Pan Fried Zucchini with Lemon and Parmesan

There’s just something about this time of year. Right after the holidays, I always crave fresh, light, bright foods. I’m sure it’s a bodily reaction to all the rich, indulgent eating that goes on around Christmas. I mean, really, we just spent way over a month eating turkey, dressing, homemade cakes, pies, candies, prime rib, roasted buttery vegetables, and loaded mashed potatoes. I can’t imagine why I’d crave something fresh, can you?

When I want something fresh, light, and easy, this is one of the recipes that I often turn to. I know most people would think of this as a summer recipe when zucchini are overrunning the garden, but I like it year round. And zucchini are always available and inexpensive in my grocery store.

Sliced rounds for Pan Fried Zucchini with Lemon and ParmesanSliced rounds for Pan Fried Zucchini with Lemon and Parmesan

All you need to do is slice your zucchini into about 1/4″ rounds, then salt and pepper it on both sides.

Browning zucchini

Heat a good, heavy skillet over medium heat and add some olive oil to the pan. Then cook the zucchini until it’s golden brown on one side, flip it over and cook the other side.

Be sure to add the zucchini in a single layer to the pan so the slices don’t overlap and make good contact with the pan. Work in batches and keep the finished slices warm in a low oven.

When you’re finished, arrange the zucchini in a serving plate, squeeze on a little lemon juice and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Last step – enjoy!

Pan Fried Zucchini with Lemon and Parmesan
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Tender zucchini, pan fried and topped with lemon and Parmesan cheese.
  • 4 small zucchini, washed and cut in 1/4-inch rounds
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3-4 tblsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tblsp. grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Generously sprinkle both sides of the zucchini slices with salt and black pepper. Set aside.
  2. Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. When the skillet is hot, add half the olive oil.
  3. Place the zucchini in the pan, making sure that the slices don’t overlap. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the bottom of the slices is nicely browned. Turn and cook the other side until browned.
  4. Transfer finished zucchini slices to a baking sheet and keep warm in a 200° oven while you finish cooking the remaining slices.
  5. Transfer the cooked zucchini slices to a serving plate. Squeeze lemon juice over and sprinkle with grated Parmesan.
Original recipe from "Welcome to Claire's"

Other zucchini recipes you might enjoy from around the internet:

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  1. Joycelyn says

    I love the versatility of zucchini, and like you, use it year round. I make a dish similar to yours with the exception I cut my zucchini into smallish cubes, mix them with fresh asparagus cut roughly the same size, then saute the lot in a mixture of olive oil & avocado lemon oil, adding as I go, lemon juice, lemon zest, a handful of chiffonade basil, kosher salt & freshly ground white pepper. I quite often use grated asiago to top instead of parmesan, but that’s only because I love asiago more.
    It is the only vegetable dish my oldest grandson will eat & the only vegetable he will scoop right from the pan if there is any left over! lol

    • says

      Thank you so much for this comment, Joycelyn. When a blogger receives so few comments as I do, it’s really hard sometimes to know whether anyone out there is actually “listening.” Thanks for letting me know that someone is tuned in :-)

  2. says

    My mom always made pan fried zucchini, it was our favorite. The only problem, we slathered ours in butter. Well you have to admit, butter pretty much rocks right? :-) Hugs, Terra

  3. Patty says

    Hi Lana, I’ve been looking at your recipes
    and see that you cook alot like I do. I am
    a descendant of Irish Billy also. I was so
    happy to find your website and delicious recipes.
    Bon Appetit’.

    • says

      Hi Patty. I’m so happy to hear that you’re enjoying the blog. It’s always nice to “meet” another Dunn relative. If you’d like to email me privately, I’d love to know how we’re related. You can reach me at

  4. Tessa Reeve says

    hmmmm… I wonder if you could then take the completed zucchini and dehydrate it for a lovely snack food….hmmmm


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