Are you looking for an easy veggie that is sure to be a show stopper? Grilled zucchini is always a hit! I’ve always loved how grilling vegetables intensifies their flavors and add a hint of sweetness. Here, we take the flavors to the next level by finishing with a punchy dressing, feta, and pine nuts.
Zucchini is such a great side dish, and this recipe for grilled zucchini is one of my favorites. Do vegetables get any better than perfectly grilled zucchini topped off with feta and pine nuts?
There's something about the smoky flavor of grilled vegetables that I just can't get enough of. They are so versatile and work with almost any protein.
When it comes to grilling zucchini, I like to keep things simple. A little bit of oil, salt, and pepper is all you need to bring out the natural flavors of the zucchini. Then, just let the grill do its job!
The grill's high heat will quickly cook the zucchini, resulting in a tender yet slightly charred vegetable that is absolutely delicious.
Finish it off with a punchy dressing, feta, and pine nuts, and you have a delicious dish that is sure to jazz up your veggie repertoire.
Grilled zucchini recipes don’t get any better than this!
Ingredients for Making Grilled Zucchini
- Zucchini: You want two medium zucchini or one large.
- Oil: I use avocado oil, but you can use your favorite high-heat oil.
- Salt and pepper: Adjust the amount to your personal preference. You can use kosher salt or sea salt.
- Lemon Juice: Freshly squeezed lemon juice is best. (You can add lemon zest for even more lemon flavor.) For a fun twist, substitute balsamic vinegar.
- Garlic: I like fresh garlic, but ½ teaspoon of garlic powder may also be used.
- Thyme: I used dried thyme, but if you have fresh, ½ tablespoon of fresh chopped thyme is excellent here. Basil and oregano are other options.
- Feta: A block of feta in brine will have the most flavor. Parmesan cheese is an excellent alternative if you don’t like feta.
- Pine Nuts: Make sure you toast them for the best flavor.
Tips & Tricks
- Don’t have an outdoor grill or Ninja Foodi Grill? You can air fry these or use a grill pan.
- Yellow squash may be substituted for zucchini.
- The cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of the zucchini and how hot the grill grates are. The total time will need to be adjusted depending on the size of zucchini you use and if they are cut on the thinner or thicker side.
- Use ½ teaspoon of dried herb or ½ tablespoon of fresh.
Frequently Asked Questions
Toasting pine nuts is a quick and easy way to add a little extra flavor to your dishes. Simply place the pine nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat.
Stir frequently until the pine nuts are evenly browned. Be careful not to burn them! Once they're done, remove them from the heat and let them cool before using.
The best zucchini for grilling are ones that are about 6-8 inches long and 2-3 inches in diameter. They should be firm but not hard and have smooth, shiny skin.
Avoid zucchini that has blemishes or soft spots. If possible, opt for zucchini with smaller seeds.
When it comes to grilling zucchini, the thickness of the slices is crucial.
If they're too thick, they'll take forever to cook through and be waterlogged and mushy. On the other hand, if they're too thin, they'll burn before they have a chance to soften. The perfect thickness for grilling zucchini is between ¼ - ½-inch.
This allows the slices to cook through without losing their shape or becoming mushy. At the same time, they won't burn before they have a chance to soften, giving you that perfect balance of tenderness and char.
One of the challenges of cooking zucchini is that it can quickly become soggy and waterlogged.
There are a few things you can do to prevent this from happening. First, make sure to cut the zucchini into uniform pieces so that they will cook evenly.
Second, don't forget to preheat the grill before adding the zucchini. This will help to seal in the juices and prevent sticking.
Finally, be careful not to overcook the zucchini. It should be slightly charred on the outside but still tender in the center.
But before you start grilling, you might be wondering: should I salt zucchini beforehand? The answer is a resounding yes! Salting zucchini helps to draw out excess moisture, which can otherwise cause your zucchini to become waterlogged and soggy.
In addition, it helps to create a nice crisp texture on the outside of the zucchini slices. Simply slice the zucchini into rounds, sprinkle with salt, and let sit for about 15 minutes. Then, pat dry with a paper towel and brush with olive oil.
Tools Needed to Make Grilled Zucchini
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Leftovers can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to three days.
Can you freeze grilled zucchini?
You can freeze grilled zucchini!
Once grilled, you can allow the zucchini to cool to room temperature, then transfer to a freezer-safe container.
Store in the freezer for up to three months. When you're ready to enjoy the grilled zucchini slices, simply thaw overnight in the fridge and reheat on the stove or in the microwave.
How to Make Zucchini on the Grill or Ninja Foodi Grill Zucchini
Start by seasoning your zucchini with salt and pepper.
Allow it to sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes.
Brush the zucchini with half of the oil.
While the zucchini is resting, preheat your grill or Ninja Foodi Grill to high heat.
Combine the remaining oil, lemon juice, garlic, and thyme in a small bowl.
Grill the zucchini for 2 to 3 minutes and then flip. Continue cooking for another 2 to 3 minutes until you have grill marks on the second side.
Transfer the zucchini to a plate, and drizzle with the dressing. (If you prefer a more thorough coating, you can place the zucchini in a large bowl and toss it with the dressing.)
Sprinkle with the feta and pine nuts, and serve.
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Grilled Zucchini - Traditional Grill or Ninja Foodi Grill
- 2 zucchini sliced about ¼”-½” thick
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ¼ cup avocado oil divided
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic minced
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 tablespoons crumbled feta
- 1 tablespoon pine nuts toasted
- Season your zucchini with salt and pepper and allow to sit at room temperature for about 10 to 15 minutes.
- Brush the zucchini with 2 tablespoons of the oil.
- Preheat your grill or Ninja Foodi Grill to high heat.
- In a small bowl combine the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, lemon juice, garlic, and thyme.
- Grill the zucchini for 2 - 3 minutes per side, or until lightly charred.
- Remove from heat and transfer to a plate.
- Drizzle with the desired amount of dressing.
- Sprinkle with the feta and pine nuts, and serve.