Zucchini Marinara is a this quick and easy side dish of sliced zucchini, seasoned and pan sautéed before being topped with marinara sauce, fresh herbs, and Parmesan cheese!
Today's Zucchini Marinara 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!
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! 😉
How to Make It
After cutting your zucchini into ¾-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 some fresh, herb-studded marinara sauce (or tomato sauce or spaghetti sauce), simmer until the zucchini is tender, and top with a generous dusting of grated Parmesan.
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.
If, like us, you have lots of zucchini to consume these days, feel free to check below for some other ideas. And be sure to stop back by next week, when I'll have a fudgy, quadruple chocolate cake 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!)
More Zucchini Recipes
- Zucchini Banana Bread
- Zucchini Fritters with Asian Dipping Sauce
- Savory Cheesy Zucchini Muffins
- Chocolate Zucchini Bundt Cake
- 1 ½ 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 fresh chopped Italian herbs, such as basil, oregano, parsley, and thyme
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Wash zucchini and cut into approximately ¾-inch thick slices. Set a large pan or skillet over medium-high heat, add olive oil to the pan, and heat until shimmering. Add butter, allow to melt, and swirl pan to combine the two. Arrange zucchini slices in pan in a single layer, season with garlic salt and pepper, and allow to cook undisturbed for a couple of minutes before checking their undersides. Once golden brown, flip zucchini slices over and brown the other side.
- While zucchini is cooking, stir fresh chopped herbs and sugar into marinara sauce. Once zucchini is browned on both sides, slowly pour marinara sauce over zucchini, evenly covering it all. 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.