Sauteed Zucchini, Tomatoes, and Onions

I don’t know about you, but sometimes it’s hard for me to label food as truly delectable if it isn’t smothered in cheese, slathered with a rich and creamy sauce, or encased in breading and submersed in piping hot oil. Indulgent foods have a leg up on everything else; that’s just the way it is. Few people prefer raw broccoli to golden, crispy french fries (and if you do, God bless you).

But is the idea that food can only be good if it is made rich and fattening simply a product of our fast food-eating, cookie-stuffed cupcake-baking nation? Perhaps we’ve become so brainwashed by the influx of indulgent eats in America that we’ve forgotten how delicious a simpler dish can be. Maybe it’s not true that richer is always better; maybe that’s just something we’ve been conditioned to believe.

Let me help you reverse the brainwashing process. If there’s anything out there that will convince you that food doesn’t need cheese, cream, or a deep-fryer to be yummy, then these Sauteed Zucchini, Tomatoes, and Onions will. The veggies are sauteed in light but flavorful olive oil with fresh garlic to make them tender, succulent, and delicious. It’s an incredibly easy dish to make, but so good. The zucchini softens to the perfect texture (tender, but not mushy) while the tomatoes provide sweetness and the onions give a little kick. It is flavorful, colorful, and tasty, a must-make side dish.

A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:

  1. You can use diced or stewed tomatoes in this. I recommend diced because the texture is better for this dish. However, if you have someone like my sister who doesn’t like chunky tomatoes, then stewed would be better.
  2. Don’t even think about using powdered garlic. Go fresh!
  3. This is so quick and easy that it makes a perfect side for weeknight meals.

Sauteed Zucchini, Tomatoes, and Onions

Recipe by The Smart Cookie Cook


  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 large or 2 medium zucchini, sliced & halved
  • 1 14.5-oz. can of diced or stewed tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Optional: grated parmesan cheese, for topping


  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add zucchini and onions. Let sauté for 10-15 minutes, or until slightly softened.
  3. Add the garlic. Let sauté for an additional 2 minutes.
  4. Add the tomatoes and stir combine. Continue until warm and tender. Sprinkle with kosher salt to taste. Remove from heat. Sprinkle with cheese and serve.

Posted in Dinner, Healthy, Side Dish, Vegetarian and tagged , , , , , , , .

Colleen Bierstine


  1. I totally agree – I think our taste buds have all changed over time to prefer foods that are saltier and sweeter because of all the salt and sugar in processed foods. I love zucchini and summer squash though, especially with a sprinkle of Parmesan on top!

  2. Yes, sometimes we just need to step back and try some simpler dishes. This one does have some tasty veggies (I consider them the big three) and is lightly seasoned which makes for a great side dish. Glad you posted this one.

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  5. This looks easy and delicious! I hated zucchini as a kid – not sure why my mom would yum and hum over her second helpings (granted, she didn’t make me eat it!) But a colleague of my husband brought it for dinner one night and I realized I had become my mother after all. Not totally a bad thing. I didn’t get her recipe but will make yours this very minute. Thanks! And, possibly blog it with your permission and button! Let me know.

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