These healthy and easy Sautéed Asian Zucchini and Onions take less than 15 minutes for an easy Whole30 and low carb side dish! They are perfect for busy weeknights.
I’ve been eating this Whole30 and gluten free zucchini side dish for years, but never posted a recipe for it. It’s something I came up with on my own one day without measuring anything, and both my husband and I loved it so much that we started making it almost twice a week as a side dish. Since I’ve been asked several times for the recipe after showing my dinner plates on Instagram Stories, I finally decided to share this easy pan fried zucchini recipe with you!
Sautéed Asian Zucchini and Onions
The reason I keep going back to this Whole30 zucchini recipe again and again is that not only is it super flavorful, it takes less than 15 minutes total to make! The sautéed zucchini and onions are coated in a delicious sauce of coconut aminos, fish sauce, and toasted sesame oil, and while it sounds simple, it’s incredibly addicting. I’ve actually eaten the whole batch on my own in one sitting, because I was enjoying it more than the main meat dish!
How to Cook Asian Zucchini and Onions So They Aren’t Mushy
One of my biggest pet peeves about cooked zucchini is when they are mushy. Because they have a high water content, it’s quite easy to overcook zucchini. I found that the way you cut zucchini affects the texture a lot in this easy pan fried zucchini recipe.
I’ve tried cutting them in rounds before, which is done often by home cooks, but I didn’t like how they turned out at all and it was actually difficult to get them to cook evenly this way. For best results, I found that slicing them into thicker sticks is the way to go:
- Do not peel the zucchini.
- Cut the zucchini into 3 even pieces widthwise.
- Take each third and quarter each piece LENGTHwise.
- Then, you take each quarter and halve it lengthwise.
You should be left with 8 zucchini sticks from each third of a zucchini, and a total of 24 pieces from one zucchini. Makes sense? Once they are cut, you are ready to make these easy and flavorful sautéed zucchini and onions!
Another method to creating a crispy and crunchy gluten free zucchini side dish is to add the onions in later. In most stir-fry recipes, onions are added in with the garlic at the beginning. However, in this Whole30 zucchini and onion side dish, you’ll want to add the sliced onions at the end so they aren’t cooked all the way through when you are serving it.
All the textures and flavors meld together so beautifully in these sautéed Asian zucchini and onions, and the sesame seeds added at the end creates a yummy crunch that’s just irresistible. Once you make this dish, I bet it’ll be something you make over and over again in the future when you need a quick and healthy side dish!
Other recipes you might love…
- How to Make Perfect Zucchini Egg Nests (Paleo, Whole30, Keto)
- Paleo Zucchini Cornbread Without Corn (Nut Free)
- Paleo Shrimp Alfredo with Artichokes Hearts (Whole30, Keto, AIP)
- Refreshing Paleo Vegan Dill Cucumber Salad (Whole30 & AIP Option)
Sautéed Asian Zucchini and Onions (Paleo, Whole30, Low Carb, AIP Option)
- Cut each zucchini into 3 even pieces widthwise.
- Quarter each piece of zucchini lengthwise.
- Take each quarter and slice in half lengthwise, so you have 8 zucchini sticks from 1/3 of a zucchini.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add avocado oil.
- Add garlic, and cook stirring for 1 minute until lightly browned and fragrant.
- Add the zucchini sticks and turn up the heat to to medium high. Sauté for 2-3 minutes while stirring until they are lightly browned.
- Add the onion slices and sea salt and cook stirring for 2 minutes until the onion is slightly translucent, but still crispy.
- Add coconut aminos and fish sauce and stir together for 1 minute. Taste, then add more sea salt if needed.
- Remove from heat, then stir in toasted sesame oil.
- Sprinkle with sesame seeds before serving.
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