This incredibly delicious and vegetarian zucchini stew will make the perfect light low-calorie meal on beautiful summer days. It is packed with a bunch of Mediterranean flavors and pairs fantastic with a light and refreshing yogurt sauce and some crusty bread.
If you would like to try more vegetarian recipes, go have a look at our Vegetarian Recipe category. And if you’ve just fallen in love with zucchini, we also have a bunch of healthy zucchini recipes like zucchini tomato casserole, feta cheese stuffed zucchini boats or cheesy zucchini Casserole.
Why We Like This Recipe
- It is incredibly easy and simple to make. You will be surprised how quickly you can whip up this delicious meal.
- It is very low in calories and not heavy at all. This light zucchini stew will make the perfect lunch, appetizer, or even late-night dinner if you aren’t that hungry. It is perfect for summer and is packed with delicious Mediterranean flavors!
- It tastes so good with some crusty bread. We enjoy dipping bread into it!
About The Ingredients
Naturally, the hero ingredient of this stew is the zucchinis. We prefer the pale green variety but literally, any type of zucchini or courgette will work fine.
Then we of course have the fresh summer tomatoes, which add a tangy and slightly sweet flavor to the zucchini stew. We wouldn’t recommend using canned tomatoes, although you can if you’re in a pinch.
This recipe allows you to play around with spices a lot. Although it does already contain a perfect blend of aromatics, you can always remove and add some that meet your needs. We sometimes love adding some chili or cayenne pepper for an added kick.
If you want to create a heartier stew, you can add additional chopped potatoes, or other vegetables like sweet potatoes, pumpkins, or carrots.
How to Make
This is a flavor-packed vegetarian stew that only uses basic ingredients to create an incredibly unique and mouth-watering stew. And what makes it even better is that there is still room for you to play around with the flavors!
First, prepare the zucchini. We love to dice them as they are better in a stew. But you can chop them roughly in larger pieces if you want.
Second, make the base of the stew. Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat and add your onions. Allow them to cook until they are translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Reduce the heat and add the tomato paste, cooking it for about 1 minute while stirring.
Add the diced zucchini with their skin on and cook them for about 2-3 minutes, making sure they are covered well with the tomato paste. Place a lid on the pot and allow the mixture to cook for about 5 minutes on low heat.
Then, allow to cook and serve. After your zucchini has sweated a bit, add the chopped tomatoes, garlic, salt, and all the other seasoning ingredients. Allow the mixture to simmer for about 20 minutes.
Finally, garnish the zucchini and tomatoes stew with some parsley and serve immediately.
- We like to make our zucchini quite chunky and large. A rough chop is more than fine as they shrink a lot while they cook. This also helps add more texture to a stew, which can often be mushy.
- We would highly recommend choosing the best and freshest tomatoes for this recipe as it is a big flavor component. You can (and even should) make your own tomato paste and choose some fresh summer tomatoes.
- If you are in a hurry though, you can use chopped canned tomatoes, or even whole peeled tomatoes for juicier flavors.
- This recipe is fantastic as it only uses simplistic flavoring ingredients like garlic, salt and pepper, cumin, thyme, and paprika. Obviously, all of the ingredients in this recipe create a well-balanced flavor profile, but it does leave a lot of space for experimenting!
- You can substitute the parsley with fresh dill or basil as a garnish. These will still add a refreshing herb flavor that compliments the flavors of this stew well.
This is a staple summer dish in Turkish cuisine, especially in the more southern parts. We always love serving it with a dollop of yogurt.
You can buy store-bought plain yogurt, although we prefer making our very own. Our yogurt recipe is incredibly easy to make and you don’t need a ton of skills or equipment.
You can definitely freeze this stew for up to 3 months! The most important thing to keep in mind when freezing vegetable stews, or any dish really, is to keep a consistent and stable freezer temperature.
You can definitely add some type of meat to these like chicken or beef, however, we love it most as a vegetarian dish.
You can substitute the parsley with virtually any herb. We would recommend herbs that have a fresher and less umami flavor like basil and dill, even fennel. These herbs pair fantastic alongside zucchini with tomatoes and onions.
You can buy store-bought tomato sauce, however, fresh summer tomatoes do always work better. And never skip adding tomato paste! The tomatoes are a big component of this recipe and give it a deliciously tangy, sweet, and slightly acidic flavor profile.
More Zucchini Recipes
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Mediterranean Zucchini Stew Recipe
A very light stew with zucchini, onions and tomatoes.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 4 1x
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: Sautéing
- Cuisine: Turkish
- Diet: Vegan
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium sized onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 medium sized zucchini (about 1 pound)
3 medium sized tomatoes, peeled and chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon thyme
½ teaspoon paprika
Chopped parsley for garnish
- Heat olive oil in a pan. Cook onions until translucent.
Reduce the heat and add in tomato paste. Cook it for about a minute, stirring occasionally.
Dice the zucchini with their skin. Add them in the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Put the lid on and let it cook over medium low heat for 5 minutes.
Add in chopped tomatoes, garlic, salt and other spices.
Cook it covered for 20 minutes.
Garnish with parsley before serving.
- We used diced zucchini but you can just roughly cut them in larger chunks.
- Tomato paste and summer tomatoes are important in this recipe for the best flavor. But if you are in a hurry, you can use canned chopped tomatoes.
- You can play with the spices if you want.
- You can substitute fresh dill or basil for parsley as a garnish.
Keywords: zucchini stew, zucchini tomato stew