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With all the flavors of restaurant Zucchini Parmesan without all the fussy breading and frying, my easy Zucchini Parmesan casserole is one of the best Italian dinner ideas for busy weeknights.

A baking dish of Zucchini Parmesan.

From chicken parmesan to eggplant parmesan, I adore all things Parmesan-ed. You know, a signature ingredient coated in egg and Parmesan-laced bread crumbs, before being fried until golden brown and shatteringly crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, all served with herb-infused tomato sauce.

But let’s get real. As a busy parent, I don’t always have time to fuss over a breading station and a skillet full of hot oil. That’s where mash-up (and simplified) recipes with similar flavors like Chicken Parmesan Meatballs and this Zucchini Parmesan come in clutch.

Think of this comfort food casserole recipe like a variation on vegetarian lasagna that really allows the zucchini to shine. Once you have the squash noodles sliced, it requires a mere 5 minutes of prep.

Table of Contents
  1. Recipe ingredients
  2. Ingredient notes
  3. Step-by-step instructions
  4. Recipe tips and variations
  5. Recipe FAQs
  6. Zucchini Parmesan Recipe

Recipe ingredients

Labeled ingredients for zucchini parmesan.

At a Glance: Here is a quick snapshot of what ingredients are in this recipe.
Please see the recipe card below for specific quantities.

Ingredient notes

  • Zucchini: I prefer this green-skinned variety, but if you don’t love or don’t have zucchini handy, follow the same instructions and swap in a similar vegetable. Voila: Yellow Squash Parmesan or Pattypan Parm.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Prepare two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper for easy clean-up. Oil a 2-quart baking dish with olive oil. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and heat until shimmering. Add minced garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Garlic and oil in a silver skillet.
  1. Add crushed tomatoes (Be careful! They may splatter when they hit the hot oil, so keep the lid handy), basil, oregano, and red pepper flakes (if using). Bring the sauce to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the flavors have blended, about 10 to 15 minutes longer. Season to taste with salt and pepper and keep warm over medium-low heat.
Tomato sauce in a silver saucepan.
  1. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, add zucchini slices. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper (I like ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper).
Uncooked zucchini strips in a clear glass bowl.
  1. Toss to combine. Arrange zucchini slices on prepared baking sheets in an even layer.
Uncooked zucchini strips on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
  1. Bake until zucchini is light golden brown and fork-tender, about 12 to 15 minutes.
Roasted zucchini strips on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
  1. Reduce heat to 375 degrees. Spread ¼ cup tomato sauce over the bottom of the prepared casserole dish. Arrange one-third of the zucchini in an even layer over the tomato sauce.
A partially assembled baking dish of Zucchini Parmesan before being baked.
  1. Spoon one-third of the remaining tomato sauce over zucchini. Sprinkle ¼ cup Parmesan cheese over layer, followed by ¼ cup mozzarella. Repeat layers with remaining 2/3 zucchini slices, tomato sauce, and cheeses.
A baking dish of Zucchini Parmesan before being baked.
  1. Bake until bubbling and cheese is browned and bubbling, about 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to rest 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh parsley, if desired.
Slices of Zucchini Parmesan on two plates next to a baking dish of Zucchini Parmesan.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This Zucchini Parmesan makes 4 generous slices, enough for a light main dish.
  • Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Make ahead: The sauce can be made in advance and stored covered in the refrigerator. The zucchini can be roasted the day before; store covered in the refrigerator, too.
  • Build flavor with basil: Basil and zucchini seasons intertwine beautifully. If you happen to have homemade pesto in the refrigerator or a jar of pesto in the pantry, I highly recommend adding a surprise layer inside this Zucchini Parmesan for even more fresh summer flavor.
Slices of Zucchini Parmesan on two plates next to a baking dish of Zucchini Parmesan.

Recipe FAQs

Cheesy casserole dishes are such a pain to clean. Can I bake this Zucchini Parmesan in another vessel?

For a potluck-friendly option that requires zero post-meal clean-up, assemble Zucchini Parmesan in a recyclable 8- by 8-inch or 9- by 9-inch aluminum pan.

What should I serve with Zucchini Parmesan?

This is a fairly light Italian main dish, so I usually serve it with heartier sides like Panzanella Salad or a half-serving of Artichoke Pasta or Pasta Primavera (and the appetizers, desserts, and drinks below).

Italian Feast

Introducing: My favorite Italian feast! Featuring spaghetti and meatballs, garlic bread, Caesar salad, bruschetta, an antipasto platter, and pizzelle, this menu will have your grandma pronouncing it “Eye-talian” in no time. I know mine always…

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Delicious Italian side dishes

A baking dish of Zucchini Parmesan.

Zucchini Parmesan

With all the flavors of restaurant Zucchini Parmesan without all the fussy breading and frying, my easy Zucchini Parmesan casserole is one of the best Italian dinner ideas for busy weeknights.
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Servings 4 servings (1 slice each)
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Calories 282

Ingredients 

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil divided, plus more for oiling dish
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes undrained
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 pounds zucchini ends trimmed, halved crosswise, and sliced lengthwise into ¼ inch slices (see note 1)
  • 3/4 cups grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • fresh parsley minced, for garnish

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Prepare two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper for easy clean-up. Oil a 2-quart baking dish with olive oil.
  • In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and heat until shimmering. Add minced garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add crushed tomatoes (Be careful! They may splatter when they hit the hot oil, so keep the lid handy), basil, oregano, and red pepper flakes (if using). Bring the sauce to boil over medium-high heat.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the flavors have blended, about 10 to 15 minutes longer. Season to taste with salt and pepper and keep warm over medium-low heat.
  • Meanwhile, in a large bowl, add zucchini slices. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper (I like ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper). Toss to combine. Arrange zucchini slices on prepared baking sheets in an even layer. Bake until zucchini is light golden brown and fork-tender, about 12 to 15 minutes.
  • Reduce heat to 375 degrees. Spread ¼ cup tomato sauce over the bottom of the prepared casserole dish. Arrange one-third of the zucchini in an even layer over the tomato sauce. Spoon one-third of the remaining tomato sauce over zucchini. Sprinkle ¼ cup Parmesan cheese over layer, followed by ¼ cup mozzarella. Repeat layers with remaining 2/3 zucchini slices, tomato sauce, and cheeses.
  • Bake until bubbling and cheese is browned and bubbling, about 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to rest 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh parsley, if desired.

Notes

  1. Zucchini: I prefer this green-skinned variety, but if you don’t love or don’t have zucchini handy, follow the same instructions and swap in a similar vegetable. Voila: Yellow Squash Parmesan or Pattypan Parm.
  2. Yield: This Zucchini Parmesan makes 4 generous slices, enough for a light main dish.
  3. Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  4. Make ahead: The sauce can be made in advance and stored covered in the refrigerator. The zucchini can be roasted the day before; store covered in the refrigerator, too.

Nutrition

Serving: 1sliceCalories: 282kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 15gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 33mgSodium: 442mgPotassium: 662mgFiber: 3gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 843IUVitamin C: 42mgCalcium: 370mgIron: 2mg
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Executive Chef and CEO at | Website | + posts

Meggan Hill is the Executive Chef and CEO of Culinary Hill, a popular digital publication in the food space. She loves to combine her Midwestern food memories with her culinary school education to create her own delicious take on modern family fare. Millions of readers visit Culinary Hill each month for meticulously-tested recipes as well as skills and tricks for ingredient prep, cooking ahead, menu planning, and entertaining. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the iCUE Culinary Arts program at College of the Canyons.

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