10 minutes is all you need for perfectly charred, tender but never soggy grilled zucchini spears with loads of flavor from dried oregano, sumac, and lemon juice. Here is how to grill zucchini like a pro!
Simple grilled zucchini
There really is no shortage of delicious ways to use some summer zucchini – it is one of the most versatile ingredients! Bake it with parmesan cheese and thyme, stuff it with tomatoes and fresh herbs, turn it into addictive, crispy chips, or simply saute it and drizzle with sweet and tangy balsamic glaze.
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How to choose the best zucchini
While zucchini is available all year, it is most abundant during the summer months from the beginning of June to late August. Look for smaller to medium-sized zucchini (around 6 inches long), which tend to taste better and sweeter than large zucchini, which can be a little bitter.
Good zucchini will be firm to the touch, free of nicks and bruises, and have a vibrant green color. Try to also find zucchini with a good bit of the stem still attached, as those will last longer.
How to cut zucchini for grilling
When it comes to grilling, I prefer to cut zucchini into thick batons or spears because they are sturdy enough and easy to handle on the grill. But there are several ways to slice your zucchini for the grill:
- Spears or batons. To get spears out of your zucchini, you’ll simply cut each zucchini lengthwise into 4 sections or quarters. You’ll begin by trimming and cutting each zucchini lengthwise into two halves. From there, cut each half lengthwise into two equal halves. For each zucchini, you will end up with 4 spears.
- Round slices. You can also cut your zucchini into thick round slices and grill them, like I do in my grilled zucchini salad recipe. Be careful not to slice the zucchini too thinly, or it might burn on the grill. You also want the zucchini rounds to have some bite to them after grilling.
- Long slices. If you want to have the length of zucchini spears in a different shape, you can also cut both ends off the zucchini, and then slice it lengthwise into flat, thickish zucchini planks (¼ to ⅓-inch pieces).
Grilled zucchini recipe ingredients
Zucchini on the grill does not require very many ingredients. Just add some seasoning and some good extra virgin olive oil. Here is what I used to make this zucchini recipe:
- Zucchini - You’ll need 3 medium-sized zucchini. Cut the zucchini lengthwise, and then cut each half right down the middle to make 4 long spears per zucchini.
- Seasoning - Use any seasoning you like. I used y dried oregano and a big pinch sumac for some acidity and a bold, bright finish. (You can learn all about sumac here, if you’re not familiar).
- Extra virgin olive oil - A medium-intensity fruity oil like our Italian Nocellara EVOO would be a good option to coat the zucchini and prevent it from sticking to the grill grates.
- Lemon juice - The juice of half a lemon squeezed onto the hot grilled zucchini adds tang and brightness.
How to grill zucchini
Cooking zucchini on the grill is one of the easiest ways to enjoy this summer squash in about 10 minutes Here’s how to grill zucchini perfectly:
- Season the zucchini spears or batons. In a large mixing bowl, add 3 medium zucchini that have been cut into spears. Sprinkle with kosher salt, black pepper, and seasonings of choice. (I used 1 teaspoon each of dried oregano and sumac.) Drizzle with 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil and toss to combine. Make sure all the zucchini is well-coated in oil and seasoning.
- Heat the grill. Lightly oil the grates of an outdoor grill or indoor griddle and heat to medium-high.
- Grill the zucchini. Arrange the seasoned zucchini spears on the grill or griddle, flesh side down on the hot grates. Grill for about 4 minutes, or until you see some deep grill marks. Flip the zucchini over so it is now skin-side down. Grill for 4 to 5 minutes, then turn the zucchini over on the remaining flesh side that had not been charred. Cook for just a couple more minutes.
- Finish with lemon juice. Remove the tender zucchini spears from the grill and arrange on a platter. Immediately squeeze the juice of half a lemon all over. If you have used sumac to season the zucchini, sprinkle a generous amount to finish. If not, you can garnish with some red pepper flakes for color and subtle heat. Serve immediately.
Serve it with
Leftovers and storage
Grilled zucchini can be stored for up to 4 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Reheat it in a 350 degrees F heated oven until warmed through.
More zucchini recipes to try
Easy Grilled Zucchini
- Place the zucchini spears in a large bowl. Add the kosher salt, black pepper, and seasonings. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil and toss to combine, making sure all the spears are well-coated with the seasoning.
- Lightly oil the grates of an outdoor grill or indoor griddle and heat over medium-high.
- When your grill or griddle is hot, arrange the zucchini spears flesh-side down on one of its sides. Grill until you see some deep char marks (about 4 minutes or so), then flip the zucchini over so the skin side is now touching the hot grates. Grill for 4 to 5 minutes, then turn the zucchini one last time over on the other side of the spear (the side that is not charred yet). Grill for a couple more minutes.
- Remove the spears from the heat and arrange them on a platter. Immediately squeeze half a lemon all over, and if you’ve used sumac (which I highly recommend) sprinkle a generous amount to finish. Serve immediately.
- How to choose the best zucchini for grilling - Medium-sized zucchini (around 6 inches long) are the best option. Zucchini that is too large will be watery and flavorless. Also pick zucchini that is firm, rich in color, and has a good bit of the stem attached. (Zucchini with a bit of stem lasts longer than zucchini without.)
- Cutting a zucchini into spears or batons - Simply the the zucchini in half lengthwise, and then cut each half lengthwise once more. This will give you 4 equal zucchini batons.
- What to serve with grilled zucchini - It makes a healthy side next to a variety of entrees, such as lamb chops, cilantro lime chicken, and Chilean sea bass. Or, serve it as an appetizer with a dip like Romesco sauce, whipped feta, or whipped labneh.
- Leftovers and storage - Refrigerate leftover grilled zucchini for up to 4 days in an airtight container. Reheat in a 350 degrees F heated oven for a few minutes until warmed through.
- Visit our online shop to browse quality Mediterranean ingredients including extra virgin olive oils and spices (like the sumac used in this recipe).