Zucchini with Pesto
Zucchini with Pesto is a perfect low-carb and Keto summer side dish and if you use purchased basil pesto this is extra quick and easy to make! I first made this recipe with my early summer Spinach and Basil Pesto, but use any pesto you have on hand!
For this week’s Friday Favorites post, I’m recommending this easy and tasty recipe for Zucchini with Pesto! Whether you’re growing basil and making pesto or buying purchased pesto, this dish that combines quick pan-fried zucchini with pesto is a great side dish.
If you’re growing a vegetable garden, you may not have zucchini yet, but PIN the recipe now so you can find it in August when the zucchini are in overdrive. For those of you who are lucky enough to have a garden, you can never have too many zucchini recipes, so check after the main recipe for some more zucchini dishes I’ve enjoyed.
What ingredients do you need for this recipe?
(This is only a list of ingredients; please scroll down for complete printable recipe. Or if you use the JUMP TO RECIPE link at the top of the page, it will take you directly to the complete recipe.)
- Olive Oil (affiliate link)
- large cloves of garlic, sliced
- salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
What types of pesto can you use for the Zucchini with Pesto?
I’d love this recipe with any kind of pesto, and I first tried it with the Spinach and Basil Pesto I made when I didn’t have much basil. Then I made it with my favorite Basil Pesto with Lemon and that was absolutely delicious as well. And if you want to make this extra easy to get on the table, you can definitely make it with my favorite purchased pesto as well.
Can you make the Zucchini with Pesto recipe with other summer squash?
Summer squash refers to squash that has a soft skin that can easily be pierced with a fingernail, and this recipe is a perfect way to use any type of summer squash, including yellow crook-neck or straight-neck squash, Patty Pan squash, or other summer squashes.
Want more tasty ideas for using pesto?
Check out Low-Carb and Keto Recipes with Pesto for more tasty ideas for using basil pesto!
How to make Zucchini with Pesto:
(This is only a summary of the steps for the recipe; please scroll down for complete printable recipe. Or if you use the JUMP TO RECIPE link at the top of the page, it will take you directly to the complete recipe.)
- Wash zucchini and cut into slices that are about 1/2 inch thick.
- Heat the oil and then saute the garlic slices for 1-2 minutes, or until you smell garlic. (This is called “seasoning the oil” in Chinese cooking.)
- Add zucchini to the hot pan, in a single layer if possible.
- Cover and cook about 4 minutes, turning the zucchini once or twice so it gets browned on all sides.
- Here’s my zucchini the first time I turned them, just starting to get brown.
- When I turned them again I was getting more of the nice browned color I wanted. After four minutes, remove lid and cook zucchini a minute or two longer if needed, or until the zucchini is nicely browned and is tender-crisp.
- As soon as it reaches that point, stir in Spinach and Basil Pesto, Basil Pesto with Lemon, my favorite pesto from a jar, or whichever pesto you’re using.
- Stir around gently until all the zucchini is coated with pesto, season with salt and fresh ground black pepper, and serve immediately.
Ten More Zucchini Recipes to Start Zucchini Season:
- Easy Cheesy Zucchini Bake
- Garlic-Lover’s Vegetable Stir-Fry
- Vegetarian Stuffed Zucchini
- Zucchini Bake with Feta and Thyme
- How to Grill Zucchini
- Zucchini Carpaccio (Raw Zucchini Salad with Lemon, Herbs, and Goat Cheese)
- Grilled Zucchini Greek Salad
- Roasted Summer Squash with Feta Cheese and Basil
- Zucchini Crust Vegetarian Pizza Margherita
- Marinated Zucchini Salad
- 3 medium sized zucchini
- 1 T olive oil
- 3 large cloves of garlic, sliced
- 1/2 cup Pesto (see notes)
- salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- If using pesto that has been refrigerated, remove it and let come to room temperature.
- Wash zucchini and trim off ends. Cut zucchini into 1/2 inch slices. (For larger zucchini, I would cut in half lengthwise and then into slices.
- Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in large heavy frying pan with lid.
- Add garlic cloves and saute 1-2 minutes, just until you start to smell the garlic, then remove garlic cloves and discard.
- Add zucchini to hot pan, arranging them in a single layer if possible.
- Turn heat to medium, then cover and cook about 4 minutes, turning the zucchini once or twice.
- After 4 minutes, check to see if both sides are browned and the squash is getting as tender as you’d like it.
- Cook 1-2 more minutes, uncovered, as needed until zucchini is tender-crisp and any liquid is evaporated.
- Turn off heat and spoon pesto over zucchini and stir gently. Let it melt for a minute or two, season the zucchini to taste with salt and fresh-ground black pepper, put into serving dish, and serve immediately.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 223Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 313mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 3gSugar: 3gProtein: 6g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.
Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
This Zucchini with Pesto is a perfect side dish for any low-carb or Keto diet plan as well as any phase of the original South Beach Diet. Although pesto like this is relatively high in fat, pine nuts and olive oil are both considered “good fat” by South Beach and you’re not eating a huge amount of pesto.
Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Zucchini Recipes to find more recipes like this one. Use the Diet Type Index to find recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest, on Facebook, on Instagram, on TikTok, or on YouTube to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.
Historical Notes for this Recipe:
This recipe was first posted in 2007, when I was making pesto with spinach from my garden! The recipe was last updated with more information in 2023.