Grilled zucchini is so tasty when you use fresh, firm, in season zucchinis! The olive oil and balsamic vinegar marinade is superb.
Grilled zucchini, to me, is a healthy summer staple. I get so excited in June when the local farmer’s market starts carrying young, firm zucchinis.
Here in California, I can actually get zucchini year round, so I do indulge in one of my favorite zucchini recipes – baked zucchini fritters – quite often.
But when it comes to this recipe, where the zucchini itself is the star of the show, you really want those fresh, firm zucchinis that you can only get in season.
The ingredients you’ll need
You’ll only need six ingredients to make this tasty side dish (exact measurements are included in the recipe card below):
- Fresh zucchini
- Olive oil
- Balsamic vinegar
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper
- Garlic powder
How do you make zucchini crispy on the grill?
This is a very simple recipe. The detailed instructions are in the recipe card below. Here are the basic steps:
- Slice the zucchini.
- Brush with a mixture of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and garlic.
- Then grill until just tender, and not a second too long.
You want your zucchinis nice and firm, not limp and mushy. The best way to make them crispy on the grill is to get the grill hot (but not too hot) and to avoid overcooking the vegetables.
What is a good seasoning for zucchini?
Fresh zucchinis are tasty and don’t need a lot of seasonings. As you can see in the recipe card below, I like to use olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and garlic.
Do you grill zucchini with the skin on?
Yes! The skin is edible and tasty. There are two exceptions though. If you can tell that the skin has been waxed (i.e. it’s unnaturally shiny), then it’s best to peel it off.
You might also want to peel the skin off very large zucchinis because it can be bitter.
Is grilling healthy?
The main issue with grilled food is that charred food is considered very unhealthy. It’s unclear how big the risk really is outside of the lab, and charred vegetables are possibly safer than charred meat. But I still don’t think we should ignore this issue.
So I try to grill my food without charring it. As you can see in the photos, the zucchini is nicely cooked, but it is not burned.
The best way to prevent charring is to avoid grilling on very high heat and to turn the food frequently instead of just midway through cooking. Certainly, keep a close eye on it and don’t overcook.
What to serve with grilled zucchini?
What about leftovers?
If you have leftovers, you can keep them in the fridge in a sealed container for 2-3 days. It’s best to use them cold, as you would antipasti.
I like to make myself a lunch platter with cold grilled zucchini, feta cheese cubes, salami chips, black olives, and cherry tomato salad.
Balsamic Grilled Zucchini
- 2 large zucchinis, unpeeled (about 1 lb.)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- Preheat grill, or a grill pan, over medium-high heat. I used my George Foreman Grill.
- Trim the zucchini edges and slice crosswise into ½-inch-thick rounds.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, kosher salt, black pepper and garlic powder. Brush the zucchini rounds with the mixture, on both sides. Set aside any remaining marinade.
- Grill the zucchini slices until just tender, 3-4 minutes on each side. In my dual contact George Foreman grill, I grill 3 minutes on the first side, then 2 more minutes on the second side.
- Brush the grilled zucchini slices with the remaining marinade and serve.