zucchini - Related Content

Cheesy Zucchini Towers and Zucchini Lasagna

Monday, July 31st 2023 6:00 am

Cheesy Zucchini Towers


1 large zucchini

1 C shaved or grated Parmesan cheese

1 tsp salt

1 tsp paprika (optional)

2 tsp extra virgin olive oil


Preheat oven to 420 degrees.

Wash and thinly slice zucchini using a sharp knife or mandolin. Sprinkle with salt, paprika, ½ cup parmesan cheese and 1 tsp olive oil. Mix well.

Then, lightly coat a muffin tin with olive oil and stack your zucchini slices on top of one another in each tin (about 8 in each).

Top with the remaining grated parmesan and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Enjoy as a side dish, an appetizer or a quick snack.


Zucchini Lasagna


4-5 medium-large zucchini, sliced thin (1/8-inch cuts)

1/2 C parmesan cheese          

3 C shredded mozzarella

3 C tomato sauce

2 tsp fresh oregano          3 T fresh basil

Ricotta Filling Ingredients:

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 1/2 C ricotta cheese (drained of liquids)

1/4 C parmesan cheese


pinch of salt            

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/4 c fresh basil, chopped (for dried basil use 2 T)


Preheat oven to 375F.  

Salt & pre-bake zucchini noodles: arrange zucchini slices on sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle with course sea salt – let sit for 5-10 minutes so zucchini "sweats" any excess moisture. Use paper towels to press and dry zucchini noodles. Then bake noodles for 8-10 minutes – pat them dry when finished baking. Note: pre-baking the zucchini will help dry up even more moisture from the noodles.

Ricotta filling: in a medium-sized bowl, mix all of ricotta filling ingredients together.

Layer ingredients: In a 13×9 baking dish, layer lasagna: spread a thin layer of sauce on the bottom of the dish, add layer of cooked zucchini noodles, thin layer of ricotta filling, and mozzarella cheese & little parmesan, and generous sprinkle of freshly cut oregano & basil. Repeat each step until finished. On top layer with sauce, mozzarella cheese, and parmesan cheese. 

Leave dish uncovered and bake for 30-40 minutes.  For a browned top, broil on HIGH for 1 to 2 minutes until to your liking.  Top with chopped fresh basil. Slice and enjoy! 

You can make two pans, and freeze one for another day.  Thaw overnight and bake in a 375 degree oven until center is warmed through, about 20 minutes.


To cut the zucchini: If you are experienced with a chef’s knife and feel comfortable, you can slice the zucchini noodles with a sharp knife. Remove the top and bottom stems of the zucchini, stand upright and carefully slice from top to bottom into 1/4-inch thick slices.  Be very careful doing this step.  A mandolin is a great option to get precise vegetables cut without using a chef knife.  Some folks simply cut it in thin rounds and proceed!  It also works to prepare the cheese mixture and/or the zucchini ahead of time and refrigerate.  Wrap zucchini slices in the parchment, wiping off moisture as you go and cover.  Put the dish together the next day.

You can beef up this recipe by adding cooked ground meat or sausage to the sauce.  To make this or any lasagna for vegans, use vegan mozzarella and substitute crumbled firm tofu for the ricotta.  Don't skimp on herbs and add a small "glug" of olive oil to give it that dairy fat mouth feel! 

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Have you ever seen your neighbor coming by with an armful of green torpedo – shaped produce?  Don’t run and hide!  Having an abundance is a challenge and not everyone likes to spend hours in the kitchen.  Which gets me thinking.  We all can't be like our ancestors who thrived on those kinds of garden and kitchen tasks.  If we are honest, many of them had little choice and had varying degrees of success at making the best of it.  Today, we have the privilege of choosing to make things from scratch or finding healthy short-cuts.  What am I good at?  What new experiences will stretch me?  Where do I choose to invest my time and creative energy?  What is my attitude toward the things I do?  towards the food I prepare or simply eat?  One can complain about unavoidable meal chores, tolerate them while wishing we were doing something else, or choose to celebrate that even if I don't like food prep and all that goes into it, I am feeding and caring for my own body and for those I love.  It's an act of loving service and of doing "what is mine to do." 

Spaghetti with Zucchini from Nerano

Monday, July 24th 2023 6:00 am


About 2 C mild vegetable oil (sunflower and or olive oil can be used)

8-10 small zucchini  (about 3# by my kitchen scale)

1 ½ C torn, fresh basil

Sea salt to taste

Extra-virgin olive oil

1 pound spaghetti

2-3 C grated parmesan cheese


Put the oil in a large pot (like a Dutch oven) and bring to almost boiling over medium high heat.

Slice the zucchini into thin rounds (1/4” or less).  Fry in the hot oil until it is golden brown.  Remove and set aside on a paper towel lined cookie sheet. Sprinkle with torn basil and sea salt.  This can be done in batches.  See option to deep frying below.

