Creamy Parmesan Zucchini

4.86 from 47 votes
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This cheesy and creamy Parmesan zucchini recipe is the ultimate vegetarian dinner idea! In this easy comfort food meal, fresh zucchini slices are covered with cream sauce and baked until golden and bubbly.

This Parmesan zucchini reminds me of my incredible Eggplant Parmesan sans tomato sauce or this wonderfully cheesy Zucchini Casserole.

Zucchini slices layered in a Dutch oven and topped with cream mixture.


 

Baked Zucchini, a classic of Italian cuisine, combines zucchini and Parmesan cheese in an irresistible blend of taste and texture that’s quick and easy to whip up!

In this easy zucchini bake, the humble zucchini gets a rich and creamy makeover with a generous drizzle of heavy cream, a sprinkle of Italian seasoning, and a hint of garlic. This dish serves up all the flavorful charm of a chicken parm, minus the chicken!

With its ease of preparation and short cooking time – approximately 30 minutes – this zucchini recipe is a sure-fire hit! Perfect for a group of friends craving a creamy, low-carb, keto-friendly treat, my parmesan zucchini is a cheesy treat you don’t want to miss!

Why I Love This Zucchini Bake

  • Simple and Quick: This casserole is simple to prepare and cooks in 30 minutes, making it perfect for busy days.
  • Delicious: It’s a creamy, savory, and cheesy dish that feels indulgent and hits the spot when you’re craving comfort food.
  • Versatile: It’s a great side dish, but can also be a main course.
  • Low-carb and Keto-friendly: This recipe fits nicely into a low-carb or keto diet, making it a fantastic option for those adhering to these dietary lifestyles.
  • Vegetarian: Perfect for those who want a vegetarian option that’s as hearty and satisfying as a meat-based dish.
Side shot of a silver spoon scooping out creamy parmesan zucchini.

Ingredients You’ll Need

This parmesan zucchini recipe uses just a few simple ingredients that you can easily find at your local grocery store. With fresh zucchini, rich cream, and a blend of flavorful cheeses, this recipe is both delicious and quite simple to make.

  • Zucchini: Cut your zucchini into 1/4-inch slices. Yellow squash can be used as a substitute.
  • Salt for zucchini: Helps draw out moisture from the zucchini slices, preventing a watery dish.
  • Butter: Adds flavor to the dish and helps sauté the garlic.
  • Garlic: Garlic powder can be used if fresh garlic is not available.
  • Heavy cream: Adds creaminess and a rich texture to the sauce. Half-and-half can be used as a lighter substitute.
  • Sour cream: Adds tanginess and creaminess to the sauce.
  • Italian seasoning: You can also use a mix of dried basil, oregano, and thyme.
  • Onion powder: Adds a subtle onion flavor without the texture of fresh onions.
  • Salt & black pepper: Enhances the flavors of all the ingredients in the dish.
  • Grated parmesan cheese: Adds a salty, nutty flavor and helps thicken the sauce. Pecorino Romano can be used as an alternative.
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese: Provides a melty, gooey texture and mild flavor. You can use provolone or Monterey Jack, too.

How to Make Parmesan Zucchini

Making this delicious zucchini casserole is a breeze with just a few simple steps. Follow the step-by-step instructions below to make your own creamy, cheesy, and delicious zucchini bake.

  1. Prep: Preheat the oven to 425˚F and butter a big baking dish.
  2. Prepare the zucchini: Sprinkle salt over the zucchini slices. Wait 15 minutes, then wipe off the salt. Arrange the zucchini in a baking dish and set aside.
  3. Make the sauce: Melt the butter in a skillet or saucepan. Meanwhile, whisk together the heavy cream, sour cream, garlic, spices, and half of the Parmesan in a bowl. Add to the melted butter and stir until it bubbles.
  4. Combine the sauce with the zucchini: Pour the creamy sauce over the zucchini. Shake the dish around to spread the sauce.
  5. Add more cheese: Sprinkle the rest of the Parmesan and mozzarella on top.
  6. Bake: Cook for 20 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Take out of the oven and wait 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
Top view of white round dutch oven with baked zucchini.

