This recipe for Baked Italian Zucchini is so easy to make and full of flavor! The ingredients used in this recipe are simple to find at any local grocery store. Using fresh zucchini in season is the best time to make this recipe, especially if the zucchini is home-grown.
However, don’t let that keep you from preparing this dish any time of the year. Just look for firm and healthy zucchini in the produce section of the grocery store.
This Italian baked zucchini recipe is very easy to make and requires next to zero cooking skills. It can be used as a wonderful main dish or as a side dish.
The original recipe called for pancetta (ham) which I omitted, plus I simplified the entire process and am using only vegetables, no meat.
So, I’m very excited to share this recipe and have include a video for you below.
The Use of Onions with Baked Zucchini
There are lots of recipes online especially on Pinterest that are for baked zucchini as an alternative to frying breaded zucchini that don’t use onion. However, in this Italian recipe we saute a few onions that we then we place underneath the zucchinis for baking.
Zucchini and onion are a great pair in any Italian recipe, and this recipe take advantage of that. The onions do not overpower the dish, instead it infuses additional depth of flavor causing everything to blend together.
Baked Italian Zucchini with Rosemary
If you follow my recipes and videos (I invite you to join my newsletter by the way for more recipes), you’ll see that I frequently say, “there’s no wrong or right”, or “feel free to adjust quantities or ingredients”.
This recipe is a perfect example with the Rosemary. Italians frequently use rosemary as an herb, although only in specific types of recipes. The rosemary in this recipe gives a nice twist to plain baked zucchini, and you only add enough to provide a subtle backdrop to the dish.
I recommend using fresh rosemary so the herb pieces aren’t as hard as if you were using dried. However, I’ve done both ways and I just make sure they are chopped very fine.
Use Basil or other Herbs with the Baked Zucchini
However, rosemary is not the only herb that is well suited for this type of baked zucchini. I haven’t tried it with other herbs but I know that basil or parsley or a mix of both would taste great as well. If you haven’t checked out my zucchini bruschetta recipe, it’s awesome.
Alternatively, if you don’t have any herbs or just want to go plain, it will still taste great.
All you need to make this baked Italian zucchini dish are the following:
- A few onions
- Zucchinis (figure one whole zucchini per person)
- Romano or Parmesan cheese
- Olive oil
- Rosemary (or another herb).
Seriously, is that not simple or what?
I have the step by step instructions below that make it easy to make this Italian zucchini bake.
How Long to Bake the Zucchini Slices
For this recipe, you bake the slices approximately 45 minutes or until al dente. The consistency you want is to be able to pierce the zucchini easily, but not have it a mushy mush mess.
If you do, don’t sweat it, it’s still fine. But what you are looking for is in my image I show in this post.
The one thing I tend to do is overcook my food, and my last time making this dish I overcooked the zucchini and they were mushy. However, they still tasted fantastic actually, and my husband devoured it despite complaining I used too much oil.
Do not Layer the Zucchini Slices
If you have a large quantity of zucchini slices you can overlap them like I did in the image. Don’t overlap too much.
Don’t try to stack the slices, that won’t work, they’ll just get mushy.
Similar Zucchini Recipes
If you enjoyed this recipe, you may also like the following.
This is on of many frozen zucchini side dish recipes I love to make. You don’t have to use fresh zucchini at all!
Italian style zucchini with olive oil and garlic is also delicious and healthy! It can be a side dish or toss it in some pasta for a main meal.
Learn how to fry zucchini for all types of zucchini shapes – rounds, spears or ribbons.
Italian Baked Zucchini Slices with Rosemary
- 4 zucchini estimate 1 zucchini per person
- 2 chopped onions
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup grated Romano cheese
- 1 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary Can be substituted for 1 tsp of dried rosemary or other herb
- Start by preheating oven to 375F
- Dice the onions and saute in the olive oil over medium heat until tender and transparent (about 5-10 minutes)
- Place in a 13×9 baking dish
- Slice the zucchinis length-wise about 1/4 inch thick (cut in half for easier serving)
- Place the zucchini slices ontop of the onions, overlap if you have to, but not too much.
- Mix together the breadcrumbs, cheese, and herbs
- Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over the zucchini slices
- Drizzle olive oil over the slices
- Bake for approximately 45 minutes until breadcrumbs are golden brown and zucchini is tender but not total mush
- If you have to keep the dish warm after removing from oven DO NOT cover with foil. This will cause the breadcrumbs to go soft due to the trapped steam. Yep, I know this from experience. Just turn off the oven and let the oven keep them warm – making sure not to over bake them.
- Slicing the zucchini slices in half-lengths help make it easier to serve
- If you don’t have fresh rosemary, you can use dried rosemary but will want to cut down on the amount to about 1 tsp otherwise it will be too strong. You can also choose to omit the rosemary all together and use other herbs or even garlic which I have done as well.
Zucchini is such a great vegetable. You can use this recipe as a side dish to pasta recipes, or meat recipes like chicken or beef. Or use it with a mix of various other zucchini dishes such as my pan-fried zucchini flowers recipe, Pasta with Zucchini, Eggplant and Tomatoes, and fun Zucchini Pizza Boats
My personal favorite is serving it with pasta with a marinara sauce because the flavors go well when they get mixed up on the plate – it is just heaven!
Grazie e ciao!