Tender-crisp, aromatic, and flavorful, this roasted zucchini recipe is a delicious and original way of cooking zucchini in the oven.
You can top oven-roasted zucchini with a tasty and crunchy breadcrumb topping or gratin them with grated parmesan cheese. We'll show you how!
Check out our best vegetable sides recipe collection!
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Roasted zucchini is a beautiful side dish and appetizer that is always welcomed by adults and kids alike because zucchinis are delicious when roasted in the oven.
While you can undoubtedly have plain roasted zucchini seasoned with herbs and olive oil, we recommend trying one of our two toppings.
The first is Italian-inspired. We first roast the zucchini in the oven until tender-crisp and then apply a light, crunchy, and aromatic topping made with breadcrumbs, dried herbs, olive oil, and garlic.
The breading gets golden and crunchy in the oven; believe us, it's absolutely delicious. It's how they make zucchini in Italy, and you'll be blown away by how easy and flavorful they turn out.
The second is with grated parmesan (or grated non-dairy cheese). The parmesan melts, making the zucchini tasty and cheesy. It's wonderful!
I hope you like this recipe as much as we do; for more zucchini recipes, do a quick "zucchini" search on our site 🙂
We use green zucchini, but you can use many other varieties of zucchini for this recipe.
Try summer squash, yellow crookneck, yellow squash, yellow zucchini, grey zucchini, and costata romanesco.
Any breadcrumbs work for this recipe.
We like to use extra virgin olive oil because it's packed with flavor and polyphenols that make it incredibly healthy. But, of course, regular olive oil works too.
It's best to use dried herbs to mix with the breadcrumbs because they won't burn in the oven.
We use dried thyme and dried rosemary. Other excellent options are oregano, dried basil, dried parsley, or to make things even easier, use Italian seasoning.
You can use garlic powder or grated fresh garlic. The garlic powder is easier to use, but the fresh garlic adds a fresher and sharper taste.
If you use fresh garlic, mince it or grate it.
Salt and Pepper
Use fine sea salt or kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add a pinch or two of chili powder or red pepper flakes for some heat.
They are optional; however, we like to serve the roasted zucchini on a platter with a sprinkle of finely chopped fresh parsley and a few wedges of lemon to squeeze on shortly before serving.
They add freshness and a light tang that fits this dish perfectly.
You substitute fresh herbs like dill, rosemary, basil, and mint for parsley.
Parmesan cheese is only necessary if you make roasted zucchini with parmesan topping. In this case, you won't need the breadcrumbs and the garlic.
We recommend using good quality Parmigiano Reggiano or Grana Padano imported from Italy.
Parmesan is not vegan nor vegetarian, so keep that in mind if serving these zucchini to someone on a strict diet.
For vegans, we would recommend our breadcrumb topping instead.
Roasted zucchini with breadcrumbs topping
Preheat the oven to 400°F or 200°C. Wash and dry the zucchini, then cut the zucchini lengthwise into three slices.
Arrange the slices on a baking tray or sheet pan lined with parchment paper, brush them with olive oil, and season with salt and black pepper.
Note: you can trim the ends of the zucchini if you like. We like to keep the stem whole because it looks pretty, and only trim the bottom part.
Bake at 400°F or 200°C in the center rack of the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until the zucchini, is tender-crisp.
Don't overcook the zucchini, or it'll get mushy and watery.
Baking time depends on the following:
1) Thickness of your zucchini. Larger zucchini might take a few minutes longer. Smaller ones might be done in just over 10 minutes.
2) Your taste. If you like softer zucchini, bake them longer. If you want your zucchini "al dente," then bake them a few minutes less.
Keep in mind that zucchini has high water content. Therefore, the longer the zucchini bakes, the more water is released, and the mushier the zucchini will get.
Make the topping
While the zucchini bakes, make the topping.
To a small bowl, add breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, garlic powder, or minced garlic, your dried herbs of choice (thyme and rosemary, in our case), and extra virgin olive oil.
Mix well with a spoon until all breadcrumbs are mixed with the oil.
Take the zucchini out of the oven, and add about a tablespoon of breadcrumbs mixture on top of the zucchini.
Put back in the oven, with the broiler function turned on, and gratin until the breadcrumbs get golden, toasted, and crunchy.
This takes 1 to 3 minutes, depending on the oven, so keep an eye on them.
Arrange on a serving platter and enjoy as a starter or side dish. Add freshly chopped parsley and a squeeze of lemon juice if you like.
Roasted zucchini with parmesan
Preheat the oven to 400°F or 200°C. Wash and dry the zucchini and cut them in half lengthwise, then cut them in half again. Now cut each zucchini stick in half horizontally.
Note: you can also cut the zucchini into three slices like before.
