Simple Zucchini and Squash Recipe

Quick and easy, this simple but sensational zucchini and squash recipe makes the perfect healthy summer side dish for any meal.

Fork of zucchini and squash.

Now, this zucchini and squash recipe is the definition of simple: simple to prepare (in under 15 minutes) with simple ingredients and simple instructions. However, so many of the best dishes are that way. They don’t need to be complicated or overthought in order to be delicious. I’ve been convinced that most of life is meant to be that way as well – simple. 

And this sautéed zucchini and squash combine to make a perfectly caramelized and delicious tasting side dish. This recipe is also low carb, keto, and can easily be adapted to suit your needs.

Want to add parmesan cheese? Go for it. Need more vegetables in your life? You can totally throw some more into the skillet. Missing that spice? Add a sprinkle of red pepper flakes to take it to the next level. I love simple recipes that you can make your own and this zucchini and squash recipe definitely ticks that box.

Serve your zucchini and squash side dish alongside all types of main meals, including beef brisket, pork chops, grilled chicken, and pork burgers.

Ingredients for zucchini and squash.

Recipe Ingredients

  • Yellow squash
  • Zucchini
  • Butter (You can use 1/2 cup water in place of butter if you like. The butter does add a nice flavor hint but the veggies also taste wonderful on their own).
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Helpful Kitchen Tools

Butter in skillet.

Place butter or water in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

Slice zucchini.

Slice the zucchini into reasonably thin and even slices to ensure they cook equally.

Slice squash.

Then slice the yellow summer squash the same size.

I always eat a few slices of summer squash raw because, you know, cooking is hard work and you’ve got to keep your strength up!

Add zucchini and squash to skillet.

Add the zucchini and squash slices to the melted butter in the skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring every few minutes.

Cook vegetables in skillet.

Continue cooking until veggies become translucent, or about 8 to 10 minutes.

You don’t want them so cooked that they cry uncle, but just enough to make them tender.

Bowl of zucchini and squash.

Remove to bowl or platter.

Bowl of zucchini and squash.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper according to your taste, and serve.

This simple summer squash and zucchini side dish is simple and clean tasting and goes really well with pretty much anything.

You can serve this as is or add in other vegetables while it cooks, too! Try adding onions, tomato slices, thinly sliced carrots, or anything else you have on hand!


  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. To reheat, I recommend warming the dish in a skillet again to ensure the zucchini and squash is crispy once more.
  • It’s not recommended to freeze sautéed squash, as it can become mushy once thawed.

Recipe Notes

  • If you’d like more flavor, sprinkle your zucchini and squash with one or more of the following: Italian seasoning, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, smoked paprika, chili powder, and cumin. You can also add some dried or fresh herbs to the vegetables while cooking, like oregano, fresh basil leaves, parsley, and thyme.
  • Two vegetables not enough? You can also throw some other vegetables into the skillet, like eggplant, thinly sliced red onion, cherry tomatoes, fennel, broccoli, cauliflower, potatoes, and other types of squash.
  • Another option is to sprinkle your zucchini and squash with freshly grated parmesan cheese before cooking.
  • If you prefer roasted squash and zucchini rather than sautéed, spread the vegetables in a single layer on a baking tray and roast in a 400-degree oven for approximately 20 minutes. Flip the vegetables halfway through.

Spoon lifting vegetables out of bowl.

Recipe FAQs

Can this zucchini and yellow squash recipe be made vegan?

Yes, simply use water or olive oil instead of butter and this recipe is instantly vegan.

Do you peel the squash before cooking?

There’s no need to peel the yellow squash or zucchini before cooking. The skin adds a nice texture (and fiber) to the dish.

What do you serve with zucchini and squash?

This squash and zucchini recipe is a delicious side dish to accompany any main meal. Enjoy it alongside your favorite protein, whether that’s fried chicken, pulled pork, or beef ribs

You can also serve it with other popular Southern side dishes, like cornbread, hush puppies, fried okra, fresh green beans, and buttermilk biscuits.

Another option is to add the vegetables to your salad or wrap for lunch.

Here are more delicious zucchini and squash recipes to enjoy:

Stuffed Zucchini Boats, Tex-Mex Style

Zucchini Bread Recipe

Baked Zucchini Fries (Low Carb and YUM!)

Snickerdoodle Zucchini Bread

How To Make Squash Casserole

How To Make Squash Relish

Bowl of zucchini and squash.

Simple Zucchini and Squash Recipe

Quick and easy, this simple but sensational zucchini and squash recipe makes the perfect healthy summer side dish for any meal.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Keyword: squash
Servings: 4
Calories: 17kcal


  • 1-2 yellow squash
  • 1-2 zucchini
  • 1/2 cup butter or 1/2 cup water
  • salt and pepper to taste*


  • Place butter or water in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Slice vegetables and add to pan once butter is melted.
    1-2 zucchini, 1/2 cup butter or 1/2 cup water, 1-2 yellow squash
  • Cook over medium-high heat, stirring every few minutes, until veggies become translucent - about 8-10 minutes.
  • Remove to bowl or platter. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm.
    salt and pepper to taste*

I prefer kosher salt for this but table salt will work just fine.


    Calories: 17kcal
    Tried this recipe?Mention @southernplate or tag #southernplate!



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    1. I love reading your posts, tho I don’t cook as much as I used to. My husband of 51 years passed away last September, and I find it hard to cook for just one. But this one caught my eye, because right now is prime harvest time in Kentucky for garden veggies. I just made this last week and added a thin sliced Vidalia onion last 5-6 minutes of cooking, also used half olive oil and half butter. A pinch of smoky paprika and a large pinch of ancho chili powder added a little more punch to the flavor. Thanks for being you, planning on joining the bible study group when you open again!

    2. Christy
      It’s always amazing how God wll put something in front of me either to read or see or hear that speaks to me. Today, your post is it. I’ve been dealing with some pain in regards to my adult children. Well, I’ve decided my pity party is over. I’m going to take a shower, fix my hair, put on my makeup and get on with day and my life!
      God bless you!

    3. I have both cookbooks and use the recipes often. Made your zucchini bread today, and it was delicious. Would love to see you on The Chew. Also your own cooking show on The Food Network! All of us who are fans should email to those cooking outlets!

    4. Thank you for the words today! I, too, have fought depression and have now changed my lifestyle. (Staying away from certain things, as you listed). I have climbed out of that hole, with God’s help as He pulled the rope upward towards Him, and I ain’t going back.

      The hardest thing to stay away from is negative people, because they are close to me. Okay some are family. I try to steer away from being near them for long, but certain circumstances demand it. But I deal differently with them now. And yes, I am being pleasant. 🙂

      You, Christy. are one of those people I turn to for an uplifting minute or inspiration. And I would like to say, “Thank You”. Your humor and sweet voice is just what I need at times. You are such a blessing.

      Keep up the good work! And keep the recipes coming.

      O, I have made this squash recipe many times throughout the years, but now I sometimes use no butter. I just put a lid on the pan and steam them. They are delicious fixed that way, as well.

    5. I was feeling bad so I went to my doctor and he said I was depressed. Wrote out a prescription for depression pills. I went home, read all the side effects and toss the depression pills in the trash. I told myself….You got yourself in this depression, now get yourself out….I got on with my life without pills.
      Thank you so much for this story of your life. I admire you so much and I like your recipes too. God Bless.

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