Parmesan Summer Squash Bake
Did you know that there are over a hundred different types of squash? You’ve probably seen more than a few at your local grocery store throughout the year or may even grow a few kinds in your gardens at home. Squash are typically categorized into Summer or Winter varieties and both offer a plethora of health benefits! Squash contain magnesium, potassium, Vitamin C, beta-carotene, folate - all great for the heart. Squash contains a negligible amount of fat, virtually no cholesterol, and is much lower in calories but just as filling and rich as potatoes and corn - making it a great option for weight loss and weight maintenance. It’s also good for the eyes, good for the colon, good for the prostate, good for the immune system, and ladies - its levels of manganese have even been shown in studies to help reduce the symptoms of PMS! Talk about a vegetable (okay, technically fruit) that nearly does it all! But less on that and more on this delicious and easy bake!
We’ve taken yellow Summer squash and baked it into a casserole-esque dish that’s high in flavor but lower in fat, carbs, and calories than traditional squash casseroles. With just three “real” ingredients and a few kitchen staples, you can prepare this dish quickly and easily. Like casseroles, this dish can also be prepared ahead of time, refrigerated, and then baked later without losing any of the flavor or texture. Cooking for more than one mouth? No problem. This recipe doubles, triples, or quadruples in a cinch! If you’re making it for dinner on the same night, this is the perfect side dish to start first, get it in the oven, and then prepare the rest of your meal while it’s baking.
You’ll see that our recipe is very simple as far as ingredients and flavors go. We wanted to give you a good “base” to start with, and you can customize and create your own flavors and preferences as you go! Like a little more spice? Add diced jalapeno or crushed red pepper flakes to your baked topping. Looking for flavors that compliment your meal? Spices and herbs can be easily incorporated into this one (think taco seasoning for a Latin flair or Italian seasoning for a Mediterranean touch). We’ve used just yellow squash in our recipe, but you can absolutely use a mix of yellow and zucchini or other squash varieties that you love! Tried a different variation and loved it? We’d love to see it! Send your homemade pics to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 8 oz. Summer squash
- 1 oz. Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- ¼ C. plain Panko bread crumbs
- To taste: sea salt, black pepper
- For garnish: fresh herbs (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a small casserole dish or loaf pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Carefully slice squash into 1/8 to 1/4 in. slices using a knife or mandoline. Lay out on your cutting board and sprinkle a little salt over each slice. This is to “sweat” some of the the moisture out of the squash. Let sit for about 10 minutes and soak up any moisture with a paper towel that's pooled on the outside of the squash slices.
- While the squash are sweating, grate the Parmesan and combine in a small bowl with breadcrumbs. Set aside.
- Layer squash slices into pan and spray tops with cooking spray.
- Sprinkle salt and pepper overtop followed by the Parmesan-breadcrumb mixture.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake in preheated oven for approximately 25 minutes.
- Uncover and broil on high for about 4-5 minutes until the top has browned and crisped (always watch food in the broiler closely - when it starts to turn it does so quickly!).
- Remove from oven and let cool for just a few minutes. Garnish with fresh herbs and serve warm.
Makes 1 Serving | Serving Size: entire pan | One serving Replaces: 1 vegetable, 1 carbohydrate, and 1 oz. cheese