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Everyone loves a good sauteed vegetables recipe and it’s easier than you think! This is one of the first ways I learned to cook veggies and it’s still one of my faves. Sauteing individual vegetables like sauteed asparagus or broccoli can be really tasty, but if you’re looking for an impressive healthy side dish, these sauteed veggies are a great option to use up whatever you have on hand. I add a simple secret ingredient that makes these so tasty!
Why You’ll Love This Sauteed Vegetables Recipe
- Buttery garlic flavor
- Tender, flavorful veggies that retain their texture
- Common, simple ingredients
- Minimal prep time — and only 20 minutes total time!
- Naturally healthy, low in carbohydrates, vegan, and vegetarian
Ingredients & Substitutions
This section explains how to choose the best ingredients for Sauteing vegetables, what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.
- Olive Oil – You can also substitute avocado oil, coconut oil, or any neutral cooking oil you prefer.
- Onion – I used a red onion, but you could also use white or yellow onions for this recipe. Cut into 1-inch pieces.
- Carrots – You could also substitute parsnips, or omit altogether to keep this sauteed vegetables recipe low carb.
- Bell Pepper – I used a red bell pepper for color, but you could use orange, yellow, or green if you prefer. Just cut them into thin strips.
- Broccoli – You can substitute cauliflower or romanesco, if you prefer.
- Cauliflower – Romanesco or additional broccoli would make good substitutes.
- Mushrooms – I used cremini mushrooms, but you can also use portobello or shiitake mushrooms for a deeper flavor.
- Zucchini – Try summer squash, yellow squash, or eggplant instead. Keep slices to 1/4 inch thick. You can also make plain sauteed zucchini instead!
- Unsalted Butter – My secret ingredient for making buttery, flavorful sauteed vegetables. If you use salted butter, you may want to reduce the salt added separately.
- Garlic – I used fresh minced garlic for the best flavor, but you could use 1 teaspoon jarred minced garlic or 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder.
- Sea Salt & Black Pepper – For extra flavor, you can also add Italian seasoning, or spices like cumin, paprika, or red pepper flakes.
- Fresh Parsley – For flavorful garnish. You could also use other fresh herbs, such as basil, dill, cilantro, oregano, chives, thyme, or tarragon to give your dish a different flavor profile. Or, sprinkle on a few tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese to finish instead.
VARIATION: Add or swap other veggies!
This is where you can get creative! Just make sure to add hard veggies during step 2 and soft to medium ones at step 3. Here are some of the best vegetables to saute:
How To Saute Vegetables
This section shows how to make sauteed vegetables, 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. Heat olive oil in large skillet or saute pan over medium-high heat, until shimmering.
- Saute hard vegetables. Add the carrots and onions. Cook, stirring occasionally but not constantly, until softened.
- Saute soft vegetables. Add the bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, and zucchini. Saute until the vegetables are just barely crisp tender and starting to brown.
TIP: Want crisper zucchini?
The zucchini will cook faster than the other veggies and get soft, so if you prefer crisp tender zucchini, add it in the last 3 minutes of this step instead.
- Add butter and garlic. Lower heat to medium-low. Push veggies to the sides of the pan, making an open space in the center. Add butter and wait for it to melt. Add minced garlic to the butter and saute until fragrant.
- Combine. Stir sauteed vegetables together and remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir gently until butter is absorbed into the veggies. Garnish with fresh parsley, if desired.
TIP: I add salt and pepper at the end because this allows for better browning.
However, you can season right after adding all vegetables to the pan in step 3 if you don’t mind less browning.
How Long To Saute Vegetables?
Time to saute vegetables can vary depending on the type of veggie. Harder vegetables, like carrots and onions, take 10-15 minutes, while softer veggies like snow peas, zucchini, broccoli, and carrots take 5-7 minutes. For a combination, the best approach is to cook harder veggies for a few minutes first, then add the softer veggies and continue cooking until all of them are tender.
Can You Saute Frozen Vegetables?
Yes, you can saute frozen vegetables. To do so, simply place the frozen vegetables in a hot non-stick skillet and cook until soft. (No need to thaw first.) Keep in mind that sauteed frozen vegetables will not get crispy or brown as easily.
- Store: Let leftover sauteed vegetables cool to room temperature, then store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Meal prep: Cut veggies ahead of time and store in airtight containers in the fridge until you are ready to saute them.
- Reheat: To reheat this sauteed vegetable medley, place veggies in a skillet over medium heat for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. Alternatively, you can reheat sauteed veggies in the microwave.
- Freeze: Cool completely, then freeze for up to 3 months in an airtight container or zip lock bag. If you’re concerned about the veggies sticking together, freeze them on a sheet pan in a single layer first, then transfer to a bag once solid.
What To Serve With Sauteed Vegetables
Looking for the perfect pairing to go with this healthy sauteed vegetable recipe? Here are a variety of delicious, easy-to-make healthy dinners that pair perfectly with any veggie dish. Try something new or stick to an old favorite!
- Steak – Complement air fryer steak, tender New York strip, juicy ribeye, or perfect filet mignon with a side of buttery, garlicky sauteed veggies.
- Seafood – Pair these sauteed vegetables with baked salmon, flaky pan fried tilapia, or fast air fryer shrimp. For a fancier meal, try pan seared halibut or surf and turf.
- Chicken – Simple baked chicken breast, crispy baked chicken legs (or roasted chicken leg quarters), or even garlic butter chicken make delicious main courses to these veggies. But, if you want something super special, pair this dish with paprika chicken.
- Pasta Or Rice – Serve these veggies over a bed of rice with a splash of soy sauce (or soy sauce substitutes), or with pasta. For lighter options, try cauliflower rice or easy zoodles.
- Breakfast – Pair these veggies with soft boiled eggs or put them in an omelette for a quick and easy breakfast idea.
More Sauteed Vegetable Recipes
Looking for more ways to enjoy lots of veggies at once? Try these recipes, all easy to customize.
Sauteed Vegetables Recipe
Sauteed Vegetables Recipe (20 Minutes!)
This easy sauteed vegetables recipe has a simple secret ingredient for so much flavor! Learn how to saute veggies in just 20 minutes.
Recipe VideoTap on the image below to watch the video.
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Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
Add the carrots and onions. Cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally but not constantly, until softened.
Add the bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, and zucchini. Cook for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally but not constantly (stirring too often will prevent browning), until the vegetables are just barely crisp tender and starting to brown. The zucchini will cook faster than the other veggies and get soft, so if you prefer crisp tender zucchini, add it in the last 3 minutes of this step instead. Proceed to the next step slightly before the veggies are done to your liking. Add a little more oil as needed if the pan gets very dry.
Reduce heat to medium-low. Push the veggies to the sides of the pan, making an open space in the center. Add the butter and wait for it to melt. Add the minced garlic to the butter and saute for about 1 minute, until fragrant.
Once garlic is aromatic and just starting to brown, stir everything together and remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir gently until the butter is absorbed into the veggies. Garnish with fresh parsley if desired.
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Serving size: 1 cup
- Nutrition info does not include optional parsley.
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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