Garlic Grilled Zucchini (How to Grill Zucchini)

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Grilled Zucchini is one of my favorite veggies to cook in the summer. It comes out tender and delicious in less than 10 minutes.

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Learn how to grill zucchini for the best summer side dish. Grilled zucchini is one of those dishes that once you start making, you won't stop. It can be seasoned in so many different ways and is loved by the whole family. We also love making this Garlic Grilled Broccoli and Grilled Cauliflower.

Once the warm weather hits, I am all about cooking vegetables on the grill and one of our favorites is zucchini. This healthy green veggie tastes extra special with the addition of some smoke and flavor from the grill, plus you can use it in so many different ways.

This garlic version is the one we make the most often, but there are so many different ways that you can season up zucchini for the grill. Use this as your base recipe and then get creative and start to experiment with different options.

What's the best way to cut zucchini for grilling?

There really isn't a wrong way to cut zucchini for grilling, but the way you cut it will affect how to grill the zucchini and how long it takes. Here are the main options and considerations:

  • Zucchini Spears: Cut the zucchini in half and then cut in half again into quarters. For the easiest option, leave the spears long to ensure they don't fall through the grill grates. If using a basket or foil, you can cut them in half lengthwise for a smaller spear.
  • Zucchini Planks: Cut both ends off of the zucchini. Hold the zucchini lengthwise and cut into 1/2-3/4 inch thick planks. This is a great option for grilling directly on the grates since it won't fall through.
  • Zucchini Halves: For smaller zucchini, you can simply cut them in half lengthwise. This only works with small zucchini. Larger zucchini will need to be cut into quarters or the outside will burn before the inside becomes tender. And extra large zucchini may need to be cut into eights or even sixteenths. 
  • Zucchini Coins: For larger zucchini, coins can be a great option. Simply cut the zucchini, in a slight diagonal, into large coins or circles. For smaller zucchini, this option can also work, but you will need to cook the zucchini in a grill basket or on foil so it doesn't fall through the grates.

Grilled zucchini in various shapes on a wooden cutting board.

How long do you grill zucchini?

Zucchini will take about 10 minutes to grill on medium heat, with the grill between 350-375 degrees. This is the ideal temperature for grilling zucchini so that the zucchini doesn't burn on the outside before it is cooked through. 

For thinner sliced zucchini, like those cut into thin planks or coins, they may cook more quickly needing just 3-4 minutes per side.

Whenever you are grilling zucchini, you will want to flip it over so that you can get grill marks and that delicious charred taste on both sides.

Should I salt zucchini before grilling?

Although it isn't necessary to salt zucchini before tossing it on the grill, it can make it come out even more delicious. Salting the zucchini pulls out some of the moisture. This leads to a firmer texture that won't get mushy or have more of a steamed vegetable texture. 

To salt zucchini, simply sprinkle the zucchini with salt and place in a colander. Let sit for ten minutes and then wipe dry with a paper towel. Then they are ready for the grill.

How to grill zucchini in foil?

Another option for grilling zucchini is to cook it in foil. You have two options for grilling zucchini in foil that will result in different textures.

The first is to wrap the zucchini in a foil packet and seal the foil around your zucchini. Simply lay out some sliced zucchini on a heavy piece of foil. Add some olive oil or butter along with any herbs, spices, or seasonings. Then seal the foil and place the packets right on the grill. Grill for 12-15 minutes. The resulting zucchini will be steamed in the foil and have a softer texture. 

The second option is to grill the zucchini on a piece of foil on the grill. This is basically a workaround if you don't have a grill basket. Simply grab some heavy duty foil, create a small basket, and add the zucchini. Toss with your oil of choice and any seasonings. Grill for 8-10 minutes, shaking the foil 1-2 times during cooking. 

Can I grill zucchini with squash?

Absolutely! Zucchini and summer squash both grill in the same amount of time so they are great to grill together. Just make sure to cut the vegetables in the same shape so they cook in the same amount of time.

Seasoning Ideas for Grilled Zucchini

When it comes to grilling zucchini, there are two main options when it comes to seasoning and adding flavor. Here are the ones we use the most often

  • Balsamic: Marinate the zucchini in olive oil, minced garlic, balsamic vinegar, and thyme for 30 minutes. Finish it on the grill and drizzle some extra balsamic vinegar on top before serving. 
  • Garlic and herb: Zucchini goes great with garlic and fresh herbs. Since garlic can burn on the grill, sometimes I prefer to use garlic powder for flavor. Combine that with your favorite dried herbs for a tasty coating.
  • Parmesan: Unless you are cooking the zucchini in a sealed foil pack, Parmesan is best saved for topping the already grilled zucchini. My favorite combination is grilling the zucchini with olive, salt, and pepper and then topping it with fresh Parmesan and lemon juice right before serving.
  • Cajun seasoning: For something spicy, toss the zucchini with olive oil and Cajun seasoning before adding it to the grill. This is one of our favorites.
  • Garlic butter: Since fresh garlic can burn on the grill, I usually save garlic butter to drizzle on the zucchini after cooking. Simply mince some garlic and melt it with butter in a saucepan or the microwave. When the zucchini comes off the grill, drizzle it on top. So good.
  • Lemon herb: Another post grilling option is lemon and fresh herbs, Simply combine olive oil, lemon juice, and your favorite chopped fresh herbs. Drizzle it on top of the zucchini right before serving.
  • Steak seasoning: For something savory, I love tossing the zucchini in steak seasoning before putting it on the grill. The flavor is out of this world.
  • Lemon pepper: Consider finishing the zucchini with some fresh lemon pepper. Look for one that comes in a grinder with dried lemon peels for the best flavor.

Grill zucchini spears on a white plate with a blue napkin.

Ways to Serve Grilled Zucchini

  • As a side dish with your favorite grilled proteins. We love ours with this Grilled Salmon, Grilled Pesto Chicken, or Grilled Pork Chops.
  • Use it for meal prep to add to salads, rice bowls, quesadillas, sandwiches, and more.
  • Chop it up after taking it off the grill and use it to make delicious omelets and scrambles.
  • Use it as a snack with hummus, light dressing, or salsa.
  • Make delicious vegetarian tacos with black beans and corn. 
The Recipe
Grilled zucchini with garlic on a cutting board.

Garlic Grilled Zucchini (How to Grill Zucchini)

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  • 4 zucchini
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

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Preheat the grill over medium heat.


Cut the zucchini into spears. Start by cutting the zucchini in half and then in half again so you have four quarters. For large zucchini, you may need to cut them into eights.


Toss the zucchini with the olive oil, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.


Place directly on the grill. Cook for 4-5 minutes and then flip over carefully using tongs. Cook for 4-5 minutes on the other side or until tender with dark grill marks. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 3/4-1 cup
Amount Per Serving
Calories 88
Calories from Fat 40
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 5g
Saturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 321mg
Total Carbohydrate 11g
Dietary Fiber 3g
Sugars 8g
Protein 4g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.

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About the author Meet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
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