Spiced Zucchini | Component Cooking

Even though it’s officially fall, my refrigerator still has quite a bit of summer produce- especially summer squash and zucchini. And so, I thought it was time to share one of my vegetable-based components: spiced zucchini. It’s simple and is the perfect companion to grain bowls, quesadillas, and eggs. I typically roast vegetables but the zucchini does best with high-heat and I’ve found I tend to saute it more often than not. Add to that freshly ground spices and you have yourself a good start to dinner.

Spiced Zucchini | Component Cooking

Spiced Zucchini | Cooking Component

A summer component with 5 ingredients, this spiced zucchini is wonderful in tacos, enchiladas, and grain bowls.


  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 medium zucchini (see note)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • Sea salt, to taste


  • Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the cumin and coriander seeds. Toast, shaking the pan, until the spices have browned and are fragrant. Transfer to a mortar and pestle or spice grinder to grind.
  • Dice the zucchini into ¼” cubes. Wipe out the skillet and return to medium to medium-high heat. Add the the olive oil to the pan followed by the zucchini. Cook, only stirring a few times, until the zucchini is almost browned and tender. Add the spices and continue to cook until the zucchini is browned.
  • Remove the zucchini from the heat and add the lemon juice and salt to taste. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator and use within 4 or so days.


Recipe Notes

Tips & Tricks: “medium zucchini” is rather subjective but I use zucchini that are around 10″ long 2 to 3″ thick.

For the spices, grinding your own spices is really the key to flavor but pre-ground spices will work. Use a 1:1 ratio.

Stock up: get the pantry ingredients you will need: zucchini, spices, lemon

Nutrition:  see the information.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving As Served
Calories 63 Calories from fat
% Daily Value
Total Fat 5.2 8%
Saturated Fat .7 4%
Sodium 10 0%
Carbohydrate 4.4 1%
Dietary Fiber 1.5 6%
Sugars 2.6
Protein 1.5

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

Calories 2000
Total Fat Less than 65g
Sat Fat Less than 25g
Cholesterol Less than 300mg
Sodium Less than 2,400mg
Total Carbohydrate 300g
Dietary Fiber 25g

Spiced Zucchini Variations


Herbs: At the end of cooking, stir in a handful of chopped cilantro, parsley, or even basil.

Spice: If you like things on the spicier side, add a pinch of cayenne or crushed red pepper. You could also use ground chili peppers.

Garlic: Before adding the spices to the zucchini, add 1 clove of minced garlic and cook until golden.

How to use the spiced zucchini

Quesadillas/Tacos: Add the cooked zucchini to quesadillas or use as a taco filling. The zucchini works well with beans (especially pinto and black beans) as well as lentils.

Enchiladas: Use the zucchini as enchilada filling along with beans or other vegetables.

Grain Bowls: Top grain bowls with a few spoonfuls of the zucchini and finish with a fried egg, crumbly, salty cheese and/or salsa.

Omelette: Use the zucchini as a filling for an omelette. I love doing an herb-heavy omelette with zucchini and cheese tucked inside.

Dip: Blend the zucchini with yogurt or cashew cream to make a creamy zucchini dip. Serve with crackers or toasted bread.

Recipes that use/could use spiced zucchini

Black Bean Bowl with Freekah | http://naturallyella.com
Cumin Zucchini Salad with Pinto Beans and Pepitas | @naturallyella
Black Lentil Enchiladas with Zucchini | Naturally Ella

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