Zucchini Gratin

Zucchini Gratin from The Little Kitchen

Okay, let me start by saying, I’m not ready for Fall yet. Okay, that’s a lie, on Sunday, we had a roast turkey breast for dinner and it felt like a sort of Thanksgiving dinner. I’m not ready for the sunlight to go away earlier, I’m not ready for apple recipes and I’m certainly not ready to start about Christmas shopping. We always start our shopping early and I kinda ignored Curtis the other day when he mentioned getting gifts for our nephews. Because all of this would be admitting that summer is over and the long summer nights are over and that the year is closer to ending. What I won’t miss is the heat, our AC broke over Labor Day weekend and that was NOT fun.

I wanted to make something totally different for a side dish to go with the mashed potatoes and corn we were having with the turkey AND I had a bunch of zucchini I needed to use up. So this dish was born…

The zucchini gratin reminds me of the best mac and cheese I have ever had…at The Original in Portland. I wasn’t brave enough to ask for the recipe but I did ask them what kind of cheese was in it, they said cheddar and parmesan cheese. It had a panko breadcrumb topping which made it crunchy.

Zucchini Gratin from The Little Kitchen

First, slice the zucchini up really thin, about 1/4 inch thick. I used my OXO hand-held mandoline slicer (on setting number 3) that I received in my goody bag at Food Blog Forum Orlando. It’s so easy…I have so many ideas for other uses for this thing!

I used freshly grated cheese for this dish and as I use for most dishes…I do have a bottle of pre-grated parmesan cheese in my fridge but find myself using it less and less. For this dish, you have to use freshly grated parm, the two cheeses together make a really nice deep cheese flavor and I don’t think you’ll be able to get it with the green bottle.

Then, make the cheese sauce and when that’s done, mix the breadcrumb mixture together and begin layering your gratin.

Zucchini Gratin from The Little Kitchen

It doesn’t have to be neat or perfect, just layer the zucchini and it can be overlapping. Alternate layers of zucchini with the cheese sauce. I used a measuring cup to pour it over the zucchini. You’ll get about 3-4 layers.

Zucchini Gratin from The Little Kitchen

I have to admit, I was eating the zucchini gratin while I was photographing it. That’s why there are no photographs of them uneaten. Ooops.

Zucchini Gratin from The Little Kitchen

I also made this recipe without the breadcrumb topping and it was still awesome. The breadcrumbs add a different texture and a crunch but if you don’t have the breadcrumbs, you can still make this. Just add the grated cheese on top (no need for the butter if you don’t have the breadcrumbs.)

If you make any of recipes and decide to share them on instagram or twitter be sure to tag me @thelittlekitchn and use the hashtag #thelittlekitchenrecipes! I love seeing your posts and photos!

Zucchini Gratin Recipe

Yield: 2 servings as a side


2 medium zucchinis, sliced thin about 1/4 inch

1 1/2 Tablespoon unsalted butter (and extra butter for greasing the baking dishes)

2 Tablespoons all-purpose unbleached flour

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup milk (I used 2% milk)

1 teaspoon Kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/3 cup sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded

1/3 cup parmesan cheese, shredded

Breadcrumb topping

1/2 cup Japanese panko breadcrumbs

1 1/2 Tablespoon sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded

1 1/2 Tablespoon parmesan cheese, shredded

salt & pepper

1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, melted


Heat oven to 375 degrees F.

Melt butter in a medium saucepan on medium heat. Add flour and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon. Cook butter-flour mixture while stirring for 3-4 minutes. Whisk milk and heavy cream in slowly. Continue whisking and cooking on medium heat for about 3-5 minutes until thickened. Add salt and pepper and turn off heat. Add cheese, whisk until the cheese melts.

Mix panko breadcrumbs with cheese and add a dash of kosher salt and black pepper. Add cheese sauce to a large measuring cup.

Prep baking dishes (I used 2 5"x5" baking dishes that are about 2 cup capacity), grease with butter. Layer zucchini in each baking dish, overlapping is good. On top of each layer pour about 2 Tablespoons of cheese sauce and spread out with a spoon. Continue layering zucchini and cheese sauce until you run out of space or zucchini (about 3 to 4 layers).

On top of the last layer of cheese, top with panko breadcrumb mixture and then drizzle melted butter on top.

Bake for about 20-25 minutes at 375 degrees. Then turn on the broiler to brown the breadcrumb mixture for about 5 minutes.

This little gratin stores well in the fridge. To reheat, put baking dish in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes or until heated through.

Tip: Double this recipe to make it a side that serves 4 or more.

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74 Responses to “Zucchini Gratin”

  1. 41
    Christine (Cook the Story) — September 13, 2012 @ 11:53 am

    Wow! Such a beautiful idea for a dish. The green and white? Zukes and cheddar and parm. I am definitely going to make this!


    • Julie Deily replied: September 23rd, 2012 @ 3:04 pm

      I love the word zukes! Thanks for that, Christina!


  2. 42
    Carla's Confections — September 13, 2012 @ 4:42 pm

    I would totally be eating it while taking pics too! It looks extremely good! Mmmm I really want to make that soon :)


  3. 43
    Jeanette — September 13, 2012 @ 6:02 pm

    I was finally cleaning out my bag from FBF Orlando and pulled out the OXO slicer – it works great! Love how you used it for this beautiful zucchini gratin.


    • Julie Deily replied: September 23rd, 2012 @ 3:04 pm

      I love that slicer! I just got the OXO julienne slicer too. I can’t wait to use it!


  4. 44
    Miss @ Miss in the Kitchen — September 13, 2012 @ 11:52 pm

    This looks like some wonderful comfort food and I love all of the OXO gadgets!


