Creamed Zucchini with Garlic & Basil

4.5 stars based on 28 votes

Summer-Creamed-Zucchini-with-Garlic-and-Basil

Imagine creamed spinach, only with zucchini — it’s an elegant side dish that’s delicate and rich at the same time. It’s easy to make, too: you simply sauté grated zucchini and garlic in a bit of butter, then finish it off with a touch of heavy cream and fresh basil. The zucchini gets tender and creamy, almost melding into a purée. Try it with baked or grilled fish or roast chicken — and put the recipe in your entertaining file because you can make it ahead of time.

ingredients

Begin by grating the zucchini. You can do this by hand with a box grater or in a food processor fitted with the shredding disk.

shredded-zucchini

Transfer the zucchini to a clean kitchen towel.

zucchini

Wring out all of the excess water.

removing-excess-water

Melt the butter in a large skillet and add the zucchini and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, until the zucchini is tender.

cooking-zucchini-and-garlic

Add the heavy cream.

adding-cream

Then stir in the basil, salt and pepper and simmer until all of the cream is absorbed.

adding-basil-and-seasoning

Serve and enjoy.

Creamed-Zucchini-with-Garlic-and-Basil

This recipe was inspired by a Creamed Zucchini with Herbs recipe from Cook’s Illustrated

 

Creamed Zucchini with Garlic & Basil

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 10 Minutes
Total Time: 20 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 1-3/4 pounds zucchini (preferably smaller zucchini, as they are less watery)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil

Instructions

  1. Grate the zucchini by hand with a box grater or in a food processor fitted with the shredding disk. Wrap the shredded zucchini in a clean kitchen towel and wring out as much excess water as possible. Repeat a few times, replacing the towel if necessary.
  2. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shredded zucchini and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until the zucchini is tender, about 6 minutes. Turn the heat down to low; add the heavy cream, salt, pepper and basil and simmer until the cream is absorbed. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Serve warm.

Nutrition Information

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  • Per serving (4 servings)
  • Calories: 179
  • Fat: 16g
  • Saturated fat: 10g
  • Carbohydrates: 8g
  • Sugar: 5g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 3g
  • Sodium: 461mg
  • Cholesterol: 49mg

Reviews & Comments

  • 5 stars

    We are major zucchini fans and have frequently sauteed grated zucchini. Had never thought to add a bit of cream to it, so this caught my attention. And since we had just purchased some beautiful corn, I cut the corn off three ears and stirred it in just as the dish thickened. Heaven!!

    - Merry Richon on August 31, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    As we are not eating carbohydrates at the moment I made this dish to substitue mashed potatos…. Wow!!!
    I will never br missing potatos again with this fantastic, creamy recipe! Great with fish or steak or….
    Thanks!

    - Viktoria Busse on August 19, 2016 Reply
  • 1 stars

    I did not enjoy this. Like someone else said, it was bland. I love garlic and use lots and lots of it in my cooking, but all this tasted like was creamy garlic – no yum factor :( I won’t be making this again.

    - Pamela Hunt on August 3, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I made this for dinner tonight-absolutely awesome! I couldn’t see getting a kitchen towel all green so instead I just put the shredded zucchini in a colander and took handfuls of it and squeezed firmly to remove the moisture. I ended up doing this twice but it was pretty dry before I was done. I had to use dried basil, 1 tsp., and did add 1/2 tsp. of nutmeg and it turned out to be the best zucchini we had ever eaten!

    - Linda on May 11, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Wow! Just a couple of nights ago, we needed a veggie to go with the chicken, my husband had made. So, opened your website and clicked on veggies and sides. I was looking for something to do with zucchini and yellow squash. I saw this creamed zucchini recipe. I made it with the zucchini and squash. It was delicious! My husband and I loved it and would serve it at a dinner party. I only had dried
    Basil and half and half, instead of real cream. It was still a hit! I’ve loved all your recipes that I’ve tried! Thanks, Jen, for some new ideas!

    - Becky Jancosko on December 3, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Loved this! So yummy!

    - Cristine on November 25, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    We made this once for ourselves and loved it so much that we’ve made it twice for guests. Creamy and delicious.

    - Kathy on November 4, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Um…4 servings? Not at my house. ? My husband and I polished this off by ourselves — so scrumptious! Jenn, I trust your recipes so much that I would make them for the first time for company… thanks for doing what you do.

    - Susan Katz on October 14, 2015 Reply
    • That is so nice to read, Susan. Thank you! And so glad you enjoyed the dish :)

      - Jenn on October 20, 2015 Reply
  • 4 stars

    I was very intrigued by this recipe, as I love zucchini. I don’t believe I squeezed as much water out the zucchini as I should have, because it was difficult to get the dish to thicken. The garlic was a little too much, but perhaps my cloves were larger than average. I may saute some chopped onion or shallots next time around, or add a little nutmeg. I usually add nutmeg when I saute zucchini. I wanted a creamier texture, and I think I can improve on my initial results.

    - Paula Rankin on September 8, 2015 Reply
  • Is this good served cold?

    - Chris on July 28, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Chris, I prefer it hot. Sorry!

      - Jenn on July 29, 2015 Reply
  • Just made this dish and oh, was it delightful! Thanks Jenn.

    - Eve on April 28, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Simple. Quick. Delicious. I’ll be making this one often during zucchini season.

