This easy zucchini Parmesan only takes three ingredients (plus salt and pepper), and about 5 minutes to make, for a delicious side dish you can serve with just about anything.
So you’ve answered the question of what the heck you’re going to fix for dinner tonight. Congratulations! Because you’ve likely spent the bulk of your prep time on the main dish, choosing an easy side dish that won’t throw off the timing of your plating execution is paramount. With just 3 ingredients, this zucchini side dish checks all the boxes.
In this simple side, there are two options for cooking your squash. If you’re looking for the sure-fire 5-minute method, cook the sliced zucchini in the microwave, in a bowl with a tablespoon or two of water. Or, if you’ve microwave averse, go the steaming route with a steamer-filled saucepan and water. Then, butter and cheese the rounds, season, and this side dish is served.
What’s in this 5-Minute Zucchini Parmesan
Here’s what you’ll need for this 5-minute zucchini Parmesan:
- Zucchini — be sure to drain your zucchini before adding the butter or you’ll end up with watery zucchini butter soup
- Butter — I always use salted butter because salt is the flavor sealer.
- Grated Parmesan (the real stuff, no green can please)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
How to Make 5-Minute Zucchini Parmesan
The beauty of this recipe lies in its efficiency—not to mention you don’t need to turn on your oven (I avoid my oven like the plague during the summertime!). Whether you opt for the microwave method or steaming it over the stove, each way takes just 5 minutes.
Here’s how to make zucchini Parmesan in the microwave:
Add the zucchini coins to a microwave-safe bowl with 2 tablespoons of water. Cook for 4 minutes on high, or until zucchini are just tender.
Drain and season. Add the butter, tossing to melt. Season with the kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper and sprinkle with Parmesan.
Here’s how to make zucchini Parmesan on the stovetop:
Fill a saucepan with 1/2 cup water. Place steamer basket inside and fill the basket with the zucchini. Cover with a lid then bring to a boil. Steam covered for 3-4 minutes or until the zucchini are just tender.
Remove the basket from the saucepan. Add the butter, tossing to melt. Season with the kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper and sprinkle with Parmesan.
How do You Make Zucchini so It’s Not Soggy
Zucchini is a veggie that contains a lot of water, so there are a couple things you need to keep in mind when cooking it to avoid a sad and soggy mess! Follow these 3 tips to prevent slimy or mushy zucchini:
- Bigger isn’t always better. Try to select smaller zucchini (it will contain less water).
- Slicing larger coins of zucchini (about 1/2-inch thick) will help ensure it stays on the firmer side.
- If you have the time, salting your zucchini after you slice it will help draw out some of the excess moisture. Simply slice into coins, sprinkle each with salt and let drain over a colander or paper towel for about 10 minutes before cooking.
Do You Peel Zucchini
There’s no need to peel! The skin is super thin and full of good nutrients. Simply wash the zucchini under water, giving it a gentle scrub to remove any dirt, and cut off both ends.
What to Serve With Zucchini Parmesan
- 30-Minute Chicken Caprese
- Shrimp Scampi
- Grilled Chicken Breasts with Chive Herb Butter
- Gnocchi with Pomodoro Sauce
- THE BEST Grilled Salmon
- Potato Chip Crusted Chicken Breasts
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a rating on this recipe below and leave a comment, take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats.
Easy 5-Minute Zucchini Parmesan
- 2 medium zucchini , sliced into 1/2-inch thick coins
- 2 tablespoons butter , cut into chunks
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese , or more to your liking
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- To prepare the zucchini in the microwave, add the zucchini rounds to a microwave-safe bowl with 2 tablespoons of water and cook for 4 minutes on high, or until zucchini are just tender. Drain the water from the zucchini and add the butter, tossing to melt. Season with the kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper and sprinkle with Parmesan. Cover until ready to serve while still hot.
- To prepare the zucchini on the stovetop, place a steamer basket in a saucepan with 1/2 cup water or just below the bottom of the steamer. Fill the steamer basket with the zucchini and cover with a lid then bring to a boil. Steam covered for 3-4 minutes or until the zucchini are just tender. Drain the water from the zucchini, remove the steamer, then add the butter, tossing to melt. Season with the kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper and sprinkle with Parmesan. Cover until ready to serve while still hot.
More Zucchini Recipes to Try
- Zucchini and Fresh Corn Farmers’ Market Salad with Lemon-Basil Vinaigrette
- Mediterranean Zucchini Boats
- Baked Zucchini Parmesan Crisps
- Grilled Zucchini with Goat Cheese and Pine Nuts
- Grilled Vegetables
- Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread
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