Baked Zucchini

This baked zucchini is so easy to make, covered in a light coating of crunchy breadcrumbs and Parmesan! This veggie is at its best roasted in a hot oven.

Baked zucchini

Oh hey, it’s the vegetable of the season: zucchini! There are so many creative ways to use this veggie, from casserole to chocolate cake. One of our new favorites though, is this baked zucchini! It’s the opposite of soggy or slimy: coat this tasty veggie lightly with breadcrumbs and a little Parmesan cheese. Even better, it’s not so labor intensive as zucchini fries (where you dip in flour and egg): so you get the best of both worlds! Pop it in the oven and it’s a tasty and easy side dish for summer meals. Here’s what to do!

Want a quicker way to cook zucchini? Try Perfect Sauteed Zucchini.

How to season baked zucchini

Here’s the thing about this green vegetable. Zucchini contains over 90% water. Wow! Not only does it give off a lot of water when it cooks, it needs quite a bit of seasoning. Ever bitten into a zucchini and it tastes watery and bland? This is exactly what we don’t want. Here are the seasonings that will cover your zucchini in the best savory Mediterranean flavors:

  • Dried oregano
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Italian style bread crumbs
  • Grated Parmesan cheese

There are a few things to note about these breadcrumbs (you can also skip them if desired). Here’s what to know!

Baked Zucchini

Use Italian Panko or breadcrumbs, or this substitute

This recipe uses Italian style Panko or breadcrumbs, not plain. What’s the difference? Italian breadcrumbs are made with seasonings and salt. This gives them quite a bit of extra flavor when you use them. Italian breadcrumbs and panko are easy to find at most grocery stores. If you can’t find it, here’s a substitute:

  • Use 1/2 regular panko or make homemade breadcrumbs.
  • Mix in 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Because you’re already adding Italian-style seasonings to the zucchini, you won’t lose much without the seasonings in the breadcrumbs.

Don’t want to use breadcrumbs in your baked zucchini? No problem.

Not into breadcrumbs? Or do you eat a gluten-free diet? You can absolutely make baked zucchini without them. Here’s what to do:

  • Omit the breadcrumbs.
  • Toss the zucchini with grated Parmesan cheese after baking!

As a note: there are lots of gluten-free breadcrumbs or Panko on the market these days, so you can use those to make this recipe gluten-free as well.

How to make baked zucchini

Grated vs shredded Parmesan cheese

For some reason, even after all this time of cooking for a living I have a hard time remembering the difference between shredded and grated Parmesan cheese. Here’s what you need for this recipe:

  • Grated Parmesan cheese: This is the powdery cheese that looks like snow! You can use either the shaker can or the or the containers. This is what you’ll need in this recipe, because it integrates into the texture of the bread crumbs.
  • Shredded Parmesan cheese: Shredded Parmesan cheese looks like little sticks of Parmesan. It’s great for garnishing salads and soups. You could use it here in a pinch, but it has a different look. See Roasted Zucchini and Squash.

How to make roasted / baked zucchini: a few tips!

Here are a few tips for making this baked zucchini, aka roasted zucchini! Alex and I tried making zucchini fries and realized that they were a bit time intensive. You have to dip the zucchini in flour and egg before the breadcrumbs, and it ends up all gummy and messy. (If you have a great zucchini fries method, let us know!) So for this baked zucchini, we were inspired to make it like fries but without the fuss. You’ll get a light coating of bread crumbs for a little crunch, but they’re not fully coated like fries. Here’s what to know:

  • Mix some breadcrumbs with oil-coated zucchini first. Not all of them will stick to the zucchini: that’s ok! The same is true when you place them on the baking sheet. So…
  • Move any breadcrumbs that fall onto the baking sheet to the top of the zucchini. Just quickly move any piles of breadcrumbs to the top of the zucchini. It doesn’t have to be perfect.
  • Finish by sprinkling with more dry breadcrumbs & Parm. This gets another fresh coating of crumbs on top.
  • Bake until just tender (keep an eye on it). The bake time will depend on exactly how thin the zucchini is: so keep an eye on it! You want it to be just tender: crisp and water, but not overly soggy. Take a taste if you need to assess doneness!
Roasted zucchini
Lots of breadcrumbs will end up on the baking sheet: that’s ok!

Main dishes that pair with baked zucchini

OK so you’ve got your crunchy, crispy baked zucchini: what to serve it with? It’s easiest to serve it with dishes that don’t use the oven. Here are a few great main dishes that pair well:

This baked zucchini recipe is…

Vegetarian. For gluten-free, use gluten-free bread crumbs or panko, or omit the breadcrumbs.

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Baked Zucchini

Baked Zucchini (Perfectly Seasoned!)


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (9 votes, average: 4.89 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

This baked zucchini is so easy to make, covered in a light coating of crunchy breadcrumbs and Parmesan! This veggie is at its best roasted in a hot oven.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds zucchini (3 medium small)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup Italian style panko or bread crumbs, divided
  • 6 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Slice the zucchini into 1/4-inch thick rounds. In a large bowl, mix it with the olive oil, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, and kosher salt. (If using plain bread crumbs, mix in a generous 1/4 teaspoon salt.) To the bowl add 1/4 cup breadcrumbs and 3 tablespoons of the grated Parmesan cheese and toss.
  3. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Place the vegetables in a single layer on the baking sheets, then use your fingers to quickly place breadcrumbs that fall onto the sheet on the top of the zucchini rounds (it doesn’t have to be perfect). Top with the remaining 1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs (divided across the two sheets) and 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese.
  4. Roast until just tender, 15 to 20 minutes. If your oven is uneven, switch the trays at the 7 to 8 minute mark. Allow to cool slightly before serving.
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Baked zucchini

More zucchini recipes

Summer is all about zucchini recipes! Here are some we recommend giving a try:

  • Squash and Zucchini Casserole A total crowd pleaser! A cozy summer side dish, it’s topped with crunchy breadcrumbs and Parmesan.
  • Perfect Zucchini Lasagna We cracked the code to the best zucchini lasagna! Roasted zucchini noodles and three cheeses make just the right Italian flavor.
  • Grilled Zucchini and Squash This basic recipe shows you the grill time, temperature, and perfect seasoning blend!
  • Best Zucchini Muffins Greek yogurt makes them ultra moist, and turbinado sugar adds a satisfying crunchy topping.
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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

3 Comments

  • Reply
    Rewari
    August 12, 2020 at 8:50 am

    Great recipe! Perfect side for summer meals; a crowd pleaser!

  • Reply
    yday
    November 1, 2020 at 10:44 pm

    We used plain panko and these came out way too salty. They were inedible. So disappointing.

    • Reply
      Sonja Overhiser
      November 3, 2020 at 9:09 am

      I am so sorry to hear this! A few questions: did you weigh the zucchini before making the recipe? Could it be possible it was less than 1 1/2 pounds? Also did you use kosher salt or table salt? The recipe would be much too salty with table salt. Let us know!!

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