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Sautéed Zucchini and Tomatoes

Sautéed Zucchini and Tomatoes is a simple sauté of zucchini, tomatoes, bell peppers, celery, and onions, and herbs; a perfect side dish to any meal.

Cast iron skillet with Italian style zucchini, tomatoes, onions, and celery.

My grandmother called this dish “squash.”

When asked ‘what’s for dinner’, if she said squash, it was this dish. But there was never any reason to ask if she made this dish because when she made it, the entire house was filled with its aroma.

This recipe is far from fancy. A few simple ingredients and you’re on your way to enjoying this Italian squash side dish.

Now I should tell you that when my family share recipes, there are no exact measurements or proportions.

Close up the vegetables in a cast iron skillet.

Italian style squash

To make this recipe you’ll need:

  • Zucchini
  • Canned tomatoes
  • Celery
  • Onions
  • Green bell pepper
  • garlic
  • Oregano
  • Olive oil
  • Salt/Pepper
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)

Should I use fresh or granulated garlic?

In my family, garlic in a recipe usually means granulated garlic. Rarely does anyone go through the effort to use the fresh stuff.

Sometimes I use fresh, sometimes granulated. It just depends on what I am making, and to be perfectly honest, how lazy I am at the moment.

I know professional chefs would skewer me for using granulated in anything outside a dry rub blend, but I’m not a professional, hehehehe.

This recipe works well with either.

Super close up image of the zucchini, tomatoes, and other vegetables sautéing in a cast iron skillet.

Making sautéed zucchini and tomatoes

I love using my trusty cast iron skillet for this recipe. I love how evenly it heats. I also love how hot it gets, making this a pretty quick recipe to whip up. Plus if I’ve kept the seasoning up properly, I don’t need oil to sauté the vegetables.

Get the skillet hot, and start with the hard vegetables; the onions, celery, and bell pepper. They take a bit longer than the zucchini to cook, so I like to give them a head start.

Once they begin to soften, add the zucchini and garlic. Cook until the zucks begin to soften.

Pour in the tomatoes with its juice and add the oregano. Bring it all to a high simmer so it will reduce a bit, then cook it on low.

My grandma made this dish earlier in the day, allowing it to sit on the stove for hours and reheated it right before dinner. Food safety will tell you not to do this, but I often do. This allows the flavors to really come together.

Split image with Sautéed Zucchini and Tomatoes, one close up and the other further away in a cast iron skillet with the recipe title in a banner between the two images.
Zucchini and tomatoes in a cast iron skillet.

Sautéed Zucchini and Tomatoes

Course: Side dish/Vegetable
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Italian Squash
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 71 kcal
Author: Michelle De La Cerda

A simple sauté of zucchini, tomatoes, bell peppers, celery, and onions, and herbs; a perfect side dish to any meal.



  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil +/-, to taste (if needed)
  • cups zucchini (2 store zucchinis); quarter chopped (see notes)½
  • ½ cup yellow onion finely diced
  • ½ cup celery (1 rib); finely diced
  • 1 green bell pepper finely diced
  • 28 oz diced tomatoes (2-14 oz cans with juice)
  • 1 tsp garlic miced/grated; ½ tsp granulated; to taste
  • ¾ tsp dried oregano (between ½-1 tsp); to taste
  • ¼ tsp black pepper +/-, to taste
  • ½ tsp salt +/-, to taste

Optional Topping

  • 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese finely grated


  1. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat, once hot add the olive oil.

  2. Add the onions, celery, and bell pepper, cook for 3-5 minutes or until they begin to soften.

  3. Add the garlic and zucchini and cook together for an additional 2-3 minutes, until the zucchini has begun to soften.

  4. Add the tomatoes with juices, oregano, salt, and pepper.

  5. Bring to a high simmer and reduce heat to low.

  6. Allow to cook on low for 15 or so minutes, giving the flavors enough time to combine and the veggies to finish cooking.
  7. If using, sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese.

  8. Serve and enjoy.

Recipe Notes

How much zucchini do I really need?

Garden grown zucchini and store zucchini are two VERY DIFFERENT sizes. Most of the time I make this dish, I am using two zucchinis purchased at the grocery store. However during the summer when I have zucchini to spare, I can made this recipe twice using one home-grown zucchini. 

The store zucchinis can yield anywhere between 1 cup and 1½ cups. 

Additional info on measurements:

Oregano, salt, and pepper are to taste. Depending on how fresh my dried oregano is, a little can go a long way. 

One large celery rib will be enough, so if yours yields a little more or a little less than my recipe indicates, you’ll be just fine. 


Nutrition Facts
Sautéed Zucchini and Tomatoes
Amount Per Serving
Calories 71 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Fat 3g5%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Cholesterol 1mg0%
Sodium 246mg11%
Potassium 460mg13%
Carbohydrates 10g3%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 382IU8%
Vitamin C 39mg47%
Calcium 81mg8%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

What to serve with Italian squash and tomatoes?

