Lemon Pepper Zucchini

I’m a true believer that side dishes should be as simple as possible. Save your time and energy for that amazing main dish and don’t let the sides overshadow its glory. 😉  The magic of this simple side dish comes from a bottle of lemon pepper seasoning. The tangy, peppery flavor goes so amazingly well […]

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I’m a true believer that side dishes should be as simple as possible. Save your time and energy for that amazing main dish and don’t let the sides overshadow its glory. ;)  The magic of this simple side dish comes from a bottle of lemon pepper seasoning. The tangy, peppery flavor goes so amazingly well with zucchini that you might find yourself forgetting about the rest of dinner and eating this Lemon Pepper Zucchini straight out of the bowl. 

Originally posted 6-6-2015, updated 1-23-2021.

Overhead view of a bowl of lemon pepper zucchini

What is Lemon Pepper Seasoning?

Lemon pepper seasoning is a tangy and peppery combination of black pepper, citric acid, salt, and sometimes small amounts of other herbs or spices. Several major spice brands in the U.S. make lemon pepper seasoning (McCormick, Lawry’s, Badia, etc.) and it’s also usually available in generic store brands, so you should be able to find it at just about any grocery store. I’ve also seen several recipes for homemade lemon pepper seasoning across the internet, but I’m not sure how those compare to store-bought versions.

How to Get Browned Edges on Zucchini

Zucchini contains a LOT of water, so there are a couple of really important steps to making sure your zucchini gets those tasty browned edges that you see in the photographs. 

  1. Make sure your skillet is super hot. If it’s not hot enough the water coming out of the zucchini will not evaporate quickly and the zucchini will begin to simmer in their own juices instead of browning. This will also cause the zucchini to get super limp and floppy. The goal here is to get browning on the outside of the zucchini without them becoming soft and mushy. The longer zucchini cooks, the mushier it gets, so this is a super fast cooking technique.
  2. Cook the zucchini in batches. If the skillet is overcrowded, this also prevents the moisture from evaporating quickly and again, the zucchini will begin to simmer in their own juices.
  3. Serve the zucchini right away. The longer it sits after it cooks, the softer it will get because the residual heat will continue to steam the zucchini.

What to Serve with Lemon Pepper Zucchini

I originally made this zucchini as a side dish for my Spanish Chickpeas and Rice. The pair together make a really well-rounded vegan meal. This lemon pepper zucchini would also be great with Garlic Marinated Chicken, Garlic Butter Shrimp, Pesto Shrimp Pasta, One Pot Lemon Artichoke Chicken and Rice, or Lemony Artichoke and Quinoa Salad.

Close up of a forkful of lemon pepper zucchini with the bowl in the background

Overhead view of a bowl full of lemon pepper zucchini

Lemon Pepper Zucchini

Bright and peppery, this Lemon Pepper Zucchini is a simple and flavorful side dish for any dinner! Great for that summer zucchini bumper crop!
Total Cost $1.63 recipe / $0.41 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 56.08kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1.3 lbs. zucchini $1.32
  • 1/2 Tbsp lemon pepper seasoning $0.15
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil $0.16

Instructions

  • Cut the zucchini into halfrounds, about ¼-inch thick.
  • Add the zucchini to a large bowl and sprinkle the lemon pepper seasonin over top. Stir to coat the zucchini with the seasoning.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high. Once the skillet is very hot, add half of the olive oil and swirl to coat the surface of the skillet. Add half of the seasoned zucchini and sauté (stir often) for about five mintues, or until the outside of the zucchini is well browned.
  • Remove the cooked zucchini to a bowl or serving plate, add the remaining olive oil and zucchini, and cook in the same manner. Serve immediately.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 56.08kcal | Carbohydrates: 4.6g | Protein: 1.78g | Fat: 3.98g | Sodium: 356.88mg | Fiber: 1.48g

How to Make Lemon Pepper Zucchini – Step by Step Photos

sliced zucchini on a cutting board

Slice about 1.3 lbs. zucchini into half rounds, about ¼-inch thick.

bottle of lemon pepper seasoning with zucchini in the background

This is the lemon pepper seasoning I used, which is the generic ALDI brand.

lemon pepper being sprinkled over the zucchini

Add the zucchini to a large bowl and sprinkle ½ Tbsp of the lemon pepper seasoning over the zucchini. Stir until the zucchini is coated in lemon pepper.

Cooked zucchini in the skillet

Heat a large skillet over medium-high. Once it’s really hot, add about ½ Tbsp olive oil and swirl to coat the surface. Add half of the zucchini and sauté (stirring often) until it is browned on the outside. Remove the cooked zucchini to a bowl or serving dish and repeat with the second half of the oil and zucchini.

