June 6, 2018

Sautéed Zucchini (Oil-Free)

This soft, slightly sweet sautéed zucchini is delicious, nutritious and a healthy plant-based dinner side.

Health Benefits of Zucchini

Before we get to the recipe, let's talk about the health benefits of sautéed zucchini. Zucchini has a high nutrient-density; it packs a ton of nutrients in a low calorie count. A small zucchini has over 20% of your RDA for vitamins A and C. It also has vitamin K, folate, manganese, potassium, and magnesium. Talk about healthy.

Sautéing without Oil

How do you cook sautéed zucchini without oil, you may ask. The solution is both easy and tasty: vegetable broth. Many recipes use oil to sauté because you need some sort of liquid to ensure the vegetables don't burn in the pan. Oil does the job just fine, but you don't need it! To avoid the high calories and artery-clogging consequences of cooking with oil, you can simply replace the oil in the recipe with another liquid.

Personally, I like to use vegetable broth; it gives the dish a lovely flavor depth. If you don't have vegetable broth, don't worry! Any liquid will do. If I'm out of vegetable broth, I just use water. It doesn't end up as flavor-filled, but it keeps the veggies from burning (and that's important).

Sautéed Zucchini

How to make Oil-Free Sautéed Zucchini

First, roughly chop your onion and garlic. I LOVE adding onion and garlic to dishes. The strong, spice of garlic, combined with the sweet, crunch of onion is irresistible. Plus, garlic and onion are both filled with gut healthy nutrients. It's a win win!

Next slice your zucchini. You can chop the zucchini into chunks or slice into rounds like I did. My rounds were about 1/8" thick. The thinner you slice, the quicker the zucchini cooks.

Heat the vegetable broth in a large pan. Use a non-stick if you have one. Then add the garlic. Wait until you smell the beautiful aroma of cooked garlic and then add the zucchini. Cover and allow to cook, stirring occasionally.

Your zucchini will start out looking raw and opaque. You'll know it's done when it is soft and turning translucent.

At this point, depending on how soft you want your sautéed zucchini to be, you can remove it from the heat and enjoy. I prefer firm veggies, so I keep a close eye on my zucchini to make sure it doesn't get mushy.

Recipe Prayer

Jesus, thank you for the gift of food. We marvel at your wonderful creation. Thank you for giving us Zucchini, filled with vitamins and minerals to nourish our bodies and keep us healthy. Let us be mindful of you as we eat them and give glory and praise to you always. Amen.

**This post contains affiliate links, for more information see my disclosure here.

Sautéed Zucchini (Oil-Free)

This soft, slightly sweet sautéed zucchini is delicious, nutritious and a healthy plant-based dinner side.















  • 1 Small Onion
  • 4 Cloves Garlic
  • 6 Small Zucchini
  • 1/4 to 1/2 Cup Vegetable Broth


  1. Roughly chop the onion and the garlic. Slice the zucchini into rounds.
  2. Heat the vegetable broth in a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat. When it starts to steam, add the onions and cook until soft.
  3. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant (about 30 seconds).
  4. Add the zucchini, cover and allow to cook for about 15 minutes, stirring every 3 minutes or so. When the zucchini is soft, it’s done. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

If the veggies start to stick to the pan, add more broth.

Thanks for contributing to our community! Your comment will appear shortly.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
August 28, 2021
Henry (Hank) Mader
thank you for the oil free recipe. I'm getting introduced to wild Bolete mushrooms here in Colorado, and everyone sautes Bolete's in butter or olive oil. I'm on a veggie, oil free regimen for heart health reasons. and your recipe suggestion may fill the bill. I can't wait to give it a try.
August 13, 2021
Lindsey Kuhn
This is so fun! Loving your creamy photography :)
August 13, 2021
Lindsey Kuhn
This looks incredible! So yummy and pretty photography