Zucchini is a versatile vegetable that can be used in various dishes, from savory to sweet. With its mild flavor, it can easily adapt to different cuisines and flavors. One of the best ways to enjoy zucchini is in a delicious and cheesy bake, such as the Penzeys Easy Cheesy Zucchini Bake recipe. This simple yet flavorful dish combines fresh zucchini, cheese, and a medley of spices to create a hearty and nutritious meal that your family will love.
Ingredients You’ll Need
To make Penzeys Easy Cheesy Zucchini Bake, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- 4 medium-sized zucchinis, thinly sliced
- 1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- 1 teaspoon Penzeys Italian Herb Mix
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Preparing the Zucchini
Before you start assembling the dish, you’ll need to prepare the zucchini properly. Here’s how:
Wash and Slice
First, wash the zucchinis thoroughly under cold running water. Pat them dry with a clean towel or paper towel. Next, slice the zucchinis into thin, even rounds, approximately 1/8-inch thick. Set them aside.
Salt and Drain
To prevent the dish from becoming watery, it’s essential to salt and drain the zucchini slices. Place the sliced zucchini in a colander, sprinkle with salt, and let them sit for about 15-20 minutes. This process will help draw out excess moisture. After the time has passed, gently squeeze the zucchini slices to remove any remaining liquid.
Assembling the Cheesy Zucchini Bake
Now that your zucchini is prepared, it’s time to assemble the dish.
Preheat the Oven and Grease the Baking Dish
Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C). While the oven is heating, grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray or a little butter.
Layer the Ingredients
Start by layering half of the zucchini slices in the prepared baking dish. Then, sprinkle half of the chopped onions over the zucchini. Next, spread half of the mozzarella cheese and half of the Parmesan cheese on top.
Repeat the process with the remaining zucchini, onions, mozzarella, and Parmesan, creating a second layer.
Prepare the Breadcrumb Topping
In a small bowl, combine the panko breadcrumbs, melted butter, Penzeys Italian Herb Mix, garlic powder, and black pepper. Mix well to ensure that the breadcrumbs are evenly coated with the butter and spices.
Add the Topping
Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture evenly over the top of the layered zucchini, onions, and cheese.
Baking and Serving the Dish
Now that your Penzeys Easy Cheesy Zucchini Bake is assembled, it’s time to bake it.
Bake the Zucchini Dish
Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the cheese is bubbly. If the breadcrumbs start to brown too quickly, you can cover the dish with aluminum foil for the last 10-15 minutes of baking.
Let it Rest
Before serving your Penzeys Easy Cheesy Zucchini Bake, let it rest for about 5-10 minutes. This will allow the dish to set and make it easier to cut and serve.
Serve and Enjoy
Cut the zucchini bake into squares or rectangles and serve it as a main dish, side dish, or even a hearty appetizer. This dish pairs well with a crisp green salad, crusty bread, or your favorite protein, such as grilled chicken or fish.
Storing and Reheating Leftovers
If you have any leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. To reheat, place the zucchini bake in a 350°F (180°C) oven for 10-15 minutes or until heated through. You can also reheat individual portions in the microwave for 1-2 minutes, but keep in mind that this may result in a slightly softer texture.
The Penzeys Easy Cheesy Zucchini Bake recipe is a delicious and nutritious way to enjoy zucchini. With its combination of fresh zucchini, gooey cheese, and a flavorful breadcrumb topping, this dish is sure to become a family favorite. The straightforward recipe and minimal prep work make it an excellent choice for busy weeknight dinners or a comforting meal to share with friends and family. Give it a try and experience the delightful flavors for yourself.