Baked “cheesy” zucchini gratin for a healthy and quick fall side dish! Once Fall comes around, I am all for the colder morning weather, switching over to more warming drinks and comforting meals. I love the summer heat, but if you live in the city and can’t travel to the beach that much or at all - it is just a plain nightmare! It is kind of funny though, that once the temps drop between 55-60 degrees everyone is breaking out their boots, cozy sweaters, and tucking themselves inside on the weekends, but if this were June and those temps were happening, we would all be at the beach trying to get as much sun as possible!
Zucchinis are one of my favorite vegetables and I know their season is technically June- August, but I buy them all year long or until I can’t find them in the stores. I could have made this ‘cheesy’ gratin with sweet potatoes or even butternut squash, but I wanted something that felt a bit lighter and bake in less than 30 minutes. BUT, if you want something a bit more hearty or in the mood for carbs as the weather cools down, sweet potatoes would be the best option!
You do not need much for this dish, zucchini, onions if you love them, dairy free shredded cheese of choice, breadcrumbs, and your favorite spices! I think this dish is great for now, future summer (!!) and heading into Thanksgiving.
It is comforting, crispy on top with tender zucchini in the middle, and a bit cheesy in flavor. Normally I would eat this as a side with a fish or protein, but a fried runny egg on top is just as good!
Yields/Serves; roughly 6 people
Prep time: 10 minutes
Bake time: 30 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
3 small zucchini, sliced thinly
1/2 cup onion, sliced
1 cup panko crumbs (or any breadcrumbs)
1/2 cup dairy free shredded cheese (or sub nutritional yeast if you don’t have any on hand)
1 tsp. sea salt
pepper to liking
few dashes of cayenne pepper
2-3 tbsp. olive oil
Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees.
In a cast iron pan, heat 2-3 tbsp. of olive oil/ cooking oil and cook the onions until fragrant & starting to brown. Roughly 8 minutes.
While the onions are cooking, slice the zucchini into even slices.
Once the onions are finished, line the zucchini in the cast iron, you can do as many layers are you please. With 3 zucchini, I had 3 layers.
In a bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, shredded cheese, spices. Then, pour over the zucchini making sure everything is coated.
Bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until the top is browning and crispy. Depending on the oven, you may need to bake for longer!
Serve warm. Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to a week in the fridge. To re-heat place back in the oven at 375 degrees until warm.