Grilled Zucchini & Red Onions with Lemon-Basil Vinaigrette

by Shawnda on June 29, 2011

in Lighter & Healthier,On the grill,Salads,Sides,Veggies & Starches,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.

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


{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Maureen June 29, 2011 at 12:14 am

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.


2 Blog is the New Black June 29, 2011 at 5:50 am

I love simple, delicious meals like this!!!


3 sherri lynn June 29, 2011 at 6:25 am

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


4 Joanne June 29, 2011 at 11:17 am

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


5 Kristy June 29, 2011 at 2:00 pm

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.


6 Lisa @ The Cooking Bride June 29, 2011 at 2:45 pm

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 . . .


7 Charissa June 29, 2011 at 2:49 pm

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!


8 Kelly June 29, 2011 at 3:39 pm

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


9 Julia June 29, 2011 at 4:06 pm

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


10 Amanda June 30, 2011 at 1:18 am

This looks just perfect!


11 Cook Tutorial June 30, 2011 at 5:00 am

Tastes delicious. Combination of ingredients is good.


12 Rosa June 30, 2011 at 5:17 am

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…


13 Tina June 30, 2011 at 2:01 pm

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!


14 Kristina July 2, 2011 at 9:20 pm

This was very good! Thanks for the recipe.


15 sarah @ two tarts July 3, 2011 at 6:57 am

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


16 Jen July 6, 2011 at 7:44 pm

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!


17 Barefeet In The Kitchen July 7, 2011 at 7:51 am

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!


18 Jamie July 17, 2011 at 4:25 pm
19 Jaclyn July 28, 2011 at 4:12 pm

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.


20 foodiebride July 28, 2011 at 4:43 pm

Yep, the oil goes in the vinaigrette!


21 natalie (thesweets life) August 6, 2011 at 2:30 pm

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


22 Barb May 28, 2013 at 5:44 pm

You are a gem!!!


23 Sherry in Union, KY October 6, 2013 at 4:35 pm

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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