Full of flavor and easy to make, this grilled zucchini with parmesan cheese makes the perfect side dish! It is quick to prepare with some oil, vinegar, parmesan cheese and a couple spices.
This is an easy side dish to go along with anything you make for dinner! It can be cooked along side other foods on the grill like grilled potato wedges and only takes a few minutes to cook.
One of my favorite things about summer is all the fresh produce! There are so many things we can do with fresh veggies from grilling them to adding them to salads like lentil pasta salad and ranch pasta salad. And fresh vegetables are usually a quick side dish that go well with everything.
And honestly, sometimes just slicing tomatoes and cucumbers are good too!
Zucchini - You can cook the amount you need here, we usually use 2.
Oil - We use olive oil but you can use your favorite. Just be sure it does not have a lower smoke point then olive oil.
Vinegar - Red wine vinegar is best for flavor.
Dried minced onion - No substitutions recommended, fresh onion will not turn out the same here. You can use onion powder, but the minced onion is best.
Italian seasoning - If you do not have Italian seasoning, you can use half a teaspoon each of basil, parsley and oregano.
Garlic powder - Garlic powder is best, fresh chopped will not be the same.
Parmesan cheese - We used store bought grated cheese. You can use fresh grated, but we actually prefer the store bought grated for this recipe.
Salt and pepper - Recommended for taste, but can be left out if you prefer.
Grilled yellow squash
You can use this recipe for more then just zucchini. Many times we use this to make grilled yellow squash too and it is delicious!
Yellow squash is very similar in texture and the cook times are the same. Even tho they are usually bigger then zucchini, it's the thickness of the slices that matter not how big the squash is.
Quite often we will make 1 yellow and 1 zucchini. You do not have to make any changes for the yellow squash.
Making it grilled zucchini parmesan
You can make grilled zucchini parmesan with sauce and mozzarella if you want to add some extra flavor!
We have tried this a couple times and it turned out delicious! It is best to make slightly bigger slices (not thicker but longer diagonals) or even make thin slices straight down the whole zucchini.
You want to follow the recipe as it is written up until the flipping of the zucchini. Once you flip it, add a spoon of your favorite sauce. Then topped your grilled zucchini with mozzarella and cook until the cheese if fully melted.
You want a spatula large enough to remove your zucchini from the grill so you do not lose your sauce and mozzarella off the top.
Making the zucchini
This is one of the easiest grilled side dishes you can make! You can adjust grill temps based on what ever else you are grilling. It adapts well and there is no need to worry about an internal temperature - you can eat zucchini raw so cook them to desired texture.
Grill basket or no basket
A grill basket for vegetables makes this even easier, but it isn't required. Sometimes I use mine and sometimes I put them right on the grill grates. The one thing to note is that zucchini slices do fall through the grates easier then bigger vegetables so do be careful if not using a basket. I have lost a few more then I would like to admit to the grill before.
There are 2 different types of baskets here that work great:
First is the grill basket that is completely closed - This one is great because it closes so instead of flipping your zucchini or stirring it, you just flip the basket over and cook the remaining time.
I do love this kind of basket but don't use it as often due to limited space for other stuff on the grill while using it.
Second is the grill pan, they have baskets like this too but the pan fits more. This is great if you are doing something small next to your grilled zucchini with parmesan, but not if you need a lot of grill space. The baskets similar to this pan are easy and smaller, but don't fit as much either.
How often do I use the basket? It depends on what I am cooking with it. If I am making a grilled t-bone steak, I let them rest for about 10 minutes so I use the basket and let the zucchini cook while the steaks are resting.
If I am making something that doesn't need to rest for that long but takes up space, I put them directly on the grates of the grill. It is all about what is easiest for you at the time. The baskets are a great tool to have on hand tho!
Prepping the zucchini
Slice your zucchini on a diagonal so that the pieces are a little bigger. They are less likely to fall into the grill this way if you choose to use your grates. I know this from experience!
Use a gallon storage bag to coat your vegetables! You will need to swoosh around the seasonings with the oil and vinegar to get them to mix well, but it is easy cleanup to use a bag to coat them!
After adding in your zucchini, close the bag leaving a little bit of air in it. Shake the bag to coat all of the zucchini well.
Keep it in the bag until ready to grill. I usually prep it about 15 minutes to half hour before going on the grill. Then I let it sit on the counter in the bag.
Grilling times and temperatures
The temperature and times for grilled zucchini will vary based on what else you are grilling. It will adapt to any temperature since it is not thick and it is not getting cooked to an exact temperature internally (you can safely eat zucchini raw.) But 400-450 degrees Fahrenheit is best for a solid inside with a softer outside and perfect sear marks.
For 400 degrees Fahrenheit, it will be about 3-5 minutes before flipping. You would then cook another 3-5 minutes before it has nice sear marks. If you are cooking something at a lower temperature, you will want to cook it a little longer.
Lower temperatures may not produce the same charred marks you get at 400 degrees.
For the times, I judge by the sear marks on each side. It does not have to reach a certain internal temperature to be safe. It is done at the consistency you like it at.
Frequently asked questions
There are a couple ways to cut it. I prefer to cut it into diagonal slices but you can also cut it in long slices. I find it is easier to serve to kids if it is cut into smaller slices and not the length of the zucchini. You can also cut them into fries to make zucchini fries.
Cutting it either way will still work here!
No I do not and I do not recommend it. There is no need to remove the skin. It has plenty of nutrients in the skin and it does not taste bad either. The skin also helps keep thin slices together more as it cooks.
Grilled zucchini is best when it is softer on the outside with nice sear marks but not too soft on the inside. It is still good if it gets soft inside, but it is better if it is not too soft.
The best way to judge is based on how you prefer it to taste. The nice sear marks are a strong indicator that it is done.
The best way to grill it is on a grill heated to 400-450 degrees Fahrenheit. You want to sear the outside without over cooking the inside. When you cook it at a higher temperature, you get the sear marks with a softer outside but inside is not soggy.
Yes! Grilled cucumbers are delicious and this recipe works the same for them. We grow them and always have a lot so we make them like this often. Being you can eat cucumbers raw, you will cook until desired tenderness.
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Here are some other great foods cooked on the grill:
Grilled Zucchini with Parmesan Cheese
- 2 zucchini or more if needed
- 3 Tablespoons parmesan cheese grated
- 1½ Tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1½ Tablespoons olive oil extra virgin
- ½ Tablespoon dried minced onion
- 1½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt see notes
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper ground
- Slice zucchini into diagonal slices about ¼ inch thick.2 zucchini
- Heat grill to 400-450° F
- In a storage or gallon bag combine vinegar, oil, minced onion, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Shake bag around to combine well. Add in the parmesan cheese and massage the bag a little to mix it completely.3 Tablespoons parmesan cheese, 1½ Tablespoons red wine vinegar, 1½ Tablespoons olive oil, ½ Tablespoon dried minced onion, 1½ teaspoon Italian seasoning, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, ¼ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Add the zucchini to the bag and close the seal leaving a little bit of air in the bag. Shake the bag gently to coat all of the zucchini and set aside until ready to go on the grill.
- If using a grill basket, line the zucchini on the grill basket and place on the grill. Close lid.If using grill grates, place the zucchini directly onto the grill. Close lid
- Cook for about 3-5 minutes. Flip and cook for another 3-5 minutes.Remove from grill and enjoy!