Eggplant Parmesan is a classic Italian dish but this same concept can be applied by using zucchini. The zucchini creates a tenderness to the dish, and it is surprisingly light, and only uses a handful of ingredients to make. This breaded Zucchini Parmesan is fried until crispy and baked in a casserole dish with layers of marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese. The preparation takes a little bit of time before you assemble it in the casserole dish and bake it, but the effort is so well worth it.
This is one of my favorite ways to make use of the abundance of summer garden zucchini I have in my garden. A simply delicious way to use zucchini.
Easy Zucchini Parmesan
Serves 4 – 6
3 Zucchini (Amounts will vary depending on the size of the zucchini)
Parmesan Cheese, as the desired amount
Mozzarella, shredded, as the desired amount
Breadcrumbs, as needed
Eggs, as needed
Olive Oil for frying, as needed
15 oz Ricotta, I prefer whole milk
¼ Parmesan Cheese, grated
2 Tablespoons Parsley, finely chopped
28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes plus ¼ cup water to rinse out can/jar
2 Garlic cloves
1 Teaspoon each of Onion Powder, Oregano, and Salt
½ Teaspoon Pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
- Cut zucchini lengthwise about ½ inch thick. Place an even layer of slices on a baking sheet. Once all zucchini are sliced, lightly sprinkle salt on each slice. Let sit for 5-10 minutes to draw out excess water. Once drained, pat each slice to dry off and set aside.
- Prepare the ricotta mixture by adding all the ingredients in a bowl and thoroughly mix to combine. Set aside until ready to use.
- Prepare the sauce mixture by adding all the ingredients in a bowl and thoroughly mix to combine. Set aside until ready to use.
- Optional step: Have a sauté pan over medium-high heat with enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. (Add more oil as needed throughout the cooking process.) Prepare a shallow pan with a few eggs, salt, and pepper. And another pan with Italian seasoned breadcrumbs. Place each slice of zucchini first in egg wash, then breadcrumbs, and then place in a sauté pan until both sides are golden brown. Place on a paper towel to drain off any excess oil.
- In a baking dish, add enough sauce to coat the bottom. Add the first layer of Zucchini.
- Evenly add a thin layer of Tomato Sauce.
- Dollop a couple of spoonful’s of Ricotta Mixture across the first layer.
- Sprinkle a layer of Parmesan Cheese.
- Add a layer of Mozzarella Cheese.
- At this point, the second layer of zucchini will be placed. This layer will place the zucchini in the opposite direction of the first layer.
- Repeat steps 2 through 5.
- If the baking dish used is deep, and there is enough zucchini, a third payer can be created. For this layer, place the zucchini in the same direction as the first layer.
- Top the final layer with Tomato Sauce only.
- Before placing the zucchini in the oven, have a piece of aluminum foil ready that has been sprayed with cooking spray. This will prevent anything from sticking to the foil. Place the side with the cooking spray on top of the noodles. Seal the foil around the baking dish and place it in the oven.
- The cooking time will vary depending on the depth of the zucchini parmesan. Generally, 50 – 60 minutes for a 2-layers and 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes for a deeper dish zucchini parmesan.
- You will know when the zucchini is ready when it is bubbly around the edges. At this point, remove the foil from the baking dish, sprinkle with more mozzarella and parmesan cheese and place back in the oven long enough to melt the mozzarella cheese.
- Finally, remove from the oven and let cool for about 10 minutes for the zucchini parmesan to set.