I’m a veggie lover. Always have been. Even back in the day when “meat and three” was the norm at little country restaurants, I could always make a meal from just the “three.” A plate full of summer veggies with a bit of cornbread on the side. Well, that’s just about as close to Heaven as you can get in my opinion.
However, I gotta tell you. Zucchini just isn’t my favorite veggie. I cook it often enough. I feel obligated to in the summer when it’s plentiful and cheap. I just don’t usually enjoy it much. It just needs something to bump up its flavor. If you know what I mean?
Something like…bacon! Oh, yeah, of course. Well, bacon makes everything better so why wouldn’t it work for zucchini? Oh, it does. It works beautifully to give this casserole that great smoky flavor that everyone loves. Then add to that a coating of tomato sauce, some onions and garlic, and a topping of crushed crackers and Parmesan cheese, and we have a winner of a baked zucchini recipe.
Start by preheating the oven to 350 and prepping a casserole dish. Either grease it with butter or lightly coat it with cooking spray.
Prep the bacon by cutting it cross-wise, slice the onion into half moon shapes, mince the garlic and thinly slice the zucchini. Accuracy is not so important. Just get everything cut up and ready to cook.
Fry the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until it is just cooked but not crispy. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, until the onion has softened. Drain the bacon-onion-garlic mixture to remove the excess fat.
Here’s my trick for draining things like this. Fold a couple of paper towels and place them in a paper plate. Dump whatever mixture you need to drain on top of the paper towels and let it sit for a few minutes. Return the mixture to the pan and the majority of the fat stays with the paper towels. Discard the whole mess. Nothing to wash! I actually keep a supply of cheap paper plates on hand all the time just for this. Really. This works especially well for draining ground beef.
Return the onion and bacon mixture back to the skillet. Add the zucchini, tomato sauce, salt, and pepper. Mix well. Pour into the prepared casserole dish.
Crush the crackers. Simply put them in a sealed plastic bag and roll over them with a rolling pin a few times. Add the Parmesan cheese to the crushed crackers and then sprinkle that mixture evenly over the zucchini in the casserole dish.
Drizzle the top with olive oil or dot it with butter.
Cover with foil and and bake for about 30 minutes or until it’s hot and bubbly. Remove the foil about 10 minutes before the end of the cooking time so that the cracker crumbs brown nicely.
- 6 slices bacon, diced
- 1 large yellow or white onion, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 cups sliced zucchini (about 2 medium)
- 1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. ground black pepper
- 12 whole grain saltine crackers, crushed
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tblsp. olive oil or butter
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a casserole dish with either butter or cooking spray and set aside.
- Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until it is cooked but not crisp. Add the onion and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until the onion is softened. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the zucchini, tomato sauce, salt, and pepper. Pour the zucchini mixture into the prepared casserole dish.
- Crush the crackers and combine with the Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle the cracker and cheese mixture evenly over the zucchini mixture. Drizzle the top with olive oil or dot with butter.
- Cover with foil and bake for about 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. Remove the cover about 10 minutes before the end of cooking time to allow for better browning.
Other zucchini recipes you might enjoy from around the internet:
- Easy Cheesy Zucchini Bake from Kalyn’s Kitchen
- Zucchini and Cream Cheese Casserole from Creative Culinary
- Stuffed Zucchini from Kayotic Kitchen
- Zucchini Fritters from Smitten Kitchen
- Zucchini Coconut Bread fromTwo Peas and Their Pod
- Grilled Zucchini and Eggplant Parmesan from Cookin’ Canuck
What I was up to…