30 min Zucchini parmesan with fresh tomato sauce

While we’re fans of Eggplant Parmesan, we wanted a quicker and lighter meal, without the many batches of deep-frying.

By: Anna Decker / 09/04/2015

But we didn’t want to forego a homemade tomato sauce or bubbling layers of cheese. So we cut thick slices of summer squash to be broiled until softened. Our ten-minute tomato sauce was the perfect tangy base for nestling zucchinis. And of course there’s still plenty of melted mozzarella to swirl around your fork, and a golden crisp topping of breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese. We promise you’ll be making this crowd-pleasing dish for your next potluck. Cook, relax and enjoy!

What you’ll need:

1 beefsteak tomato 1 clove garlic fresh thyme sprig 2 lb zucchini 8 oz fresh mozzarella 0.5 oz Parmesan cheese 0.5 oz fresh basil sprigs ½ cup panko olive oil coarse salt freshly ground black pepper


small saucepan box grater baking dish rimmed baking sheet

Recipe steps:

  1. Make tomato sauce

    Grate tomato on the large holes of a box grater directly into a small saucepan. Grate garlic on small holes over saucepan. Add 1 tablespoon oil, thyme sprig, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook, swirling pan occasionally, until slightly reduced, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.

  2. Broil zucchini

    Meanwhile, preheat broiler with rack 4 inches from heat source. Slice stem ends off of zucchini then cut lengthwise into ¼- ½ inch slices. Place on 1-2 baking sheets and drizzle both sides of slices with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Broil until softened and browned. Turn over slices individually as they brown until both sides are well browned, 10-15 minutes. Turn oven to 400°F.

  3. Prep ingredients

    Slice mozzarella into very thin pieces. Grate Parmesan cheese. Remove basil leaves from stems and tear larger leaves into smaller pieces.

  4. Layer stacks

    Place ⅓ of the zucchini in the bottom of a baking dish. Top with ½ of the sauce then half of the mozzarella and basil. Continue layering a second time then finish with a layer of zucchini.

  5. Make topping

    Combine Parmesan and panko and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle over the top. Bake until bubbling and cheese is melted, about 15 minutes. Broil for 1-2 minutes for a darker top.

  6. Let rest

    Let dish rest for 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

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