Transfer onto a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil, dried herbs, salt, and pepper, and toss well with your hands to distribute the seasoning evenly. Arrange on a single layer.
Bake at 400°F or 200°C in the center rack of the oven for about 15 minutes, until the zucchini spears are almost cooked.
Take out of the oven and sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese.
Put back in the oven, with the broiler or grill function on, and gratin until the parmesan is melted and slightly charred (about 4 minutes).
Arrange on a serving platter and serve as a starter or side dish. You can add some fresh thyme or oregano on top if you like.
Zucchini has high water content, which means it's inevitable that it will get a little soggy when roasted. Some tips to help you get it less wet:
1) Get very fresh zucchini that are hard to the touch.
2) Roast at a high temperature of 400°F or 200°C.
3) Roast for a short time, for 10 to 15 minutes.
At a temperature of 400°F or 200°C, zucchini takes 10 to 20 minutes to cook in the oven, depending on how thick you cut it. Thinner slices take as little as 10 minutes. Zucchini boats can take up to 20 minutes.
Pierce it with a fork. The fork should slide in, but with some resistance from the zucchini. The zucchini flesh should not be mushy but tender-crisp.
It would be best to season the zucchini with salt before baking. This way, they will be more flavorful.
If you think your zucchinis are very watery, drain excess water before cooking them.
To do so, cut the zucchini as desired, then arrange them on a baking sheet lined with kitchen paper, sprinkle them with a few pinches of salt, and wait 15 to 30 minutes for the salt to drain the water out of the zucchini.
Pat the zucchini dry with kitchen paper and process with the recipe.
Make Ahead & Storage
Make ahead: while you can enjoy this recipe at room temperature or reheat it, we think it's most delicious when freshly baked because the breadcrumbs stay crisp.
Refrigerator: let the zucchini cool down completely before storing them in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. I recommend wrapping them in plastic or keeping them in an airtight container.
Freezer: this recipe is not suitable for freezing.
Reheating: warm leftovers in the microwave. You can also serve this recipe at room temperature.
More Zucchini Recipes
If you love cooking with zucchini, check out our other easy recipes with zucchini:
- Sauteed zucchini (red onion, salt, pepper, garlic, etc.)
- Grilled zucchini (zucchini, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, etc.)
- Zucchini pesto (almonds, zucchini, garlic, pine nuts, nutritional yeast, basil, etc.)
- Air fryer zucchini (zucchini, olive oil, paprika, garlic powder, etc.)
- Lentil zucchini boats (brown lentils, canned tomatoes, onion, parmesan, zucchini, parsley, etc.)
- 20-minute zucchini pasta (grated zucchini, onion, garlic, oregano, yogurt, fusilli, etc.)
- Zucchini risotto (lemon, zucchini, arborio rice, vegetable broth, basil, etc.)
- Vegan zucchini bread (flour, plant milk, chocolate chips, zucchini, walnuts, cinnamon, etc.)
- Stuffed zucchini (ricotta or vegan ricotta, sun-dried tomatoes, breadcrumbs, etc.)
More Roasted Vegetables
Roasted veggies are a wonderfully satisfying way to get your greens. Here are some of our selected roasted side dishes:
- Brussels sprouts paired with a tangy mustard dressing.
- Asparagus that get perfectly crunchy in the oven.
- Artichokes combined with potato wedges.
- Bell pepper for a colorful and vitamin-rich side dish.
- Broccoli with a chili oil coating that makes it finger-licking good!
- Get even more veggie inspiration with our best artichoke recipes and selected asparagus recipes.
For many more side dish ideas, check out our sides category page.
For roasting the zucchini
- 4 medium zucchini (about 1½ pounds)
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
- 2 twists black pepper
For the breadcrumbs topping
- ¾ cup breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 handful flat-leaf parsley
- 4 wedges of lemon
Roast the Zucchini
- Preheat the oven to 400°F or 200°C. Wash and dry 4 medium zucchini, trim the end, and cut each zucchini into 3 slices.Arrange the slices on a baking tray lined with parchment paper, brush them with 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, and season with ½ teaspoon salt and 2 twists black pepper.
- Bake at 400°F or 200°C in the center rack of the oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until tender-crisp.Don't overcook the zucchini, or they will get mushy and watery.
- To a small bowl, add ¾ cup breadcrumbs, 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, ½ teaspoon dried thyme, 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper.Mix well with a spoon or with the tips of your fingers.
- Take the zucchini out of the oven, and add about a tablespoon of breadcrumbs mixture on top of the zucchini.
- Put back in the oven, with the broiler function turned on, and gratin until the breadcrumbs get golden, toasted, and crunchy (1 to 3 minutes).
- Arrange on a serving platter and enjoy as a starter or side dish.Serve with 1 handful flat-leaf parsley (chopped) and 4 wedges of lemon.
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