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Creamed Zucchini with Garlic & Basil

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Made simply with grated zucchini, butter and cream, this creamed zucchini makes an easy and elegant summer dish.

Bowl of creamed zucchini with garlic and basil.

This rich yet delicate creamed zucchini is easy to make. You simply sauté grated zucchini and garlic in butter, then finish it off with a touch of heavy cream and fresh basil. The zucchini gets tender and creamy, almost melting 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.

What you’ll need to make Creamed Zucchini

Ingredients including heavy cream, zucchini, and basil.

How to make creamed zucchini

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 in a food processor.

Transfer the zucchini to a clean kitchen towel.

Pile of shredded zucchini on a towel.

Wring out all of the excess water.

Twisted towel full of shredded zucchini.

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

Shredded zucchini and garlic in a skillet.

Add the heavy cream.

Cream pouring into a skillet of zucchini and garlic.

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

Basil and other seasonings added to a skillet of zucchini.

Serve and enjoy.

Bowl of creamed zucchini with garlic and basil.

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

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Creamed Zucchini with Garlic & Basil

Made simply with grated zucchini, butter and cream, this creamed zucchini makes an easy and elegant summer dish.

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


  • 1¾ pounds zucchini (preferably smaller zucchini, as they are less watery)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 tablespoons heavy cream
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil


  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.
  3. Make Ahead Instructions: The whole recipe ahead of time. Just cover and refrigerate. You can reheat it in the microwave right before serving.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

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

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Gluten-Free Adaptable Note

To the best of my knowledge, all of the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free or widely available in gluten-free versions. There is hidden gluten in many foods; if you're following a gluten-free diet or cooking for someone with gluten allergies, always read the labels of your ingredients to verify that they are gluten-free.

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  • This was absolutely delicious! Definitely be making this many times. Thanks

    • — Cary on September 20, 2023
    • Reply
  • I love this recipe. I end up with a lot of zucchini from my garden and I usually shred it and freeze it. Would frozen zucchini work in this recipe? If so, would you squeeze the water out before or after freezing the zucchini? Thanks

    • — Kate on August 18, 2023
    • Reply
    • Glad you like it! Yes, you can use frozen zucchini. I’d probably squeeze the water out both before freezing and after it’s thawed.

      • — Jenn on August 21, 2023
      • Reply
  • This was really good! I am not usually a fan of Zucchini but this sounded like a good combination. I am of the camp that all soft squash needs a little freshly grated nutmeg and, for our taste, a little pinch of cayenne was added. I’ll share a tip too; when needing to squeeze water out of Zucchini I use my potato riser, with the small hole plate, pack it full and apply slow pressure at first to pack the contents then squeeze as hard as you can. This technique works better than a towel and is a more consistent outcome.

    • — Valerie M. on March 15, 2023
    • Reply

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