This recipe is my go-to for how to roast zucchini. It’s simple. It’s light. And it honors this lovely summer squash by transforming it from tasteless to delicious. A great way to use up those summer garden zucchinis.
A couple of tips make this roasted zucchini recipe a foolproof and easy side dish in about 20 minutes. You may even convert a few picky eaters.
To give roasted zucchini some flavor, you need to dress it up. Here’s the best way to roast zucchini:
- Cut the zucchini into spears,
- Coat it with a mixture of olive oil, fresh Parmesan cheese, minced garlic, salt and pepper. (Add herbs if you like).
- Roast it for 12-15 minutes, then switch to broil for couple of minutes if you like.
I consider this an easy recipe for roasted zucchini because there is:
- no pre-salting
- no peeling and
- no flipping the zucchini during roasting.
What to serve with roasted zucchini
With a light preparation, this parmesan roasted zucchini compliments most proteins well. Here are a few favorites to serve with the recipe:
- simple herb roasted salmon
- homemade veggie burgers
- sous vide burgers
- smoked chicken thighs recipe (without a smoker)
- crispy oven baked chicken wings
- spicy honey lime chicken
- juicy grilled pork chops
Tips for success
- Buying. Is bigger better? No, not for zucchinis. Buy smaller zucchinis that will have softer seeds, thinner skin and taste less bitter. Look for fresh zucchinis that are 7-9 inches (18-22 cm) long and about 2 inches (5cm) in diameter.
- Preparation. Cut zucchini lengthwise into thin 1/2 inch (1.3cm) spears. This allows for greater coverage of the seasoning mixture and more browning.
- Cooking: Zucchini has a high water content. To avoid soggy zucchini, place it on a wire rack on top of a baking tray. Roast at a high temperature. I like to switch to broil for a few minutes for extra browning, but that’s optional. Don’t overcook the zucchini or it will get mushy. It’s done when it’s tender with some bite.
How to roast zucchini
FAQ – Good to Know
When it comes to zucchini (also call courgette), smaller is better. Choose unblemished zucchinis about 7-9 inches (18-22 cm) long and 2 inches (5cm) in diameter. If you are picking them from your garden, the golden flowers are edible too. Here’s a traditional fried zucchini blossom recipe. Zucchinis are available year round, but are at their peak during summer months in North America.
Yes. According to Healthline, zucchini is low calorie and an excellent source of vitamin A as well as other vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants. Since it is high in water content and fiber, it is also considered good for digestion. This recipe makes a healthy side dish. Gluten free.
Cut it into spears (instead of thin rounds), don’t let it sit around too long after it’s cooked, roast it at a high heat, and roast it on a wire rack.
Figure on a small to medium zucchini (7-9 inches/18-22cm) or 4-6 ounces per person.
Tailor to Your Taste
Play around with these variations and substitutes (or others you can think of)
- Seasonings: Add dried thyme, herbes de provence, Italian seasoning or basil to the oil-cheese-garlic mixture.
- Garnishes: Try sprinkling the finished roasted zucchini spears with crushed toasted nuts for crunch, zaatar, lemon zest, more Parmesan cheese, fresh chopped herbs or microgreens. I love the kohlrabi microgreens pictured.
- Cheese substitutes: Instead of Parmesan, use Pecorino Romano (much saltier and sharper) or Grano Padano (milder and less crumbly). You can also use nutritional yeast for a vegan option. Another alternative is to skip the cheese (but it does add great flavor)
- Not a zucchini fan? Try cauliflower instead. We use the same coating in our recipe for Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower. Very popular!
- Buy freshly grated Parmesan cheese instead of grating your own.
- Buy frozen minced garlic cubes (excellent) or minced garlic in a jar.
- This roasted zucchini recipe is best served fresh. If it sits around too long, it can become watery.
- You can, however, prepare the zucchinis for roasting ahead of time. Cut them into spears and apply the coating mixture. Then roast just before serving.
Love roasted vegetables?
Then try one of these recipes:
- oven roasted vegetables recipe
- roasted honey glazed carrots
- honey roasted parsnips
- roasted glazed carrot tzimmes
- roasted baby cauliflower (or parmesan roasted cauliflower)
- crispy oven roasted potatoes
- Indian potatoes
How To Roast Zucchini
- 1 pound (450g) medium zucchinis Note 1 about 3 zucchinis
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) extra virgin olive oil (see tips on "how to buy" in Cooking Oils: The Bare Essentials)
- 1/3 cup (30g) grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 ounce), Note 2 or more if you like
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (2 teaspoons)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- optional added seasonings: a 1/2 teaspoon herbes do provence, thyme or Italian seasoning
- Options: 1 tablespoon chopped parsley, cilantro, extra Parmesan, crushed toasted nuts, lemon zest, microgreens, zaatar.
- HEAT OVEN to 425F/218C. Line a pan with parchment paper or foil and place a wire rack (sprayed with oil) on top of the pan. You can skip the wire rack, but the bottom of the zucchini might get a bit soggier.
- CUT ZUCCHINIS INTO SPEARS: Slice each zucchini lengthwise in half. Then slice each half lengthwise in half again (or thirds if zucchinis are larger). Thickness of spears should be about 1/2 inch/1.3cm.
- SEASON ZUCCHINIS: In a small bowl or plate, mix together oil, Parmesan, garlic, salt and pepper (and any optional seasonings you like). Coat zucchini spears with the mixture and place them, green skin side down, on the wire rack in a single layer, not overlapping.
- ROAST AND SERVE: Roast on the middle oven rack for 12-15 minutes (depending on thickness of spears). Do not flip the spears. If you like them browner, turn the oven setting to Broil (leaving them in the middle oven rack) and broil for an additional 2-3 minutes. Be careful they don't burn. Transfer to serving plate. Taste one and add additional salt, pepper, parmesan or other garnishes as you like (see options). Serve immediately.
- Zucchini: Try to buy medium or small-medium zucchinis – about 7-9 inches (18-22 cm) long and about 2 inches (5cm) in diameter. These will be more tender and less bitter with softer seeds than large ones.
- Substitutes for Parmesan cheese: Instead, use Pecorino Romano (much saltier and sharper) or Grano Padano (milder and less crumbly). You can also use nutritional yeast instead of Parmesan for a vegan option.
- Shortcuts: Buy freshly grated Parmesan cheese instead of grating your own. Buy frozen minced garlic cubes (excellent) or minced garlic in a jar.
- Make ahead: This roasted zucchini recipe is best served fresh. If it sits around too long, it can become watery. You can, however, prepare the zucchinis for roasting ahead of time. Cut them into spears and apply the coating mixture. Then roast just before serving.
This recipe was inspired by our own Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower and Roasted Zucchini by Well Plated.