Have a ton of zucchini from your garden? This cheesy zucchini bake is the perfect way to use some of it up!
Cheesy Zucchini Bake with Tomato Sauce
It’s almost guaranteed that when July and August roll around, we are also rolling around in pounds and pounds of zucchini. People are always looking for exciting and creative ways to use it up, and this cheesy zucchini bake with tomato sauce should be added to that list. A combination of zucchini and yellow squash are filled with the most decadent ricotta cheese and pesto filling. They lay on top of a pool of tomato sauce that is popping with Italian sausage flavor. Top it all off with chunks of fresh mozzarella cheese, and you have pure comfort in the middle of summer! Get the recipe below and check out some frequently asked questions!
What will I need to make this zucchini bake (see recipe below for entire ingredient list)
1 lb Italian pork sausage
28 oz can whole San Marzano tomatoes
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tbsp chopped oregano
salt and black pepper
1 1/2 cups whole milk ricotta cheese
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup store-bought basil pesto
24-30 strips combination of zucchini and yellow squash
4 oz fresh mozzarella
Thoughts on serving this dish with a side of pasta?
A side of spaghetti would be the perfect addition to this zucchini bake, but you don’t have to go crazy. It’s great all by itself. In addition, some crusty bread to soak up all that tomato sauce would also be a great idea!
Cheesy Zucchini Bake with Tomato Sauce
Can I make this ahead of time?
This zucchini bake can be prepared a day in advance by following instructions (aside from the bake) and then popping it in the oven when you are all set. Refrigerate up until that time. Alternatively, this recipe is great for leftovers. Simply prepare as described in the instructions below (thru the bake). Refrigerate and reheat in the microwave or oven until warm.
Can I just use all zucchini and skip the yellow squash?
Yes, of course! This recipe is super versatile like that. Use whatever kind of summer squash you have on hand (within reason)! Zucchini and yellow summer squash are best for this recipe. Although, I have a feeling that spaghetti squash would make a really nice alternative side to spaghetti!
Are you looking for more great zucchini recipes on Cooking and Beer? Well, we have a ton of them! Check out some of my favorite zucchini recipes!
- 1 lb Italian pork sausage (loose)
- 28 oz can whole San Marzano tomatoes
- 2 tbsp chopped parsley
- 1 tbsp chopped oregano
- 1 tbsp chopped thyme
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes
- salt and black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk ricotta cheese
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup store-bought basil pesto
- 24-30 strips combination of zucchini and yellow squash about 4 total (2+2) squash, see note below
- 4 oz fresh mozzarella torn into pieces
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
- In a large skillet set over medium-high heat, brown the sausage. Once browned, about 4-5 minutes, add the tomatoes, parsley, oregano, thyme, garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes, and salt and black pepper to taste. Stir to combine, bring to a high simmer, and then reduce the heat. Allow the sauce to simmer for 10-15 minutes, breaking down the tomatoes with each stir. Pour into an oven-safe baking dish (9x13in works perfectly for this). Set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, parmesan, and pesto. Set aside.
- To prepare your zucchini and squash, cut the ends off. Taking a mandolin or vegetable peeler, cut strips lengthwise. Place the strips on a paper towel-lined baking sheet to get rid of any excess liquid.
- Overlap two pieces of zucchini or squash lengthwise, add a tbsp to one end and then roll up. Place the bundles seam side down on top of the tomato sauce. Continue with remaining strips until you have none left.
- Take any remaining ricotta mixture, if you have it, and dollop on top. Place the torn mozzarella on top as well. Bake the zucchini for 20-25 minutes or until bubbly and melty. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
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