Bursting with oregano, thyme, basil, and garlic, this simple vegetable side dish bakes in 30 minutes and doesn’t require any pre-cooking. To avoid a soggy dish, draining/blotting the zucchini in step 1 is crucial.
- 1.5 lbs zucchini (about 3–4 medium)
- 1/4 cup (60ml) heavy cream
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup (60g) chopped onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more for step 1
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano (or 2 teaspoons fresh)
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
- 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh basil (or 1 and 1/2 teaspoons dried)
- 3/4 cup (100g) crumbled feta cheese
- 1/3 cup (35g) Panko breadcrumbs, divided
- optional: 2 Tablespoons shredded parmesan cheese or crumbled feta cheese
- optional for serving: red pepper flakes
- Slice zucchini into 1/2-inch thick slices and then quarter each slice. You should have a little over 6 cups or 600-700g of quartered/chopped zucchini. Sprinkle lightly with salt (reserve the 1/4 teaspoon of salt for step 3… this is just a light sprinkle). Line a colander with a clean kitchen towel or paper towels. Place zucchini in lined colander. Let sit for just 10 minutes. Blot dry as best you can.
- Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C). Grease a 2.5-quart baking dish. (See Note below for recommendations on best pans to use.)
- In a large bowl, whisk the heavy cream and egg together. Stir in the the onion, garlic, salt, pepper, oregano, thyme, basil, feta cheese, and 3 Tablespoons (21g) breadcrumbs. Stir in the zucchini. Spread mixture into prepared baking dish. Top evenly with remaining breadcrumbs.
- Bake, covered lightly with aluminum foil, for 25 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with 2 Tablespoons parmesan cheese or crumbled feta cheese. Return to the oven, uncovered, and bake for 5 more minutes or until zucchini is tender. For a crispier/browner top, switch the oven to broil and broil for the last 30 seconds. (If skipping the cheese topping, you still want to bake the dish for 5 minutes uncovered.)
- Remove from the oven and sprinkle lightly with red pepper flakes, if desired. Leftovers keep well in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Reheat as desired.
- Freezing Instructions: To freeze the unbaked casserole, assemble it then cover tightly and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature, then bake as directed. You can also freeze the baked and cooled casserole. Cover tightly and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature, then cover with aluminum foil and reheat in a 350°F (177°C) oven for 20 minutes.
- Baking Pan to Use (affiliate link): Use a baking dish that holds 2.5 quarts, such as a 9-inch square baking dish, 9-inch or 10-inch springform pan, or an 11×7 inch pan. The pictured baking dish is the Marin 8×12 inch baking dish from Crate & Barrel.
- Heavy Cream: You can use half-and-half instead, but I strongly recommend heavy cream. Do not use milk.
- Herbs: Feel free to substitute other herbs such as rosemary or parsley.
- Cheese: Tangy crumbled feta cheese is my recommended choice for this dish, but shredded white cheddar, smoked gouda, Gruyère, or pepper jack for a little kick would be great alternatives.
- Panko Breadcrumbs: Panko breadcrumbs help give the dish some substance. You can purchase Panko at most grocery stores— they’re wonderfully crunchy and perfect as a topping on casseroles. You could also make your own breadcrumbs by spreading crumbled bread pieces on a baking sheet and toasting in a 300°F (149°C) oven for 5-10 minutes or until browned and crisp.
Keywords: feta herb zucchini bake, zucchini side dish