A zucchini bake brings together fresh zucchini and yellow squash in this gorgeous side dish loaded with feta and parmesan cheese. One of my favorite healthy zucchini recipes because it checks a lot of important boxes: low-carb, gluten-free, and vegetarian not to mention kid friendly! When your home garden or your local farmer’s market is overflowing with zucchini is the perfect time to whip out this killer baked zucchini and yellow squash recipe. I love easy zucchini recipes and you are going to be surprised to see what the sauce ingredients are…
Why I Love This Zucchini Bake Recipe
Like every other mom in the world, I am constantly trying to find delicious ways to get more vegetables into my kid’s diet. And in ways that won’t cause tears, from either them or me. This is one of those recipes.
I love this stuff! And I would not lie to you about my kids loving it too. It is packed with two yummy cheeses and lots of garlic. I served it as a main dish, but it would also make a great side with some grilled protein and hot bread. I make this parmesan zucchini bake a lot when a lot of fresh squash from my garden every summer.
The Story Behind the Recipe
The day I created this zucchini bake recipe, we learned how life changes too quickly. You see, my baby girl is about to begin her Senior year in high school. Unfortunately, this also means she will be 1300 miles away from her home. She has decided to spend her senior year in Washington DC.
It’s taken me a couple of weeks before I could talk about it without breaking down into tears. Don’t get me wrong. I am completely thrilled for her and this opportunity. I also feel completely ripped off! It is hard because I still had one more year before our family would change forever. Now I just have a few days.
Then again, I can also think of a few items to add to my “Pros” side of this chart:
- My amount of laundry will be reduced by 1/3. You would think it would only be ⅛ since there are 8 of us in our family, but anyone with a teenage daughter understands completely.
- When I go to grab my favorite shirt or necklace or pair of shoes, they will be there. What a concept.
- Her bedroom door in my home will no longer be closed and locked when we are entertaining. Due to the completely embarrassing/devastating nature of its contents, that bedroom would scar our friends forever if they were to witness what was behind that door.
All things considered Goose, it has been an amazing 17 years and 8 months. You make me proud.
What is a Zucchini Bake?
A zucchini bake is a healthy side dish recipe that layers fresh zucchini squash in with sauce made with Parmesan and feta cheese. You can also serve it as a main dish for a vegetarian menu. It is often made with a combination of both zucchini and yellow summer squash but can certainly be made with just one or the other with the same result.
Zucchini Bake Ingredients
The ingredient list on this zucchini bake is simple and straightforward, which is why it is so delicious. The best-tasting recipes always include fresh, whole-food ingredients and this is one of them!
- Fresh zucchini or yellow summer squash, or a mixture of both
- Canola oil
- Fresh garlic
- Dried thyme
- Sour cream
- Feta cheese
- Fresh Parmesan cheese
- Lemon juice
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper
How to Make Zucchini Bake
Most of the time this recipe requires is inside the oven, which is why it is one of my favorite side dish recipes. 10 minutes of prep and then you get to walk away while it bakes.
Time needed: 55 minutes
How to Make Zucchini Bake
- Prepare the oven and the baking dish
It’s important to have the oven preheated and the baking dish greased.
- Prepare the fresh zucchini
Slice the squash and quickly sauteé them in a skillet to remove some of the moisture before it goes into the casserole dish. This keeps the finished zucchini bake from getting soupy.
- Create the feta and Parmesan sauce
Beat together the eggs, sour cream, cheeses, and seasonings in a bowl. Pour the sauce over the zucchini.
- Bake in the oven
The dish will be hot and bubbly when finished and the sauce will be set. Serve while it is hot.
Roasted zucchini that is still firm on the inside is accomplished by roasting it for a short period of time at a very hot temperature. If you use a low temperature, it will only steam and get mushy. Your oven should be at least 450 degrees when the zucchini goes in, but closer to 500 is even better. Roast it just long enough to cook and gain some color on the outside then pull it out so the inside doesn’t turn mushy.
