Baked Zucchini Parmesan

Zucchini Parmesan

I’m going back to work today.

Like, real work. The kind where you have to pack a lunch and get dressed in professional clothes and stop playing with your phone and set your alarm in the morning so that you get there in time. <— pout.

Zucchini Parmesan

But I won’t even pretend to complain for more than 2 seconds because I love my real job. I consider blogging my hobby job. It can be done in my pajamas at 3pm and lets me be around food all the time. It’s also a lot fun, semi-creative, and a tiny bit entrepreneurial. And teaching is my real job, my meaningful job, my feel-good job.

Stop it right now. You know I love food and blogging and this little POY internet space. I do feel good about sharing recipe ideas for the most yummy yum yum food together.

But it’s not in the same way that I feel good about fostering a community of 25 youngsters with unique social, emotional, and academic needs, and somehow managing to teach them how to read, compute, and actually think all at the same time. And now I’m already tired and I haven’t even started yet.

Which leads us nicely to this.

Zucchini Parmesan

This is what I chose to do with the world’s largest zucchini that was gifted to me by Sally from The Cabin Garden. Ugh, you guys. This thing was a monster/still is a monster, now existing in its varied forms in my refrigerator. I am plagued with ideas for zucchini everything and I love it.

I shredded some for some baking, I chopped some for pastas, I sliced some of it for this dish, and that took care of about one twentieth of it. Look out Brad. This is is the zucchini apocalypse.

Zucchini Parmesan

I’m sure I’m not the only one with hunks of zucchini sitting in my fridge. Am I right or am I right?

Here’s my vote for what you should spend your next 30 minutes doing: Coating zucchini with seasoned bread crumbs (whole wheat if you’re feeling inspired), baking them, and arranging them over some saucy noodles, and broiling the whole ditty with cheese and herbs. And devouring after your long day of work. You and I both.

And can we ask ourselves why we ever wanted Eggplant Parmesan in the first place when such a veggie as Zucchini exists in our end-of-summer produce collections? Honestly, eggplant? We are strange creatures.

Zucchini Parmesan

Let’s talk health. From the Pinch of Yum nutrition perspective, this is gr8.

You can check out the basic stats below, but we’re working with lots of veggies here, especially if you make your own sauce. And I am going to say something controversial: you COULD make it without the pasta. I mean, don’t, especially if you are starving after work like I’m about to be starting today, but I did it without pasta on the day I went to the state fair because I was trying to keep lunch a little lighter. Balance, yo. I just ate a plateful of those baked zucchini rounds smothered in all the toppings and it made me soso happy.

Crispy-crunchy baked zucchini, saucy tomatoes, and fresh herbs. This is late summer garden goods working their magic.

Zucchini Parmesan

4.0 from 1 reviews
Baked Zucchini Parmesan
Serves: 8
  • 10-20 slices zucchini (enough to cover the top of a 9x13 pan)
  • ¾ cup seasoned whole wheat breadcrumbs
  • 5 egg whites
  • 1 lb. penne pasta
  • 3 cups tomato sauce (see notes for how I made mine)
  • ¾ cup shredded Asiago cheese
  • parsley for topping
  1. Cut the zucchini into ½ inch thick slices. Put the egg whites and breadcrumbs in separate bowls. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Dip the zucchini pieces into the egg white and the cover with the breadcrumbs. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes, carefully flipping once towards the end. Remove from the oven when browned and firm.
  3. While the zucchini are baking, cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and mix together with 2 cups sauce and ½ cup cheese. Pour into a greased 9x13 baking dish.
  4. Arrange the baked zucchini pieces over the top, cover with remaining 1 cup sauce and ¼ cup cheese. Bake for 10 minutes or until cheese is melting and everything is hot and bubbling. Sprinkle with parsley.
For a quick sauce: Saute 5 cloves garlic in a little olive oil. Crush 5 Roma tomatoes and half of a can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes in a food processor (I just happened to have some left over so I added it in the mix). Transfer tomato mixture to the garlic pan. Add 1 cup regular tomato sauce and a few tablespoons fresh basil. Season with a pinch of sugar and a few pinches of salt. Simmer - the longer the better. Drain out excess water with a wire sieve.

