To me side dishes are equally as important as the main entrée for any full meal. Making the whole meal delicious means choosing sides that pair nicely with whatever main we’re having, especially when hosting a dinner. I am always testing and looking for unique side dishes top help expand my ever-growing list of new things to try. This recipe for baked zucchini, tomato, and mozzarella is a great side to serve to your family or guests as it taste great, looks pretty, and adds some veggies to your dinner plate.
I see many recipes for different casseroles and baked dishes with zucchini, so I had to do some serious testing before I got it right. The thing about zucchini is that it releases so much water while being cooked, which can leave your casserole mushy and sloppy. The trick is to first batter and pan fry the zucchini, something I learned (after a few less then perfect attempts) from my mother in law. This makes a huge difference in the way this dish bakes, and being that the batter is made with crunchy panko crumbs, it makes the zucchini taste that much better!
Although my little girl has a dairy allergy and can’t eat this, I bet you could get away with calling it a new kind of lasagna to encourage your picky eaters at home to give it a chance. So try this baked zucchini, tomato, and mozzarella and let us know what you think. Looking for a main entrée to pair it with? It would go lovely with our Coppa, Mushroom, and Parmesan Stuffed Pork Tenderloin.
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- 2 zucchini's cut in ¼ inch thin slices (wider ones are best)
- 2 large tomatoes thinly sliced
- 3 ounces mozzarella sliced thinly or pre-sliced
- 1 cup flour
- 3 eggs
- 2-3 cups panko crumbs
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- 1 tablespoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
- Prepare the coatings for dredging and place them in separate shallow dishes. First the flour, second bowl or plate with the eggs, beaten, and third bowl or plate with the panko crumbs. This allows you to dredge and coat the food in an assembly-line fashion.
- In a large skillet heat the vegetable oil over medium heat.
- Take the slices of zucchini, first coat in the flour, then egg, then panko crumbs then into the pan. Fry about 1 minute on each side undisturbed, or until browned on both sides. Set on a paper lined plate. Continue until you've finished frying all the zucchini.
- Arrange the slices of fried zucchini in an 8x8-inch baking dish, alternating with slices of mozzarella cheese and tomato, so that the slices overlap each other in a neat row pattern. Sprinkle the basil, salt, pepper, and garlic seasoning over the dish. Top with sprinkling on the parmesan.
- Bake at 375 degrees F until the cheese is melted and brown and the dish is bubbling, about 30 minutes.