This will be my last posting in the “mini-series” My Kids Love Veggies. Though I have more to share, we don’t want to lose our non-veggie-eating audience so we’ll move on to other topics. As I  mentioned before, zucchini are prolific and inexpensive and this is my favorite way to fix it. Do you think of zucchini as a mushy, tasteless vegetable? Not here.  By adding olive oil and onion…and by letting the zucchini “steam” in their own liquid produces a delicate but distinct flavor.

To start, I sautè a medium onion, diced, in 2-3 T. olive oil.

Once the onion is soft, I add the chopped zucchini.

Now, I sprinkle it generously with salt and pepper…and without adding any water, I cover the pan and turn the flame to medium.

After about 10 minutes. I open the lid and stir everything around.

See all that steam coming out? That’s just from the liquid within the zucchini. By keeping the lid on, the liquid comes out of the zucchini and steams it. Even after cooking for about 15-20 minutes. the zucchini pieces still have definition and weren’t mushy. I think some types of zucchini may cook up differently as I have had the zucchini occasionally get very soft…yet it always has a nice flavor, even if it’s less defined.

We love it just like this. But you might want to add a grating of Parmesan. Here are some other options to consider:

Steamed Zucchini with Lemon

After the zucchini is cooked, squeeze a half a lemon over it…gives it a perky, fresh taste.

Steamed Zucchini with Pesto

I had a few tablespoons of basil pesto leftover in the fridge and stirred it into the cooked zucchini. Gave it a nice, different flavor.

Steamed Zucchini with Tomatoes

When adding the zucchini to the pan, add a diced tomato too. Let them steam together…you might want to toss in a little oregano with it; goes well with the tomato flavor.

Steamed Zucchini on pasta

When I have more zucchini than I know what to do with, I like to use it as my friend, Apollonia, in Rome did. She served us pasta with zucchini…fixing it as I’ve described here, only increasing the olive oil (1/3-1/2 C.) and let it simmer a lot longer, perhaps 45 minutes. It gets nice and soft…stir into cooked pasta, adding some of the pasta water if it seems too dry. Grate Parmesan on top. Delicious!



Self-Steamed Zucchini

Yield: Serves 3-4

Self-Steamed Zucchini


  • 1 lb./450 g fresh zucchini, about 3, sliced or diced
  • 2-3 T. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced


  1. In a medium-sized pan, saute the diced onion in olive oil over low heat until soft.
  2. Add the sliced/diced zucchini, sprinkle generously with salt and pepper...and without adding any water, cover the pan and turn the flame to medium.
  3. After about 10 minutes. open the lid and stir everything around.
  4. Cover again and continue cooking until tender. This will vary depending on how large the pieces are, how high your heat is, and even how soft you like them.
  5. Sprinkle with Parmesan if desired and serve.

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