Recipe: Vegan Taco Filling: Spicy Zucchini with Lemon and Cumin

I just whipped up this dish for lunch with plans of using the leftovers for grain bowls over the weekend, and boy did it turn out great!  It’s not the prettiest dish so I saved all of the pictures for down below, but the flavors are super nice!  Sweetness from the caramelized onions, slight heat from the peppers, a nice tang from the lemon squeeze at the end, and pleasant, earthy notes from the cumin and coriander.  The zucchini is a perfect neutral carrier for all of these flavors, making it a delightful warm salad or an awesome topper or filler for a plant based taco or bowl!

I plan to serve these leftovers on top of rice, along with cheesy beans and fresh tomatoes.  Perfect summer combo that I am totally looking forward to!  I’ll try to post a final picture or recipe for that bowl as well!

Another cool thing about this dish is that we grew everything ourselves that went into it!  The onions, zucchini, and peppers all came from our gardens, which is really awesome.  I love making the most of seasonal, local produce, and it’s so fun for me to find new flavor combinations for all of our home-grown produce.  Believe it or not, we are still keeping up with our zucchini, which is something I’m very proud of!  Thanks for bearing with me for all of the zucchini recipes, but also expect many more to come!  I hope these help inspire some dishes to make with your productive zucchini plants as well, or helps spark some ideas for using up summer produce as it becomes available to you!

Recipe and photos down below! 

Spicy Zucchini with Lemon and Cumin


  • 2 large zucchini
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 4 banana peppers, sliced
  • ½ jalapeno pepper, sliced
  • Juice from ½ lemon
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil


  1. Remove the stem end of the onion and cut in half vertically, through the root.  Remove the skin from the onions, and place back on the cut side to chop.  Slice through horizontally until the root end is reached. 
  2. Heat a large sauté pan on medium high heat for 20 seconds.  Add olive oil and onions, stir to combine.
  3. While onions are cooking, remove the stem end of the peppers, and cut in half vertically (top to bottom).  Remove the seeds out of each half, then slice horizontally into thin slices.  Once all of the peppers have been sliced, add to the pan with the onions, stir to combine.
  4. Cook onions and peppers until softened and beginning to caramelize, about 7 minutes.  Stir occasionally.
  5. While the onions and peppers are cooking, remove the stem end and bottom end of the zucchini and discard.  Slice the zucchini into quarters (lengthwise) and cut each quarter into ¼ inch slices.  Add the zucchini slices to the pan with onions and peppers, stir to combine.
  6. Add salt and allow the mixture to cook down, about 20 minutes.  The onions will continue to caramelize, and the zucchini will soften and cook down.
  7. Once the zucchini is fully tender, add the cumin and coriander, and stir to combine.  Cook for about one minute to fully bloom the spices, and then turn off the heat.
  8. Allow the zucchini to cool in the pan for about 2 minutes.  Add the juice of ½ of a lemon into the pot, and stir to combine.
  9. Serve immediately on its own as a warm salad or as a filling or topping for tacos or taco bowls.  Enjoy!


4 comments on “Recipe: Vegan Taco Filling: Spicy Zucchini with Lemon and Cumin”
  1. Muayyad Karadsheh says:

    I’m learning to garden from my landlady. She has a lot of outdoor plant. We just planted onions and tomatoes. They are growing and looking great. Zucchini looks great! maybe we can grow some next in the garden.


  2. This look delicious, I like dishes with a hint of spicy ! Yummy


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