Learn how to bake zucchini for an easy side dish all summer long. Baked zucchini is slightly sweet with crispy edges and a smooth rich texture.
Baking zucchini might not be your first thought when you find a pile left on your porch by your gardening neighbor – it’s a Midwest thing. This will help keep that pile at bay.
Baking vs Roasting
Baking and roasting zucchini are terms often used interchangeably. However, roasting happens at higher heat with a shorter time in the oven.
When you bake zucchini, you’ll use a lower heat with a slightly longer baking time. Luckily, the results are equally delicious.
Understanding the difference between baking and roasting is handy when you need to share the oven.
Baking zucchini is a good way to bring out its subtly sweet taste and smooth rich texture. Baked zucchini softens the bite and is easily enhanced by the herbs and spices you put on it.
First, high-quality produce is always going to taste better. Select zucchinis that are firm and are covered in tiny bristles of hair. These are the freshest.
Second, toss the zucchini pieces gently with oil before putting them on the pan. You can also toss them on the sheet pan, but it gets messy. Spread them out so there’s plenty of airflow.
Third, Baking by itself will not usually give you any charring. You can get it though, by finishing the zucchini under the broiler for a few minutes.
When making baked zucchini instead of roasted zucchini, the temperature is reduced and the cook time is increased. Baking at a lower temperature also gives you more leeway between cooked and overcooked.
I cannot tell you how many foods I have burnt using the broiler. Pay attention, and be ready to remove them as soon as they are finished.
How To Bake Zucchini
Prep the oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F.
Prep the zucchini: Clean the zucchinis, then trim off the ends. Chop them into spears or slices. Oil and season them, then place the pieces on the sheet pan.
Note: If you are concerned about soggy zucchini, you can place it atop a baking rack in the sheet pan. This elevation increases the airflow around it and helps to remove excess moisture.
I don’t stress this myself, as I like mine a good bit crispy and it doesn’t have a chance to overcook or become soggy.
How Long to Bake Zucchini
Not sure how long it will take to bake zucchini? Expect baked zucchini to take 20 to 25 minutes to cook through.
Baking may be a better option than roasting if you need more time to complete other dinner prep tasks or if you need to cook more than one dish at the same time in the oven.
Different Ways To Use Zucchini
You can serve zucchini with nothing more than butter, salt, and pepper. But, I love it many different ways. Look in the spice rack for inspiration, this french fry seasoning is pretty darn fantastic on vegetables. Try sprinkling cheese or buttered bread crumbs on top for some crunch. This versatile vegetable can handle almost anything.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 medium size zucchini cut into 1-inch pieces
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt adjust to taste
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper adjust to taste
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. Place the zucchini on a baking sheet and drizzle with oil. Season with salt and pepper and toss to coat.
- Bake the zucchini for 10-12 minutes and check for doneness. Depending on the size of the pieces, cook an additional 2-4 minutes until the pieces are barely fork-tender and remain crisp on the edges.