If you have an abundance of zucchini that you want to save for later use, try shredding it and freezing it in 1-cup increments. You can use it in baked goods, soups, stews, stir fry, and vegetable bakes. If your zucchini is coming from your garden, be sure to pick those squashes before they get big and bitter. You want to harvest them when they are about 2 inches in diameter and about 8-10 inches.
Can I make zucchini bake ahead of time?
Yes, you can make this zucchini bake ahead of time and store it either in the fridge for 3-5 days or in the freezer for 3 months. To keep your dishes from getting stuck in the fridge or freezer, I would make them in a quality disposable pan. To reheat, I would do so in the microwave, one piece at a time. If you use the oven, it will dry out the zucchini bake by the time the center gets hot.
Can I substitute yogurt for the sour cream?
Yes, as long as you use plain Greek yogurt, that substitution will work quite nicely. The end result will have a bit more tang than the original recipe but it will still be delicious and the texture will be the same.
What other cheese besides feta can I use?
The options are honestly quite endless. If you want a result similar to feta, try using goat cheese, queso fresco, halloumi, or cotja cheese. If you are looking for a bit different, blue cheese, ricotta, cottage cheese, sharp cheddar, or Swiss cheese would be delicious.
My zucchini bake turned out soupy. What did I do wrong?
First, if a recipe “goes wrong,” first double-check you had the measurements correct. That is usually where most mistakes happen. Second, place to check is the oven temperature. Did you use the correct temperature of 375 degrees and are you sure your oven is calibrated correctly?
If those are all correct, you might need to cook the zucchini a bit more in Step 2. Because zucchini naturally has a lot of water, it’s important to remove some of that moisture before it goes into the casserole dish or the zucchini bake will end up soupy.
Zucchini Bake Recipe Variations
Being a home cook provides endless opportunities to experiment with recipes, personalizing them to your tastes and creativity. Any of the following variations would be great spin-offs of this zucchini bake recipe.
- Add spice with a bit of sriracha or tabasco sauce in with the egg mixture, or a couple shakes of red pepper flakes would also work well for adding some spice.
- Try different cheeses for a variety of flavor profiles. You want to use cheeses that have a more robust flavor and are also on the dryer side. Blue cheese, Swiss, goat cheese, and a sharp cheddar would all be delicious.
- Add protein with some cooked bacon or Italian sausage would add another level of flavor to this zucchini bake.
Looking For More Amazing Side Dish Recipes?
If this zucchini bake was exactly what you love about side dish recipes, you’ll love each and every one of these recipes as well! Grab them now so you don’t miss out.
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- 6–7 medium zucchini or yellow summer squash
- 2 Tb canola oil
- 2 Tb minced garlic
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- 4 eggs
- 2/3 C light sour cream
- 1 C crumbled feta cheese
- 1/2 C fresh parmesan cheese
- 2 Tb lemon juice
- kosher salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray a large casserole dish with nonstick spray.
- Slice the squash into 1/4″ slices. If they are larger squash, cut them down the middle before slicing. Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Add the squash, garlic and thyme. Saute and stir just until the squash is starting to soften slightly. Don’t cook too long or it will be mushy after it bakes in the oven. Remove from the heat.
- Beat together the eggs, sour cream, cheeses and lemon juice in a medium sized bowl. Place half of the squash into the bottom of the casserole. Sprinkle on some salt and pepper (remember the cheeses are salty!) then spread 1/2 of the egg mixture over the top. Repeat with remaining squash and egg mixture.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes, until the mixture is bubbling and slightly set. Serve hot.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: Italian
- Serving Size: 1/8 th
- Calories: 200
- Sugar: 6 g
- Sodium: 341 mg
- Fat: 13 g
- Saturated Fat: 6 g
- Unsaturated Fat: 6 g
- Trans Fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 10 g
- Fiber: 2 g
- Protein: 10 g
- Cholesterol: 122 mg
Keywords: zucchini bake