  5. 45
    Aggie — September 14, 2012 @ 6:35 am

    I have mixed feelings about summer ending too. Not ready to let part of it go!! I panicked the other day thinking about the time change.
    This looks delicious!


  6. 46
    Laurie {Simply Scratch} — September 14, 2012 @ 9:47 am

    Love this! I am soooo ready for fall and I’m so ready for this gratin!


  7. 47
    Javelin Warrior — September 14, 2012 @ 10:26 am

    This gratin looks just perfect – crispy topping with creamy center… And personally, I’m so ready for fall. I can’t wait for bushels of apples and pumpkin pie and all that good stuff πŸ˜‰ I’m featuring this post in today’s Food Fetish Friday (with a link-back and attribution as always). Thanks for always inspiring me with your creations…


  8. 48
    Melissa — September 14, 2012 @ 11:22 am

    Hey Julie! This is an awesome recipe. I’ve been on this zucchini kick all summer long. Just the other day, I made a zucchini “ribbons” pasta that was to die for! Since then, I’ve been searching for unique ways to make zucchini and I want to thank you mucho for sharing this wonderful idea! Never fail to inspire. ;D


  9. 49
    Bunkycooks — September 14, 2012 @ 2:59 pm

    What a great way to dress up zucchini! We love gratins, especially when there is a nip in the air. Very nice recipe. :-)


  10. 50
    Parsley Sage — September 15, 2012 @ 6:52 pm

    Good girl! That’s the true testament to a tasty dish…you can’t even get an uneaten picture :) I KNOW this must be delicious


  11. 51
    Suzanne — September 16, 2012 @ 8:50 am

    I’m not ready for the days to get shorter (even though it’s already happening) either. Although I do miss that crisp autumn air from when I lived in MA.


  12. 52
    Rachel — September 17, 2012 @ 4:14 pm

    That looks SO good — I need to try that on my kids.


  13. 53
    Tasha @ ThatsSoYummy — September 17, 2012 @ 7:20 pm

    This looks like a delicious way to use up some left over zucchini… YUM!


  14. 54
    Shanna@ pineapple and coconut — September 20, 2012 @ 10:50 am

    I love the dishes – where did you get them?


  15. 55
    Sweetsugarbelle — October 5, 2012 @ 12:02 pm

    I wish we could have fall weather but keep longer days! This looks amazing, Julie! Adding it to my thanksgiving menu!


  16. 56
    Vijitha — October 22, 2012 @ 7:23 pm

    I have been a silent follower of your blog and today I decided to pop in to say a hi. I have tried your zuchini gratin recipe and every one at home loved it. Thanks for sharing awesome recipes from your kitchen. I will be back to check other recipes soon.


    • Julie Deily replied: November 20th, 2012 @ 2:37 pm

      Wow, thanks so much for letting me know! πŸ˜€ So glad they enjoyed it!!!


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  19. 57
    Liz — July 20, 2013 @ 3:35 pm

    Thank you for the nice recipes. Have a great weekend!


  20. 58
    Alessandra of Ale Simple Recipes — July 29, 2013 @ 1:30 pm

    hi, I love zucchini and i always serve them steamed with a drop of good olive of oil. I tried an year ago to prepare something similar but I admit that it wasn’t a success. I like you idea to serve them with cheese, cream and breadcrumb on the top that gives a colour brown to the dish. I am sure that it states delicious as it looks like. Thanks for sharing it, Alessandra.


  21. 59
    grey roses — August 14, 2013 @ 9:32 pm

    This has become an instant family favourite! I’ve never been so glad that I live on a farm, with lots & lots of space to overplant zucchini… πŸ˜‰ We have a rapidly-growing Amish community, & I found the most beautiful locally-made raw sharp white cheddar at one of their country stores! It’s like it was made for this recipe. Three people = no leftovers, “subtle” hints for more (“How ’bout a little country drive this afternoon…?”) asap. Thanks muchly–it’s always great to have a knockout use for all those zukes! I’m starting to mourn the end of the growing season, which I’m not sure has ever happened before. lol


  22. 60
    Kathrina Kaufman — November 24, 2013 @ 8:01 pm

    Awesome dish, made last week and will make for Thanksgiving!!!!


  23. 61
    Amy Swann — November 26, 2013 @ 12:30 am

    Thumbs up! I made this tonight and 3 (15 year old ate one serving and he usually won’t touch zucchini) of us ate the entire thing! I don’t want to know how many calories that was…at least it was a veggie.


  24. 62
    Terri — February 15, 2014 @ 9:55 am

    This was absolutely delicious! Thank you so much for the recipe! I featured you on my blog today.


  25. 63
    nancee — September 5, 2014 @ 11:19 pm

    This is very very good,I would highly recommend it….I will definitely be making this again and again for pot lucks etc.


    • Julie Deily replied: September 6th, 2014 @ 10:53 am

      Hi Nancee, so happy to hear this!! !:)


  26. 64
    Martha Richitelli — September 26, 2014 @ 8:36 pm

    I am definitely going to make this, Julie, as my garden still has a surplus of zucchini. Have to stop leaving them on doorsteps and running! †his recipe sounds really good.


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  28. 65
    Dawn — July 14, 2015 @ 12:53 pm

    Hi Julie! I am so glad I found this recipe on Pinterest. We grow our own zucchini, and I am always looking for creative ways to fix it. This is my favorite one yet! It’s super easy, and I like it because it doesn’t use a whole lot of cheese. I actually didn’t have heavy cream on hand, so I substituted half-n-half. It was totally fine. Thank you so much!


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