Grilled Zucchini & Red Onions with Lemon-Basil Vinaigrette

in Cookouts & Picnics, Lemon, Lighter & Healthier, On the grill, Salads, Veggies, Whole30, Zucchini

Grilled Zucchini & Red Onion with Lemon-Basil Vinaigrette

Our garden continues to crank out zucchini like there’s no tomorrow. Luckily, “we” like zucchini! One of our favorite sides is grilled zucchini. But not just plain grilled zucchini. Noooo. We grew tired of plain grilled zucchini very soon after our plants started producing 3 baseball-bat sized zucs a day.

Grilled Zucchini and Red Onions

Grilling the zucchini caramelizes the rounds and adds a wonderful smokiness to the veggie. Paired with red onions that are incredibly sweet when grilled and a simple vinaigrette, they’re the perfect side dish for a weekend cook-out or barbecue.

Grilled Zucchini & Red Onion with Lemon-Basil Vinaigrette

Smokey grilled zucchini and red onions are topped with a fresh summery vinaigrette.


  • 1 lb zucchini, sliced into 1/3-inch rounds
  • 1 red onion, sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Zest and juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tsp spicy brown mustard
  • 3-4 large basil leaves, chopped


  1. Heat grill to medium.
  2. Carefully thread the onion rounds onto skewers (this will keep them in tact as rounds while grilling), making sure the skewer goes through every onion ring.
  3. Brush onions and zucchini rounds with 1/4 cup olive oil and season liberally with salt and pepper.
  4. Grill vegetables 9-10 minutes each side, until nicely caramelized.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk garlic, lemon juice, zest, mustard, oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper together.
  6. Place cooked vegetables on a platter, drizzle with dressing, and top with chopped basil leaves.


Yields: 4-6 servings

Adapted from Cook's Illustrated

Estimated time: 30 minutes

24 comments… add one
  • This dish looks delicious! I can’t wait to try it. I picked up some lovely small zucchini at the farmers market and was going to cook them with onions and soy sauce but this is a MUCH better idea. Thanks for sharing.

  • I love simple, delicious meals like this!!!

  • This looks delicious! I love all the zucchini recipes I’ve been finding lately!

  • Throw a handful of chickpeas on top of that and – oh look! It’s my lunch next week! Looks SO good.

  • Thank goodness- I knew I was going to have to find a new zucchini recipe or my family was going to revolt. This should help use up some of the excess from my garden.

  • I am so jealous of your zucchini! Our plants have tons of blossoms, but they all fall off! I’m worried they aren’t getting enough sun . . .

  • This is one of my favourite summer time things…zucchini and onions. But I don’t know if I’ve tried it with red onions…so now I’ll have to give that a try!

  • Looks delicious! Can’t wait to try it out!

  • This SCREAMS my name!!!! Grilled veggies, especially zucchini and onion are just wonderful!

  • This looks just perfect!

  • Tastes delicious. Combination of ingredients is good.

  • Rosa

    This dish is absolutely devine! I made this for lunch today and devoured the whole thing (I’m in mine 9th month of pregnancy hehe). The dressing really pulls the whole dish together. Thanks for posting this recipe. It is going into my regular rotation (even in the winter). 🙂
    PS: It derserves more than 5 stars…

  • Goodness girl, I swear we have the same food taste! I can always count on you for something that is right up my alley! This look SO good!

  • Kristina

    This was very good! Thanks for the recipe.

  • I am bookmarking this one for when my CSA starts cranking out zucchini. 🙂 Can’t wait! And gorgeous photos, as usual.

  • Too many zucchini- quite the problem to have. We’re still waiting for our first zucchini in Minneapolis- I’d be happy for just one baseball bat sized zuc!

  • This dish looks fantastic. We are swimming in squash as well. The pattypans have overtaken my kitchen! I just tried grilling it for the first time a couple weeks ago and fell in love with the taste and texture. I’m going to try it with some onions next time. Thanks!! I am loving your blog btw. I’ll be back!

  • Jaclyn

    This looks delish! Question for you – do you add the 2 T of olive oil to the vinaigrette? I think it’s missing from the instructions.

  • making this tonight to go with our grilled salmon and a tomato feta galette. can’t wait!

  • You are a gem!!!

  • Sherry in Union, KY

    This is an excellent dish. Due to rain, I roasted my veggies in the oven at 350F for 30 minutes. Thanks for the recipe!

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