Perfectly seasoned zucchini coins are topped with a Parmesan breadcrumb and roasted to perfection. Simple ingredients and preparation transforms humble, fresh zucchini into an easy side dish worthy of a seat at the table!
Mark and I got out on the water yesterday. We haven’t been on a DATE all summer and so we’re going to just call it that. I got in a bit of reading and the best part was driving the boat a mile from anything and just floating in the Caribbean blue waters in complete silence. A bit of music at times but mostly just silence. Someone posted a GIF about summer this week and it most certainly hit home — it seemed as if we went from July 1st to July 25th in a single day and Christmas is next week. Why must time fly!? I want summer to last forever and ever.
So, we moved the boat fun to the pool for dinner and drinks on the river. A hot night and a glass of rose? Don’t mind if I do! And best part? No dishes! We drove home admiring the sunset with the windows down, taking it all in. Starting today our Airbnb opens and we have weekend visitors for the next stretch of weekends and I have no doubt that school will be here in what will seem like another handful of day. So sad. We’ll have to continue getting creative with our garden haul because the rain this week followed by the incredibly high temperatures is going to ramp up the production big time. Good thing I have no shortage of ideas for how to use zucchini!
ROLL CALL FOR THIS RECIPE
- Simple Side Dish: Admittedly, I love a one pot delight. They’re my favorite because, duh, ONE POT. Simple. But sometimes you really do serve up something in need of a side dish and if you’re anything like me, simple is best. Getting too many recipes going can get overwhelming and so between simple ingredients and simple preparation, this roasted zucchini is easy peasy and has just a few basic steps.
- Kid-Friendly: Any type of a breading or cheese transforms foods into being kid-friendly, right!? Serve with a side of marinara sauce or ranch dressing for some fun dipping to please the littles in our life! Ranch dressing wins over even the picky eaters, I hear 😉 In fact, serving this way creates not only a perfect side dish but an equally enjoyable appetizer or starter, or even a healthy snack!
- Versatile Zucchini: Is there anything zucchini can’t do!? Our garden is cranking out so much zucchini! No complaints here! The perfect summer side dish, zucchini bread, savory recipes, sweet recipes, everything in-between recipes. Be sure to check out the bottom of this post for links lots of zucchini recipes linked down below.
KEY INGREDIENTS AND SUBSTITUTIONS
- Zucchini: A medium zucchini is 6-8 inches in length and not overly seedy. Summer zucchini fresh from the garden are amazing but fresh zucchini is available year-round in the grocery store in most areas of the US making it one of the big reasons I’m such a big fan of zucchini! You can easily swap in yellow squash or even small eggplants, if you wish.
- Olive Oil: Extra virgin olive oil is my go to and is a great way to add nutrition and flavor to recipes, especially those with an Italian flare. However, avocado oil is a fine substitute!
- Breadcrumbs: I used an Italian-style (Italian seasoned breadcrumb) to increase flavor and add a mix of texture and color variation, however any breadcrumb including Panko breadcrumbs or a gluten-free variety will work great! You can also omit the breadcrumbs and double up on the cheese if you prefer.
- Parmesan: I finely grated fresh Parmesan cheese but you can use grated or shaved Parmesan, if you prefer! Parmigiano-Reggiano, Pecorino Romano, or another hard cheese work great, as well.
- Salt and Black Pepper: Season to taste with the pepper (or omit if you prefer), but do measure the salt so that you do not use too much. You may also substitute in a salt substitute, if you are mindful or sodium or prefer the taste.
- Low-Carb: With just a bit of flavorful breadcrumb, this recipe remains low carb.
- Gluten-Free (option): Feel free to omit the breadcrumb to make this recipe gluten-free and lower in carbohydrate.
- Zucchini is known as a “culinary chameleon” of the produce world because it is mild in flavor and extremely versatile. It is very low in calories but high in nutrients, including B6 and several antioxidants, as well as fiber.
How can I keep from ending up with soggy zucchini?
Firstly, zucchini contains a LOT of moisture so it is a bit soft after cooking – that’s OK! If you prefer to reduce moisture, place a baking rack over the prepared baking sheet (lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil) and mist with nonstick spray before arranging the zucchini slices in a single layer. Continue with the recipe as written. This step allows air to circulate around the zucchini on all sides creating an convection bake versus a roasting. It’s really up to personal preference on which method for cooking zucchini you choose to use.
Can I use an air fryer for this recipe?
Sure can! Heat the air fryer to 400 degrees (same as oven temperature) and reduce the cook time to about 10 minutes (about half). You can add more time, if needed. Air fryers are nice for getting that golden brown that can be hard to achieve. Be sure to cut slices roughly 1/3-inch thick – thin slices or thick slices may not yield best results. Depending on the side of your air fryer, you will likely need to have a second batch.
Can I cut zucchini into spears (quarters length-wise) versus into coins or slices?
Absolutely. The cook time may need to be extended by about 5 minutes with zucchini spears and you can use the above baking rack method, if you prefer. Before sprinkling on the breadcrumbs, you may want to mist with olive oil to help the crumb and cheese to adhere to the zucchini.
Is there a way to remove some of the moisture from the zucchini?
Yes! Lay the zucchini slices in a single layer and sprinkle with a bit of salt and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes. Take paper towels or clean kitchen towel and wipe off the salt and accumulated moisture from the cut side of each zucchini slice.
VARIATIONS, STORAGE, and TIPS
- I kept this recipe super basic, however the addition of fresh herbs would be delightful, as would garlic powder. Consider adding fresh thyme, oregano, or basil to the breadcrumb mixture or even a bit more Italian seasoning.
- Store leftovers after cooling completely in an airtight container for up to 5-6 days in the fridge.
- You can follow this same recipe for yellow squash or eggplant, too!
- Use a thinner slice on your zucchini and omit the breadcrumbs and cheese to create easy zucchini chips – another tasty way to enjoy zucchini!
- 2 medium zucchini, cut into 1/3-inch coins
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 Tbsp Italian-style breadcrumbs
- 2 Tbsp finely shredded Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set side.
- Place zucchini coins in a ziplock bag with the olive oil, salt, and pepper; toss to coat.
- Arrange the zucchini in an even layer on the prepared baking sheet.
- Roast zucchini for 15-18 minutes; remove from oven.
- Meanwhile, combine the breadcrumbs and Parmesan in a small dish and sprinkle each zucchini coin evenly with the breadcrumbs.
- Roast the zucchini an additional 5 minutes or until golden. Serve hot.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1/4 recipe
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 102Total Fat: 8.3gCholesterol: 3mgSodium: 361mgCarbohydrates: 6.0gFiber: 1.2gSugar: 1.8gProtein: 2.8g
Looking for fun and delicious ways to use ZUCCHINI!? Look no further!
- Gluten-Free Cherry Zucchini Oat Muffins
- Zucchini Pizza Boats
- Italian Sausage and Zucchini Tomato Stew
- Zucchini and Corn Summer Salad with Vinaigrette and Goat Cheese
- Rigatoni with Turkey Sausage, Tomato, and Zucchini
- Ground Turkey Skillet with Zucchini, Corn, Black Beans, and Tomato
- Grilled Goat Cheese-Stuffed Zucchini Boats
- Garlic Basil Barramundi Skillet with Tomato Butter Sauce
- Cheesy BBQ Chicken Stuffed Zucchini Boats
- Tomato Basil Tortellini Salad
- Best Ever Zucchini Bread
- Tex Mex Chicken and Zucchini Skillet