You’ve made all the zucchini recipes. Then you look in your refrigerator and OMG THERE IS STILL SO MUCH ZUCCHINI. Time to bake this easy Roasted Zucchini recipe!
Zucchini spears that are seasoned with Parmesan and herbs and baked to tender perfection, oven Roasted Zucchini is the kind of no-brainer vegetable side dish that you’ll make first from summer necessity.
Then you’ll make it again because it’s simple and healthy, and miraculously everyone in your household eats it happily without complaint. (And for a hint of summer smoky flavor, try Grilled Zucchini.)
While every now and then I want to get more creative or indulgent with my sides (ahem, Bacon Wrapped Asparagus), most of the time, I want side dishes that are quick to prep, healthy, and will go well with a variety of dishes.
Roasted Zucchini is just that sort of recipe. Like my favorite Roasted Potatoes and Carrots and Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts, it bakes away hands-free in the oven so that I can focus on pulling together the rest of the meal.
How to Make Roasted Zucchini
The beauty of this recipe is its simplicity. Don’t overthink it! I’ve included a few basic steps, plus tips for you to vary up the spices if you’re feeling frisky.
- Start by trimming off the ends of your zucchini and slicing it lengthwise into quarters. I like to call this the “spear” approach.
Cutting the zucchini into halves, then quarters, makes this recipe ultra quick and easy to prep because the zucchini takes less time to chop.
Other benefits of larger pieces: larger pieces of zucchini are less prone to overcooking (and thus becoming soggy). See more about how to avoid soggy zucchini below.
- Drizzle the zucchini with the Roasted Vegetable Big Three: olive oil, salt, and pepper.
- Add any other spices you like. My go-to is Italian seasoning. It’s a quick blend, kid friendly, and versatile enough to pair well with anything you are serving with the zucchini.
- Add some Parmesan. Because everyone likes Parm.
- Toss to coat the zucchini evenly.
NOW, here is the game changer that will help you make the best, crisp-on-the-outside, tender on the inside, NOT SOGGY Roasted Zucchini.
- ELEVATE THE ZUCCHINI by placing it on a baking rack, then setting that baking rack on top of your regular baking sheet. This allows air to circulate on all sides of the zucchini and helps water evaporate so the zucchini is beautifully caramelized, not soggy.
From here, all that remains is to bake!
- Roast the zucchini at 400 degrees F for 12 to 15 minutes, until it is tender.
- From here, I like to pop the zucchini under the broiler so that the Parmesan becomes nice and crisp.
At this point, your Roasted Zucchini is hot, lightly cheesy, and absolutely delectable.
For an additional pop, squeeze some fresh lemon juice over the top and sprinkle the zucchini with fresh herbs if you like. Delicious!
Tip to Avoid Soggy Roasted Zucchini
Ever wondered why your roasted zucchini is soggy? There are two likely causes.
Soggy Roasted Zucchini Culprit One: Overcrowding the Pan
With any roasted vegetable, if you crowd the veggies too closely on the pan, the air won’t circulate properly and the vegetables will steam instead of roast.
Baking the zucchini on an elevated baking rack as this recipe suggests is very helpful in helping the air circulate and avoiding soggy zucchini too.
If you have more zucchini slices than will fit on the pan comfortably (this happens especially with baked zucchini chips and baked zucchini fries), divide the sliced veggies between two separate sheet pans. Bake the pans in the upper and lower third racks of your oven and switch the pans’ position halfway through.
Soggy Roasted Zucchini Culprit Two: Overbaking
Unlike harder vegetables (like this cinnamon Roasted Butternut Squash), zucchini has a high water content. That means that if you overbake it, the water will seep out and your zucchini will be soggy.
Cutting the zucchini into larger pieces is a nice safety net. Larger pieces are harder to overcook. It’s another reason I love slicing the zucchini into spears.
More Slicing Options
If spears aren’t your thing, you have other options!
- To use this recipe to make baked zucchini chips, cut the zucchini into thin (1/4-inch-thick coins). Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes.
If you go the zucchini chip route, be sure to give the slices plenty of room on the pan and watch carefully to make sure they don’t overcook. I still recommend using the baking rack trick too.
