These Roasted Zucchini with Parmesan are a light but super tasty Italian side dish that you can have on the table in 20 minutes.
Using just 4 ingredients, this is a great side for all your roasts and grilled meats. Pile a platter with roasted zucchini and you’ll have everyone asking for seconds!
Why you’ll love this recipe
As I have done for many years, you’ll find this recipe will become your go-to side! When you need something quick. This is it! When you need something tasty. This is it! When you need something everyone will love. This is it!
This recipe for roasted zucchini doesn’t use a long list of ingredients. In fact, it’s just basically zucchini with Parmesan topping. And it’s the Parmesan that makes it taste so amazingly delicious!
The best part about this delicious veggie recipe is that there is no standing over a stove sauteing or frying. Just cut, top with Parmesan and seasonings and straight into a hot oven! It’s as simple as that!
I’m always wanting to get more nutritious food into my family but it’s also got to be really tasty which is why this is a staple at our table. Also we want to be as energy efficient as possible, so often I’ll turn the oven on for some Crispy Roast Potatoes. While they are cooking, I’ll prepare some Stuffed Mushrooms with Ricotta and these zucchini to pop into the oven in the final 15 minutes. Healthy, tasty food for the family plus being super energy efficient!
For complete ingredient quantities and full instructions, please scroll to the printable recipe card bottom of the page.
With just 4 ingredients (that’s including the salt!), you can prepare an Italian side dish everyone will love!
- Zucchini – look for small to medium sized zucchini that are no more than 7 inches long (about 18cm). Leave the large ones – they’ll be watery and flavorless. Fresh zucchini will feel firm and look shiny. Choose the ones that have no cuts or bruises.
- Parmesan Cheese – it’s always best to buy a block and finely grate it yourself. However, failing that, store bought, finely grated parmesan will do the trick. Shredded Parmesan won’t melt the same way but it could work in a pinch.
- Olive oil – regular or light is fine
- Salt – just regular salt, nothing fancy
I have made this roasted zucchini recipe for many years just like this because it’s so simple and quick but occasionally I like to pimp it up a little. Here’s a couple of options you might like to try too.
- A pinch of red pepper flakes to add a bit of heat.
- Sprinkle on Italian seasoning before baking.
- Shake a little garlic powder on with the salt (under the cheese so that it doesn’t burn).
- Sub Grana Padano instead of Parmesan cheese
- Squeeze some fresh lemon juice over when the roasted zucchini comes out of the oven.
This Roasted Zucchini recipe has got to be one of the easiest and quickest veggies dishes around. Just get the oven nice and hot so preheat to 425ºF/220ºC and line a shallow baking tray with non-stick paper.
Now you’ll need to carefully wash and dry the zucchini. Then cut off the stem and discard. You could keep it on for presentation but the stem is not generally eaten though they are edible.
- Slice the zucchini in half lengthwise and arrange cut side up on the baking tray. Don’t crowd them. There should be plenty of room so that they roast and not stew. Brush the cut surface with olive oil. Then sprinkle with salt.
- Evenly distribute the finely grated Parmesan cheese over the cut surface of the zucchini.
- Roast in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes or until the cheese is golden brown and the zucchini are tender.
Tips for Success and FAQ’s
Making roasted zucchini is simple and quick but you’ll have great results if you follow my tips.
Firstly use a baking tray that is large enough that the zucchini are well spaced apart. Have a look at the photos to fully understand what I mean. Also the baking tray must not have high sides otherwise the moisture from the zucchini won’t evaporate and they will be soggy.
Preheat the oven to the correct temperature. To “roast” as opposed to “bake”, the temperature needs to be quite high and the oven hot.
Next use Parmesan cheese that is finely grated for best results. I have never tried this recipe with shredded parmesan. It might be ok but I can’t guarantee it.
Importantly, don’t leave the salt out. Zucchini are a rather mild vegetable (or fruit if you want to be really technical) and correct seasoning makes all the difference.
Finally, arrange zucchini cut side up so that the moisture evaporates. This also gives a big, flat surface to pile on plenty of Parmesan cheese. Plus, larger pieces are less likely to overcook and turn mushy.
If zucchini are crowded in the baking pan, they will sweat and stew instead of roasting. There are recipes that use a cooling rack to elevate the zucchini. However I have never found this necessary. Instead make sure that you use a baking pan with very shallow sides and give the zucchini plenty of room. If you double the recipe, use two baking pans.
While I have never tested this recipe in an air fryer, I think it would work very well.
No. Freezing this recipe won’t work.
C’mon! These Roasted Zucchini are going to be a perfect side dish with anything! But, if you want my suggestion, I always serve these with my Italian Chicken Cutlets. It’s an excellent combination.
They’ll also be delicious with any roast or grilled meat plus braises like this Braised Chicken. Actually, I challenge you to resist picking at these before they get to the table. Yes, these roasted zucchini are that good!!
More side dishes
Instant Pot Cauliflower – quick and simple
Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Carrots – with balsamic vinegar and maple syrup
Rice Stuffed Tomatoes – an Italian classic
Stuffed Zucchini with Ricotta – if you love these roasted zucchini, you’ll love these
Asparagus Wrapped with Prosciutto – a great spring side
If you enjoyed this recipe, I’d really appreciate a star rating and a comment or tag me on instagram @marcellina.in.cucina.
Either way, I love to hear from you!
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Roasted Zucchini Recipe
- 4 (17 ½ oz/ 500 grams) medium zucchini
- 3 teaspoons olive oil more if needed
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup (¾ oz/20 grams) finely grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 425ºF/220ºC and line a large shallow baking tray with non stick paper.
- Carefully wash and dry zucchini.
- Slice the zucchini in half and arrange cut side up on baking tray.
- Brush or drizzle oil over zucchini halves then sprinkle with salt.
- Scatter zucchini evenly with Parmesan cheese covering all the cut surface.
- Roast for 15 minutes or until tender and the cheese is golden brown. Check tenderness by inserting a fork into the zucchini.
- Serve immediately.
- Use a large, shallow baking tray so that zucchini aren’t crowded and the moisture can evaporate easily.
- Preheat the oven to the right temperature.
- Use finely grated Parmesan Cheese for best results.
- Don’t forget the salt. If it’s bland, it probably needs salt.
- Arrange zucchini cut side up and don’t be tempted to cut into smaller pieces.