Stop zucchini fatigue in its tracks.
When, exactly, did zucchini and yellow squash become summer’s most prolific vegetables? There is a lot of it around this time of year in late July and August. So much, in fact, that some people even get sick of it. But some people do not have this recipe. This summery, satisfying zucchini and yellow squash parmigiana will help enjoy summer squash in the best possible way.
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I am always looking for something new to do with zucchini — in particular, zucchini recipes that work as a full meal. This zucchini and yellow squash parmigiana may be vegetarian, but it still feels satisfying, even decadent.
It is also generously sized and easy to make. The hardest parts? Slicing a bunch of squash (easy) and waiting impatiently while the casserole bakes down to its melty, golden-brown goodness (harder).
Recipe notes: Zucchini and Yellow Squash Parmigiana
- How to layer the parmigiana. Start with a base of marinara. This light, simple tomato sauce gets topped with diced onions and the squash, and more marinara. Bake this until the zucchini and squash become fork tender. Finally, top everything with grated mozzarella cheese. This all bakes until the whole thing comes together in a melty, bubbly, golden casserole.
- I recommend making a homemade marinara (use this recipe). But if you are not into making marinara and want to get right down to making the parmigiana, the only acceptable jarred brand is, in my opinion, Rao’s.
- The squash will release a fair amount of liquid as it cooks. The bottom of the casserole may be a bit watery. Either let the dish cook a little longer, uncovered, or just scoop the squash with a slotted spoon. Alternatively: Serve the liquid with some good, crusty bread to soak it up.
- A note about mozzarella. Do not use fresh mozzarella. You want the firmer, low-moisture pizza kind. Ideally, fresh-grated. Fresh-grated mozzarella is better than pre-grated. Pre-grated mozzarella usually has a thin coating of potato starch to prevent clumping. This powdery coat does not let the cheese melt as creamily.
Zucchini and Yellow Squash Parmigiana
- 4 to 5 medium summer squash, zucchini and yellow squash, sliced thin
- 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
- 2 cups marinara
- 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella
- 1/3 cup breadcrumbs
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
- freshly-ground pepper
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- fresh pecorino-Romano or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, to serve
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- On medium heat, toast the breadcrumbs in a pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a pinch of salt until golden-brown, stirring often. Set aside.
- Trim the ends of the squash and slice thin, about 1/8" to 1/4" thick.
- Toss the sliced zucchini with 2 teaspoons of kosher salt and let season and drain in a colander for five to 10 minutes.
- Coat the bottom of a casserole pan or baking dish with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Ladle one cup of marinara into baking dish and spread over the bottom. Scatter the diced onions over the marinara.
- Without rinsing the summer squash, shingle in a circular pattern around the casserole. Bake, loosely tented with foil, for about 30 minutes, until fork tender.
- Remove the foil. Top the zucchini and yellow squash with another cup of marinara. Top with the shredded mozzarella, then the breadcrumbs, a generous pinch of salt, and bake -- uncovered -- for an additional 30 minutes, until the squash is soft and everything is melted and bubbling. Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.