Mixed Vegetable Medley
The best way to enjoy summer vegetables like zucchini and squash is in a crisp tender vegetable medley sauté like this one. This recipe for mixed vegetables includes a zippy spice blend to keep every bite interesting and delicious. My sautéed vegetables are a healthy side dish that pairs well with everything from beef, pork and chicken to fish and seafood. You can even toss them with pasta, rice or grains for a vegetarian or vegan meal.
This post has been updated for recipe, content and photos since it’s original publication in 2015. This post also contains affiliate links.
Table of Contents
- 1 What is vegetable medley?
- 2 Why you’ll love these sautéed vegetables
- 3 Vegetables for the medley recipe:
- 4 Seasoning for sautéed vegetables:
- 5 Cutting the vegetables
- 6 Pro-Tip:
- 7 How to make vegetable medley with summer veggies
- 8 Swaps and Substitutions for sautéed vegetables
- 9 FAQ’s
- 10 How do the mixed vegetables taste?
- 11 Mixed Vegetable Medley
- 12 Pin it for later!
What is vegetable medley?
Medleys are a mixture or hodgepodge of different elements jumbled together. Vegetable medleys are a fun way to get a mixture of colors, flavors and textures into one dish and they liven up a broader meal.
I’m a big fan of mixed vegetables in any form, like these oven roasted fall vegetables, these honey balsamic roasted vegetables, winter roasted vegetables and summer confetti corn. They’re even delicious in cold salad like this vibrant zucchini and squash with pesto.
Why you’ll love these sautéed vegetables
There’s lots to love about mixed vegetables, except ONE THING. When they’re cooked to death and become sad and mushy. No one likes THAT.
This vegetable medley recipe is one of the best because the veggies are crisp tender, never mushy and they keep their snappy texture for days. Plus the simple spice blend dances on your tongue.
Vegetables for the medley recipe:
- Red Bell Pepper
- Yellow Squash
- Sweet Onion (like Vidalia)
- White Mushrooms
- Fresh Basil
These summer vegetables are a delicious blend on their own, but pepping up the standard salt and pepper seasoning with a few more pantry staples can take this vegetable medley to new heights.
Seasoning for sautéed vegetables:
- Fresh Ground Black Pepper
- Kosher Salt
- Whole Fennel Seed
- Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
- Dried Oregano
Kosher Salt and Black Pepper are self explanatory (though you’ll want to check which type of kosher salt you have as different brands don’t behave the same in standard measurements).
Fennel Seed is a common Italian spice with an anise flavor. To bring out more of the aroma and taste, crush the fennel lightly using a mortar and pestle or run a rolling pin over the seeds to gently smash them open.
Crushed Red Pepper Flakes add a nice tingly heat to the sautéed vegetables, but if you (or one of your diners) are heat averse you can skip it.
Dried Oregano and Fresh Minced Garlic round out the flavors of this simple seasoning, but it really does add a lot of flavor to the mixed vegetables.
Cutting the vegetables for the medley goes pretty quickly. Just break out a good sharp knife and your favorite cutting board. The key is to chop all of the summer veggies to about the same sized bits, so that each veg is distinct and easily speared with a fork.
Cutting the vegetables
- Trim the ends of the zucchini and squash, then cut into 1/2″ thick rounds. If they are more than 1″ in diameter, cut the rounds into half moons, so they are bite-sized.
- Remove the stem and seeds from the bell pepper and slice into 1″ pieces
- Divide the broccoli into bite-sized florets.
- Chop the eggplant into 1″ cubes.
- If mushrooms are small, just trim the stem, however if they’re quite large, you may need to halve or quarter them for the vegetable medley.
- Cut the onions into a large dice.
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The key to perfectly cooked sautéed vegetables is to group the veggies by the amount of time they take to cook and proceed accordingly. Quick cooking peppers, zucchini and squash go in the pan together, where longer cooking items (or ones that give up a lot of liquid) are cooked separately.
That doesn’t mean in a different pan. Just a specific order.
Zucchini, squash and peppers and onions take roughly the same amount of time, while broccoli florets need a bit longer. Mushrooms are in the middle, but they also give up a lot of liquid as they sauté.
Don’t crowd your mixed veggies in a small pan. A large (10″ to 12″) nonstick skillet gives the vegetables plenty of room to sauté and brown. It’s easier to flip them and really sears the veggies as opposed to steaming them.
How to make vegetable medley with summer veggies
- Start with the broccoli and eggplant. Heat a teaspoon or so of olive oil over medium high heat in a nonstick skillet. When it’s hot, add the broccoli florets and chopped eggplant with a teaspoon or so of the spice mix. Sauté, stirring occasionally until the broccoli starts to brown and get crisp tender and the eggplant begins to caramelize. This takes about 8 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a large mixing bowl.
- Add a bit more olive oil to the skillet and sauté the bell peppers, zucchini and squash with another teaspoon of the spice mix. Cooking, stirring occasionally until they start to take on some color, about 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the zucchini and squash to the bowl with the broccoli and eggplant. The heat from the freshly sautéed vegetables will steam the florets just slightly.
- Quickly sauté the onions in a little olive oil with a sprinkle of spice mix until they’re slightly translucent, about 3 minutes, and add to the mixed vegetables.
