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Food Factor: Zucchini and Tomatoes

by Natasha Haynes, MSU Extension Service

I’m always looking for easy vegetable dishes with a lot of flavor, and this one hits the spot!

This recipe serves four, so you may need to double it, depending on the size of your family.

Did you know you can save some calories and fat by cooking your vegetables in water or broth instead of butter or oil? At about 100 calories per teaspoon, fat can add up quickly. This recipe calls for butter or margarine, but the dish is so flavorful, I’d encourage you to try water or broth and save the calories. Be sure to cover the pan with a lid to trap the steam and keep the veggies from sticking to the pan.

What I love about this recipe is that you can use it year-round, with fresh tomatoes in the summer when they are in season, and canned tomatoes in the winter.

Note: The original recipe said to cook the onions and garlic for 5-7 minutes, which was too long when we tested the recipe. We’ve modified the recipe here on the blog to 3-5 minutes. If you click the link to the printable version, be sure to change the time or watch your pan carefully. No one wants burned garlic!

Zucchini and Tomatoes


- 2 tablespoons butter or margarine

- 1/4 cup onion, chopped

- 1 garlic clove, chopped

- 1 pound zucchini, sliced

- 2 tomatoes, peeled and diced, or 1 (16-ounce) can of diced tomatoes, drained

- 1/4 teaspoon salt

- black pepper (to taste)

- 1 teaspoon sugar

Wash hands with soap and water.

Gently rub zucchini and fresh tomatoes (if using) under cold running water.

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook until tender, about 3-5 minutes.

Add zucchini, tomatoes and seasonings.

Cover pan, reduce heat and cook until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.

Thanks to the USDA MyPlate Kitchen program for this printable recipe.

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