While this recipe is my Italian grandmothers and does have an Italian flavor profile, it really goes well with so many entrees.

Thank you for sharing!

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  • Reply
    Laura | Petite Allergy Treats
    September 25, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    Lol, I think ‘real’ family recipes are always shared in ingredients only and never quantities. That’s how I cook if I’m not recipe creating!

    • Reply
      September 26, 2015 at 9:42 pm

      I agree with you, that’s the joy of family cooking.

  • Reply
    Nicole @ Or Whatever You Do
    September 25, 2015 at 8:50 pm

    This is great! I’ve never tried zucchini quite like this before. We’re garlic powder fans too. And I also have one of those giant jars of chopped garlic in my fridge too. Heck with food rules, I say. 😉 Do what you love!

    • Reply
      September 26, 2015 at 9:44 pm

      Love it…It’s just easier sometimes.

  • Reply
    Cookin Canuck
    September 25, 2015 at 9:35 pm

    I can see why you have so many fond memories of this dish. It looks as though it smells AND tastes amazing!

    • Reply
      September 26, 2015 at 9:44 pm

      Thank you CC, it truly is a such a yummy and aromatic dish.

      • Reply
        January 25, 2022 at 8:49 pm

        5 stars
        I’ve made zucchini, onions and canned tomatoes many times with fresh squash from my garden. I tried your recipe adding the celery, peppers and oregano. It was delicious! My family really liked it!

  • Reply
    Des @ Life's Ambrosia
    September 25, 2015 at 10:06 pm

    What a great way to get one last burst of summer!

    • Reply
      September 26, 2015 at 9:44 pm

      Oh yes…great way to use up any of that left over zucchini too.

  • Reply
    eat good 4 life
    September 26, 2015 at 7:12 am

    Oh boy, this is totally up my alley. Love the combo of the zucchini and tomatoes.

    • Reply
      September 26, 2015 at 9:45 pm

      It’s so delish, hope you get the chance to enjoy it.

  • Reply
    Sharon @ What The Fork Food Blog
    September 26, 2015 at 8:14 pm

    What a great side dish! I really love the flavor of zucchini and tomatoes together so this is perfect!

  • Reply
    Arthur in the Garden!
    September 27, 2015 at 9:26 am


  • Reply
    September 27, 2015 at 4:14 pm

    I put this over top of whole wheat noodles tonight and it was soooo good! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Reply
      September 27, 2015 at 5:02 pm

      I am so happy to hear that. I love it with pasta too.

  • Reply
    September 29, 2015 at 5:39 am

    I love old family recipes. Sometimes they work with exact amounts and sometimes they don’t. It was always that extra bit of “love” that made them so special. Thanks for sharing yours.

    • Reply
      October 1, 2015 at 7:26 pm

      Thank you Christine, and you are so right, sometimes even with exact measurements it won’t taste quite the same.

  • Reply
    September 29, 2015 at 9:29 am

    I absolutely love this dish, its colorful and tasty!

  • Reply
    Neli @ Delicious Meets Healthy
    September 29, 2015 at 3:57 pm

    what a great dish! These sauteed zucchini & tomatoes look so flavorful and savory. Pinning!

    • Reply
      October 1, 2015 at 7:27 pm

      Thank you Neli, hope you get the change to enjoy it.

  • Reply
    Sabrina @ Dinner, then Dessert
    September 30, 2015 at 9:24 am

    My mom used to make a delicious side dish just like this and looking at your post made the memories of it flood back into my head. I hadn’t thought about it in years. Your photos look amazing too, I have to try this out!

  • Reply
    October 1, 2015 at 7:29 pm

    Hope you can get the recipe that this one sparked. Food memories are my favorite.

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    May 11, 2019 at 9:44 am

    “Squash” was a staple in my grandfathers house. Same recipe too. 🙂 I love it

  • Reply
    mimi rippee
    May 12, 2020 at 8:36 am

    Love your squash! It is a perfectly delcicious and healthy side dish. I might prefer a red bell pepper over a green one, but that’s just me. Approaching a ratatouille almost. love it. sorry, had hand surgery so i can’t type well.

    • Reply
      Michelle De La Cerda
      May 12, 2020 at 10:56 am

      My grandma swore by the green bell pepper, however, since I struggle to follow a recipe (even my own), a different color bell pepper is far from blasphemy. (And I may even have to try that myself)

  • Reply
    KGL Staff
    October 3, 2020 at 7:56 am

    5 stars
    First, I LOVE your pictures — makes me wish I had one right now! Second, I love that you used recipe making it special and unique! It’s season so I can’t wait to try your recipe!

  • Reply
    Lola Osinkolu | Chef Lola's Kitchen
    November 5, 2020 at 8:54 am

    5 stars
    Looks super tasty! Can’t wait to try it!

  • Reply
    June 27, 2021 at 12:36 pm

    5 stars
    This is excellent and have made it several times. I add some Clamato juice , Worcestershire sauce and I add goat cheese at the end. So, so good!!! Hubby loves it too!

  • Reply
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