Spanish Garlic Zucchini: Fresh and Flavorful Side Dish Recipe

Spanish cuisine is celebrated for its vibrant flavors and simple yet exquisite use of fresh produce. Among the many gems of Spanish cooking is a dish that elevates the humble zucchini to gastronomic heights: Spanish Garlic Zucchini. This dish is not just a testament to the versatility of zucchini but also to the magic that a few fresh ingredients can create when combined. Perfect as a side dish or a vegetarian main, this recipe is quick to prepare, bursting with flavor, and sure to be a new favorite.

Up-close view of Spanish Garlic Zucchini slices on a plate, with one piece forked.


  • 2 medium zucchini (about 400g)
  • 1.5 teaspoons salt
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • A pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Paper towels


  1. Prepare your zucchini by washing, drying, and slicing them into thick rounds. Salt both sides liberally.
  2. Lay the rounds out on paper towels to draw out moisture, and let them sit for half an hour.
  3. In a small pan, lightly toast the minced garlic, dill, parsley, and optional red pepper until they’re just fragrant.
  4. Fry the zucchini in hot olive oil until each side is golden and the texture is tender.
  5. Finish by topping the zucchini with the toasted spice mixture and a fresh grind of black pepper.

Serving Suggestion:

Spanish Garlic Zucchini is a versatile dish that can be tailored to suit a variety of dining experiences. Serve it hot as a stellar accompaniment to grilled meats or fish, where its garlicky zest complements the smoky flavors. It shines as a standalone star in a tapas spread, surrounded by olives, cheese, and sliced baguettes, inviting diners to explore a taste of Spain. If you’re leaning towards a plant-based meal, pair it with a hearty grain like quinoa or a bean salad for a fulfilling and balanced plate. For a refreshing finish, a light drizzle of lemon or a splash of sherry vinegar will enhance the flavors and add a delightful acidity. It’s also perfect for adding a vibrant side to paella, the Spanish national dish, making every bite a celebration of Mediterranean cuisine.

Tips for Perfect Preparation:

  1. If fresh herbs aren’t available, dried herbs can be a good substitute; just remember to reduce the quantity as they’re more potent.
  2. Enhance the flavors with a splash of lemon juice just before serving for a zesty kick.
  3. Enjoy this dish with a piece of crusty bread to complement the flavors and absorb the delicious olive oil.
  4. Store any leftovers in the fridge and reheat them gently to preserve the dish’s integrity and flavor.

Nutrition Information:

Spanish Garlic Zucchini is a healthful addition to any meal, rich in vitamins from the zucchini and herbs. Zucchini provides dietary fiber, vitamin C, and potassium, while olive oil offers healthy fats. Garlic not only adds a punch of flavor but also contains compounds beneficial for overall health. This dish is a low-calorie, nutrient-dense option that doesn’t skimp on flavor, making it ideal for those looking to enjoy a light yet satisfying meal.

Perfectly sautéed Spanish Garlic Zucchini rounds topped with herbs on a serving plate.

More Culinary Inspirations:

Delighted by the Spanish Garlic Zucchini? Our culinary journey doesn’t end here. Discover other flavorsome recipes that are just as easy to whip up and are sure to become staples in your kitchen:

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