- Finally, sauté the mushrooms in the remainder of olive oil and spice mix until they give up their liquid and begin to brown, about 6-8 minutes.
- Add the mushrooms and fresh chopped basil to the vegetable medley and toss to combine. Transfer to a serving dish and enjoy.
You can use lots of combinations of summer vegetables for this medley recipe. Pretty much anything you have in the fridge is fair game.
The key is knowing how long it will take for each to get to that perfect crisp tender doneness in a hot sauté pan.
Swaps and Substitutions for sautéed vegetables
- Swap green beans or chopped fennel for broccoli in this mixed vegetable medley. They have about the same cooking time as the broccoli and will gently steam under the other vegetables.
- Don’t like eggplant? Skip it or substitute with a root vegetable, such as carrots, parsnips, rutabaga or even potatoes.
- Use a rainbow of bell peppers instead of just one color.
- Try red onions instead of sweet onions for more color. Red onions are more pungent than sweet onions, but they mellow with a quick sauté.
- Grape tomatoes get sweeter when they’re sautéed and will burst allowing some of their juices to escape. Add some sautéed tomatoes to the vegetable medley for additional sweetness and to coat the mixed veggies with their natural juices.
- Use mixture of fresh herbs like thyme, tarragon, rosemary and marjoram with garlic, salt and pepper, instead of the spice mix for a fresh flavor.
- Add bite-sized chunks of fresh mozzarella to the vegetable medley.
You can keep them in an airtight container for up to 5 days and the vegetables will maintain their texture. Reheat in the microwave.
Reheat them for a side dish with another meal, or use them in your morning omelettes or frittatas. Make veggie tacos or burritos. Sprinkle leftover mixed veggies on flatbreads or pizzas. Toss with penne pasta and fresh herbs and a vinaigrette for a tasty pasta salad.
Yes. To do it, spread the vegetables on a sheet pan, lined with parchment paper. Try to make sure the vegetables aren’t touching each other. Freeze until solid, then transfer the vegetables to a zip top freezer bag. They’ll keep for about 2 months. Reheat in the microwave for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. (Note: if you’re going to freeze the vegetable medley, don’t add the fresh basil until you’re ready to serve it).
How do the mixed vegetables taste?
What we love about this vegetable medley is that all of the vegetables are tender, but they maintain their texture. They’re well seasoned, but not overpowered by the spice blend. The fresh flavors of the summer vegetables really shine through.
This is a delicious, healthy side dish that you can enjoy anytime.
More mixed vegetable side dishes you might enjoy:
- Summer Squash and Courgette Salad
- Chopped Veggie Salad with Creamy Shallot Vinaigrette
- Heirloom Tomato Salad
- Grilled Vegetable Tomato and Mozzarella Caprese
- Mexican Chopped Salad
- Fall Corn Saute
- Grilled Summer Salad
- Haricots Verts with Shallots
- Ottolenghi’s Grilled Broccoli
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Mixed Vegetable Medley
- 1 red bell pepper cut into 1" dice
- 1 medium zucchini cut into 1/4" thick rounds or half moons
- 1 medium yellow squash cut into 1/4" thick rounds or half moons
- ½ large sweet onion cut into 1" dice
- ½ small eggplant cut into 1" dice
- 1 stalk broccoli cut into bite-sized florets
- 6 ounces white mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ cup basil leaves chopped
FOR SPICE MIX:
- ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt or 1/4 to 1/3" teaspoon Morton's Kosher Salt
- ½ teaspoon fennel seed lightly crushed with a mortar and pestle
- ⅛ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
- In a small bowl combine the black pepper, kosher salt, crushed fennel, crushed red pepper flakes, oregano and garlic. Stir to combine.
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add the eggplant and broccoli florets and about 1 teaspoon of the spice mix. Sauté, stirring occasionally until the vegetables start to brown and turn crisp tender, about 8 minutes.
- Transfer the broccoli and eggplant to a large mixing bowl.
- Add a teaspoon of the olive oil to the skillet and add the bell pepper, zucchini and yellow squash with a teaspoon of the spice mix. Sauté the vegetables, stirring occasionally until they start to brown on the edges and are crisp tender inside. Transfer to the bowl with the eggplant and broccoli (the hot vegetables on top of the broccoli will steam the florets a bit.)
- Add a teaspoon of the olive oil to the skillet and quick sauté the onions until just starting to get translucent (about 3 minutes). Transfer to the bowl
- Add the remaining olive oil to the skillet and sauté the mushrooms with the remainder of the spice blend. Cook, stirring and flipping occasionally until browned and give up some of their liquid.
- Transfer the mushrooms to the bowl of vegetables and toss to combine.
- Add the fresh basil just before serving and quickly toss to combine. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve.
My family enjoyed the mixed vegetable melody. Easy to follow Iinstructions. Thank you for sharing.
Only used zucchini, tomatoes, onions, and garlic. Seasoned with dill, oregano, garlic salt, and pepper. Sauteed in olive oil.
Turned out deliciously!
Hi Elainee! Love your substitutions — sometimes you just have to go with what’s on hand!
One of my favorites. So versatile and goes with anything grilled!