Roasted Zucchini with Parmesan

black plate of baked zucchini slices with parmesan cheese
Tap any image to pin it.

OK, we’re calling it—zucchini is the new cauliflower. And if zucchini is the new cauliflower, then this is the new cauliflower rice. Oven-roasted zucchini with parmesan cheese is super fast, a little crispy, a little salty, and really hits the spot. 

Zucchini Problem—Solved! 

That thing where all your friends and neighbors are foisting their giant zucchinis off on you like you don’t already have a plethora of them taking over your backyard? What if it wasn’t a problem, but more like a challenge? While you’re grateful for the bounty, maybe you’re also a little stressed out by the pile of rapidly softening green, tube-like vegetables sitting on your kitchen counter. Whether you have a plan for how you’ll serve it or not, sometimes you’ve just got to cook that vegetable before it goes bad! 

Roasted zucchini with parmesan—which takes all of ten minutes, start to finish—is going to save you from just giving up and composting (or tossing) all that squash-y goodness. Thanks to a healthy sprinkling of parmesan, it’s one of those unicorn veggie recipes that’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

black plate of baked zucchini slices with parmesan cheese

What Are Zucchini? 

We’ve sort of mentioned this before, but it’s so mind-blowing that it’s worth mentioning (again) that zucchini is technically a fruit! And not just a fruit, but a berry. Here you are, all these years, just living your life, and all of a sudden you learn that zuchini—this thing you’ve always known as a vegetable—is actually a BERRY. The universe is a wild place, people. Melon, cucumbers, and all squash are part of the plant family cucurbita pepo, defined as a “fleshy one-celled many-seeded berry, that has a hard rind and is the characteristic fruit of the gourd family.” Chew on that one, friends. 

Wondering How To Cook Zucchini? 

When it comes to how to cook zucchini, it’s usually best to keep things simple. Here are a few things to keep in mind: 

  • Do you have to peel zucchini? Nope! There’s no need to peel zucchini. In fact, the skin is a big source of zucchini nutrition (the deep green color is a dead giveaway) so you definitely want to leave the skin on.  
  • How to cut zucchini: after giving the zucchini squash a good rinse under cold water, slice off the stem and discard it. The rest is edible and delicious so just slice it up into strips (great for grilling) coins  (which is what you’ll do for this roasted zucchini recipe) or even half-moons. Or, you could forego the knife entirely and grate your zucchini, which is the first step towards beautiful crisp zucchini fritters. 
bowl of zucchini slices, bowl of parmesan cheese, bowl with salt pepper and garlic powder and a bowl of olive oil

What You’ll Need to Make Roasted Zucchini: 

With an ingredient list as short as the cook time, this baked zucchini recipe couldn’t be easier. We bet you’ve already got what you need, which is simply: 

  • Zucchini. (but you already knew that).
  • Parmesan cheese! Pre-grated is OK, but the fine dusting that you get from grating real Parmigiano Reggiano over the zucchini rounds with a microplane grater is unbeatable.
  • Garlic powder. Our beloved, much-maligned pantry fave. This parmesan-roasted zucchini recipe is a perfect example of why we love garlic powder. Every zucchini slice will get a hint of flavor in a way that fresh garlic cloves just can’t replicate. Just be sure that your garlic powder is fresh—if it’s more than six months old, spring for a fresh jar (or scoop from the bulk bins). 
  • Olive oil. You can use extra virgin if you want, but since you’ll be roasting this in the oven, a lot of that really good flavor will be lost. Regular, non-extra virgin olive oil is perfect here.

How To Roast Zucchini

You’ll see a lot of recipes for “baked zucchini”. They might look a little bit like this recipe, however, we call our recipe “roasted zucchini” because of the high cooking temperature. High heat means that the zucchini gets a lovely, flavor-making bit of blister—and it also means that in terms of how long to roast zucchini, it’s in and out of the oven in just minutes. Here’s the steps for the best way to cook zucchini, you ave our word.   

  1. Boldly crank your oven to 450°F. 
  2. Dress your sliced zucchini rounds with olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder. 
  3. Arrange the rounds on a baking sheet, taking care not to overlap them. 
  4. Grate parmesan cheese generously over the rounds. 
  5. Roast! About five minutes, and then finish the rounds off with a quick broil to ensure the cheese gets nice and crisp-bubbly.
  6. Dive in! Enjoy these as a side dish, snack, pasta stand-in—the possibilities are endless.
baking sheet of seasoned zucchini topped with parmesan

Tools You’ll Need: 

  • That microplane grater we were talking about is really nice to have. Plus you can use it for all kinds of things—grate fresh ginger or garlic, and it’s perfect for zesting citrus, too.
  • A big bowl.
  • A baking sheet

Other Zucchini Recipes That Will Change the Way You Think About Zucchini. 

Interested in cooking zucchini? We know you're going to love these four killer zucchini recipes!  

Waste Not Want Not.

When you’ve got zucchini squash coming out your ears, it can be a little overwhelming. We hope this Zucchini side dish recipe takes that feeling of overwhelm and transforms it into excitement. Snap a photo of your oven roasted zucchini with cheese, and maybe even a video of the beautiful people you feed it to. Tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper so we can follow along. Happy eating!

Roasted Zucchini with Parmesan

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 medium sized zucchini, cut into 1/2 inch thick rounds
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F
  2. In a large bowl toss the zucchini with olive oil salt, pepper and garlic powder.
  3. Arrange on a baking sheet, top with grated parmesan cheese and bake on center rack for 5 minutes, next broil the zucchini for 2-3 minutes or until cheese is golden brown.
  4. Serve as a side or as a low-carb base with our instant pot beef ragu.