This Italian Zucchini Bake is made from scratch with Pecorino Romano and Parmesan! It's based on my Mom's zucchini casserole recipe that's a huge family favorite. Make it for brunch, parties or a side dish!
Folks, you'll want to print out this zucchini recipe for keeps. This is a from-scratch version of Mom's zucchini casserole, which she'd adapted from the famous Bisquick dish.
It's not like all the rest.
Mom had the brilliant idea years ago to add Pecorino Romano, doubling the amount of cheese and providing a nice flavor kick. She also increased the oven temperature and baking time to produce a delicious browned crust.
I mean... Hello, Gorgeous!
Her version is excellent, and we've requested it over and over for dinners, parties and brunches. But I gave up making recipes with baking mixes a few years ago. (I avoid partially hydrogenated ingredients when possible.)
So, when I first started Cooking with Mamma C, I tried using "homemade Bisquick" in this cheesy zucchini bake. And...it flopped.
Next time, I decided to go with just flour and baking powder to yield baking-mix results. It took three more rounds, but I finally did it!
I wanted to release white smoke from my chimney, like when there's a new Pope.
How to make this Italian zucchini bake
You'll start by thinly slicing your zucchini. I use a mandoline (affiliate link) to slice them ⅛-inch thick.
You also could use a food processor (affiliate link). Mom uses a paring knife (affiliate link).
You'll pat the zucchini dry and place the rounds in a large mixing bowl. Then, you'll add:
- chopped onion
- pressed garlic
- baking powder
- grated Parmesan & Pecorino Romano
- olive oil
- beaten eggs
- salt, pepper & dried basil
You'll stir everything with a wooden spoon, ideally, and separate any zucchini slices that are stuck together.
Next, you'll transfer the batter to a greased baking pan and spread out the mixture evenly. Go ahead and use your hands!
Finally, you'll bake the zucchini casserole until it's nice and brown on top.
- To prevent a soggy casserole: Dry your zucchini slices by patting and gently squeezing them with paper towels.
- Weigh your zucchini to ensure the accurate ratio of ingredients. It's not specific enough for me to tell you to use "three zucchini," because let's face it, there's a big difference between a cucuzza the size of a baseball bat and a small zucchino.
- When mixing the batter, separate any zucchini slices that are stuck together, so you don't end up with clumps.
This baked zucchini recipe is the answer to:
- How can I use up zucchini?
- What's the perfect meatless meal for Lenten Fridays?
- What should I make for brunch or a party? (Baked Vegetable Risotto with Asparagus and Spinach is a great option too, and check out these Italian Appetizers!)
And, absolutely no baking mix is required. You've got to try this!
More zucchini recipes
- Nonna's Fried Zucchini
- Zucchini with Mint
- Pasta with Zucchini
- Shrimp Stew with Bacon and Zucchini
- Zucchini Bread
P.S. If someone calls you a "cucuzz," it's not a compliment.
(Recipe Source: Adapted from my Mom's casserole, which was inspired by a Bisquick recipe. Originally published on September 20, 2017 as "Cheesy Zucchini Bake" and updated now with a video, additional photos and text.)
Italian Zucchini Bake
- 1 ½ pounds zucchini (3 medium ones; see notes)
- 1 small white onion
- 2 medium garlic cloves (pressed or finely chopped)
- ½ cup olive oil (or vegetable or canola)
- 4 eggs (I use extra-large)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- ½ cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon dried basil
- butter to grease your pan
- fresh parsley for garnish (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 9x13 glass pan with butter.
- Rinse your zucchini and slice off the tip and root ends. Pat your zucchini dry with a paper towel. Leave the skin on.
- Slice your zucchini into ⅛-inch rounds, using a mandoline, food processor or paring knife. Place your zucchini slices into a large mixing bowl.
- Using paper towels, pat your zucchini slices and gently squeeze them to absorb excess moisture. (This is key to prevent a soggy casserole.)
- Peel and finely chop your onion and add it to your bowl.
- Add your pressed garlic (or peel and chop it finely).
- In a liquid measuring cup, add your oil, then beat in your eggs with a fork. Pour the egg/oil mixture into your bowl with the zucchini.
- Add your flour, baking powder, Parmesan, Romano, salt, pepper and basil to your bowl.
- Use a wooden spoon to carefully mix everything until combined well. Try to separate any zucchini slices that are stuck together.
- Transfer your zucchini mixture to your greased pan and smooth it out evenly. Bake uncovered for 55-60 minutes, or until the entire top is browned (but not burned).
- Let the casserole rest for at least five minutes before slicing it. Garnish with parsley, if desired.
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to five days.
- It's best to weigh your zucchini for accurate results, but if you don't have a scale, choose three medium zucchini.
- Don't use large zucchini with lots of seeds, because they are bitter. If you have no choice, then remove as many of the seeds as you can.
- For an 8x8 pan, halve the ingredients but bake the casserole for the full amount of time.
What kind of gluten-free flour do you think would work in place of traditional flour?
Hi Lilly - I haven't tried it, but I've heard good things about Cup4Cup gluten-free flour. If you purchase it through that link, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.
This is delicious, I did cut the oil back to 1/3 cup and since I didn’t have Romano, I used the same amount of vegan mozzarella and it came out so good. This is definitely a keeper in our regular rotation of meals. Thank you for posting it❣️
Hi Jan - I'm glad this worked for you! It's one of our go-to side dishes.
Can you use biscuit in place of the flour and the baking powder?
Hi Michael - If you mean Bisquick, yes, you should be able to do that.
Well I had way too much zucchini and I made muffins. Fingers crossed! I mean it will still be yummy, how could it not!
Hi Heather - Do you mean you added way too much zucchini to this recipe? I imagine that would throw off the ratios.
So delicious. Really subtle flavors. Great use of zucchini that even my kids loved. Even adding another spice like some nutmeg or red pepper as you keep making this would work well. We mixed the cheeses too. Highly recommend.
Hi Nadine - I'm glad your family enjoyed this as much as mine does! Red pepper flakes sound good!
I made this and it’s delicious! I could have eaten the whole dish. My family had it for lunch and finished it off for breakfast. It’s easy to make and taste great! Another great recipe.
Hi Lucy - We love having this for breakfast! I'm so glad you and your family enjoyed it.
Wow,so delicious yet so simple. I halved the recipe and added mushrooms and used feta instead of the romano, because that’s what I had on hand. Loved the lightness of this dish. Worked perfectly baking along side meatloaf. Thanks!
Hi Miss - Your changes sound delicious! Thanks for letting me know you enjoyed the zucchini bake.