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.
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.
Italian style squash
To make this recipe you’ll need:
- Canned tomatoes
- Green bell pepper
- Olive oil
- 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.
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.
Sautéed Zucchini and Tomatoes
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)
- 2½ 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
- 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese finely grated
Heat a large skillet over medium high heat, once hot add the olive oil.
Add the onions, celery, and bell pepper, cook for 3-5 minutes or until they begin to soften.
Add the garlic and zucchini and cook together for an additional 2-3 minutes, until the zucchini has begun to soften.
Add the tomatoes with juices, oregano, salt, and pepper.
Bring to a high simmer and reduce heat to low.
Allow to cook on low for 15 or so minutes, giving the flavors enough time to combine and the veggies to finish cooking.
If using, sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese.
Serve and enjoy.
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.
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.