Nutrition Zucchini


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  1. This sounds amazing. I’m hoping my garden plans on producing a few more zucchini so I can make it!

  2. Have a great first day back at teaching! So exciting!

    This dish looks awesome. I love crispy, crunchy zucchini and the pasta is a must! Perfect for a weekday meal!

  3. This looks delicious and a great way to use all the wonderful summer zucchini!

    In my opinion, this blog is also teaching many people about cooking, baking, ingredients, how to blog, photography, etc… So, you have two teaching jobs!

  4. That’s what I said, who needs eggplant?! Made light zucchini parmigiana last month and never looked back. Giant zucchinis mean real garden vegetable. My mom has tons of those.

  5. This looks great! I’m used to only making eggplant parm but now I’ve got to try it with zucchini!

  6. i saw those gigantic zucchini on your IG – you definitely put them to good use :) enjoy your first day with kiddos.

  7. Oh my! This zucchini parm loos so great! What an awesome idea!
    Hope your first day back at work is joy filled :)

  8. Have a wonderful day back at work Lindsay! I have to try this – we always do eggplant parm in the fall. Zucchini is a fun change!

  9. Excellent idea for all the zucchini I have around the house. We cannot get rid of them fast enough. I agree the zucchini apocalypse is upon us!

  10. Brilliant! I never even thought of swapping zucchini for eggplant…a must try with all the zucchini I have sitting in my freezer!

  11. Larry ostrom says:

    So this guy from the ‘South’ was visiting a friend in Minnesota. As they were leaving for the day, the man from the South asked why his friend wasn’t locking the door……? Oh …. we only lock our doors in the fall. If you don’t, you come home to a house full of zucchini….

  12. I love my real job too (clinical research), and I’m glad I’ve found blogging as a creative outlet! My real job doesn’t end until 5 pm, so you have so much more time to play with food!

  13. And now I’m kicking myself for never having thought of zucchini instead of eggplant in parmesan!! I would probably keep the pasts since I heart carbs, but I’m sure this is delish without.
    Enjoy getting back to the grind!

  14. So simple and this would be a total hit in my kitchen! Loooove!

  15. Looks delicious. In my opinion, pasta makes everything better, so I wouldn’t dare leave it out! 😉

  16. ooh my goodness, i have to say ‘thank you’ to the idea that eggplant should be banished to the backroom forever and ever, amen. wait, you DID say that, right? (terribly scarred by a few bumpercrops of eggplant in my youth… bumper.)
    looks lovely…

  17. I am still smiling thinking of that zucchini photo you posted on facebook. It was larger than some babies!! This looks like a great way to put your zucchini to good use. Wish I had thought ahead and made a similar dinner here tonight! Good luck getting back into the swing of things at school.

  18. Have a good first day back! That’s wonderful you have a job you feel so passionate about.. that’s how I am about my job too, I like get excited to go to work. I think that’s how you know you’re in the right position :)

  19. I had two prolific zucchini plants until this week when they succumbed to powdery mildew, but I’m positive my appetite for zucchini hasn’t been exhausted yet, and this sounds great!

  20. I saw the largest zucchini known to man at the farmer’s market last weekend. For a split second I considered buying it. But I was very, very afraid of it’s size (it was about 30in long and 6in in diameter). I did get 2 of the monster’s smaller friends – these were not as scary!
    Now, I’m wishing I bought it because I think I could eat Baked Zucchini Parmesan every day! YUM!! And my runner husband will love the carbs from whole-grain pasta – bonus!
    Hope you have a great start to your school year! My little ones are in their 2nd week – and wake up excited every day for school. Know why? Awesome teachers! :)

  21. Lindsay! Thanks for the shout-out! Loved your “zucchini baby” pic, too! I come home nearly every weekend from the cabin with OH SO MANY HUGE GIANT SCARILY LARGE ZUCCHINIS and leave them in my neighbor’s front steps, porches, cars… So I am grateful for all zucchini recipes! And, of course, you can have more if you want. Ha ha. I’m attempting a version like this that’s a little more like pizza… hmmm….

