Zucchini is one of my all time favorite summer treats and I look forward to planting some every year. It is very easy to grow and makes for a versatile ingredient in the kitchen. Depending on its preparation, the fruit could be fried crisp, gently stir fried, firm backbones of salads, savory in a roast, perfectly good noodle substitutes, and incredibly moist additions to breads and muffins. Oh and yes I did just refer to the zucchini as a “fruit”. You see, the zucchini is the swollen ovary of plants’s flower, making it technically a fruit. But much like the tomato, zucchini fruits are treated like vegetables in the kitchen.
Technicalities aside, zucchini are great for casseroles for the texture they add. And of course I have a simple and fun recipe to share with you that uses fresh zucchini and your favorite vegan cheese. This casserole celebrates all the flavor this summer time produce has to offer.
Vegan Zucchini Casserole
- 3 large zucchini, cut into quarter inch slices
- 1 cup of your favorite creamy vegan cheese, or more as needed
- 1/8 cup (packed) finely chopped fresh basil
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper, or more to taste
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven.
- Mix zucchini, garlic, basil, olive oil, smoked paprika, salt and pepper in a large bowl until zucchini is evenly coated.
- Then layer the bottom of a baking dish with the zucchini.
- Drop dollops of your vegan cheese cheese on top of the zucchini layer, then repeat until you are out of the zucchini mixture.
- Top the casserole with a final layer of the vegan cheese.
- Lastly, season with cayenne pepper.
- Bake in your preheated oven until the zucchini is tender and the vegan cheese is browned. In my oven it took about 30 minutes, but the first time you make this, keep your eye on it.