Rating: 3 stars
2 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 1
  • 4 star values: 0
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 1

How long does zucchini take to cook? This foolproof way to cook zucchini is also the easiest and fastest. Just steam it on the stovetop for a few minutes and you have a healthy vegetable side dish to add to dinner.

EatingWell.com, February 2018; updated October 2022



How to Get Perfect Steamed Zucchini

Pick the Perfect Zucchini

The best zucchini are free of breaks, gashes and soft spots. They should feel heavy for their size and have glossy, unblemished skin. Smaller squash (under 8 inches) are sweeter and have fewer seeds.

How to Slice Zucchini

Hands using a knife to cut a zucchini on a wood cutting board
Credit: Joy Howard

1. Use a sharp knife to trim away the ends.

Hands using a knife to cut a zucchini on a wood cutting board
Credit: Joy Howard

2. Slice the fruit crosswise into rounds.

How Long Does Zucchini Take to Cook?

Steam zucchini in a steamer basket on the stove for 5 minutes. Opt for less time if you want to preserve more of their crispness.


If you don't have a steamer basket, there are other ways to steam zucchini. Check out our story on how to steam without a steamer.

How to Use Steamed Zucchini

Steamed zucchini is versatile. They can be their own side dish by simply tossing them in butter or olive oil, chopped fresh herbs or pesto. Salt and pepper enhance their flavor, as does a squeeze of lemon juice. You can cool and chop steamed zucchini and add them to a salad. Add steamed zucchini to casseroles, frittatas and pasta. Steaming zucchini is just one way to enjoy this vegetable. Check out more ways to cook zucchini here.

Additional reporting by Jan Valdez


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Bring 1 inch of water to boil in a large saucepan fitted with a steamer basket.

  • Add zucchini. Cover and steam until very tender, about 5 minutes.


Large saucepan, steamer basket

Nutrition Facts

1 cup
37 calories; protein 2.6g; carbohydrates 6.7g; dietary fiber 1.9g; sugars 4.8g; fat 0.7g; saturated fat 0.2g; vitamin a iu 430.9IU; vitamin c 38.6mg; folate 51.7mcg; calcium 34.5mg; iron 0.8mg; magnesium 38.8mg; potassium 562.3mg; sodium 17.2mg; thiamin 0.1mg.

1 1/2 vegetable