Recipe Tips

  • Salt the zucchini and let it rest. It’s important to let your zucchini slices rest for 15 minutes after salting them. This will allow the salt to draw moisture from the zucchini.
  • Spread out cream. Be sure to toss your zucchini slices in the cream sauce until they’re covered so every bite is full of creamy flavor!
  • Zucchini options. If zucchini isn’t available or preferred, you can use other summer squash varieties like yellow squash.
  • Cheese options. You can experiment with other cheese varieties like cheddar or Gouda. For a vegan version, use vegan cheese alternatives.
  • Garnish. You can garnish this dish with fresh basil to give it an extra fresh flavor and add a pretty finishing touch.

Serving Suggestions

Serve this creamy parmesan zucchini with a variety of delicious sides. Try my fluffy slow cooker bread for dipping into the extra cream sauce, or pair it with my grilled corn with herbed butter for a perfect match. If you’re a meat eater, these juicy garlic butter pan fried chicken breasts complement the dish wonderfully. For pasta lovers, my easy olive pesto pasta makes an excellent accompaniment.

For dessert, serve a light and refreshing mango sorbet to balance the richness of the zucchini casserole perfectly. For a refreshing drink, try a chilled glass of frosted lemonade or a crisp Sauvignon Blanc.

Close-up of a baked parmesan zucchini.

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

You can store your leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for 2 to 3 days. I don’t recommend freezing the casserole because the cream sauce will separate once you thaw it. If that doesn’t concern you, you can easily freeze this for 1 to 2 months.

To reheat your zucchini, bake it at 350°F until it’s hot and the cheese starts bubbling.

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4.86 from 47 votes

Creamy Parmesan Zucchini

This creamy Parmesan Zucchini is the ultimate vegetarian dinner recipe! Fresh zucchini slices are covered with cream sauce and baked until bubbly and golden.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients 

  • 2 pounds zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • salt for zucchini
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cut into small cubes
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
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Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 425˚F.
  • Butter a baking dish and set aside.
  • Cut the zucchini into ¼-inch slices and sprinkle salt on each slice. Let zucchini slices rest for 15 minutes so the salt can draw out the moisture.
  • Wipe each slice with a paper towel to remove the salt.
  • Arrange zucchini slices in the baking dish. Set aside.
  • In a mixing bowl whisk together heavy cream, sour cream, Italian seasoning, onion powder, salt, pepper, and ½ cup parmesan cheese. Set aside.
  • Melt the butter in a saucepan; stir in garlic and cook for 20 seconds.
  • To the saucepan, add in the heavy cream mixture; whisk and cook until mixture begins to bubble up. WHISK so that the cream does not start to curdle.
  • Stir in ½ cup mozzarella; cook for 20 more seconds or until cheese is all melted.
  • Pour the cream mixture over the zucchini in the baking dish; shake the baking dish to distribute the cream all around the zucchini slices.
  • Sprinkle the rest of the parmesan and mozzarella cheese over the zucchini.
  • Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, or until golden brown on top.
  • Remove from oven and let stand 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Notes

  • Salting Zucchini: After adding salt, let the zucchini sit for 15 minutes. This helps pull out the moisture. For this part, I arrange the zucchini slices on a large baking sheet. After 15 minutes, I wipe each slice with a paper towel to remove the salt.
  • Other Squash: No zucchini? Use yellow squash.
  • Change the Cheese: Try different cheeses like cheddar or Gouda.
  • Add Basil: Top the dish with fresh basil.

Nutrition

Calories: 297kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 77mg | Sodium: 828mg | Potassium: 478mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1100IU | Vitamin C: 28mg | Calcium: 345mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

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55 Comments

  1. Tina Tippin says:

    Have you tried this recipe using frozen zucchini?

  2. Dee says:

    Way too salty! Wiped off as directed. I might try what another comment said to use the 1 tsp to salt the zucchini and add none to the recipe. Had to eat mine with sour cream to cancel some of it out.

  3. Debra says:

    This was absolutely delicious 😋!!! My husband and I finished it off in2 days !!! I love zucchini and it was so nice to eat it in a new recipe !!! I can’t wait to make it again!! Thanks 😊!!

  4. Viki says:

    Great! Everyone loves this.
    I made a small change for convenience – instead of salting the squash, then wiping off the salt after it sweats, I just used the 1 tsp called for in seasoning the dish and then didn’t wipe it off. I wanted to avoid the step of wiping the squash. 😉
    It seems like a rich dish, but I noticed in the Nutrition info there is not a serving size listed, so hard to determine.