side dishes, grilling zucchini brings out a whole new level of flavor and adds a delightful smoky char that you just can’t get from cooking it in the house. Plus, they are so easy to whip up, they’ll become a new summer favorite!
Grilled Zucchini Recipe: Why You’ll Love It
- Smoky, caramelized flavor
- Tender and juicy on the inside
- Perfectly charred grill marks
- 5 simple ingredients (plus salt and pepper)
- 15 minutes from start to finish
- Quick, easy, healthy weeknight side
Ingredients & Substitutions
This section explains how to choose the best ingredients for this grilled zucchini recipe, what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.
- Zucchini – Look for firm and vibrant ones with smooth, unblemished skin. Medium-sized zucchini are ideal for grilling, because they are usually sweeter and more tender than large ones but not so small that slicing them lengthwise is difficult. However, any size will still work! You’ll need about 5-6 small, 3-4 medium, or 2-3 large zucchini for this grilled zucchini recipe.
- Olive Oil – Adds flavor, encourages browning and caramelization, and helps the spices stick to the veggies. Avocado oil works as well.
- Dried Herbs – I used a combination of dried basil and dried oregano, but you could also use dried thyme or a seasoning mix (see below for my favorites). I don’t recommend using fresh herbs, because they will burn over the high heat, but if you want to try it, use triple the amount and soak them in water first.
- Garlic Powder – For depth and flavor. Avoid using fresh garlic, as it will burn on the grill.
- Sea Salt & Black Pepper – Kosher salt also works instead of sea salt.
How To Grill Zucchini
This section shows how to cook zucchini on the grill, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique, to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
- Prep the zucchini. Preheat the grill (or a grill pan on the stove) to medium-high heat. Cut the ends off of each zucchini. Carefully slice into long, thin planks.
TIP: Cut the zucchini to the right thickness.
I find that 1/4 inch thickness works best for grilling zucchini, because it cooks quickly and gets more tender by the time grill marks appear. Some grilled zucchini recipes call for thick planks (1/2 inch thick), but these are easier to overcook or undercook. Other shapes, such as spears or round slices, fall through the grates too easily unless you have a grill basket.
- Mix the marinade. Whisk together the olive oil, dried basil, dried oregano, garlic powder, sea salt, and black pepper.
- Season the zucchini. Arrange the zucchini in a single layer on a large sheet pan or cutting board. Brush both sides with the marinade.
- Grill. Place the zucchini on the grill grates over direct heat. Grill zucchini until it’s tender and has grill marks. Remove from the grill, and garnish with fresh parsley if you like.
TIP: Avoid moving the zucchini around, except to flip.
If you move it around too much, grill marks won’t form properly.
How Long To Grill Zucchini?
How long to grill zucchini will depend on how you slice it. For long 1/4-inch-thick slices, grill for 2-3 minutes per side, or until grill marks appear and the veggies are tender. Avoid overcooking, or it will get mushy.
TIP: If you have grill marks but the zucchini is not tender yet, move to indirect heat.
This way you can finish cooking it without burning the outside.
Grilled Zucchini Variations
I kept the ingredients in this grilled zucchini recipe super basic, but it’s easy to customize it! Try these additions next time:
- Red Pepper Flakes – Toss 1/4 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes into the olive oil mixture for a spicy kick. Garnish with more flakes to taste before serving.
- Lemon – For a tangy lemon flavor, use fresh lemon juice and lemon zest. Juice 1 lemon and add to the olive oil mixture, along with 1 teaspoon of lemon zest. Brush on the veggies before grilling.
- Balsamic – For a tangy and slightly sweet flavor, mix 1-2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar into the marinade, or drizzle balsamic glaze on the finished dish.
- Italian Seasoning – For an Italian-inspired flavor, use 2 1/2 teaspoons of my homemade Italian seasoning mix instead of oregano and basil.
- Parmesan Cheese – After grilling zucchini, sprinkle with shredded or grated parmesan cheese to taste.
- Grilled Zucchini And Squash – Follow the same recipe using a combination of zucchini and yellow summer squash.
- Store: Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. If you have a lot of extra grilled zucchini, use it to make zucchini lasagna!
- Meal prep: Slice zucchini and mix the marinade 1 day in advance. Store in separate containers in the fridge until ready to grill.
- Reheat: Warm in the oven at 350 degrees F or in short intervals in the microwave. You can also reheat zucchini on the grill over indirect heat.
- Freeze: The texture of grilled zucchini tastes best fresh, but you can freeze it for up to 3 months if you need to. Freeze in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet, then once frozen solid, transfer to a freezer bag. Avoid freezing raw zucchini.
What To Serve With Grilled Zucchini
Grilled zucchini recipes make a quick and easy side dish for just about any main course. Here are some of my favorite mains to pair with them:
- Chicken – I always throw this zucchini on the grill after I make grilled chicken thighs or Mediterranean chicken kabobs, but this easy side can go with just about any chicken recipe. For a fancier meal, pair it with peri peri chicken.
- Beef – You can’t go wrong pairing this grilled vegetable with a grilled steak, a super juicy burger, or even chuck eye steak.
- Seafood – Try grilled salmon, easy grilled tuna steaks, or buttery grilled lobster tail for a super fast dinner.
- Lamb – Grilled lamb kofta or grilled lamb chops would make a delicious main for the herby flavor in this zucchini.
More Easy Zucchini Side Dish Recipes
If you’re craving more delicious ways to enjoy zucchini as a side dish this summer, these easy recipes that will take your main dishes to the next level:
Grilled Zucchini Recipe
Grilled Zucchini (Quick & Easy!)
This easy grilled zucchini recipe is perfectly tender, charred, and full of flavor. A healthy and mouthwatering addition to any meal or BBQ!
Tap underlined ingredients to see where to get them. Please turn Safari reader mode OFF to view ingredients.
Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
Slice the ends off of each zucchini. Carefully slice into long, 1/4-inch thick planks. You can also use a mandoline for this.
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together olive oil, dried oregano, dried basil, garlic powder, sea salt, and black pepper.
Arrange the zucchini on a large sheet pan. Brush both sides with the marinade.
Once the grill is heated, place the zucchini slices onto the grates over direct heat.
Grill the zucchini for 2-3 minutes per side, or until grill marks appear and the zucchini is cooked through but still slightly firm.
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Serving size: 4 grilled zucchini slices, or 1/6 of entire recipe
Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.
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