Spiced Zucchini | Cooking Component

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

  • Author: Erin Alderson
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings
  • Cuisine: 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.


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.


  • Calories: 63
  • Sugar: 2.6
  • Sodium: 10
  • Fat: 5.2
  • Saturated Fat: .7
  • Carbohydrates: 4.4
  • Fiber: 1.5
  • Protein: 1.5
  • Cholesterol: 0

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.

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.

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