Sunday, August 16, 2015

Val's Kid-Friendly Broiled Zucchini with Mozzarella and Pepperoni (Low-Carb, Gluten-Free)

My sister Val's Kid Friendly Zucchini with Mozzarella is delicious with or without the Pepperoni.

Val's Kid-Friendly Broiled Zucchini with Mozzarella and Pepperoni (Low-Carb, Gluten-Free) found on

Back in 2008 my sister Val shared her method of broiling seasoned zucchini with cheese and guaranteed me that all her very cute kids would gobble up zucchini when it was cooked this way. I made this easy cheesy zucchini several times through the years and agreed it was delicious, but this year when I decided to update the recipe with better photos with my niece Kara, we hit on the idea of giving the kid-friendly broiled zucchini more of a pizza twist. That's how the recipe morphed into Val's Kid-Friendly Broiled Zucchini with Mozzarella and Pepperoni.

And wow. What a great idea it was to add some Italian herb seasoning to the zucchini and throw on a few slices of pepperoni after the cheese had broiled a few minutes. Kara and I both loved these slices of still slightly-crisp zucchini topped with melted cheese and pepperoni. She thought this would be great to make for her kids as a quick after-school snack, and I've already made it again as an easy lunch for myself.

Of course the pepperoni is 100% optional. I try hard to have a Meatless Monday recipe idea here every Sunday, but I wanted to get this posted while people are still looking for Zucchini Recipes. However if you want to skip the pepperoni and make the original meatless version of this recipe from Val, I promise you it will still be delicious. I used a blend of mild cheese the first time I photographed it, and most any kind of cheese that melts well would be good.

Val's Kid-Friendly Broiled Zucchini with Mozzarella and Pepperoni (Low-Carb, Gluten-Free) found on
Technique is important in a simple recipe like this one. If you can, use a mandoline to slice the zucchini so you get slices that are an equal 3/8 inch thick. Be sure to pre-heat the broil and spray the pan with oil or non-stick spray before you put the zucchini slices on. Season zucchini before you sprinkle on the cheese. Broil the zucchini topped with cheese for about 3 minutes, then sprinkle on the half-slices of pepperoni if using and broil about 3-4 minutes more. That's it!

Val's Kid-Friendly Broiled Zucchini with Mozzarella and Pepperoni (Low-Carb, Gluten-Free) found on
Serve Val's Kid-Friendly Broiled Zucchini with Mozzarella and Pepperoni while it's hot, and I bet the big and little eaters at your house will gobble this up in a hurry!

Original photo for Val's Kid-Friendly Broiled Zucchini with Cheese found on
And just to show why I need to update the photos, here's the original picture of this recipe from back in 2008. Not the greatest photo, but this was still delicious even without the pepperoni!

Val's Kid-Friendly Broiled Zucchini with Mozzarella and Pepperoni (Low-Carb, Gluten-Free) found on
Val's Kid-Friendly Broiled Zucchini with Mozzarella and Pepperoni
(Full size cookie sheet or about 6 servings; this recipe is from my sister Valerie.)

3-4 zucchini, 8-10 inches long (same size zucchini works best)
1 tsp. Spike Seasoning (or your favorite season salt)
1 tsp. Italian Herb Blend (or your favorite herb seasoning)
about 3/4 lb. grated mozzarella
about 20 slices pepperoni, cut in half

Preheat broiler and put rack into middle position or about 4 inches away from broiler. Wash zucchini and cut off ends. Cut into slices about 3/8 inches wide, using a mandoline if you have one. It's important that all zucchini slices are same width so they can cook evenly.

Spray a large baking sheet with non-stick spray. Cover baking sheet completely with zucchini rounds, putting them as close together as possible. Sprinkle each zucchini piece with Spike Seasoning and Italian Herb Blend (or whatever seasoning salt or spices you're using.)

Completely cover top of zucchini with grated cheese. Broil until cheese is starting to melt, about 3 minutes. Cut pepperoni slices in half while the cheese is starting to melt, then sprinkle the cut pepperoni slices over the partially melted cheese and broil about 3-4 minutes more, or until the pepperoni is slightly crisped and the cheese is starting to brown.  Serve immediately.

Click Here for Printer Friendly Recipe

South Beach Diet / Low-Carb Suggestions:
I did use low-fat mozzarella for this recipe, which would be recommended for the South Beach Diet, and turkey pepperoni is best for South Beach if you can find it. With higher-fat cheese and regular pepperoni, this recipe would be suitable for most types of low-carb eating plans.

Nutritional Information? I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.

More Fun Ways to Cook Zucchini:

(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)

Grilled Zucchini Pizza Slices ~ Kalyn's Kitchen

Greek Style Zucchini Fritters ~ Closet Cooking

Parmesan Encrusted Zucchini ~ Kalyn's Kitchen

Eight Ball Stuffed Zucchini ~ A Veggie Venture

Grilled Zucchini Greek Salad ~ Kalyn's Kitchen

Spaghetti Zucchini e Limone ~ What's For Lunch Honey?

(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.counter customizable free hit
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More to Chew On:


  1. Hi Kalyn,
    Question for ya--I'm trying to figure out a pattern here in your posts and it hasn't hit me yet--maybe you can straighten me out--are there certain days of the week that you discuss different food preparations? Like, if I wanted dessert recipes, would I know to come see you on a Friday, etc.? Or are these wonderful recipes just random? Enjoying your site--like the pictures, too--they make me hungry!!!! LOL

  2. I am glad you like the site. Oh my, I wish I was good enough at this to actually have a pattern. Really the recipes are just posted according to what I'm eating lately or what the foods are for that season (like right now I'm kind of doing zucchini, for obvious reasons). The only pattern is that when I'm posting something that isn't a recipe I use the maroon color and when there is a recipe I start with the green color.

