Homemade panko breaded zucchini parmigiana layered with marinara sauce and mozzarella sauce on top.

Zucchini Parmigiana

Zucchini parmigiana is a melding together of delicious flavors: There’s the fresh zucchini; the rich marinara; the smooth cheese sauce and the thick layer of crunchy panko breadcrumbs to envelope it all.

It’s crunchy, saucy and flavorful, making it everything an entrée should be. The sauce components can be made ahead so that when dinner rolls around, only the zucchini will need preparation.

How To Make Vegan Zucchini Parmigiana

How To Make The Marinara Sauce

The best tomato sauce to use for this recipe is my Authentic Marinara Sauce. Cook down San Marzano tomatoes, garlic cloves, one onion, fresh basil and vegetable stock until it reduces into a hearty tomato base. To cook the marinara sauce, place a large pot on the stove at medium heat. Pour enough extra virgin olive oil to cover the bottom of the pot and let it heat up. When hot, add the onions and cook until translucent. Next, add the fresh garlic and mix with the onions. Then add the San Marzano tomatoes and stir.

San Marzano tomatoes have less of a canned taste than other canned varieties.

At this time, add the fresh basil, season with salt and pepper and mix everything together. Allow to stew for 15 minutes. You’ll notice the tomatoes will start to release a rich aroma as it begins to break down. To speed up the process, mash the tomatoes with a wooden spatula.

After the tomatoes have stewed, add the 16 oz. of flavored stock or water to the pot. Lower the heat to a low setting. This will give the sauce time to simmer and develop serious flavor. Stir occasionally for the next 25 – 30 minutes so that the sauce does not burn or stick to the bottom of the pan.

When the sauce is finished, remove off the heat and use an emulsion hand blender to create a smooth marinara sauce. If you prefer a chunky and rustic sauce then skip this step altogether.

How To Make Creamy Mozzarella Sauce

The smooth Mozzarella Sauce is creamy and cheesy and pairs well with anything. To make the cheese sauce, simply soak 1 cup of raw cashew nuts in hot water for around ten minutes. Strain the liquid and then place in a blender. To the blender, add lemon juice, water, nutritional yeast and onion powder and whirl together until a smooth sauce is made.

Preparing The Zucchini For Baking

To prepare the zucchini, cut off the ends and slice lengthwise to make long strips of zucchini. Zucchini is a vegetable that retains a lot of moisture. To draw that out, place the slices on papers towels and sprinkle sea salt on both sides. Let this soak in for a few minutes. Next, use the paper towels to blot the surface of the zucchini, absorbing any excess moisture.

Zucchini retains a lot of moisture inside the vegetable, so you’ll have to remove the excess by using a sprinkle of salt and paper towels.

To coat the zucchini with breadcrumbs, you’ll need to prepare two mixtures: a batter and a dry mixture. Simply dunk the zucchini into the batter, making sure to cover the entire surface. Then, press it into the dry mixture, coating both sides. Bread all the zucchini slices and place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Spray the tops with avocado oil, or another oil with a high smoke point before placing in an oven set to 425°F.

Bake the breaded zucchini for 10 minutes and then flip over and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Serve zucchini parmigiana immediately to get the best amount of crunchiness. Layer with the delicious Marinara Sauce, Mozzarella Cheese Sauce and dried oregano for the tastiest bite.

The great thing about this parmigiana recipe is that it can be used with a variety of vegetables. Try it with the classic eggplant, yellow potatoes or carrots for an unexpected meal. If you make this recipe, don’t forget to leave a review below and tag @PlantBasedDogGuy on Instagram.

For more delicious dinner ideas, try these recipes:

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