These zucchine gratinate will become your favorite side dish for your Italian main dishes. Tender zucchini topped with a crispy mixture featuring simple, yet delicious Italian flavors.
Zucchine gratinate is an Italian side dish made of sliced zucchini topped with a flavorful mixture of breadcrumbs, parmigiano, and parsley. The zucchini are then drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and baked until the topping becomes crispy and the vegetables are cooked through.
I like how Italian cuisine often relies on fresh, high-quality ingredients. Many recipes don’t need excessive seasoning or complicated preparation.
A few ingredients prepared well can shine on their own, and this is the case on this zucchine gratinate! They are delicious and so easy to make, perfect as a side for chicken cacciatora, beef roast, or fish dishes.
- Zucchini: This is a versatile vegetable used widely in various cuisines, especially Italian cooking. It has a mild, slightly sweet flavor and a tender texture.
- Breadcrumbs: Italian breadcrumbs are best because they’re made of crusty bread and hold better moisture than other types of breadcrumbs.
- Parmigiano-Reggiano: Freshly grated parmigiano for best flavor.
- Oil: Try to use the best quality of extra virgin olive oil you can.
- Herbs: Usually only chopped fresh parsley is needed.
- Seasonings: Freshly cracked black pepper and salt.
How to Make Zucchine Gratinate
Preheat your oven to 390°F/200°C.
Trim both ends of the zucchini and carefully cut the zucchini lengthwise into thick slices. Start from one end and gently run the knife down the center of the zucchini, applying even pressure as you cut.
In a small bowl, mix the breadcrumbs, parmigiano, and chopped parsley. Combine the ingredients well to form a breadcrumb mixture.
Place the sliced zucchini on a large baking tray and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Toss them to coat them on all sides.
Arrange the zucchini in a single layer and spoon the breadcrumb mixture over each slice, then drizzle with olive oil.
Bake for about 20 minutes or until the zucchini is tender and the breadcrumb topping is golden brown and crispy.
Allow to cool down to room temperature and then transfer to a serving plate.
Recipe Notes & Tips
- For this recipe, I like to use large zucchini because they are easier to slice. However, make sure you select zucchini that are firm and without blemishes.
- When slicing the zucchini, try to maintain uniform thickness to ensure even cooking.
- If you want to use a mandolin just make sure it is one where you can set the thickness to about 1/8 inch.
- If you want to add more flavor, you can use other fresh herbs such as thyme, rosemary, or basil. My mother in law like to add 1-2 garlic cloves slightly crushed to the tray so the zucchine will infuse with the aroma.
- Arrange the zucchini in a single layer and make sure they don’t overlap or they’ll create some moisture and won’t crisp as they’re supposed to do.
- Use two baking trays and bake in two batches, or bake at once making sure to rotate the trays after 10 minutes, moving them from bottom to top.
What to Serve With Italian Zucchini
Leftovers can also be enjoyed stuffed on a panini. I usually cut in half a ciabatta or homemade bread, then stuff it with the zucchini, mozzarella slices, and fresh tomato. So yummy!
Want more? Use them as a topping for pizza, or as a fun and fulfilling component for a poke bowl.
Zucchine gratinate will last about 2-3 days stored in an airtight container in the fridge. Freezing is not recommended as they will become mushy after thawed.
Reheating is not needed as they’re usually eaten at room temperature. However, if you just removed them from the refrigerator and want to eat them right away, just pop them in the oven and reheat them at 390°F/200°C for 5-6 minutes or until heated through.
Take in mind that zucchine gratinate will lose their crispy topping texture when stored, however, they will be delicious anyway!
More Italian Sides
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- 3 large zucchini (about 2 pounds)
- ⅔ cup Italian breadcrumbs
- ¼ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano
- extra virgin olive oil (as needed)
- 3 Tablespoons parsley (finely chopped)
- salt and pepper (to taste)
- Preheat your oven to 390°F/200°C.
- Trim both ends of the zucchini and carefully cut the zucchini lengthwise into ⅛ inch-thick slices.
- In a small bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, parmigiano, and chopped parsley.
- Place the sliced zucchini on a large baking tray and season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss them to coat them on all sides.
- Arrange the zucchini in a single layer and spoon the breadcrumb mixture over each slice, then generously drizzle with olive oil.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until the zucchine are tender and the breadcrumb topping is golden brown and crispy.
- Allow to cool to room temperature and then transfer to a serving plate.
- If you want to add more flavor, you can use other fresh herbs such as thyme, rosemary, or basil.
- Leftovers will last about 2-3 days stored in an airtight container in the fridge. Freezing is not recommended as they will become mushy after thawed.
Maricruz Avalos Flores is a Mexican cook and photographer living in Italy where she shares authentic Mexican & Italian recipes that can be easily made at home using easy-to-find ingredients.