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Easy zucchini recipe with balsamic reduction, sesame seeds and herbs

Easy Skillet Zucchini Recipe with Balsamic Reduction

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4.8 from 21 reviews


This easy zucchini recipe is the perfect last-minute side for just about any meal! Zucchini rounds sauteed in good extra virgin olive oil and finished with homemade balsamic glaze, sesame seeds and a sprinkle of dried mint or parsley. Be sure to check out the recipe notes and tips. 



For balsamic glaze or reduction 

  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar

For  Zucchini

  • 2 tbsp olive oil, more if needed
  • 3 medium zucchini, sliced into 1/4"-thick rounds
  • Kosher salt
  • pepper
  • 1/2 to 3/4 tsp sweet paprika
  • Black sesame seeds or toasted sesame seeds, optional
  • Dried mint or parsley flakes, a handful


  1. Make the balsamic glaze or reduction. In a saucepan, heat the balsamic vinegar and brown sugar. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer for 20 minutes or so. Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes; the balsamic glaze will continue to thicken as it cools (see shortcut option in notes)
  2. Meanwhile, in a large pan or skillet, heat 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil until shimmering but not smoking. Add zucchini rounds and season with salt, pepper and paprika. Saute over medium-high heat, tossing occasionally until zucchini rounds soften and gain some color on both sides (about 7 to 10 minutes)
  3. Using a slotted spoon, transfer sauteed zucchini to a serving platter. Drizzle with the prepared balsamic glaze. Sprinkle sesame seeds and dried mint flakes on top. Enjoy warm or at room temperature.


  • Cook's Tip: These sauteed zucchini are meant to be softer, but maintain a little bite, with some good color on both sides. Cooking time will vary. It's best to use a large 12-inch skillet like this one, otherwise, cook zucchini in batches and do not crowd them in the skillet.
  • Shortcut Tip: You can use store-bought balsamic glaze and save 20 minutes on cooking time
  • Leftovers? You can store leftovers in a tight-lid glass container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Serve at room temperature.
  • What to Serve Along: This easy zucchini makes the perfect side to other summer favorites like Mediterranean grilled chicken; chicken kabobs; steamed salmon. I often add leftover sauteed zucchini to grain bowls for lunch the next day!
  • Recommended for this Recipe: All-natural sweet paprika and our Private Reserve Greek extra virgin olive oil (from organically grown and processed Koroneiki olives!)
  • Visit our store to browse our spices, olive oils and bundles!
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Sauteed
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean