Sunday, September 07, 2014

Parmesan Encrusted Zucchini Recipe (Low-Carb, Gluten-Free)

Parmesan Encrusted Zucchini Recipe found on KalynsKitchen.com
Parmesan Encrusted Zucchini is easy, quick, and delicious!

(Updated with better photos and improved instructions, September 2014.)  This recipe for Parmesan Encrusted Zucchini is something I first made in September 2007, and it's been a favorite way to cook zucchini ever since then.  The recipe came from Vegetables Every Day by Jack Bishop, a very old book that I still use all the time to look for ideas for cooking vegetables.  When I first made this I used Jack Bishop's instructions for blanching the zucchini before broiling it with the cheese, but then a smart reader told me they just skipped the blanching and cooked the zucchini under the broiler as well.  That's the way I've been doing it for a few years now, so I am updating the instructions to change that step.  I like the zucchini to still have a tiny bit of crispness, and broilers can vary, so you may have to make this a couple of times to get the timing just right for your own taste.  Luckily this delicious zucchini coated with melted Parmesan is so delicious that you won't mind experimenting, and if you have any kids in the house I promise they will gobble up the experiments!

Jack Bishop brushed the zucchini with melted butter before he sprinkled on the Parmesan, and through the years I've done it with all butter, a mixture of olive oil and butter, and all olive oil. All three methods are delicious, although I would probably splurge and use butter.  You're only eating the small bit of butter that sticks to the zucchini (most is left in the pan you melted it in), and what's more delicious than butter + Parmesan!

I hope I don't need to apologize for offering yet another zucchini recipe for Meatless Monday this week, because I'm trying to share all the zucchini recipes I've updated with new photos through the summer.  And all too soon it will be time for soup, so let's enjoy the zucchini while it's so good!  (To see more Meatless Monday recipes, use the label Meatless Monday or take a look at the Vegetarian Recipes in the recipe index.  I also have a Meatless Monday Pinterest board and share a weekly Meatless Monday idea for Meatless Monday at BlogHer.com.)

Parmesan Encrusted Zucchini Recipe found on KalynsKitchen.com
Cut each zucchini in quarters lengthwise, scrape away the inner seed part of each piece, then cut the zucchini into strips about 3 inches long.  Spray a baking sheet with olive oil or non-stick spray (I used my Misto Olive Oil Sprayer.)  Lay the zucchini on the baking sheet in a single layer and then brush or mist the zucchini with a tiny bit of olive oil and sprinkle with Italian Herb Blend (or your favorite seasoning.)

Parmesan Encrusted Zucchini Recipe found on KalynsKitchen.com
I broiled the zucchini about 6 minutes, with the pan about 6 inches away from the broiler as shown in this photo.  Broilers are highly variable, so check with a fork to see when it's as tender as you'd like it.  (And remember the zucchini will cook longer when you're melting the cheese.)

Parmesan Encrusted Zucchini Recipe found on KalynsKitchen.com
While the zucchini cooks, melt the butter (or prepare a combination of butter and olive oil, or use all olive oil) and grate about 3/4 cup of Parmesan cheese. (You can also use the coarsely grated Parmesan that comes in a plastic jar, but powdery pre-grated Parmesan won't work well for this.)  When zucchini is nearly as tender as you'd like it, remove from oven, sprinkle the zucchini generously with Parmesan, and put back under the broiler for 6-8 minutes, or until it's melted and starting to brown.

Parmesan Encrusted Zucchini Recipe found on KalynsKitchen.comAnd here's the original photo of this recipe from 2007. I know I used very coarsely grated Parmesan back then, and even though it's not a good photo I think you can tell this was tasty!


Parmesan Encrusted Zucchini
(Makes about 4 servings, recipe adapted from Vegetables Every Day.)

Ingredients:
4 medium zucchini, about 8-10 inches long
olive oil, for misting zucchini (and for mixing with butter if desired)
1 tsp. Italian Herb Blend (or your favorite seasoning blend)
1-2 T butter, melted
3/4 cup coarsely grated Parmesan cheese, more or less to taste

Instructions:
Preheat the broiler and adjust the rack so your pan will be about 6 inches away from the heat.  Spray a large baking sheet with olive oil or non-stick spray.

Wash zucchini skins and pat dry, cut off stem and blossom end of each zucchini, and cut zucchini into lengthwise strips; then cut away the inner seedy white part of each piece.  Cut the zucchini pieces into strips about 3 inches long.

Arrange zucchini on broiler pan in rows, close together, skin side down.  Mist or brush the zucchin with a tiny amount of olive oil and season the zucchini with the Italian Herb Blend (or your favorite seasoning blend).  Broil zucchini about 6 minutes, or until it's starting to feel barely tender when you pierce it with a fork.  (If your broiler is powerful I'd start checking after about 4 minutes.  Remember the zucchini will cook more when you melt the cheese.)

When the zucchini is barely tender, remove the pan from under the broiler, brush zucchini with melted butter (or whatever combination of butter and olive oil you're using, and sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the zucchini, trying to get most of the zucchini covered. 

Put zucchini under broiler and cook until cheese is completely melted and well-browned, about 6-8 minutes, or a little more or less, depending on how hot your broiler is and how close the pan is to the heat source. Serve hot or warm. There won't be any leftovers, so you don't need to worry about whether this will keep in the refrigerator.

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South Beach Suggestions:
This would be considered a "once in a while treat" for any phase of the South Beach Diet, due to the amount of saturated fat in the cheese (and butter if you're using), although zucchini is very low in calories, carbs, and fat.  New studies about weight loss are showing that fat (even saturated fat) is not that much of a concern, so I probably wouldn't worry too much about the butter and cheese.

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight using The Glycemic Index 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 Yummy Ideas with Zucchini and Cheese:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Roasted Balsamic Zucchini and Mushrooms with Feta and Thyme ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Stuffed Zucchini with Goat Cheese and Marinara ~ The Wicked Noodle
Easy Cheesy Zucchini Bake ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Zucchini, Eggplant, and Tomato Gratin ~ Simply Recipes
Zucchini Bake with Feta and Thyme ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)

Blogger Disclosure:
Posts may include links to my affiliate account at Amazon.com, and Kalyn's Kitchen earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!
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53 comments:

  1. Holy moley does this recipe ever sound good! And personally.. I think I am going to opt for the extra tablespoon of butter - But I appreciate all your experiments!

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  2. I don't have a garden but I still love seeing what wonderful recipes you are creating from your garden! This one looks great!!

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  3. These look seriously good - I think I might even be able to persuade my husband that zucchini is a good thing with those babies! I wonder if you could make them with olive oil and skip the butter all together.

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  4. Truly guys, this was seriously good. I'm always testing new recipes so I don't make too many things over and over, but I'm making this again tonight.

    Sophie, I'd love to hear how you like it if you try it with olive oil.

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  5. It could also be good with rice oil instead of butter. This looks like a good recipe to try to get the kids to eat more veggies.

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  6. These cheesy zucchini "fries" look so tempting! I could make a whole meal out of this platter...

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  7. Oh...yummy yummy yummy!! I love zucchini. I normally just saute them with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper because I want to eat them as soon as possible. I am going to make these asap though. Seriously.

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  8. Zucchini is a great veggie...I think I wanna try this, and with the butter ;)

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  9. Oh my gosh! I just got on-line to find a recipe for zucchini fries. I always stop by for your recipe of the day and low and behold there it was. Thank you again for another great recipe! I am going to try it without blanching first.

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  10. Mine are still producing, too. And we're still eating! Thanks for another recipe.
    We're switching to winter squash for tonight...have to have some variety!

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  11. Kalyn,
    Those zucchinis looks very tasty!!
    I eat a lot of veggies... I used to be vegetarian, but I have never tied zucchini with parmesan, I must try it.
    I will do some more baking with poppy seeds soon too!! Maybe bread for the bread day (October 16).
    Greetings, Margot

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  12. This looks and sounds stunning.

    I shall have to try it.

    Amy

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  13. perhaps instead of drizzling with butter, you could spray with some butter-flavored cooking spray? it would add some of the butter flavor but less fat

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  14. Just FYI, I make a version of these without blanching them first, however, I cut my zucchini strips thinner. I lay the strips on a baking sheet, spray them with cooking spray, and sprinkle a Mexican style spice on them. Then I bake them at 450. My whole family loves them. With the spray and seasonings, instead of butter and cheese, they are very SB friendly. I am going to try your version tomorrow. They sound great.

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  15. Another great way to do zucchini. I really enjoy broiling asparagus with parmigiano reggiano. I will have to try this.

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  16. Pinkiepie, I think kids would love this. Let me know if you try it with rice oil.

    Nupur, that's what I did!

    CC- You're welcome! I know you have zucchini to use!

    Shea, hope you like it.

    Meeso, Go for it!

    Michelle, do let us know how it turns out without blanching. I thought about it too.

    Katie, we're on the same wavelength. I've just started cooking some of my butternut squash.

    Margot, you must try it. I'm hoping to participate in Bread Day too.

    Amy, it was stunning, which I can say because it's Jack Bishop's recipe!

    r- I think I would go for olive oil over cooking spray for flavor, but I did use cooking spray to coat the broiler pan.

    Alanna, yes it was a keeper!

    Laura, your zucchini fries do sound very SB friendly and good! Let me know if they like this one.

    Kevin, hope you like it. Asparagus with parmesan is indeed divine.

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  17. wow!!!!I am so going to try this! Thanks for the recipe!

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  18. I just happen to have some zucchini sitting around and can't wait to try this recipe!

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  19. Now I'm hoping one of my zucchini-growing friends drops off a few soon, so I can try this. Yum!

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  20. Sounds great, in my opinion. I've never had zucchini that style.

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  21. These are incredible!! I'm going to have to tell you that I feel strongly the butter is necessary! Thank you.

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  22. I sure love the look of that picture! And I happen to love butter and parmesan-so I think I should do a taste test. Yes, I'll make the zucchini both ways.......That way I will surely have lots of fun!

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  23. Mandy, hope you like it.

    EMWK, I think a lot of us have zucchini at this time of year! This is a great way to use them.

    Lydia, wish I could send you some.

    Kelly, my sister broils zucchini with cheese on it, but this was definitely a kicked-up version of what she makes.

    Mrs. G, I hear you!

    Sher, can't wait to hear your results after you try both ways.

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  24. Can anyone say alternative to french fires?

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  25. great recipe, Kalyn! I'll try this tonight.

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  26. A person can't have too much zucchini, peppers, tomatoes or eggplant fresh from the garden Kalyn!!!!I love this zucchini dish. I'm in an aoili mood so maybe some for a dip!!!

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  27. This would be great with the stuffed peppers I am making tonight.

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  28. These look so very yummy. They remind me of the fried zucchini sticks my mom used to make sometimes. I think she just dipped them in a flour and water batter and then pan fried them, and squeezed lemon over them. She didn't cook the zucchini first, but they probably got more cooking during the frying than these would under the broiler . . . still, I think it could work to not parboil them first.

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  29. I just made the lazy girl's version of this, and it turned out great:
    I cut the zucchini into fry-sized spears, arranged them in a pan, drizzled butter over them and baked them at 350F for ten minutes. Then I sprinkled parmesan over them, and baked them for 20 more minutes. Simple as that, and mighty delicious.

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  30. Hi,
    I made this last night, but I had forgotten to take the recipe with me. But my memory served me well!

    However, I did forget to boil the zukes first, and it came out just fine! Also I didn't remove the white stuff, and cut them thicker than fries...just took a little longer backing but juicy and delicious!

    Thanks much,
    Nancy

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  31. A brushed garlic butter on instead of just butter and they were delicious!

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  32. Oh, you're killing me here!! This looks incredible. I usually just make zucchini carpaccio when I have an abundance, but now I think I'll try this. Thanks!!

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  33. I love cooking this for my family. My husband doesn't care for veggies and sometimes the kiddos are hard to please but this one has been a dish that everyone goes for!!! thank you for making our Zucchini eating experience so much more enjoyable!

    Tonight I'm cooking it for my parents who are on the low-carb diet so this will be great for them also!

    Thank you again ~ Oh and I LOVE the pictures!!! Good work!!

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  34. That looks delicious! And a lot more healthy than breadcrumb encrusted.
    Just looked at the cookbook over at Amazon. Just the artichoke chapter looks wonderful! Might have to buy that book.

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  35. TSannie, I do love that cookbook, use it all the time. I bought a used one, so it was pretty inexpensive.

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  36. Just wanted to add a note that I've modified this recipe a tiny bit, and my hubby loves it. Instead of cutting the zukes into "fries," I slice them into "chips" -- about 1/4" slices using my mandoline and then put them on the broiler rack. Everything else is pretty much the same - brush with a little bit of butter, sprinkle on salt, pepper, parmesan, and bake for about 15 minutes. We like our "chip" version a lot, and using the mandoline to slice is so fast! Every time I make these, we gobble them all up!

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  37. bwalice, I love your adaptation to cut the zucchini into chips! I'll have to try that.

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  38. I made these by brushing them with sour cream instead of butter and without boiling first. Gave them an extra couple of minutes baking after the broiling and they were delicious!

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  39. Jennifer, great idea. Sounds good to me!

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  40. I make something very similar to this, but no boiling in water. If you do not want to cook in water first, place in 400 degree oven until golden brown, about 25minutews

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  41. Mrs. K, thanks for sharing that info. I think next time I will try your method.

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  42. I have made this several times now. We LOVE IT! Such a great recipe. Even my 20 month old daughter eats it and asks for more.

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  43. Tammy, so glad you're enjoying it, and how fun that even your daughter likes it.

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  44. I see Mrs K had the same idea I did - to oven bake. I sprayed the pan with OO Pam and decided to spray the zucchini too. Then I coated them with the cheese. I was grilling chicken breasts that had been marinated in a mixture of EVOO, lemon, oregano, salt & pepper and I timed everything to finish at the same time. Served them with a salad of mixed greens that were dressed with a vinaigrette made with both lemon and white balsamic. What an easy and awesome meal - I'm making the zucchini again. Thanks so much for the idea! Love your blog

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  45. Instead of par-boiling, just nuke for 2 minutes. Works fine & you don't have to drain or dry!!

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  46. Good to know, although some people don't have a microwave. But good idea for those who do.

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  47. LOL don't worry about leftovers... I will try this today or tomorrow for sure!

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  48. This was so delicious, thank you! I skipped the steaming, and just broiled them. I also seasoned them with salt and pepper before topping with cheese.

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  49. Thanks for letting me know that Kathy. Now I need to make these without pre-cooking and take new photos!

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  50. Our favorite zucchini recipe is very similar, but a lot more simple.
    -Clean zucchini (or yellow squash)
    -Slice about 1/4" or smaller (thicker = juicier; thinner = more chip like)
    -spray with butter (spray butter is healthier than melter & easier)
    -sprinkle with parmigian cheese
    -broil on high or low (depending on how hungry you are) until cheese melts/browns
    -(optional) flip and repeat previous 3 steps
    -enjoy a delicious side or snack

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