    - egbluesuede on August 14, 2014 Reply
  • 4 stars

    A friend gave me one giant zucchini from his garden at work today so I made this for dinner. It is a very quick dish wish is great for weeknights. I did have to squeeze a lot of water out of the zucchini since it was a large one. I used part heavy cream and part half&half since I was down to my last bit of cream. I also sprinkled a heaping tablespoon of parmesan on top before serving. My husband and I both liked it. thanks.

    - Danita on July 23, 2014 Reply
  • 4 stars

    I thought this was an elegant easy recipe to make. I used it for dinner with company and we all really liked the dish.

    - Kathy on July 21, 2014 Reply
  • I made this last night and really liked it. I thought it was missing a little something when I tasted it so I added 1/8 tsp or so of nutmeg and that made it out of this world!!

    - Betsy on July 18, 2014 Reply
  • 4 stars

    Just made this tonight. I’m trying to eat paleo so instead of using heavy cream I used a small can of coconut cream and really made sure I squeezed as much liquid out of the squash as possible. This has a really nice flavor and the texture was nice too.

    - Linda on July 15, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Absolutely fantastic. I love zucchini and I love this recipe. Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful recipes.

    - Suzan on July 14, 2014 Reply
  • 2 stars

    I made this recipe last week and felt that it was a bit bland. The texture was good and the recipe was easy to follow. We did add a bit of Parmigiano-Reggiano that was left over from the Grilled Pesto Shrimp recipe (which was wonderful) but my family felt it still lacked something.

    - April on July 14, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This recipe is fabulous. It is amazing how easy it was to prepare. And it makes me feel great adding more summer vegetables to my families diet. I love recipes that can be used for more then 1 meal. Next time I will add my leftover creamed zucchini to a pasta dish like lasagna roll ups, manicotti, or stuffed shells. Great budget stretcher as well!

    - Juliane McDavid on July 14, 2014 Reply
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    - Jenn on July 14, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I just made this and couldn’t be happier (maybe if I had more basil on hand, but I can’t complain). I used a combination zucchini/summer squash and it turned out great. Definitely in our summer sides rotation!

    - Katie on July 13, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Yummy ! I made it with grill chicken & corn bread & my family loved it. Can anyone suggest what I can replace the heavy cream with to make vegan friendly ?

    - Carrie Burkholder ( Arizona ) on July 13, 2014 Reply
    • Hi Carrie, You can just leave out the cream; won’t be quite as rich but it will still be delicious. Would also be wonderful with olive oil instead of butter.

      - Jenn on July 14, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I made this last night and it received rave reviews! Thank you so much, Jenn! I made it earlier in the day and then just heated it on the stovetop. It’s so easy and delicious.

    I made the Black Bean Salad with the Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette yesterday and am excited to try it today. Thanks for the awesome recipes…this is my new favorite site!

    - Valerie on July 13, 2014 Reply
  • Sorry to be so literal, but how would you prepare this ahead of time? Thanks!

    - Sally on July 12, 2014 Reply
    • Hi Sally, You can make the whole recipe ahead of time, then just cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. You can reheat it in the microwave. Please let me know how it turns out!

      - Jenn on July 12, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Fantastic, and sooo easy !

    - Ali on July 12, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This sounds yummy! I’ve made it with spinach but not zucchini. I wonder if some Parmesan shaved on top would make it too rich?

    - Rebecca on July 12, 2014 Reply
    • Hi Rebecca, I think Parmesan would be delicious!

      - Jenn on July 12, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I have not made this particular recipe, but I do have a very similar recipe from a long time ago. So similar that I am going to go ahead and rate this even though I have not made this version. Cream improves everything, right? I used to serve it over pasta. It is great way to use up the zucchini crop many get overwhelmed with this time of year. Thank you and I am inspired to try this soon.

    - Karen T on July 11, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This was very good. I will be serving it all summer long.

    - Lisa on July 11, 2014 Reply
  • 4 stars

    Ok, I am learning to cook. What exactly does “serve immediately” mean? To me, it means have everyone seated and run to the table with the food. But I did this and half the meal ended up on the floor. Can someone define the term for me? Should it actually just say “serve” instead of “serve immediately”?

    - Daryl in Dallas on July 10, 2014 Reply
    • Hi Daryl, I’m so sorry you lost half your dinner on the floor but your comment made me laugh :) In recipe writing, “serve immediately” just means serve hot but you make a good point – I’ll stick to “serve hot” from now on. Hope you were at least able to enjoy it.

      - Jenn on July 10, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Wonderful Recipe!

    - Arthur in the Garden! on July 10, 2014 Reply
  • Thanks Jenn, you recipes always sound and look so good. I would have never thought I would try creamed anything but I am definitely going to try this. If it is near as good as your pesto shrimp it will be delicious!

    - Karen on July 10, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This looks absolutely fabulous!!! Have both zucchini and summer squash…Think I’ll be making this with my roast chicken tonight! Thanks for the inspiration!!

    - Kris Smith on July 10, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I love zucchini and have plenty from my In-Law’s garden when they are in season, like right now. So, I always look for new ways to prepare them. I love your simple yet decadent Creamed Zucchini with Herbs! So delicious. I can’t wait to make it again!

    - Amy Tong on July 10, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I love zucchini and this recipe looks delish. We’ll be having this tonight. Thanks!

    - Patty on July 10, 2014 Reply

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