    If you're looking for a certain thing you can use the search right above "about me" to search by ingredient. I'm not really into deserts so you won't find much of those except some raving about sugar free popsicles and no sugar fudgesicles.

    I'm hoping to get good enough at digital photography to take actual pictures of the food and post it with the recipe. Still working on that. Lots to learn. Thanks for visiting.

  3. Very tasty--we all enjoyed them. Rachel said "this zucchini is the bomb"! That is definitely a great endorsement.
    Thanks again for sharing.

  4. This may sound dumb but-what kind of cheese do I use in this recipe ( Val's Kid Friendly Zucchini Rounds with Cheese).

  5. I'm the dumb one for not specifying; hopefully I've learned a bit since then.

    My sister uses a blend of mild cheese because that's what her kids like. I think the time she made it for me it was a mild cheddar/jack cheese blend. I think any type of cheese that melts well and you like the flavor of will be great here.

  6. this looks so good. might try it out tonight!

  7. My sister and I used to make something really similar in college. We'd also make it with very thinly sliced potatoes. Delicious! Your 3rd grade classroom sounds like fun. I'm a former 3rd grade teacher and always miss it when it's back to school time.

  8. I love how this recipe is simple and at the same time offers so many variations. I can see myself making it very soon as I am still receiving quite a few courgettes in my weekly basket.

  9. Anything zucchini is YUM to me. Add cheese and you definitely have a winner. I'm going to make some tonight with sprinkling of parm cheese after seasoning with some garlic powder and oregano. After the broiling I'm going to sprinkle with fresh chopped basil (I have TONS of basil right now, in fact, I keep meaning to do your freezing method with some of it.) Thanks for a great blog. Love the potato idea, too, that someone just mentioned and may do that, too, tonight.
    Have a great school year!

  10. Yum. This sounds really good. Plus anything with zucchini is good in my book.

  11. No, no, no, I am happy with the kids version, thank you very much :)

  12. Not just for looks great to me and I intend to try it though I'm thinking I'd mix some bread crumbs with a little olive oil and put a little less cheese. I guess that would be the Italian spin...oreganata.

  13. Zucchini broiled with cheese sound so simple and yet good!

  14. Not only kid friendly but me friendly - This really looks great and what a wonderful way to incorporate a great veggie into the picture.

  15. excellent idea! i'll try this one out ;)

  16. Thanks for posting this recipe. I had a zuchini sitting on my counter for the past week. I was trying to think of what to make with it when I saw this recipe! My husband & kids "don't like zuchini"; my husband was brave & tried one - trying to convince our kids to do the same. My husband & son enjoyed it - my husband ate several which I was happily surprised!

    Thanks for this simple recipe - and for helping me to get my family to eat zuchini!
    ~ Leanne from Canada

  17. I'm so happy people can see the attraction in this simple recipe! Leanne, I'll be sure to tell my sister. She'll be happy to know it was such a hit at your house.

  18. Funny that you posted this today. I missed it the first time 'round. When I was a kid, mom made us a modified version of this ... sliced lengthwise, parboiled, then topped with parmesan, salt and paprika.

    I hadn't eaten zucchini this way in about 10 years, and on Friday night I made parmesan zucchini boats. Glad to see I'm not the only one who does things like this. :)

  19. I said I would make these last night and I did. YUMMY! A little dried oregano, garlic powder, s&p and parmesan cheese, then fresh basil. I love it! Got the kids to try it. Super easy.

  20. This looks absolutely wonderful - a combination of two of my favourite foods! I also love the way that you can make it as nursery food, or make it all grown-up with Parmesan. Definitely book marked!

  21. I really want to make this! Problem is, I went to the store today and a small little zucchini is $1.60 each!! I would need $5 worth to make a family appetizer. I should go to the farmer's market and see if they are having a three for a dollar sale. I love that :)

  22. Hi Kalyn!
    I really like zucchini and my husband and kids think I'm nuts. This recipe, though, might just meet with their approval. And if not, it sounds great to me.

    Thanks so much for the creative idea.


  23. Just tried this tonight and it was super tasty! I used a combination of kosher salt, garlic powder, paprika and a bit of black pepper as the seasoning. Even my zucchini-hating husband admitted that it was good. Thanks!

  24. Leslie, glad to hear it was a hit. I'll have to tell my sister!

  25. These look delicious!

    I also like your idea of updating old recipes with photos.

  26. Thanks Alea. It's a never-ending job to update the old recipes where you don't like the photo, but you want to cook some of these old favorites again so it's not all bad!

  27. I love this recipe! It is healthy, tasty, and ready in under ten minutes-- great for a pregnant mom with two young kids. My picky 4 yr old turned her nose up but my 22 month old chowed down. It hits all the right pregnancy craving buttons so I'll probably be making it at least once a week.

  28. Karen, so glad you liked it, and the funniest thing of all is that Val's kids are here staying at my house right now!

  29. Looks so good! Great recipe for the summer! Say "hi" to Val for me.

    1. Thanks Sharon, hope you enjoy. I get the comments in an e-mail so I'll forward to Val.


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