The properties of ZnSe epilayers fabricated by molecular beam epitaxy on lattice-matched InxGa1-xAs buffers grown on GaAs(001) substrates have been investigated by means of photoluminescence spectroscopy and transmission electron microscopy. For suitable values of x and ternary-layer thickness, the partial character of the strain relaxation within the III-V layer can be compensated for, minimizing the residual strain in the ZnSe overlayer. Large reductions in the dislocation density and Y-line emission as compared to conventional ZnSe/GaAs heterostructures can be reproducibly obtained.