This is my easy, frugal alternative to Eggplant Parmesan. I wasn’t quite so eloquent when my daughter asked what I was making for dinner. I told her I was making Eggplant Parmesan without the eggplant and without the Parmesan. she said, “it sounds like you’ve got nothing”. After she finished eating she leaned over and said, “You might want to consider naming this recipe based on what is in it, instead of what is missing”.
I included a layer of rice under the zucchini to make this vegetarian dish just a little more filling. Plus it helps sop up the extra spaghetti sauce.
Instead of breading and frying the zucchini, I add a layer of croutons. The croutons add the flavor and crunch you expect in a Parmesan dish, but it is a lot faster and easier. Since it is baked instead of fried, it is also lower in fat.
You can stretch cheese further by using a super fine grated cheese. That is only one cup of cheese in the picture above, but it looks like more because it is finely grated. Quite often when you eat Eggplant or Chicken Parmesan at a restaurant it doesn’t actually contain Parmesan cheese. My husband and kids do not like Parmesan cheese, so I rarely use it. If your family likes Parmesan cheese, then replace 1/2 cup of the mozzarella cheese with it.
Adapted from Baked Chicken Parmesan
Yield – 6 – 8 servings
Preparation Time – 10 minutes
Cooking Time – 30 minutes
- 2 cups cooked rice
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon basil
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- 2 teaspoons parsley
- 2 medium zucchini
- 2 cups leftover spaghetti sauce (easy homemade spaghetti sauce)
- 2 – 3 cups croutons (fast and easy way to make croutons)
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese
- In a bowl, combine rice, egg, and spices. Stir with a fork until thoroughly mixed.
- Add a splash of olive oil to the bottom of a 13×9 pan. Spread it around with a basting brush. Spread rice mixture in the pan.
- Cut zucchini lengthwise in 1/4″ thick slices. Place a single layer of zucchini slices on the rice.
- Pour the spaghetti sauce over the zucchini.
- Sprinkle one cup of cheese over the spaghetti sauce.
- Layer the croutons over the cheese.
- Sprinkle one cup of cheese over the croutons.
- Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove foil and cook for an additional 10 minutes or until cheese is brown.
I served the Baked Zucchini Parmesan with a garden salad.