Buttery Zucchini with Beef


buttery zucchini with ground beef-2

Buttery Zucchini with Beef

For simple week night dinners, one pot meals like this can be a life saver. I used to think dinner needed to have lots of different elements to be satisfying, but these days I’m just as happy with a simple modern meat and veg combo like this.

I love the texture of minced beef when it’s been well cooked and crispy on the edges. Melting, buttery zucchini makes a wonderful contrast.

Enough for: 2
Takes: 15 minutes

450g (1lb) minced (ground) beef
4 medium zucchini, sliced into thin rounds
1-2 teaspoons dried chilli, optional
fresh lemon, to serve

1. Heat a few tablespoons olive oil in a large frying pan.

2. Cook beef over medium high heat, stirring for a minute or so.

3. Add zucchini and continue to cook stirring every now and then.

4. When the meat is well browned and the zucchini is soft and buttery remove from the heat.

5. Squeeze over 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice. Taste and season generously with salt & pepper. Serve hot.


different meat – any minced (ground) meat is good here. Try chicken, pork, turkey, buffalo or even kangaroo!

vegan / vegetarian – replace the beef with crumbled tofu, lentils or setian. And add in a little ground cumin or coriander for extra flavour.

herby – add a little freshness with a handful of basil with mint or parsley.

more substantial – toss in a drained can of legumes or some cooked pasta or noodles. Or serve on a bed of either mashed potato, cauliflower puree or steamed rice.

more veg – soften an onion first. Serve with a green salad.

Waste Avoidance Strategy

beef – freeze.

zucchini – will keep for a few weeks in a plastic bag in the fridge. To keep for longer slice and cook in a little oil or butter and keep in a covered container.

dried chilli – pantry.

lemon – keeps in a plastic bag in the fridge for months.

Problem Solving Guide

too dry – this is much nicer when you use a fattier grade of minced beef. For now, be generous with the lemon juice and maybe serve with a few tablespoons of butter or mayonnaise to moisten.

bland – good quality beef tends to have better flavour so next time try getting your beef from a good butcher. For now you can increase your salt, chilli and or the lemon juice.

crunchy zucchini – I find undercooked zucchini really unappealing.You can add it back to the heat to cook for a little longer. Next time try slicing the zucchini more finely.

Leftover Potential:


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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Sakura te Kempel October 5, 2019

This is still one of my favourite recipes years after the first time I made it! So excited that zucchini is coming into season now.


jules October 10, 2019

Me too Sakura! Zucchini is the best 🙂


Mary Frymire March 7, 2017

I am finally getting to trying more of your recipes Jules.

Just made this Buttery Zucchini with Beef (but I used ground turkey). It was delish! (forgot the chili, but still yum!). The lemon does brighten things up.
I am thrilled to have a couple containers for lunch at work.
Will be even better in summer when I can get cheap or free zucchini :-).
Best to you.


jules March 9, 2017

Wonderful Mary!
So glad to hear it works with turkey


Kelly Tackett September 3, 2016

Pretty good. Husby said that it does indeed taste buttery (without any butter added). Husby also mentioned that he thought that it would be better with some cheese, but seeing as he hasn’t got up to get any, it can’t be that lacking. 😉


jules September 8, 2016

Everything tastes better with cheese Kelly! I’m with your husband on that one 🙂


Jennifer Lau-Bond September 3, 2016

Delicious! I added basil and a little parsley. I also forgot the lemon completely but it was still great without it. Really great and easy recipe!


jules September 8, 2016

Yum Jennifer!


Andrea Bates April 22, 2016

Leftover potential: nil … because we ate it all up! The squeeze of lemon at the end really elevates this dish.

Jules, after relocating 4 months ago I now have my recipe books back (hello dear old friends!) Tonight I made this for my mum who is feeling a bit poorly. Although she’s lost her appetite she snaffled this up, insisting we finish what was left in the pan. So I know we’re onto a winner here!

PS. Mum also had a good read of your 5 Ingredients 10 Minutes printed book, and is amazed at how appealing recipes with so few ingredients sounds! I’m looking forward to re-discovering my favourites and sharing more delicious recipes with her 🙂


jules April 27, 2016

Wonderful Andrea!
Hope your Mum is feeling better soon 🙂


Ellie Armsby November 6, 2015

Making this tonight for a quick supper. Planning to add some mushrooms that we have on hand.


jules November 12, 2015

Yum Ellie! Love mushrooms 🙂


Samantha Fleming March 26, 2015

We adore this recipe. So yummy, so easy, so perfect.


jules April 2, 2015

Yay me too Samantha!


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