15-Minute, Fork Tender Grilled Zucchini
Looking for the best grilled zucchini recipe? Look no further: this 15 minute grilled zucchini is fork tender, never soggy, and packed with flavour. It’s the perfect summer side dish recipe for when you have a ton of zucchini to use up – and I’ve shared a bunch of zucchini marinade ideas so you can switch it up and never get bored of this nutritious zucchini recipe!
One of my favourite food habits is to make half my plate fruits and vegetables at each meal, so I cannot tell you how happy it makes this dietitian when you ask for more healthy vegetable side dishes like this easy grilled zucchini recipe. Zucchini, like other types of summer squash, is often overlooked as a healthy vegetable but it’s actually packed with nutrition benefits.
This is one of those plant-based recipes that everyone loves, even kids! And if you’re looking for more nutrient-dense recipes that never sacrifice flavour for nutrition, be sure to pick up one of my bestselling cookbooks, Eat More Plants or Good For Your Gut.
How to Grill Zucchini
- Make sure that your grill is nice and clean when you start, to help avoid sticking! Oiling the grill before cooking will help too.
- Preheat grill to medium-high, between 400-450 F (205-230 C). A high heat ensures plenty of flavour, and creates tender zucchini without sogginess.
- Trim + cut zucchini as desired (see below for tips!) and toss with a bit of oil and desired seasonings.
- Grill for 3-5 minutes a side, until grill marks form and zucchini is fork-tender, then serve right away!
Tips + tricks for the best grilled zucchini ever!
Grilling zucchini couldn’t be easier…but there are a few tips + tricks I’ve picked up to help you make the best grilled zucchini you can!
- Use small zucchini: 1 to 2 inches in diameter is ideal for a firm texture and small seeds
- Don’t slice zucchini too thin, as it releases more water. Cutting into ½ inch (1 cm) thick slices or spears, as I do, helps to create a tender texture without getting soggy.
- Don’t be shy with seasonings! Zucchini is a blank slate, like tofu or pasta. Add plenty of herbs + spices, like the zucchini marinade ideas below.
- Don’t stack grilled zucchini, as it will get soggy as water continues to release. If not serving immediately, place grilled zucchini in a single layer on a wire rack fit over a cookie sheet until ready to serve.
Grilled Zucchini Marinade Ideas + Variations
Grilling does add flavour, so sometimes, all you might want is oil, plus plenty of salt and pepper…but it’s definitely WAY more delicious to do a quick marinade! Try these variations on my original recipe below so you never get bored.
- Lemon + Garlic: add zest of ½ a lemon + increase garlic powder to 1 tsp
- Balsamic: swap lemon juice for balsamic vinegar
- Curried: omit oregano + add 1 tsp curry powder
- Paprika: omit oregano and add ½ teaspoon sweet or hot paprika
- Cheesy: omit oregano, increase garlic powder to 1 tsp + add 1 tbsp of nutritional yeast.
Bonus…add a topping! Fresh herbs like basil, parsley or thyme are beautiful with grilled zucchini. Try a bit of extra flaky salt, or some chile flakes for heat! Vegan hack: microplane a Brazil nut over the finished zucchini because it looks like parmesan…or make your own easy vegan parmesan from almonds.
More healthy zucchini recipes
15 Minute Fork Tender Grilled Zucchini
- 1 pound zucchini, 1-2 inch (2.5 – 5 cm) in diameter
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- freshly cracked pepper, to taste
- Preheat grill to medium-high (between 400-450 F or 205 – 230 C).
- Trim ends of zucchini. For 1 inch zucchini, slice lengthwise into halves and then slices halves to produce quarters. If zucchini are larger, you may want to slice the halves into thirds. The goal is spears that are roughly ½ inch thick.
- Whisk lemon juice, olive oil, garlic powder, oregano, cumin, salt and pepper in a shallow dish. Toss spears in the marinade, using fingers or a brush to ensure all the marinade ends up on the spears. Set aside for a few minutes until the grill is hot.
- Grill zucchini spears 3-5 minutes until grill marks appear on one side, flip and grill 3-4 more minutes until fully tender. Serve immediately.