Easy Zucchini Casserole

By Sally Cameron on September 10, 2013

Gluten-Free, Side Dishes, the daniel plan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Got zucchini? At the end of summer, markets and gardens have it in abundance! Skip the bread and muffins and enjoy one of my favorite green vegetables in a light, easy zucchini casserole. It’s my take on a classic gratin, topped with a little gluten-free breadcrumbs and Parmesan. Delicious, crunchy, and a nice way to end summer.

Easy Zucchini Casserole

Here is the way I’ve been cooking zucchini lately; casserole or gratin style. While many recipes featuring zucchini bury it in cream and mounds of cheese, I keep this recipe light, crunchy and quick.  Shallots, garlic and fresh herbs give it flavor. A little gluten-free breadcrumbs and Parmesan make the crisp topping.

zucchini casserole

Prep Your Vegetables

I use small zucchini that are about the length of my hand. Trim off the ends, then cut zucchini in half lengthwise. Cut the halves into thin half moons about. Cook the zucchini quickly in a hot pan with olive oil for just a few minutes until it is starting to brown a bit at the edges. Turn the heat down, add shallot and cook a minute or two, then add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds more. Stir in fresh herbs.

About Shallots

In case you are not familiar with shallots, let me say that you should be! Always in my pantry, these petite members of the onion family and have a lovely sweet flavor.

A basic in classic French cooking, a shallot is sort of a cross between a garlic clove and an onion. Shallots have a brownish-coppery paper skin and look like a big garlic clove. Try using them in place of onions for many dishes. Even just a pinch of finely chopped shallot adds great flavor to a simple vinaigrette. Start cooking with them and you’ll become a fan too.

Use a Shallow Baking Dish

Pour zucchini into a shallow casserole baking dish.The one I use is an 8″x12″ oval and about 2 quarts. The key is to choose a shallow baking dish, no matter what shape, so everyone gets a good serving of the crunchy topping. After pouring in the zucchini, top with a combination of gluten-free breadcrumbs and Parmesan. Pop under a hot broiler for a minute or two until golden and enjoy!

Homemade Breadcrumbs

Homemade breadcrumbs are so much better than store bought and so easy to make. I keep a container in the fridge for quick use. Trim crusts from your bread of choice (I use gluten-free). Tear bread into chunks and place in a food processor. Process until finely chopped.

Place crumbs on a rimmed baking sheet and bake at 300 degrees until golden and dry, about 12-14 minutes. Cool and use, refrigerate or freeze. I’ll do most of a loaf at once so I always have breadcrumbs to use in a gratin or to add crunch to simple vegetables.

zucchini, shallots, garlic

Easy Zucchini Casserole

This quick casserole, also know as a gratin, doesn’t smother the zucchini in heavy cheese or cream. It uses shallot, garlic and herbs for fresh, light flavor with an easy, crunchy topping sure to make even non-vegetable lovers take notice. I use a 2 quart shallow 8″ x 12″  oval baking dish but use whatever shape you have. The key is shallow so everyone gets a good serving of the crunchy topping. Be sure your dish is broiler-safe.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword casserole, gratin, zucchini
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil divided use
  • 1 1/2 pounds zucchini 680 grams, about 7 small
  • 1 large shallot finely chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 1-2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley
  • 2-3 teaspoons freshly chopped thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1/3 cup toasted breadcrumbs gluten-free or whole wheat
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Adjust oven rack to the medium level or one level up and heat the broiler. Lightly oil a shallow 2 quart, broiler safe baking dish with a little of the olive oil.
  • Trim ends from zucchini, then cut them in half lengthwise. Chop zucchini halves into thin half moons about 1/2″ wide. Combine breadcrumbs and cheese along with 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil in a small bowl and stir together until well blended.
  • Heat the other 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add zucchini to the pan and cook until it is softened and starting to brown at the edges, stirring and turning frequently. Sprinkle in the shallot and cook 1 minute. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds. Stir in herbs.
  • Pour zucchini into baking dish and spread the crumb topping evenly over top. Broil until casserole has a golden crunchy top. Serve hot.

Nutrition

Serving: 4g
6 Comments
  1. Madonna/aka/Ms. Lemon - September 12th, 2013

    Our family calls zucchini our new potato. This looks delish.

  2. Mary@SiftingFocus - September 17th, 2013

    Sally, I’m always looking for new and delicious twists on preparing zucchini. Love the healthy and simple approach you took in this recipe.

  3. Kristen - September 23rd, 2013

    Thank you for sharing this recipe – I made it over the weekend and it was fantastic! FYI – After dinner we had half the casserole left over, and with no room in the fridge I decided to experiment. I blended the remaining portion in a food processer and mixed with a little sour cream / greek yogurt…. let me tell ya it makes one HECK of an amazing dip. Like, reeeally good.

  4. Sally - September 23rd, 2013

    Thanks for shring that tip Kristen! Sounds fantastic. I’d never have thought of turning leftovers into a dip! Glad it worked so well for you!Very creative!

  5. Mrs. O - March 18th, 2020

    The recipe says, “1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil divided use”. I only see the olive oil being used to fry the zucchini. Did I miss a step?

  6. Sally Cameron - March 19th, 2020

    Hi Mrs. O. You mix part of the olive oil with the topping, then use the rest to cook the zucchini. I checked the recipe and it’s there in the description, but I did clarify it a bit. Hope that helps! Thanks for the question and hope you enjoy this. I think I’ll make it tonight! I also foxed a photo, so thanks again.

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