Meatless Monday: Zucchini Parmigiana

We had such a great response to our Zucchini Tacos last week (if you missed it, find it here) that we decided to go all in and offer up another recipe this week so that you all can use up those mountains of zucchini.  We get ours from our local CSA at Liberty Mills Farm.

In this variation on the classic parmigiana, we use zucchini that has been fried and layered in a casserole dish with tomato sauce and covered with mozzarella  cheese.  It is served with a side of whole wheat pasta dressed in olive oil and basil.  It takes a little time, but is so easy and so good!  As a bonus, all three of our little ones (even our 2-year old) ate this up like nobody’s business.  If that’s not a selling point, I don’t know what is!

For more information on why you should participate in the Meatless Monday movement, click here.

Layered Zucchini Parmigiana



3-4 large zucchini
3 C all-purpose flour
3 eggs
3 C seasoned bread crumbs
salt and pepper
oil for frying
1 large jar pasta sauce


Preheat oven to 350.

Cut ends off of zucchini and cut zucchini into 3-4 inch sections.  Using a mandoline, slice the zucchini lengthways very thinly and set aside.

Prepare a breading station.  Pour flour into one long, shallow bowl or casserole, season liberally with salt and pepper.  Mix eggs into a second long, shallow bowl or casserole.  Add a touch of water and season with salt and pepper.  Lastly, pour bread crumbs into a third long, shallow bowl or casserole.

Heat 1/2 inch of oil in a heavy pan over medium to medium-high heat.  Prepare a casserole dish by laying down a thin layer of pasta sauce.

Coat zucchini 3 or 4 at a time in flour.  Dusting off the flour, coat in egg wash, then move to bread crumbs.  Coat thoroughly and dust off before placing carefully in the hot oil.  Let fry 2-3 minutes on each side.  Remove from oil to paper towel.  Place into casserole dish. Repeat.  Fill up bottom of dish with fried zucchini, then lay down a thin layer of sauce.  Continue until you have run out of zucchini or room in the casserole.  Cover with mozzarella and place into preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is melted.  Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Note:  You will find a bit of a system here.  I would do about three at a time.  I would put 3 in the oil and ready the next batch.  When the next batch went in, it was time to flip the old batch, by the time I prepared the next batch, it was time to remove one batch and flip the other.  It was constant, but pretty simple work.


    • Brian says

      You told us last week =P. A few other people were in the same boat, so we made it a point to do another zucchini recipe. I hope you enjoy!

  1. says

    It looks yummy!! We always have meat in our dishes, but I think we should shout for more meatless and veggie filled dishes. My problem is the kids don’t really WANT to eat it. :(

    • Brian says

      They will want to eat this. Odds are that they won’t even know the difference. It’s breaded and fried, then slathered with sauce and cheese. My three-year-old let us know that she ate all of her chicken! It’s all of the heartiness that you want from a meat. I hope you give it a try!

  2. says

    My posts are rarely well received and I imagine this one will be not be any different.

    The idea behind Meatless Monday is to be meat free, cruelty free and sustainable to the environment. Including cheese in a recipe designed for MM is unacceptable to me. If you know how dairy cattle are treated, you would not choose a cheese filled recipe to meet the MM requirement.

    Just my 2 cents.

    • Beth says

      I appreciate your sensibilities on this. People engage in Meatless Mondays for a variety of reasons. Even many vegetarians consider cheese to be an acceptable part of their diet because it’s collection does not involve the slaughter of animals. Arguments go back and forth on this issue.

      The point of Meatless Monday at Simply Budgeted is to give people an easy approach to walk into a life of meals that are not entirely based around meat. Removing the beef, veal, or chicken from a Parmigiana dish provides a familiar meal without the meat. Removing the cheese as well does not make sense for most people.

      For those who do live a lifestyle without dairy, vegan cheeses are available and could easily be substituted in this dish, but that sort of cheese can have just as many questions as animal-based cheese.

      I hope this clears up our approach here. Thanks for the comment.


  1. […] I know this is Beth Week but Valentine’s Day is a shared holiday during Beth Week so this review and giveaway features something I gave to Brian. I made a canvas print of his super popular Zucchini Parmigiana recipe post! […]

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