Zucchini Parmesan Casserole for National Zucchini Day

It’s National Zucchini Day! I wanted to share my new favorite way to eat zucchini with you. I made this over the weekend for a quick, healthy summer meal that our family really enjoyed.

I’ve been waiting all summer for my garden to produce zucchini. A few weeks ago I saw one rather small zucchini on the plant surround by many blossoms. I couldn’t wait any longer and I picked it. It was so good. Last week all of the other squash were big enough to pick. I had even missed one that got as big as my youngest daughter’s leg. We held it up for comparison. :)

I had intended to dredge the zucchini in gluten-free all-purpose flour, beaten eggs, and then gluten-free bread crumbs, but I was too tired from a day of cleaning the house top to bottom. (Had to get that part in because I tell you, I felt like Super Woman afterwards) I decided to just give them a quick fry in my cast iron skillet and continue with my recipe. If you want it to be more like Eggplant Parmesan, then go that route. I decided I didn’t miss the breading at all. The rice was a great side. If we’d been really healthy, we would have gone with brown rise (my favorite.) Some pasta on the side would be good too. Or as my husband enjoyed it–plain. It was also really good for breakfast the next day. It would even be a great addition to a brunch buffet served with a poached or fried egg on top.

Zucchini Parmesan Casserole

original recipe

Ingredients:

For the sauce:

Two 32 oz. cans whole tomatoes in juice (or 2 lbs. fresh ripe tomatoes)
1 small onion, diced
1/4 cup butter or olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of sugar
fresh basil leaves, chopped

For squash layers:

Canola oil, for frying
salt and pepper
2 medium sized zucchini, cut into 1/4″ rounds
2 yellow summer squash (or more zucchini), cut into 1/4″ rounds
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (or a little Romano or Asiago)

Instructions:

For the tomato sauce:

Heat the butter until foaming in a 3 quart saucepan.  Add the onion and cook until it starts to soften and take on a little bit of color.  Add the garlic and cook for another minute or so.  Add the tomatoes, lower the heat to a low simmer and cover.  Cook until tomatoes break apart easily with a wooden spoon or potato masher.  Season well with salt and pepper.  Add a pinch of sugar if the sauce is too acidic.  Right before using, stir in the fresh basil.

For squash layers:

Heat a little canola oil in a large nonstick or cast iron skillet.  Working in batches, quickly fry the squash rounds just until they are golden on each side, but not cooked through all of the way.  Be careful not to crowd them, or they will steam instead of brown.  Set aside on a platter until ready to assemble casserole.

To assemble:

Lightly coat the bottom of a 9 by 13″ glass baking dish with a little more oil, if needed, and make an even layer with half of the squash rounds.  Top with half of the tomato sauce, followed by half of the cheese.  Repeat with remaining squash, sauce and cheese.

Bake at 400 degrees F. until cheese is golden and the sauce is bubbling, about 25-30 minutes.

Serve hot over cooked white rice.

Makes enough for 6-8 good-sized servings

Other zucchini recipes that I’ve had my eye on:

  • Cookin’ Canuck’s Grilled Italian Panini with Zucchini, Summer Squash & Basil

How do you like to eat zucchini?

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7 Comments

  1. Ooh I didn’t even know it was national zucchini day! I steamed some with a pat of butter this evening for dinner.

    I’ll have to try this recipe out. As always, it looks fab.

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