Layers of zucchini, rich tomato sauce and Parmesan cheese makes this easy, gluten free recipe the perfect meatless meal or side dish.
If you love zucchini as much as I do, you will love this quick and easy recipe. It is the perfect thing to make with in-season zucchini (courgette or baby marrow) and is a fantastic vegetarian meal or side dish. Layered with a rich tomato sauce, Parmesan and Mozzarella cheese, it’s guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser.
How to make baked zucchini Parmesan
Slice fresh zucchini into long strips using a sharp knife. You could use a mandolin or vegetable peeler too, I just like the slices a little thicker. Fry in a hot pan in batches until golden brown on both sides. To make the tomato sauce, strain canned chopped tomatoes then combine with tomato Passata (also called strained tomatoes), fresh garlic, chilli or red pepper flakes, dried basil, dried oregano and thyme. Season with a pinch of sugar and salt.
To assemble layer the cooked zucchini with the tomato sauce and grated or shredded cheese. Finish with a generous layer of mozzarella cheese. Cover with foil then bake for 30-45 minutes until the sauce is thick and bubbling and a knife is easily inserted. If you want to brown the top, bake for another 5-10 minutes until golden. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10-20 minutes then top with fresh basil leaves and serve.
Is passata and tomato puree the same thing?
Tomato puree is a cooked tomato product whereas tomato passata is strained tomatoes without any seeds or skins. Tomato puree is a lot more concentrated and the two aren’t really interchangeable. If you can’t find tomato passata, using marinara sauce in this recipe is perfectly fine.
How to reheat Zucchini Parmesan?
If making this zucchini Parmesan recipe ahead, you can bake it without the top layer of cheese until done then allow to cool completely, cover and refrigerate. To finish, top with mozzarella and bake for 20-30 minutes until bubbling.
- Marinated zucchini salad
- Zucchini feta crustless quiche
- Zucchini and mushroom carbonara
- Corn and grilled zucchini salad
- Zucchini & Goat’s cheese Bruschetta
Easy Zucchini Parmesan
- 1 kg (2lbs) zucchini
- oil for frying
- salt, to taste
For the tomato sauce
- 400 g (14oz) chopped/crushed tomatoes strained
- 2 cups tomato passata (strained tomatoes)
- 2 garlic cloves crushed
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- pinch of sugar
- 2 tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese shredded/grated
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese finely grated
- Pre-heat the oven to 200°C/400°F.
- Slice the zucchini into long slices then fry in a hot pan until golden brown on both sides. Remove from the pan and season with salt.
- To make the tomato sauce, combine all the ingredients and mix well. Test for seasoning and adjust as necessary.
- To assemble, layer the cooked zucchini with the tomato sauce and cheese. Top with mozzarella cheese then cover with foil and place in the oven.
- Allow to bake for 30-45 minutes until the sauce is reduced and bubbling. Remove the foil and bake for another 5-10 minutes until the cheese is golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes. Top with fresh basil and serve.