Overhead view of a bowl full of lemon pepper zucchini

Serve immediately for the best flavor and texture!

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Tzatziki Sauce

Today, we are talking about Tzatziki! If you aren’t sure how to pronounce tzatziki, let me help you out, all of those Zs are a little tricky.  Tzatziki is pronounced tuh-zee-kee. It comes from a Persian word that means “herb mixture.&#…

Today, we are talking about Tzatziki! If you aren’t sure how to pronounce tzatziki, let me help you out, all of those Zs are a little tricky.  Tzatziki is pronounced tuh-zee-kee. It comes from a Persian word that means “herb mixture.” Tzatziki is a dip (sauce) that originated in the Middle East. It has a…

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Creamy Potato Green Split Pea Soup (Instant Pot Friendly!)

We recently shared a comprehensive Instant Pot Guide that included how to cook green split peas (no soaking required!). But since split peas aren’t the most flavorful on their own, we’re sharing how to put them to use in this delicious split pea soup! …

Creamy Potato Green Split Pea Soup (Instant Pot Friendly!)

We recently shared a comprehensive Instant Pot Guide that included how to cook green split peas (no soaking required!). But since split peas aren’t the most flavorful on their own, we’re sharing how to put them to use in this delicious split pea soup!

This soup is enhanced with creamy potatoes and coconut milk (swoon), plus fragrant fresh and dried herbs. Just 1 pot and simple methods required. Let us show you how it’s done!

Creamy Potato Green Split Pea Soup (Instant Pot Friendly!) from Minimalist Baker →

Turkey Taco Salad

This Turkey Taco Salad is an easy, light, and fresh dinner that’s flexible enough to feed all your family members. Mix and match your favorite taco salad toppings, or just use up what you have in your fridge!

The post Turkey Taco Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Winter is full of lots of heavy, slow cooked, or stewed comfort foods and right around this time every year I start craving something lighter and more fresh. Enter this super simple Turkey Taco Salad. It comes together quickly, it gives me all the flavors I need, and it’s still super filling. Oh, and did I mention how flexible it is? Read on for tons of ideas for substitutions and add-ins!

Creamy avocado dressing being poured over a turkey taco salad from a mason jar

Dressing Options

I used my homemade Creamy Avocado Dressing for this taco salad, but you can definitely swap that out with your favorite creamy salad dressing. A taco or chipotle flavored ranch, green goddess dressing, or even a tangy Catalina dressing would all be great.

Can I Substitute the Ground Turkey?

Yes, this recipe works great with ground beef or pork, or you can even make it vegetarian using tempeh. To use tempeh, simply crumble the tempeh into a skillet, add a cup of water, and let the tempeh simmer until the water mostly evaporates, then add the taco seasoning and continue to sauté for a couple minutes more.

Other Add-ins and Substitutions

Taco salads are so flexible! Here are some other ingredient ideas that you can use in place of or in addition to anything listed in the recipe below:

Close up side view of turkey taco salad in a serving bowl
overhead view of turkey taco salad drizzled with creamy avocado dressing

Turkey Taco Salad

This Turkey Taco Salad is an easy, light, and fresh dinner that's flexible enough to feed all your family members, no matter how picky!
Total Cost $11.29 recipe / $2.82 serving
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 476.45kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Creamy Avocado Salad Dressing

  • 1 avocado $0.89
  • 1/2 cup sour cream $0.24
  • 1 clove garlic $0.08
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice $0.50
  • 1/4 bunch fresh cilantro $0.20
  • 1/4 cup water $0.00

Taco Seasoned Turkey

  • 1/2 Tbsp olive oil $0.08
  • 1 lb. ground turkey $3.49
  • 2 Tbsp taco seasoning* $0.67

Salad

  • 1 head romaine lettuce $0.86
  • 1 cup frozen corn $0.35
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes $1.99
  • 1 jalapeño (optional) $0.18
  • 2 oz. shredded cheddar $0.85

Instructions

  • Make the salad dressing first so the flavors have time to blend. Peel the avocado and remove the pit. Add the avocado to a food processor or blender along with the sour cream, garlic (minced), salt, lime juice, cilantro, and water. Purée until smooth. Refrigerate the dressing until ready to use.
  • Next, cook the taco seasoned turkey. Add the olive oil to a large skillet and heat over medium. Once hot, add the ground turkey and cook, breaking it into pieces as you stir. When it's about half-way cooked, add the taco seasoning and continue to stir and cook until the turkey is cooked through.
  • Thaw the frozen corn (I use the microwave). Wash and chop the romaine lettuce, rinse and drain the black beans, slice the grape tomatoes in half, slice the jalapeño, and shred the cheddar cheese.
  • To build the salad, lay a bed of the chopped lettuce in each bowl, top with beans, corn, tomatoes, cheese, seasoned turkey, and a few slices of jalapeño. Drizzle the creamy avocado dressing over top and enjoy!

