Gluten Free/ Italian/ Vegan/ Vegetables/ Vegetarian

Sautéed Zucchini and Tomatoes

Sauteed Zucchini and Tomatoes – Simple sauté of zucchini, tomatoes, bell peppers, celery, and onions, with herbs–and easy and delicious way to spruce up any weeknight meal.Sautéed Zucchini and Tomatoes  ~ Zucchini, tomatoes, onions, bells, celery and  herbs make one delicious side dish ~ The Complete SavoristMy 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.

The smell of this dish is one of my most comforting food-scent memories. I would walk in the house, take a deep breath, and comfort would spread throughout me–for a visual, just picture one of those silly laundry commercials where a person holds a towel or blanket in their arms, takes a big whiff of it, a smile spreads across their entire being and they then clutch the item to themselves and do that little shudder of delight–it was like that.

If she made squash, that meant she made pizza or pasta, two of her specialities. Anything with her red sauce made me happy. I loved the smell of this dish as a kid, but I hated eating it. That’s right. I loved to smell it, refused to eat it.

I was well into my 20’s when my aversion to eating it subsided. I don’t know why I hated it so much. The aroma was intensely fantastic but the taste never worked for me…maybe the ONE time I tried it, I got a slimly piece of zucchini, or may be celery was still to crunchy…who knows. It just never made sense that something that smelled so wonderful, tasted so bad.  But I was just an idiot, a girl with an immature palate…a girl who just wanted her rigatoni or pizza and to be left alone and undisturbed by silly little vegetables.

This recipe is far from fancy. It is super simple and really easy to put together. But in my mind it always seemed laborious. Not sure why I had that in my mind. I was in my 20’s, as I mentioned, when the overwhelming desire to try ‘Grandma’s squash’ over took me. My grandma was alive and well but could not hear well enough to talk on the telephone. I had attempted to use my grandfather to help me get the recipe, but that didn’t work either. So, I called Mom2 to get the recipe, as she had learned to make it from my grandmother.Sautéed Zucchini and Tomatoes  ~ Zucchini, tomatoes, onions, bells, celery and  herbs make one delicious side dish ~ The Complete SavoristShe did not believe I wanted to make the dish, but was happy enough to give me the recipe. Now I should tell you that when people in my family give recipes, it’s not the way I give you all recipes. Here I tell you how many ounces or cups, or whatever you need and how long to stir or boil, or whatever, in each step of the recipe. Not so with my family. This is what I was told:

Zucchini, canned tomatoes, celery, onions, green bell pepper, garlic, and oregano. Start with the hard vegetables, add the soft ones, cook, add the tomatoes, and oregano, let it simmer, done.

No quantities. No times.  Nothing. But I am used to directions given this way. But like everything, working out the ratios was always a challenge.  And by challenge, I mean getting it to taste EXACTLY the way my grandmother made it.  I can take those directions and make it delicious. But there is a huge difference (for me) between delicious and tasting like Grandma’s. It should be noted as well that in my family, garlic is usually granulated garlic, rarely does anyone go through the effort to use the fresh stuff. I roll both ways. 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.

Sautéed Zucchini and Tomatoes

Author: Michelle De La Cerda


  • 2 store zucchini/1 garden zucchini; quarter chopped
  • 1/2 yellow onion; finely diced
  • 1 large celery rib; finely diced
  • 1 green bell pepper; finely diced
  • 2-14 oz cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 clove garlic/1/2 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1/2-1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper +/- to taste
  • 1/3 tsp salt +/- to taste
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil + if needed


  1. Heat a large pan with olive oil over medium high heat, add the onions, celery, and bell pepper, cook for 3-5 minutes or until they begin to soften.
  2. Add the garlic and zucchini and cook together for an additional 2-3 minutes, once the zucchini has begun to soften.
  3. Add the tomatoes, oregano, salt, and pepper. Bring to a high simmer and reduce heat to low.
  4. Allow to cook on low for 15 or so minutes, giving the flavors enough time to combine and the veggies to finish cooking.
  5. Serve and enjoy. (Tastes great with Parmesan cheese on top as well.)

Sautéed Zucchini and Tomatoes  ~ Zucchini, tomatoes, onions, bells, celery and  herbs make one delicious side dish ~ The Complete SavoristSautéed Zucchini and Tomatoes  ~ Zucchini, tomatoes, onions, bells, celery and  herbs make one delicious side dish ~ The Complete SavoristSautéed Zucchini and Tomatoes  ~ Zucchini, tomatoes, onions, bells, celery and  herbs make one delicious side dish ~ The Complete Savorist

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
    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
    Weekly Meal Prep (3.11.19) -
    March 19, 2019 at 1:54 pm

    […] Sauteed Zucchini and Tomatoes […]

  • Reply
    May 11, 2019 at 9:44 am

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

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