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Zucchini Marinara

In this quick and easy side dish, sliced zucchini is seasoned and pan sautéed before being topped with marinara sauce, fresh herbs, and Parmesan cheese.

Zucchini Marinara ~ quick, easy side dish of sliced zucchini that's pan sauteed and then cooked until tender in marinara sauce, fresh herbs, and Parmesan | FiveHeartHome.comToday’s recipe is a simple summer side dish to make use of some of that bountiful zucchini that so many of you are enjoying this time of year, whether you found it on sale at the grocery store, or you couldn’t resist it at the Farmers Market, or it’s taking over your whole garden!

Zucchini Marinara ~ quick, easy side dish of sliced zucchini that's pan sauteed and then cooked until tender in marinara sauce, fresh herbs, and Parmesan | FiveHeartHome.com

I recently shared my two-ingredient Baked Parmesan Zucchini Rounds, and based on the immediate and overwhelming popularity of that recipe, I thought y’all might appreciate another savory zucchini option…bringing us to this Zucchini Marinara! It’s equally delicious in a totally different way, very easy to make, and requires minimal ingredients. In other words? The trifecta of a perfect recipe! 😉

Zucchini Marinara ~ quick, easy side dish of sliced zucchini that's pan sauteed and then cooked until tender in marinara sauce, fresh herbs, and Parmesan | FiveHeartHome.com After cutting your zucchini into 3/4-inch slices (you want them to be on the slightly thicker side so that they don’t get totally lost in the marinara), simply season them with garlic salt and pepper and sautée them on both sides in a bit of olive oil and butter.

(Just a quick tip…I typically combine olive oil and butter when sautéeing rather than using just one or the other because olive oil has a higher smoking point than butter — in other words, butter will burn faster if by itself — yet butter has more flavor. So by using them together, you get the best of both worlds!)

After the zucchini is golden brown on both sides, pour on the fresh herb-studded marinara sauce, simmer until the zucchini is tender, and top with a generous dusting of grated Parmesan. YUM.

Zucchini Marinara ~ quick, easy side dish of sliced zucchini that's pan sauteed and then cooked until tender in marinara sauce, fresh herbs, and Parmesan | FiveHeartHome.com To be honest, my 4-year-old and 6-year-old were not at all excited to try this. But I made them take a bite to at least taste it, and sure enough, they both loved it! It was the perfect side dish to complement our Italian Baked Chicken that night, and it’s now on our regular dinner rotation this summer as we are inundated (gratefully, I might add) with zucchini from my in-laws’ garden.

Zucchini Marinara ~ quick, easy side dish of sliced zucchini that's pan sauteed and then cooked until tender in marinara sauce, fresh herbs, and Parmesan | FiveHeartHome.com

If, like us, you have lots of zucchini to consume these days, feel free to scroll down past this recipe for some other ideas. And be sure to stop back by next week, when I’ll have a fudgy, quadruple chocolate way to use up some of that excess zucchini. You won’t want to miss it! After that, I promise to lay off the zucchini recipes until my next seasonal obsession comes around…which will most likely involve an ingredient that begins with pump and ends with kin. 😉 (Eeek! I can hardly wait!)

Zucchini Marinara

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Zucchini Marinara

In this quick and easy side dish, sliced zucchini is seasoned and pan sautéed before being topped with marinara sauce, fresh herbs, and Parmesan cheese.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds zucchini (approximately 5 medium zucchini)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Garlic salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups marinara or pasta sauce (jarred or homemade)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian herbs (such as basil, oregano, parsley, & thyme)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Wash zucchini and cut into 3/4-inch thick slices.
  2. Place a large, deep pan, skillet, or pot over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and heat until shimmering. Add butter and swirl pan until melted and combined with olive oil. Arrange zucchini slices in pan in a single layer and season with garlic salt and pepper. Cook, undisturbed, for a couple of minutes before checking the underside of a zucchini slice. Once the zucchini is golden brown on the bottom, flip over and cook until the second side is golden brown as well.
  3. While zucchini is cooking, stir fresh chopped herbs, sugar, and (if using) crushed red pepper flakes into marinara sauce. Once zucchini is browned on both sides, carefully pour on sauce, making sure that all zucchini is evenly coated. Do not stir. Reduce heat to low, cover pan, and simmer for 10 minutes or until zucchini is to your desired tenderness. Top with grated Parmesan and serve hot.

Notes

You may use any combination of your favorite (chopped) Italian herbs to equal 2 tablespoons.

The teaspoon of sugar added to the marinara will not make it sweet; it merely helps neutralize the acidity of the tomato sauce.

The pan/skillet/pot you use should be wide enough to hold all of the zucchini in a single layer yet deep enough to contain the marinara sauce without it splattering everywhere.

If all of your zucchini won't fit in a single layer, cook it in two batches and then add it all back to the pan before adding the marinara and proceeding with the recipe.

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http://www.fivehearthome.com/2014/07/09/zucchini-marinara/

More zucchini recipes…

Baked Parmesan Zucchini Rounds
Baked Parmesan Zucchini Rounds ~ you're just 2 ingredients away from a quick and easy, delicious summer side dish! | FiveHeartHome.com

Zucchini Fritters with Asian Dipping Sauce
Zucchini Fritters with Asian Dipping Sauce | {Five Heart Home}

{Toddler-Approved} Veggie Surprise Mini Muffins
Toddler Approved Veggie Surprise Muffins ~ like a combination of Carrot Cake and Zucchini Bread! | {Five Heart Home}

How to Get Your Kids to Eat Their Veggies
How to Get Your Kids to Eat Their Veggies | {Five Heart Home}

…and see all of our recipes << HERE!

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I always love hearing from you! ~ samantha {at} five heart home {dot} com


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Comments

  1. Wow those look amazing! Fantastic recipe 🙂

    Happy Blogging!
    Happy Valley Chow

  2. Looks delish! I think my hubby might even eat these.

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Passing the hubby test is the mark of a good recipe, isn’t it, Anette? 😉 I hope your husband not only eats these, but enjoys them! Happy Friday…thanks so much for stopping by!

  3. Yum! And your pictures are great too. I always have an overabundance of zucchini so any recipes are great. Thanks for sharing!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks so much for the sweet comment, Elizabeth! I can totally relate to your overabundance of zucchini…when it rains zucchini, it pours! In fact, that’s probably why I have a disproportionately high number of zucchini recipes on my site as compared to other produce. 😉 Hope you enjoy this one!

  4. Wow, you are a fantastic food photographer. You make this zucchini marinara look divine. Just by looking at it I can see that one of the keys to success with this dish is to have the zucchini practically drowning in delicious marinara sauce. Yum!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      You are too sweet, Rose. Marinara is definitely a nice complement to zucchini! I hope you enjoy this if you have a chance to try it, and I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend. Thanks so much for stopping by! 🙂

  5. Wayne Vick says:

    This looks like a fantastic recipe to use for the dozens of zucchini I’ve been pulling out of the garden.

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Ha, Wayne…when it rains zucchini, it pours zucchini! 😉 Hope y’all enjoy this as a way to use up some of your bounty!

  6. I love this idea! I was stumped for dinner tonight, but saw this and got inspired. I had to make it with long eggplant and I used a bit of spicy ground beef to roll them up with, but the idea is all yours! I ended up making your parmesan zucchini rounds to go alongside (hence the eggplant). Mmm… Thanks so much!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      What a great idea to make this recipe using eggplant, Leslie…sounds delicious! Glad it was a hit. 🙂

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