posted August 07, 2019
This Grilled Zucchini is a ridiculously easy way to cook zucchini. My simple grilled zucchini has only 4 ingredients, and it cooks up in a matter of minutes. By sticking the zucchini in a marinade before grilling, you ensure your zucchini cooks nice and crisp with plenty of flavor.
Simple Grilled Zucchini
Summer is upon us, and in my neck of the woods that means it’s zucchini season. My mom grows zucchini, my in-laws grow zucchini, my neighbors grow zucchini. Essentially, I live in zucchini paradise. When you are exposed to so much of this plentiful (albeit, slightly bland) vegetable, you start creating ways to eat it up in a hurry. This recipe comes just in time to cure your summer zucchini woes in a way that is both flavorful and fast.
When I’m looking for summery veggie side dishes, my priorities are always flavor first, and ease of preparation and clean up come in a close second and third. This recipe meets all three priorities. The flavors are vibrant and fresh, preparation takes minutes, and clean up is pretty much non-existent.
Grilled Zucchini Marinade
The trick to perfectly grilled zucchini is in the marinade. A simple marinade gives the zucchini an amazing dose of zing, and it helps to create a beautiful tender and crisp texture! In fact, this marinade is just a basic balsamic vinegar salad dressing you can pick up at your local grocery store. If you’ve ever just thrown zucchini on the grill, you might notice it gets soggy instead of crispy like most grilled veggies. This is because the water content in zucchini is so high.
The salt in this zucchini marinade helps to draw out some of the extra liquid before grilling to help the zucchini cook perfectly instead of turning to mush. Oh, and it also helps to bring some much-needed flavor to the vegetable. These yummy morsels are a great side dish for Smoked Pork Loin or these Grilled Chicken Thighs. They’re also delicious with a big bowl of pasta or on the side of some Grilled Salmon.
How to Grill Zucchini
Here’s the 411 on grilling delicious zucchini. Believe me when I say it’s worth it to plan ahead to let the zucchini marinate for 3 hours. It will make all the difference in how the zucchini cooks and tastes.
- Cut the zucchini. Rinse the zucchini well and pat it dry. Slice each zucchini in half, width-wise, and cut each half into quarters.
- Marinate. Place the balsamic vinegar salad dressing and the zucchini in a gallon-sized zip top bag. Massage well to coat every piece, then refrigerate for 2-3 hours.
- Preheat the grill. Get your grill (I prefer to use my Weber Genesis II) preheated to High (450-500 degrees F) for direct grilling.
- Get to the grill! Remove the zucchini from the marinade and season with additional salt and pepper (to taste as desired). Place the zucchini flesh side down on the grill and grill for 2 minutes per side. Remove the zucchini when the flesh is slightly charred and the zucchini is crisp and tender.
- Serve immediately. Don’t let this sit around while you prep the other things needed for dinner. Have it ready to go so it is doesn’t go soggy.
How Long to Grill Zucchini
Zucchini is one vegetable that cooks FAST. With your gas grill preheated to High (450-500 degrees F), this zucchini only needs to cook for 2 minutes per side, or approximately 4-5 minutes total. My advice? Plan to cook the zucchini last as you are finishing up the rest of the items for your meal. Stay close and be ready to rotate quickly and pull them off the grill promptly to ensure they still have a bit of crunch.
Quick note: This side is best served hot and fast. It’s not one that transports or stores well. When making this grilled zucchini, I plan on pulling them off the grill moments before it is time to eat. They tend to get softer if they sit around for a while. Oh, and one more thing. If you manage to have leftovers (I know, I know, who ever has leftovers when the food is this good?), you don’t have to throw them out! Dice them up the next morning and throw them in an omelet or a frittata. They’re the grilled gift that keeps on giving.
More Grilled Veggie Recipes
Hey griller! I see you over there still cooking your corn and vegetables on the stove. But why? Most veggies can be easily cooked on the grill, and they taste pretty amazing as well. Don’t believe me? Check out some of these grilled veggie recipes below:
Grilled Zucchini Recipe
- 3 small zucchini
- 1 cup balsamic vinegar salad dressing
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoons fresh cracked black pepper
- Preheat your grill on High (450-500 degrees F) for direct grilling.
- Rinse zucchini and pat dry. Slice in half, width-wise, and then cut each half into quarters.
- Place zucchini and balsamic vinegar dressing in a gallon zip top bag. Toss to evenly coat every piece. Place in the refrigerator and let the zucchini marinate for at least 2-3 hours.
- Place the zucchini on the grill, flesh side down. Season with additional salt and black pepper, to taste.
- Grill for 2 minutes per side, or until the flesh is slightly charred and the zucchini is crisp and tender.
- Remove to a platter and serve immediately.
**This post was originally published June 2015. It has since been updated with more information and helpful tips. The recipe remains the same.
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