Herb Roasted Zucchini with Parmesan

4.86 from 35 votes
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This simple oven-roasted zucchini recipe is the perfect healthy side dish. A sprinkling of Parmesan cheese at the end of cooking creates a flavorful, golden crust on each slice.

Slices of roasted zucchini on a plate.

Sauteed, steamed, baked, or even spiralized into zoodles, zucchini is extremely versatile. However, roasting adds interesting layers of flavors with very little effort. Plus, it’s low in calories and carbs, making it a nutritious ingredient for those looking to up their vegetable intake. 

I use a combination of Italian ingredients to create a savory and herbaceous taste. Most, if not all, can already be found in your pantry. Toss the zucchini with olive oil and dried seasonings, and in minutes, the slices are tender. But to take it to the next level, I add a cheesy crust. This recipe is a side dish that steals the spotlight at dinnertime!

Person cutting a zucchini with a knife.

Cut the squash

The dark green fleshed squash is high in moisture content, upwards of 90%! That means it will shrink down considerably when cooked. Therefore, I make them into at least ½-inch thick slices. Cutting on a bias or angle creates larger pieces. This helps keep their shape after roasting and not turn into shriveled up pieces of mush. It can also be quartered into spears, just keep an eye on cook time. 

Use bold seasonings

To enhance the delicate flavor of the squash, I look to my pantry. Olive oil not only prevents the zucchini slices from sticking to the pan but also helps to draw out the fat-soluble flavor molecules in herbs and spices. Concentrated dried Italian seasonings and garlic powder quickly infuse into the vegetable. To add a hint of lingering spiciness, I use a small amount of red chili flakes. 

Mixing bowl filled with zucchini slices.

Roasting delivers tasty vegetables- fast!

Turning up the oven to 400ºF (204ºC) creates a hot environment, perfect for quickly tenderizing and building flavor. To kickstart the process, I preheat an oiled sheet pan before adding the vegetables. It’s similar to heating a pan on the stovetop, which promotes browning. 

This process evenly cooks the squash, simultaneously on the bottom and top. The oven tends to heat the exposed surface first, so I spread the zucchini in a single layer, giving each piece space to roast properly. It only takes about 5 to 7 minutes to cook the zucchini at this temperature. You can stop here, but I like to add some extra flavor with Parmesan. 

Slices of zucchini roasting on a sheet pan.

Cheese creates a flavorful crust

Sprinkling a dry-aged cheese like Parmesan on top of the vegetables creates a beautiful crust. Under the broiler, the high heat makes the cheese bubble, which drives off moisture and turns the color a golden brown.

It only takes a few minutes, so keep an eye on the progress. Otherwise, it could burn! Add some chopped parsley right before serving to add freshness to the dish.

Serve this with

Serving platter of vegetable side dish.

Recipe Science

Preventing soggy zucchini

When slices of squash are heated, the cut cells of the plant release their moisture. If cooked too long, this can create soggy pieces. The high roasting temperature helps to turn some of the water into steam. Cutting thick slices and cooking for less than 10 minutes prevents mushiness. Alternatively, the zucchini can also be placed on a wire rack to circulate hot air underneath. However, this will help with evaporation and even cooking but will result in less browning.

Herb Roasted Zucchini with Parmesan

The perfect healthy side dish. Easy oven-roasted zucchini recipe with a mix of Italian herbs and Parmesan cheese for flavor.
4.86 from 35 votes
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Course Side
Cuisine American

Ingredients 
 

  • 2 pounds zucchini, about 3 to 4
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon red chili flakes, optional
  • 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Instructions 

  • Adjust the oven rack to the center position. Preheat to 400ºF (204ºC).
  • Lightly drizzle a large sheet pan with olive oil. It can also be covered first with aluminum foil to reduce clean up.
  • Cut zucchini on a bias (angled) to ½-inch thick slices, about 2 to 3 inches long pieces.
  • In a large bowl, toss together the sliced zucchini, olive oil, salt, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, black pepper, and chili flakes if using.
  • Place the sheet pan in the oven for 2 to 3 minutes, this will preheat the cooking surface,
  • Remove the pan from the oven, then carefully spread the slices in a single layer on top.
  • Roast the zucchini about 5 to 7 minutes, until just fork-tender.
  • Sprinkle the cheese on top of the zucchini. Broil in the center of the oven for about 2 to 4 minutes, until lightly browned.
  • Garnish with parsley and parmesan cheese, serve warm.

Notes

  • Serving Size: About 1 cup

Nutrition Facts

Serves: 4 servings
Calories 83kcal (4%)Carbohydrates 8g (3%)Protein 4g (8%)Fat 5g (8%)Saturated Fat 1g (5%)Cholesterol 2mg (1%)Sodium 641mg (27%)Potassium 592mg (17%)Fiber 2g (8%)Sugar 6g (7%)Vitamin A 597IU (12%)Vitamin C 42mg (51%)Calcium 68mg (7%)Iron 1mg (6%)

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. All nutritional information is based on estimated third-party calculations. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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9 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. France says

    I just made this recipe – wow!! Great flavor! So easy to make. Thank you, Jessica, for my new favorite way to make zucchini!

  2. Maggie Costello says

    Hi Jessica, 🙂

    Just wanted to tell you that your Zucchini/Squash recipe with Italian Seasonings came out much better than I’ve ever experienced Zucchini or Squash. It was perfect! Thank you so much for your recipes!! 🙂

    All the best to you,
    Maggie Costello