More Roasted Vegetable Options
- Roasted Zucchini and Squash. Feel free to use a mix of yellow squash and zucchini in this recipe or use the recipe to cook yellow squash only.
- Roasted Zucchini and Cherry Tomatoes. Replace half of the zucchini with 1 to 2 cups of cherry tomatoes. Omit the baking rack. Toss the vegetables together with the olive oil, Parmesan, and spices. Roast the tomatoes on one side of the sheet pan and the zucchini on the other. Toss the cherry tomatoes once halfway through.
- Roasted Zucchini and Onions. Replace one of the zucchini with a small red or yellow onion. Omit the baking rack. Cut the zucchini and onion into chunks (instead of cutting the zucchini spears). Bake at 425 degrees F for 20 minutes, tossing the vegetables once halfway through.
Spices for Roasted Zucchini
This recipe includes my go-to combination of Italian seasoning, Parmesan, and lemon. It’s always a crowd pleaser and goes with just about anything.
For more options, you can also:
- Add a pinch of red pepper flakes for heat.
- Add a clove of minced garlic.
- Swap the Italian seasoning for chili powder and the lemon juice for lime. (Omit the Parmesan.)
- Top the Roasted Zucchini with fresh herbs. Dill and basil are two of my favorites.
- Swap the Parmesan for crumbled feta. Sprinkle the feta on after the zucchini has baked.
How to Store Roasted Zucchini
In general, I do not recommend freezing zucchini due to its high water content. Frozen zucchini becomes mushy when thawed.
Roasted Zucchini, however, is easy to store in your refrigerator! Here’s how:
- After the Roasted Zucchini has cooled completely, transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate.
- Roasted Zucchini can last in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- To reheat Roasted Zucchini: Arrange it in a single layer on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Reheat at 400 degrees F, just until the zucchini is hot. Do not overbake, or it will become soggy.
What to Serve with Roasted Zucchini
The beauty of roasted zucchini is that it tastes mild, meaning it pairs well with just about any main dish. A few I especially like it with include:
- Burgers. This Portobello Mushroom Burger, Avocado Burger, and Quinoa Burger are three of our go-tos.
- Garlicky, Buttery Shrimp Dishes. Baked Shrimp Scampi, Garlic Butter Shrimp, and Garlic Shrimp with Quinoa are delicious with Roasted Zucchini.
- Grilled Shrimp Dishes. Try this easy Grilled Shrimp Seasoning and these Shrimp Kabobs.
- Pasta. Baked Turkey Meatballs (or Baked Chicken Meatballs) are super yummy with zucchini, as are creamy pasta dishes like Instant Pot Beef Stroganoff (and its cousin Crock Pot Beef Stroganoff).
- Sandwiches. This Chickpea Salad Sandwich, Whole30 Chicken Salad, and Greek yogurt Healthy Chicken Salad are all wonderful with Roasted Zucchini.
AND SO MANY MORE.
Ready to take your zucchini supply by storm? Time for Parmesan Roasted Zucchini!
- 4 small zucchini ends trimmed, quartered lengthwise
- 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs such as parsley, basil, dill, or a mix (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a cooling rack with nonstick spray and place on a rimmed baking sheet.
- In a small bowl, stir together the Parmesan, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.
- Place the zucchini in a large bowl. Drizzle with the oil and sprinkle with the Parmesan mixture. Toss to coat, then arrange the zucchini on top of the cooling rack on the prepared baking sheet, being careful not to overlap the spears.
- Place in the oven and bake until the zucchini is tender, about 12 to 15 minutes. Turn the oven to broil. Cook until the Parmesan is lightly crisp on top, about 2 to 3 minutes. Don’t walk away! The second you stop watching the cheese, it will decide to burn.
- Remove the zucchini from the oven and immediately squeeze the lemon juice over the top. Sprinkle with herbs. Enjoy warm or at room temperature.
- For storage tips, see the blog post above.
- For more ways to flavor the zucchini (or for ideas to use it to make zucchini and squash, zucchini chips, zucchini and tomatoes, and more!), see the blog post above.
- To make vegan, Paleo, and/or Whole30 compliant: Omit the Parmesan.
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