Parmesan Truffle Sautéed Zucchini


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Sautéed zucchini with parmesan, truffle oil, garlic and parsley makes for a flavorful and tasty side dish. It’s one of my favorite zucchini recipes that’s quick and easy. If you’ve got an abundance of zucchini from your garden or the market, you definitely need to make this recipe.

What should you serve it with? It pairs great with my Dijon Baked Salmon, Orange Glazed Salmon, Crispy Baked Chicken Thighs and Honey Mustard Chicken.

Sauteed zucchini in a pan.

Several years ago I was eating parmesan truffle fries in a restaurant (those are amazing, right?) and it dawned on me that I could use those same flavors with zucchini. Thus, parmesan truffle zucchini was born. And I have to say, you’re gonna love it.

It’s an easy side dish that you can whip up on the stovetop while you’re making other things as there’s just a few ingredients. Zucchini is one of my favorite vegetables and I’ve got a TON of zucchini recipes on this website (I’ve listed several of those for you below). But once you taste this cheesy, garlicky, savory goodness I think sautéed zucchini may become your favorite new recipe.

Sautéed Zucchini Ingredients

There’s only a handful of ingredients in this recipe. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Zucchini: You can use either green or yellow zucchini squash in this recipe, it’s up to you.
  • Olive Oil: Just a little bit to coat the pan. If you prefer a more buttery flavor, you could also use ghee which is more stable at higher heat.
  • Parmesan: Grate some fresh, authentic Parmesan, also known as Parmigiano Reggiano. Don’t use the cheap stuff in the green container (you know what I’m talking about). Fresh tastes so much better.
  • Truffle Oil: This is the secret weapon ingredient. It adds that amazing earthy aroma and distinct flavor of truffles. Again, choose a quality truffle oil (look for organic), otherwise it may just be a “flavor” or “essence” from chemicals.
  • Parsley: Fresh parsley adds a pop of green and some herby goodness.
  • Salt and pepper: Season to your liking.

Zucchini sauteed in a pan.

How to Make The Best Sauteed Zucchini

This recipe comes together fast so it’s best to have all your ingredients sliced, chopped and prepped. Here’s how you make it:

Saute the Zucchini

After you’ve heated the oil in your pan add half the zucchini (you don’t want to crowd the pan). But here’s the key step: don’t touch it! Let the zucchini get nice and golden on one side (about 2 minutes) before stirring and flipping to the other side. Tongs can be helpful to ensure you get all the zucchini flipped to the other side.

Once your first batch of zucchini has cooked for 6-7 minutes, transfer it to a plate and then repeat this process with the other half of zucchini.

Saute the Garlic

When your second batch of zucchini is nearly done, push the zucchini to the side and add your minced garlic. Sauté it for about 30 seconds. You don’t want to add it earlier as it could burn – and that’s never good. Then add the first batch of zucchini back to the pan, give it a stir and turn off the heat.

Add the Parmesan, Truffle Oil and Parsley

Stir together your grated parmesan, truffle oil and parsley in a bowl. This ensures that the truffle oil flavor is all over the parmesan and it’ll get more evenly distributed around the zucchini.

Make sure the heat is off at this stage as truffle oil is a finishing oil and quite delicate. Pour the cheesy mix on top of your zucchini, give it a stir, breathe in the amazing aroma and enjoy!

Up close photo of zucchini recipe.

How Thin Should You Slice the Zucchini?

Slice the zucchini about 1/4 inch (or slightly smaller) in width. You can use either a sharp knife or a mandoline. On a mandoline, it’s usually one of the thicker settings. And the mandoline does make slicing all the zucchini super easy.

Sauteed zucchini in a pan.

More Zucchini Recipes to Enjoy

And to give a shout out to some of my other favorite side dish recipes, try my Coleslaw, Garlic Ginger Bok Choy, Mashed Cauliflower and Garlic Sauteed Swiss Chard. Enjoy!

Sauteed zucchini that's cooked and ready to be served.

Parmesan Truffle Sauteed Zucchini

5 from 6 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan


Sautéed zucchini with parmesan, truffle oil, garlic and parsley. It's easy, flavorful and I think one of the best zucchini recipes. The perfect side dish!


