Easy Pan-Seared Zucchini with Chili Garlic Oil

Easy Pan-Seared Zucchini with Chili Garlic Oil

If you're looking for the best way to enjoy garden zucchini while keeping it healthy and delicious, this easy recipe is one of my favorite ways to make pan-fried zucchini.

The full recipe takes 15 minutes to make and with just a few basic ingredients, you can transform this humble vegetable into a mouthwatering, low carb veggie side.

What makes this simple side dish truly special is the delicious flavor the oil mixture adds, infusing every part of the scored zucchini with garlic, herbs and chili. Once you try it, you’ll come back to this simple recipe over and over!

Pan-fried zucchini make a healthy side dish with most main courses. For example, try it with our Gluten-Free Pickle-Brined Chicken Bites or Baked Almond Flour Chicken Tenders.


  • 3 zucchini (I prefer smaller zucchini or medium zucchini)
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil (for frying)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (I use extra virgin olive oil)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 clove garlic (finely grated)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or to taste)
Prep time:
5 minutes
Cook time:
10 minutes
Total time:
15 minutes
Yield: 3 servings | Prep time: 5 minutes | Cook time: 10 minutes | Total time: 15 minutes


I prefer to use smaller zucchini for this recipe. Fresh zucchini, the ones that are young and not too big, will hold their shape better and won't become soggy when you cook them. On the other hand, older and larger zucchini have high water content and can turn mushy and taste a bit bitter when cooked. Remember this when shopping in the grocery store.


1. Prepare the oil mixture: to a small bowl, add extra virgin olive oil, Italian seasoning, finely grated fresh garlic, salt, and red pepper flakes.

Stir well to combine.

2. Cut off the ends of zucchini, then slice zucchini in half lengthwise so that you have two equal halves.
3. Using a sharp knife, lightly score zucchini in a cross hatch pattern. This step will help the flavors of the oil mixture infuse the zucchini.

4. Heat avocado oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. 
5. Carefully place zucchini halves into the hot pan open face down (the hot oil is essential for keeping zucchini from getting watery). Sear untouched for about 5 minutes, until they develop a nice golden brown color.

Flip and cook over medium heat for another 3-5 minutes. Adjust the cooking time to achieve your desired level of doneness (the exact cooking time depends on how thick your zucchini halves are and how cooked you like them, I like slightly crisp zucchini).

6. Finish by adding a drizzle of garlic chili olive oil mixture. You may also adjust salt, if necessary.

Recipe Video

Note: This post may contain affiliate links for products I like. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This means that if you click on a link and make a purchase, I'll earn some coffee money at no cost to you, which I promise to drink while creating more helpful recipes like this ;) Thank you for supporting My Delicious Meals!

About Alena

Welcome to my website!

I’m Alena, the blogger at MyDeliciousMeals since 2010. My goal with MyDeliciousMeals is for you to discover the joy of cooking and to find lots of new favorite recipes that your family will enjoy. I’m so happy you stopped by!


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