  22. I have eggplant parm on my menu for tomorrow. Never thought about zucchini park!

  23. I just made something very similar but with eggplant but I also love zucchini so I might use it with that next time. Great minds think alike :-)

  24. Yum! This looks so good! You’re right – why eggplant?? We had zucchini lasagna (noodle-less) a few weeks ago, and it was so satisfying. I love this idea too! Now, if only I could track me down a monster zucchini!

  25. Haha, I love that your lighter lunch is still “smothered.” I hope you had a great first day back!

  26. I’m NOT an eggplant fan but love zucchini, so thank you for the idea! Planning to try it this week and crossing fingers that my 3yo twin sons will like it, too. Might try it on palenta instead of pasta…

  27. Oh good luck with the job! I am totally making this dish for dinner. Only with eggplant, because I have a boat load of egg plant and no zucchini. How does that happen in August?

  28. Dinner tonight!! I just brought home pounds of zucchini from my moms and was going to make some stuffed zucchini because I have some huge ones….yay…now something new to try – going to swap out the pasta since I am a lo-carber and we like MEAT!

  29. Wow this looks incredible! Definitely adding this to my cooking to-do list for this week. Just subscribed! Thanks for sharing!

    -Ashley at

  30. Love this dish. Combines all my favorite foods: zucchini, pasta, tomato sauce, and cheese :) And breadcrumbs for lots of added texture.

    Sometimes when I’m feeling extra lazy and tired after work, I grab those frozen marinated grilled zucchini/eggplant from TJ’s. It works perfectly, especially for a fast week-day lasagna.

  31. I love eggplant parm as is, but suspect I woulld love zucchini parm even more. Great idea!

  32. What an amazing way to have veggie overload – something that Jason and I DESPERATELY need!

  33. Thanks for the inspiration! I set out to make your recipe, then discovered that I only had one egg and no breadcrumbs… but I did have a ginormous zuchinni and a bag of potato chips. So, your recipe instantly became way less healthy… more like giant zuchinni fries. Oh well, the kiddos loved it and were eager to eat the zuchinni rounds I made for dinner tonight, just fried on high heat with a little herb-infused olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper. The carmelization was out of this world, crazy good! Tomorrow we shall have your zuchinni pancakes for breakfast, zuchinni banana bread for snack, and zuchinni rounds with meatballs and red sauce for lunch!

  34. “Tis the season” – for sure! Zucchini season, that is! We grew 2 zucchini plants this year and have had many “baseball bat” size zucchinis too. Why we don’t pick them when they’re smaller, I don’t know! This looks so delicious and zucchini is a great substitution for eggplant in a Parmesan. It is a perfect use for the huge zucchinis that you don’t know what else to do with. Thanks again for a great recipe.

  35. This looks awesome

  36. 6:33 PM. I’m putting on real clothes and going to Whole Foods so I can make this tonight! The wine can wait. Just saved me from takeout!

  37. I’m a Filipino and you can cook this WITHOUT the red hotdogs. I don’t give my child red hotdogs as well as anything processed… hotdogs were basically as meat extenders since most Filipino families don’t have much money to buy ground beef. So i just pack it with ground beef. Filipino spagetti is basically sweet spagetti.

  38. This looks wonderful! Can you bread and bake the zucchini a day ahead of time and throw together the next day ~ would the breaded slices be okay in the fridge over night?

    Thank you!

  39. Photos of the dish look scrumptious; however, I am curious about the name, “Baked Zucchini Parmesan”. Where’s the parmesan in the ingredients list and in the directions?
    While the Asiago has similar features, the flavors of Asiago and Parmigiana Reggiano are miles apart.

    • That’s a great point, Jim. This dish was called “parmesan” because it mimics a chicken parmesan dish in style and flavors. While there is no parmesan listed in the ingredients, that would be a delicious addition to the dish – or substitution for the asiago! Hope you enjoy it!

  40. I do love the abundance of zucchini that is floating my way this summer.
    And I will be making this up without the pasta on the bottom…
    I like the break from the noodle thank you.

    Right now I have a Swiss steak concoction in the crock pot with a healthy dose of zuch thrown in with the tomatoes and onions and green peppers.

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