Cooking Zucchini Whole So That It Isn’t Mushy
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Learn how to cook zucchini on the grill or under the broiler using a method that cooks it perfectly, never soggy or mushy. Just delicious.
I’m a huge fan of raw zucchini. Have you ever had it raw? Let me tell you, this squash (and yes, zucchini really is a type of squash) has a mild flavor and a good soft crunch. A crunch like a cucumber, not like a carrot. It’s not as juicy as cucumber though. Much drier. I put raw zucchini in salads or on veggie and dip platters all the time. I’ve even used raw zucchini slices in place of crackers for canapes. See these over here.
While I love raw zucchini, I never used to like it cooked. It was always super mushy and wet. I didn’t like that texture at all. Then one day I tried cooking the zucchinis whole. The first time I did it on the grill.
How To Grill Zucchini
Rub whole zucchinis with olive oil, salt and pepper and then put them straight onto the grates over medium-high direct heat. When they get blackened underneath a bit (4-6 minutes), roll them over. Cook them until there are more black marks underneath, a few more minutes. Then put them onto a cutting board and sliced them, 3/4 inch thick. They’ll be caramelized and soft on the outside but the insides will still al dente, not mushy at all. You’ll love them completely.
You can also do the same thing, essentially, under the broiler. I actually find this easier for every day because I can do it whether we’re grilling or not.
How To Broil Zucchini
Again, keep the zucchinis whole and rub them with olive oil, salt and pepper. Then put them on a broiling pan (like this one) or a good heavy-duty oven-safe skillet (I like cast iron, like this, something that can really handle high heat) and they go under the broiler just until their skins are darkened in spots (8-10 minutes). Take them out and slice them. You’re not going to believe how unmushily delicious these are!
What To Do With Your Blackened Zucchini
I usually slice it in 3/4-inch circles and then serve it as is as a side dish, but there are other things you can do with cooked zucchini. Two of my favorites are to slice it thinner, 1/4-1/2 inch, or dice it, and toss it with cooked pasta, olive oil and Parmesan cheese. Tomato sauce would work too. Second, let the zucchinis cool then slice them thinly and put them in a salad. So good.
I can’t wait to find out how you guys like this. Here’s a printable version of the broiling instructions for you. Have a great day!
- 4 small zucchini
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 3/4 tsp. coarse salt (kosher or sea salt)
- 1/2 tsp. coarse black pepper
- Preheat the broiler and adjust the shelf so that it is 6-8 inches from the heat source.
- Put the zucchini on a plate. Drizzle with olive oil and then rub it all over them. Sprinkle on all sides with salt and pepper.
- Transfer to a broiling pan or heavy-duty oven-proof skillet and broil until the skin is blistering and browning in spots, 8-10 minutes. Use tongs to transfer to a cutting board. Cut off the stem ends and discard. Slice zucchini into 3/4-inch chunks and serve hot or slice thinly to serve hot or to let cool and serve at room temperature in a salad.
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