Notes

*I used my own homemade taco seasoning, but you can use a store-bought taco seasoning packet, if you prefer.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.25recipe | Calories: 476.45kcal | Carbohydrates: 37.55g | Protein: 32.93g | Fat: 23.2g | Sodium: 1044.28mg | Fiber: 11.95g
Half-tossed turkey taco salad in a serving bowl with salad tongs

How to Make Turkey Taco Salad – Step by Step Photos

finished avocado dressing in the food processor

Make the creamy avocado dressing first, so the flavors have a few minutes to blend. In a food processor or blender, combine 1 avocado (peeled and pit removed), ½ cup sour cream, 1 clove of garlic (minced), ¼ tsp salt, 2 Tbsp lime juice, ¼ bunch cilantro, and ¼ cup water. Process until smooth. Refrigerate the dressing until ready to use.

ground turkey cooking in a skillet with taco seasoning being sprinkled over top

Add ½ Tbsp olive oil to a large skillet and heat over medium. Add 1 lb. ground turkey and break it into pieces as it cooks. When it’s about half-cooked, add 2 Tbsp taco seasoning (or one store-bought taco seasoning packet) and continue to cook and stir until the turkey is cooked through.

seasoned ground turkey in the skillet

Set the cooked, seasoned taco meat aside.

turkey taco salad toppings in bowls: beans, corn, cheese, tomatoes, jalapeño

While the turkey is cooking, you can begin to prepare the rest of the toppings. Rinse and drain one 15oz. can of black beans, thaw 1 cup frozen corn (I use the microwave), slice 1 pint of grape tomatoes in half, shred about 2 oz. of cheddar, and slice one jalapeño.

Chopped Romaine lettuce in a serving bowl

Also, wash and chop one head of Romaine lettuce. To begin building your salad, place the chopped lettuce in the bottom of a large serving bowl (or you can create four smaller single-serving salads).

Beans being poured onto the salad with corn, tomatoes, and cheese

Start adding the toppings: corn, tomatoes, shredded cheddar, and black beans.

turkey taco meat and jalapeños added to the salad

Top with the turkey taco meat and sliced jalapeños…

Creamy avocado dressing being poured over the salad

And finally, drizzle your creamy avocado dressing over top and enjoy!

Side view of turkey taco salad in a serving bowl with the jar of dressing in the back

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Citrus Salad

One of the best things about winter? It’s citrus season. I love having fresh oranges, grapefruit, lemons, and limes to bring a bright spot to the short, dark winter days. I tend to go a little citrus crazy at the grocery store–it all smells…

One of the best things about winter? It’s citrus season. I love having fresh oranges, grapefruit, lemons, and limes to bring a bright spot to the short, dark winter days. I tend to go a little citrus crazy at the grocery store–it all smells so good!–and then come home and think, “Wait, what was I…

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Easy Minestrone Soup

Classic Minestrone Soup If you read our blog regularly, you know I LOVE a good soup. You can check out all of our soup recipes HERE, there are a lot:) Today, we are sharing a recipe for Easy Minestrone Soup. I am excited to share this easy, health…

Classic Minestrone Soup If you read our blog regularly, you know I LOVE a good soup. You can check out all of our soup recipes HERE, there are a lot:) Today, we are sharing a recipe for Easy Minestrone Soup. I am excited to share this easy, healthy, and comforting minestrone soup recipe because it is…

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Turkey Tacos

Taco night is a weekly occasion at our house. We don’t always do Taco Tuesday, but I promise Taco Thursday or Taco Saturday is just as fun and just as delicious. Tacos are good any day of the week. We love mixing up the tacos we have: steak, swee…

Taco night is a weekly occasion at our house. We don’t always do Taco Tuesday, but I promise Taco Thursday or Taco Saturday is just as fun and just as delicious. Tacos are good any day of the week. We love mixing up the tacos we have: steak, sweet potato, shrimp, chicken, cauliflower, and more.…

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Roasted Vegetables

This post is sponsored by Kroger. If you follow me on Instagram and watch my stories, you know I roast vegetables just about every single week. They are my FAVORITE and I love having them in the fridge at all times to eat for easy lunches, dinners, and…

This post is sponsored by Kroger. If you follow me on Instagram and watch my stories, you know I roast vegetables just about every single week. They are my FAVORITE and I love having them in the fridge at all times to eat for easy lunches, dinners, and to jazz up meals. Every time I…

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Lentil Soup

I am not a big fan of the winter. I do enjoy the four seasons, but I only want winter for a day or two. I hate the cold! The snow is pretty, but only from inside, ha! Since I live in Utah and grew up in Illinois, there is no hope for me. The…
The…

I am not a big fan of the winter. I do enjoy the four seasons, but I only want winter for a day or two. I hate the cold! The snow is pretty, but only from inside, ha! Since I live in Utah and grew up in Illinois, there is no hope for me. The…

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Perfect Oven Roasted Broccoli

If you’re not a fan of broccoli, it might just be because you haven’t tried it roasted yet. Roasted broccoli is my go-to side dish for any dinner because it’s A) easy and B) insanely delicious.

