Ina Garten's 5-Star Zucchini Recipe Is a Perennial Fan Favorite for a Reason

The culinary queen's brilliant and easy way to put that farmers' market or vegetable garden haul to great use only takes 15 minutes to prepare and is packed with flavor.

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If you've had your fill of zoodles and sautéed zucchini this summer, it may be time to turn to Ina Garten's destined-to-be-a-classic Parmesan Roasted Zucchini recipe that has become a fan favorite.

"Made this countless times. This is now my go-to recipe for zucchini. Love it," says one fan review, while another raves, "So fresh and different than the run of the mill veggie sides. Ina for the win as always."

This quick-and-easy side dish was originally published in her book Cooking for Jeffrey and demonstrated on an episode of Barefoot Contessa: Cook Like a Pro on Food Network during the summer of 2021.

Ina Garten on a designed background of zucchinis
Getty Images / NBC / Yulia Maslova

The centerpiece of the episode's menu is a showy Rosemary Rack of Lamb with Easy Tzatziki, but the summery sides steal the show: Fresh Corn Pancakes, Tuscan Tomato & Bread Salad and the perfectly timed Parmesan Roasted Zucchini.

"I'm taking zucchinis that are kind of on the small side; about 6 to 8 ounces each. Cut off the ends, then cut it in half lengthwise," Garten explains as she begins to prep the simple side dish. "With a small spoon, take out the seeds because they tend to be a little watery. Then we're going to make a panko crumb filling with fresh herbs that's going to fill the cavities."

Garten admits that zucchini are "kind of bland," so she packs in flavor from fresh herbs and garlic. Here's how:

Place the scooped squash "boats" onto a sheet pan, brush the interior side with good olive oil, flip them over and season the skin side with salt. Roast until tender yet slightly firm when you poke the flesh with a knife, about 12 minutes.

As those cook, toss together the breadcrumb blend: In a medium bowl, combine a few cloves of minced garlic, chopped parsley ("I use flat-leaf parsley, but if you have curly parsley, that will work too," Garten says), julienned fresh basil, grated Parmesan, a pinch of salt, a few cracks of black pepper and panko breadcrumbs.

"Panko bread flakes are Japanese. They just have more texture than regular breadcrumbs," says Garten.

Stir to combine, flip the roasted zucchini boats back over, and add a heaping spoonful of the panko mixture into the well in the center of each squash. Bake until the panko is "really nice and browned and crisp," she says, about 10 minutes more.

That's all it takes to bring this stress-free side to the table! If you have about 15 minutes to dedicate to hands-on time and six ingredients on hand, you have everything you need to follow Garten's lead.

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