Baked Zucchini Slices with Tomatoes and Cheese

This simple Italian recipe, baked zucchini slices with tomato is easy and full of Italian flavor. With minimal preparation, these are ready to serve in 45 minutes.

baked zucchini with tomatoes and breadcrumbs

So how easy is this recipe? We’ll step you through it along with images too. We’ll also explain some ways to use this recipe in other recipes.

Baked Zucchini with Tomato Slices

Not only is this a great way to use your fresh zucchini, but it’s super easy. It can be used as a side dish, or a light meal. Add in some pasta on the side or chicken and you’re in business.

Ingredients

Baked zucchini uses the following ingredients.

  • Fresh zucchini
  • small or medium hearty tomatoes
  • breadcrumbs
  • Italian cheese – Romano, Parmesan, or Mozzarella
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

To summarize the recipe, the zucchini are sliced lengthwise, baked with tomato slices placed on top, followed by a layer of breadcrumbs, cheese, and a drizzle of olive oil.

Sound easy?

I tried this recipe courtesy of my sister-in-law and after testing it, I decided to modify it with some tweaks. I’m happy to make it available for you to see.

How to Prepare the Baked Zucchini Slices with Tomatoes

If you’re growing the zucchini in your garden, it is best to harvest them when they are about 5 or 6 inches long. This is the length when they have the most flavor and you do not start to taste any bitterness.

zucchini ready for toppings

Remove the zucchini flowers if any are attached and cut off the ends.

There is no need to scoop out the inside, but score it so the olive oil can more easily soak into the meat of the zucchini. At this size the seeds are not fully grown and cannot be saved.

Preparing the Tomatoes

zucchini with tomato slices

Choose tomatoes that are hearty such as San Marzano or Roma tomatoes. Do not use slicing tomatoes for sandwiches as they will be too watery. Since my zucchini were small, I used Campari tomatoes.

Make sure to cut the slices so they are only 1/8th to 1/4 of an inch thick.

You can use cherry tomatoes if the zucchinis are very narrow.

Add Breadcrumbs

breadcrumbs on tomatoes

When baking the zucchini slices and tomatoes, we want the breadcrumb topping to become a nice dark brown but not to be overcooked so that they have a burnt flavor.

You can use Italian seasoned breadcrumbs, plain breadcrumbs, or make your own mixture of homemade breadcrumbs with parsley and any other Italian herbs such as basil or oregano.

Personally, I would keep it simple. Adding too many herbs will make the dish too complex.

Add Cheese

add italian cheese

You can use mozzarella cheese with your zucchini slices and tomatoes, or other Italian cheese. I like to use Romano so that’s what I used as shown in my images.

If using mozzarella cheese, use shredded or grated cheese. Also add it at the end when the baked zucchini are almost done since mozzarella melts quickly and will easily burn. I’d suggest 10 minutes prior to taking the zucchini out of the oven.

Top with Extra Virgin Olive Oil

top with olive oil and bake zucchini

The last step is adding a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil has more flavor than regular olive oil and therefore I strongly suggest you use it for this recipe.

Yes, we added the olive oil at the start too by brushing it on the open faced zucchini slices but we want to make sure that the tomatoes, breadcrumbs and cheese also benefit directly from the olive oil.

How Long to Bake the Zucchini and Tomato Slices?

Now your zucchini slices and tomatoes are ready for the oven! Bake at 350F for 35 to 40 minutes.

This should allow for the zucchini to still hold their shape, and be slightly firm. Just enough to pierce with a fork and cut with the fork. If you want your zucchini to be even softer, cook for another 10 minutes.

If you’re using a convection oven, reduce the heat by 25 degrees to 325F to account for the difference.

Ways to Use the Zucchini and Tomato Slices in Various Recipes

Due to its simplicity, you can also use the prepared zucchini in pasta recipes, in lasagna, or even reheat them in a pan with olive oil.

Pasta recipes

Take the zucchini and tomatoes after baking and cut them in 1″ pieces. Add them to a pasta recipe such as my eggplant and zucchini recipe, or eggplant zucchini and tomato with ziti.

Lasagna

Likewise, take the chopped pieces and add them into an eggplant lasagna, or simple lasagna as a layer. Breadcrumbs can be used or omitted.

Other Italian Zucchini Recipes You May Like

If you are a fan of growing your own zucchini, you may also enjoy our recipes for pan fried zucchini flowers which will make an attractive addition to the meal.

If you want a gluten free bruschetta recipe, try our zucchini bruschetta recipe that replaces the toasted bread with zucchini slices.

For additional flavor without relying on herbs, check out our recipe for stuffed zucchini which is very similar to this recipe. Instead we hollow out the zucchini and fill it with the filling and chopped tomatoes. It’s delicious!

Make sure to check out our other baked zucchini slices recipes and this butter zucchini recipe that is flavored with aromatic fresh garlic.

Other Recipes this Zucchini, Tomatoes and Breadcrumbs Go With

If you want to serve this recipe as is, not as a part of another dish, then I recommend using it as a side dish to heavier dishes. This is the same as my stuffed tomatoes baked with tuna recipe which can serve as a lunch or dinner.

Examples of sides would be our breaded chicken breasts recipe, whole roasted chicken with rosemary, or pasta recipes.

I’ve used this recipe as a side dish to my blended chickpea soup recipe.

In regards to serving sizes, I’d suggest 1 small zucchini per person.  For medium zucchini sizes perhaps 1 per 2 people.  It really depends on who you are serving and if they like this type of recipe, and of course if it is just a side dish.

baked zucchini with tomato slices

Baked Zucchini Slices with Tomato

Enjoy this zucchini recipe by baking them in the oven covered with sliced tomatoes and cheese.
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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 4 zucchini any variety
  • 1-2 tomatoes sliced in 1/8 – 1/4" widths
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 -1/3 cup Romano, Parmesan, or Mozzarella cheese If using mozzarella, make sure to add it 10 minutes prior to taking out of the oven.

Instructions

  • Clean the zucchini and cut off the ends.
  • Cut them in half lengthwise and score the inside
  • Place in a baking dish open side up.
  • Brush with olive oil.
  • Top with the sliced tomatoes.
  • Generously sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top of the tomatoes.
  • Sprinkle the cheese on top of the breadcrumbs.
  • Drizzle Olive Oil over top with a dash of sea salt or kosher salt and pepper according to taste
  • Bake in oven at 350F for 35 minutes.
  • Zucchini are done when they are still firm, not mushy, but easily pierced with a fork.
  • Serve warm.

Notes

  1. Serving sizes are typically 1 whole 5-6″ zucchini per person. Adjust quantities accordingly. 
  2. This dish goes well with pasta or chicken recipes
  3. If using mozzarella cheese, add the cheese 10 minutes prior to removing the zucchini from the oven.

Let us know how you enjoyed the recipe and if you made any changes to make it your own! Enjoy!

Liz
Simple Italian Cooking

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Original post from April 2010, updated January 2023.

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Baked Zucchini Slices with Tomatoes and CheeseBaked Zucchini Slices with Tomatoes and Cheese

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