Zucchini Parmesan is an easy baked zucchini casserole that is the perfect Italian side dish or main course. Fast and Easy and so cheesy. Easy Baked Zucchini Parmesan will become your family’s new favourite.
As I continue with my quest for cooking, baking, sauteing, or anything else I can think of to use all the zucchini that will soon be taking over my kitchen, I can’t wait to share this recipe for cheesy baked zucchini with you.
I have to admit, it might just be one of the best, next to of course stuffed zucchini flowers that are absolutely out of this world. It’s one of the best things about summer food.
I was inspired to make this dish after my two daughters and I went for a little walk in a beautiful town called Nemi, which is close by to the small town where we live.
There are many reasons for which I love Nemi, the view is breathtaking, the cappuccino and cornetto (croissant) are so yummy, but most of all it is not nearly as hot there as the town where we live is. It’s nice to have a cool break once in a while.
So anywhere I can go to get cool I will go and feeling refreshed after our visit I decided it wouldn’t hurt to turn on the oven to make some baked zucchini. With lots of cheese, of course.
This such a simple recipe and a great way to showcase fresh zucchini. I am overrun with zucchini right now, but if you want to use another kind of summer squash you can. Or a mix of the green squash and yellow squash would make a pretty dish, too.
- Small zucchini: Look for small zucchini and avoid the big, giant ones. Small ones are more tender – the big ones are often more stringy and dry.
- Salt: Brings out the flavour in everything.
- Flour: Used to coat the zucchini to keep it from becoming too soggy and watery.
- Shredded firm mozzarella: You could also use gruyere or fontina cheese, you decide.
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese: Try to grate your own rather than using packaged grated, the flavour is so much better.
- Freshly chopped Parsley: I love the taste of Italian parsley and zucchini.
- Pancetta: Sometimes I had chopped pancetta between the layers it is the perfect contrast with the zucchini.
And, yes, you only need 6-7 ingredients for this recipe. It’s the best kind of summer dish that doesn’t take a long time to prep. I also love that the zucchini doesn’t turn mushy like other recipes I’ve seen and tried.
Shred the cheese and mix the parmesan cheese with the chopped parsley. Set aside.
Slice the zucchini lengthwise into strips that are not too thick. Place them in a large bowl and toss them with the salt. Let sit for 20 minutes then drain but do not rinse. Paper towel dry the zucchini to remove as much excess moisture as possible. These steps are important because the salt and towel drying will draw out the excess liquid in the zucchini. That’s what keeps it from turning mushy in the oven.
Place the flour in a shallow dish and dredge each zucchini slice in it.
Now you can assemble the casserole which is similar to making a zucchini lasagna. Place some zucchini slices in an even layer in a prepared baking dish. If using pancetta then top some on the zucchini, sprinkle some of the mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese on top.
Add another layer of each repeating this process until you’ve used up the ingredients. I make 3-4 layers.
Bake the casserole. Let it stand at room temperature for five minutes before slicing and serving.
Store any leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container. It will keep for 4-5 days in the fridge.
Place in a freezer safe container, it will keep in the freezer for about 2 months.
I like to make about 4 layers in a smaller 8×6 inches (20x15cm). You could make it in a slightly larger pan and make 2-3 layers. As a side dish it will serve 4-6 as a main dish approximately 2-5.
I don’t love the heat of summer but I am more than willing to turn on the oven for this delicious cheesy zucchini bake. The zucchini is cooked just long enough and the cheese – oh how I love melted cheese! Five minutes under the broiler just gives it that perfect baked cheesy topping.
More Ways to Use Zucchini
Maybe you’re looking for more ideas? I have a lot more recipes for you to try, here are a few you might like, too.
This Italian dish I hope will become a regular summer favourite in your home too. Buon Appetito!
Easy Baked Zucchini Parmesan
- 3-4 small tender zucchini (300 grams)
- 1½-2 teaspoons salt
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1½ cups shredded firm mozzarella*
- ¾ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley chopped
- ¼-½ cup pancetta chopped
- Pre-heat oven to 350° (180° celsius), lightly grease with olive oil a small to medium baking pan. I used an 8×6 inch (20×15 cm) baking dish and I made 4 layers.
- Shred the cheese and mix the parmesan cheese with the chopped parsley. Set aside.
- Slice the zucchini lengthwise into strips that are not too thick. Place them in a large bowl and toss them with the salt. Let sit for 20 minutes then drain but do not rinse. Then paper towel dry the zucchini to remove as much excess moisture as possible. These steps are important because the salt and towel drying will draw out the excess liquid in the zucchini. That’s what keeps it from turning mushy in the oven.
- Place the flour in a shallow dish and dredge each zucchini slice in it.
- First do an even layer of zucchini slices in the prepared baking dish. If using the pancetta then top some on the zucchini, sprinkle 1/3 or 1/4 of the mozzarella (depending on how many layers you want to make) on top then finish with 1/3-1/4 of the grated parmesan, add another layer of each repeating this process until you’ve used up the ingredients.
- Bake the casserole for about 25 minutes. Let it stand at room temperature for about five minutes before slicing and serving. Enjoy!