This Zucchini Roasted Red Pepper Parmesan is an Italian comfort food dish that’s just perfect for Meatless Monday!
I don’t know about you folks, but it seems like there’s been a lot of comfort food on our menu lately. Today’s Zucchini Roasted Red Pepper Parmesan is the newest addition to my comfort food menu. It’s zesty, creamy, cheesy and simply delicious.
A few weeks back, I went to the little farm stand that’s close to where we live and I picked up some gorgeous zucchini, red peppers, corn, cucumbers, strawberries, blueberries and the most gorgeous blackberries. Everything was so colorful and fresh.
Up north, I wouldn’t get any of that stuff until summer really, so being able to take advantage of all Florida has to offer earlier then I’m accustomed to has been such a treat.
I think I was happiest about the zucchini. I had been thinking for weeks about making some kind of Parmesan dish.
I love eggplant Parmesan, but decided I needed to change things up a bit, so I switched out the eggplant for some grilled zucchini and red bell pepper.
Since I opted to grill the veggies instead of breading and frying them I treated myself and added some béchamel sauce (my fave). It gives this dish an ultra-creamy, rich texture that I know you’ll really enjoy.
The béchamel takes just minutes to make and I’ve made things super easy by using a jarred marinara sauce. And once you’ve grilled your veggies it’s just a matter of layering everything up in a 9×13 baking dish and baking. No need for anything but some crusty bread on the side to sop up some of the sauce and a glass of wine. Enjoy!
A Few Cook’s Notes for Zucchini Roasted Red Pepper Parmesan Recipe:
You can either grill or roast your veggies in the oven. If you roast them in the oven you’ll just need to brush both sides of the slices with some olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake on large baking sheets in an even layer at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, then flip the slices and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
I use my favorite jarred marinara sauce for this recipe, but if you’re feeling ambitious you can always make homemade.
- 4 large zucchini, ends trimmed and cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch slices
- 4 large red bell peppers, cut off the tops, remove the ribs and seeds and cut into thick strips, about 2 1/2 inches wide
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 Tbsp. butter
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1/8 Tsp. nutmeg
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
- 2 cups marinara sauce
- dried parsley, for sprinkling on top, if desired
- Lightly brush the zucchini and red pepper slices with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill veggies in batches over high heat for 6-8 minutes. Remove from grill to a large platter. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
- To make the bechamel sauce, in a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook one minute. Add the flour and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Slowly whisk in the milk. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until thickened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the salt, pepper and nutmeg. Remove from the heat.
- In a medium bowl, combine the shredded mozzarella, Parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning. Set aside.
- Spread 1/3 of the marinara sauce at the bottom of the prepared dish. Layer with 1/3 of the zucchini and red pepper slices. Top with 1/3 of the bechamel sauce, and half of the cheese mixture. Top with another 1/3 of the marinara, 1/3 of the zucchini and red pepper slices and 1/3 of the bechamel sauce. Top with remaining zucchini and red pepper slices, bechamel sauce, marinara sauce and remaining half of the cheese mixture.
- Bake uncovered for 30 minutes or until bubbling and lightly browned on top. Remove from oven and let rest for 20 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with dried parley flakes, if desired.