  • 1 tbsp olive oil, or ghee
  • 3 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup parmesan, finely grated
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp truffle oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  • Heat the oil in a large sauté pan on medium heat. Add half the zucchini slices and try as many as possible flat on the bottom of the pan. Cook them for 6-7 minutes, but only stir every 2 minutes or so. You want the bottoms to get nice and crispy before stirring and crisping up the other side.
  • While the zucchini is cooking, combine the grated parmesan, truffle oil and chopped parsley in a small bowl. Stir to combine.
  • Remove the cooked zucchini to a plate and add the remaining zucchini to the pan. If needed, add a little more olive oil. Repeat step one.
  • When the zucchini are about one minute from being done make space in the pan by pushing the zucchini to the side and sauté the minced garlic. After the garlic has sauteed for 30 seconds, add the previously cooked zucchini back to the pan and stir.
  • Turn off the heat, top with the parmesan, truffle oil and parsley mix and stir everything together. Serve immediately.

Lisa's Tips

  • This is easiest to make in a seasoned cast iron pan or non-stick pan. 
  • Remember that zucchini is 95% water, so the longer it cooks the more soggy it'll become. It's best to brown the zucchini quickly, then remove from the stove.
  • If you'd like to reduce the oil in this recipe you could bake the zucchini on a sheet pan in the oven, then toss with the parmesan, truffle oil and parsley after.
  • If truffle oil is not available where you live, you can still make this recipe without it. You'll just have cheesy garlicky sautéed zucchini. And it's delicious either way! 


Calories: 101kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 6mg | Sodium: 146mg | Potassium: 384mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 440IU | Vitamin C: 28.1mg | Calcium: 125mg | Iron: 0.7mg
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Sauteed Zucchini, Zucchini, Zucchini Parmesan, Zucchini Recipe
Did you make this recipe?Mention @downshiftology or tag #downshiftology!

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About the author

Lisa Bryan

Lisa is a bestselling cookbook author, recipe developer, and YouTuber (with over 2.5 million subscribers) living in sunny Southern California. She started Downshiftology in 2014, and is passionate about making healthy food with fresh, simple and seasonal ingredients.

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Recipe Rating


  1. This recipe looks delicious!!! Quick question…if I bake the zucchini slices in the oven, when/how do I incorporate the garlic? Thank you!

  2. Very tasty and easy to make. The parmesan and truffle really amp up the flavor of this dish! I plan to make this again, but I think it will come out ever better when I bake the zucchini next time.5 stars

  3. This looks amazing! Do you think anything else could be used to add flavor without using fresh herbs? I live alone and am not a huge fan of parsley to begin with, so I would not know what to do with the rest of the bunch.

  4. This direction needs to be updated with the correct wording.

    While the zucchini is cooking, combine the grated parmesan, truffle oil and chopped parmesan in a small bowl. Stir to combine.

    I think it was supposed to be – combine the grated parmesan, truffle oil, and chopped PARSLEY.

  5. Thank you so much for your idea with the truffle oil! I also tried this recipe with steamed spinach instead of the zucchini and i’m obsessed ever since!! I love your page!5 stars

    1. Hi Laura – That sounds amazing with Spinach! The truffle really does bring out the best of sauteed veggies :)

  6. Oh my goodness could these zucchini look any more delicious! ? And truffle and parmesan? HELLO – foodie heaven! This one needs to go on the to-make list asap! With some grilled chicken or fish – superb!5 stars

    1. 100% agree, Kiki! I think my enthusiasm for zucchini is definitely on your level! :)

  7. Roasted fresh zucchini is THE BEST! Love the addition of parmesan to this dish too. What a great summer side dish!5 stars

  8. I love this recipe! Zucchini is one of my favorites when it comes to veggies. I can’t wait to make your recipe and see what the family thinks. I will let you know how it turned out.5 stars

    1. Awesome, Heidy! This zucchini recipe is one of my favorites. You’ll love it! :)

  9. These made the perfect side dish with dinner last night! So flavorful and my picky eaters even cleared their plates!5 stars