The Perfect Grilled Zucchini Recipe

5 from 3 votes
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Perfectly grilled zucchini is quick, easy, requires simple ingredients for tons of flavor, and is a naturally gluten-free, low-carb, vegetarian, vegan, keto, whole30, healthy summer side dish!

Grilled zucchini on a serving plate

Why You Will Love Grilled Zucchini

Along with bell pepper and corn on the cob, zucchini is naturally suited to grilling (and sauteing in just minutes!). Their mild flavor picks up the slightly charred smokiness to perfection, while grilling brings out its natural sweetness, too. Meanwhile, the juicy interior helps them stay nice and juicy even using this high-heat cooking method.

Even better, you prepare and cook zucchini on the grill in under 10 minutes for perfectly charred and tender-crisp (but never soggy or mushy!) results. Did I mention zucchini are also nutrient-dense (yet low-carb and low-calorie!) with vitamins A and C, potassium, and folate?

Grilled zucchini on a serving plate

Best of all, it’s easy to play with the grilled zucchini seasoning/flavor profile, and it’s one of THE most versatile summery side dishes you can enjoy at BBQs, picnics, potlucks, and more. Keep reading for all my favorite serving suggestions.

Want more delicious ways to enjoy zucchini this summer? Here are some of my favorite zucchini recipes.

The Ingredients

The combination of olive oil, an acid, and simple seasonings makes this deliciously moreish, crowd-pleasing, perfect grilled zucchini recipe the whole family will enjoy.

  • Zucchini: It’s best to use a relatively evenly shaped/wide zucchini (since we’re slicing lengthwise) about 8-10 inches long. Look for zucchini that’s heavy for its size, vibrant and smooth, and free from blemishes/mold. Yellow summer squash will work, too.
  • Olive oil: I’ve found extra-virgin olive oil works well, though you can use a high-heat oil if preferred – like avocado oil.
  • Seasonings: I prefer to use dried herbs/seasonings when grilling since fresh ones are likely to burn. For this simple yet delicious seasoning, I use:
    • Dried oregano – or other herbs like thyme, Italian seasoning, etc.,
    • Garlic powder,
    • Sea salt & black pepper.
  • Red wine vinegar: An acidic ingredient is a great way to add brightness and depth. Balsamic vinegar or lemon juice (optionally with some lemon zest for extra zingy flavor) would also work.
Ingredients for grilled zucchini

You could also optionally garnish the zucchini with extras like a sprinkle of parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes, a dollop of pesto, and/or fresh herbs like parsley or basil.

How to Grill Zucchini

First, preheat the grill to medium-high heat (about 400-450ºF/200-230ºC) or prepare your charcoal BBQ. Oil the grates.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the oil, vinegar, and spices.

Mixing oil with spices in a bowl

Chop away the top and then slice the zucchini into ¼-inch lengthwise slices/planks (to maximize surface area and reduce the risk of the pieces falling through the grates).

Slicing zucchini to quarter inch thickness

Be careful not to slice them too thin, or they’ll fall apart on the grill. Use a mandoline for perfectly even-sized slices. Long zucchini spears will also work.

Then add the slices to the bowl with the oil mixture and toss to coat the pieces well.

Zucchini slices tossed with oil

Once the grill is hot, use tongs to transfer the zucchini to the grill in a single layer, cover it, and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Flip the pieces over, increase the heat to high, and cook for a further 2-3 minutes – until the grilled zucchini is tender in the middle and lightly browned/caramelized on the outside.

Steps fro grilling zucchini

If you think it’ll make it easier, you can place them over a grill mat or within a grill pouch (which is super easy to flip over in one go).

Finally, remove the zucchini from the grill, give it a final taste test, and adjust the seasoning (salt & pepper) if desired. Then enjoy!

How to Get Char Marks on Grilled Zucchini

If you want to achieve those aesthetically pleasing charred lines, then ensure the grill is at a high temperature (and oiled!). Then place the zucchini directly onto the grill grates. Ensure you only flip it after the grill marks have formed on one side, then repeat.

I like it when the zucchini is tender in the middle and lightly browned/caramelized on the outside. This method balances the desired charred appearance with a deliciously tender texture.

Removing cooked zucchini from grill

Ways to Serve the Grilled Zucchini

This super versatile summery vegetable side dish pairs well with practically any meal. Some of my favorite pairings include:

More Simple Vegetable Side Dishes

If you try this simple grilled zucchini recipe, let me know how it goes in the comments below. I’d appreciate a recipe card rating and would love to see your recipe recreations – tag me on Instagram @Alphafoodie!

The Perfect Grilled Zucchini Recipe

5 from 3 votes
By: Samira
Perfectly grilled zucchini is quick, easy, requires simple ingredients for tons of flavor, and is a naturally gluten-free, low-carb, vegetarian, vegan, keto, whole30, healthy summer side dish!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4

Equipment

Ingredients 
 

  • 22 oz zucchini 3 medium-sized; look for fairly evenly shaped and sized ones.
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil extra virgin OR avocado oil
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar/lemon juice
  • 1/2 Tbsp dried oregano or thyme/Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Instructions 

  • Preheat the grill to medium-high (about 400-450ºF/200-230ºC) or prepare your charcoal BBQ. Oil the grates.
  • In a large bowl, combine the oil, vinegar, and spices and whisk well.
  • Chop away the top and then slice the zucchini into ¼-inch lengthwise slices/planks (to maximize surface area and reduce the risk of the pieces falling through the grates).
    Add the to the bowl with the oil mixture and toss to coat the pieces well.
    Be careful not to slice them too thin, or they'll fall apart on the grill. Use a mandoline for perfectly even-sized slices. Long zucchini spears will also work.
  • Once the grill is hot, use tongs to transfer the zucchini to the grill in a single layer, cover it, and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Flip the pieces over, increase the heat to high, and cook for a further 2-3 minutes – until the zucchini is tender in the middle and lightly browned/caramelized on the outside.
    If you think it'll make it easier, you can place them over a grill mat or within a grill pouch (which is super easy to flip over in one go).
  • Remove the zucchini from the grill, give them a final taste test, and adjust the seasoning (salt & pepper) if desired. Then enjoy!

Notes

  • Slice the zucchini evenly: If you have one, use a mandoline. Even slices are important for them to cook evenly.
  • Use zucchini or summer squash: The method will be identical.
  • Prepare the grill well: Ensure the grates are clean and well-oiled.
  • To use a grill pan: If the weather isn’t great, recreate this recipe with a grill pan on your stove. Set the heat to medium-high and cook following the same method.
  • Experiment with the flavors: Feel free to swap the form of acid and the seasonings to your liking (i.e., add smoked paprika, chili/cayenne, onion powder, etc.). You can also experiment with seasoning blends like fajita seasoning, Cajun, za’atar, sumac, etc.
Storage Instructions
Grilled zucchini is best enjoyed fresh, though leftovers will store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. I don’t recommend freezing it.
I prefer to consume the leftovers cold to avoid them becoming mushy. However, if you’d prefer to reheat the zucchini, do so in a skillet with a swirl of oil, a microwave at 50%, or an oven/air fryer for several minutes.
Check the blog post for serving recommendations!
Course: Side
Cuisine: American
Freezer friendly: No
Shelf life: 3-4 Days

Nutrition

Calories: 95kcal, Carbohydrates: 6g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Sodium: 603mg, Potassium: 429mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 324IU, Vitamin C: 28mg, Calcium: 37mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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