Easy Sautéed Zucchini, Squash, and Tomatoes With Chilies and Herbs Recipe

The essence of late summer in a bowl, with a touch of heat. J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

I spend a lot of time writing about complex techniques, but in truth, most of the stuff I like to cook for myself at home is pretty simple. This is one of those nice and easy summer dishes that relies only on great produce—zucchini, summer squash, and tomatoes—and simple technique, but comes with a little bit of a rough twist at the end.

Why this recipe works:

  • Hitting the squash and zucchini with very high heat gets them to brown rapidly before they have a chance to lose too much moisture and turn mushy.
  • Briefly cooking the tomatoes keeps them nice and brightly flavored.

Recipe Facts



Active: 10 mins
Total: 10 mins
Serves: 3 to 4 servings

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  • 1 large zucchini, split in half lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1 large summer squash, split in half lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Serrano chili, finely minced
  • 1 small shallot, finely minced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, split in half
  • 1 tablespoon juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives


  1. Toss zucchini and squash with 1 1/2 tablespoons oil in a large bowl, making sure that no pieces are stuck together. Season with salt and pepper.

  2. Heat remaining oil in a large cast iron or stainless steel skillet over high heat until lightly smoking. Add zucchini and squash and spread in a single layer (or as close to a single layer as possible). Cook without moving until well browned on first side, about 1 1/2 minutes. Flip pieces with a thin metal spatula and continue to cook until browned on second side, about a minute longer. Add chili, shallot, and tomatoes, and toss to combine. Cook, tossing and stirring gently with a wooden spoon until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Add lemon juice, parsley, and chives. Toss to combine, season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve.

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