The post Perfect Oven Roasted Broccoli appeared first on Budget Bytes.

If you’re not a fan of broccoli, it might just be because you haven’t tried it roasted yet. Roasted broccoli is my go-to side dish for any dinner because it’s A) easy and B) insanely delicious. Like, so delicious that I could eat an entire pound by myself. And while I’ve had a tutorial about how to roast frozen broccoli for years, I realized, after getting a million questions about how I made the broccoli in my Comeback Sauce recipe photos, that I did not have a tutorial about how to roast fresh broccoli. The techniques are similar, but the results are very different. So let’s go!

roasted broccoli with comeback sauce in a red plastic basket with paper liner

Pictured with Comeback Sauce.

Can I Use Frozen Broccoli?

Yes, you can roast frozen broccoli, although it does turn out differently. For full instructions, please see my recipe for Oven Roasted Frozen Broccoli.

How to Get Crispy Roasted Broccoli

One of my favorite parts about oven roasted broccoli are the crispy edges. Here are some tips for getting the best crispy browned edges on your broccoli:

  • Make sure the broccoli is well coated in oil.
  • Space the broccoli out on the baking sheet. It should not be crowded, which can trap steam and prevent browning and crisping.
  • Avoid very large florets. The larger the florets the longer they will take to roast, and the less surface area is available for browning.
  • Roast directly on your sheet pan (no parchment lining) for even more browning.

How to Season Roasted Broccoli

The second thing I love about roasted broccoli are all the different ways you can season it. The sky is the limit here, which means I can eat it every day without ever feeling like I’m eating the same thing! Here are some of my favorite seasonings to add to roasted broccoli:

  • Steak seasoning
  • Curry powder
  • Seasoning salt (like Lawry’s)
  • Everything bagel seasoning
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Lemon juice and zest (sprinkle on after roasting)
  • Simple salt & pepper! (especially when planning to dip the broccoli in a flavorful sauce)
a piece of oven roasted broccoli being dipped into a cup of comeback sauce
Overhead view of a basket full of oven roasted broccoli with dipping sauce

Perfect Oven Roasted Broccoli

Make perfectly crispy and delicious oven roasted broccoli in just a few easy steps. This is the perfect easy side dish for any dinner.
Total Cost $3.34 recipe / $0.84 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 138.5kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. broccoli $2.98
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.32
  • 1/4 tsp salt* $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp pepper* $0.02

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Wash and chop the broccoli into bite-sized florets.
  • Spread the florets out over a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper (you can skip the parchment if you want extra browning). Drizzle the olive oil over top, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss the broccoli until it is fully and evenly coated in oil.
  • Roast the broccoli for 20-25 minutes, or until it has achieved the level of browning you desire, stirring once after about 15 mintues of roasting. Total roasting time may vary depending on the size of your florets and the type of baking sheet used (darker surfaces brown faster).

Notes

*This is a basic roasted broccoli recipe seasoned simply with salt and pepper. For other seasoning ideas, check the list above the recipe.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 138.5kcal | Carbohydrates: 14.95g | Protein: 6.35g | Fat: 7.83g | Sodium: 281.9mg | Fiber: 5.85g
Oven roasted broccoli close up on the baking sheet

How to Make Oven Roasted Broccoli – Step by Step Photos

Chopped broccoli on a cutting board

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Wash and chop 2 lbs. broccoli into bite-sized florets.

Seasoned broccoli florets on a parchment lined baking sheet

Spread the florets out onto a large baking sheet lined with parchment (or no parchment for extra browning). Drizzle 2 Tbsp olive oil over the broccoli, then add ¼ tsp each of salt and pepper. Toss the broccoli until it is evenly coated in oil.

roasted broccoli on the sheet pan

Roast the broccoli in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until it has achieved your desired level of browning, stirring once after about 15 minutes. Roasting time will vary based on the size of the broccoli florets and the type of sheet pan used.

Overhead view of a basket full of oven roasted broccoli with dipping sauce

Enjoy your perfect oven roasted broccoli as a side with dinner or just as a snack with some good sauce for dipping! I suggest Comeback Sauce, Honey Mustard Sauce, or Ranch Dressing.

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