Transfer zucchini mixture to a bowl and drizzle with a little olive oil, if needed, to prevent them from clumping together.

Boil the pasta in salted water until al dente.  (About 2 minutes before recommended cooking time.)  Strain, reserving about 2 C of the pasta cooking water.

Place the cooked pasta in a large pot over low heat along with the zucchini mixture and gently combine.  Add the pasta water, a little at a time, to create a cream texture.  You may not need all 2 C of the water. 

Add the cheese to the mixture  a little at a time and continue to combine by stirring gently and tossing.

When the mixture has a slight creaminess, remove from the heat and serve immediately.

Option to deep frying: Put zucchini rounds in a bowl and coat lightly with olive oil.  Spread them out on a baking sheet and bake in a 360 degree oven until browned.  Watch closely and turn them to avoid burning.  You can also put the sheet under the broiler at the end of cooking to produce browning.

Note:  The zucchini mixture can be made ahead and refrigerated for several days.  It can also be used in a frittata, as a side dish or in a cheese sandwich.  You’ll also see this recipe using shredded Provolone cheese, garlic, or butter, but this one comes from Stanley Tucci, author of “Taste”.  He swears version of "Spaghetti con Zucchine alla Nerano" is the only authentic one!  Sounds like a proud Italian!

You can also add zucchini to pasta salad, hot pasta dishes, as a side, in veggie kebabs, eggs, soups like Minestrone, to replace lasagna noodles, grilled and in baked goods like cookies and quick breads. See a few more “Seasoned Franciscan zucchini posts: “Zucchini Waffles and “Zucchini Brownies” 8/12/22, “Summer Squash and Onions” 8/22/22.

If you would like to be notified when we share new recipes, be sure to scroll to the bottom, provide your email address, check the box confirming you are not a robot, click on a few photos to prove it and click subscribe! You will then receive an email after each new post. Remember, we're always looking for new recipes, so keep sending them to ecopact@fspa.org!

Story:   After a short out of town trip, we came home to a monster garden zucchini (which we'll use in waffles) and several small ones.  We used then in “Pasta with Zucchini from Navaro” (a small town on the Italian Amalfi coast).  It’s a yummy favorite of Stanley Tucci, who admits his life revolves around food!

Besides the recipes, what interested me in his memoir “Taste: My Life Through Food” was his Italian American upbringing and his love for all things tasty, including cocktails.  Ironically, he survived mouth cancer and, gratefully, regained his ability to eat and taste solid food after the challenges of treatment. 



Double Zucchini Recipes!

Friday, August 12th 2022 3:29 pm

Zucchini Waffles

Depending on the size of your waffle baker, this recipe should yield anywhere from 4 (large) to 8 waffles.This recipe can also be used for pancakes.Have leftover waffle batter? Use all of the batter to make waffles and freeze the leftovers! Homemade frozen waffles! Just for fun: add in some chocolate chips! Serves 4

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 large eggs
1 cup milk any: whole, 2%, almond 
5 tablespoons unsalted butter melted and cooled
1 cup plain yogurt
1 heaping cup grated zucchini squeezed in a dishtowel or cheese cloth


  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, salt and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, melted butter, yogurt and the grated zucchini. Fold the wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix until somewhat smooth and combined.
  2. Preheat your waffle baker and spray with non-stick baking spray or wipe down lightly with butter to grease the waffle baker. Cook waffles (using about 1/2 cup batter per waffle) until golden and crisp. Every waffle baker is different so cook according to waffle baker instructions. Mine takes about 2 1/2 minutes per waffle. Repeat until all of the waffle batter has been used. Serve with fresh fruit or maple syrup if desired! Enjoy!

If freezing the waffles, they freeze and re-heat better if they are smaller so, with my waffle baker, I break/separate my waffles into the little triangles and freeze those.

It's zucchini season! This over-abundant veggie is a form of summer squash, and I've always found it hard to use it all up without freezing it. But I also have a deep love for breakfast foods, especially pancakes. I'll be trying the pancake version of this recipe soon, I think! Recipe submitted by Vicki Lopez-Kaley.

Zucchini Brownies

1/2 cup vegetable oil or applesauce
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups zucchini, shredded
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In large mixing bowl, beat together the oil and sugar.
  3. Add the egg and mix well.  Add the vanilla and shredded zucchini and mix well.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  5. Add dry ingredients to the large mixing bowl and beat until combined.
  6. Use butter or oil to grease a 9X13-inch baking pan.  Spread mixture into prepared pan (batter will be thick) and smooth into an even layer.
  7. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the center of the brownies springs back when gently touched.  Cool on a wire cooling rack.
  8. Frost brownies once they are completely cooled, if desired.


  • Cut granulated sugar in half (3/4 cup), and use 1 cup wheat flour and 1 cup all-purpose flour (instead of 2 cups all-purpose flour) for a healthier version of this recipe!
  • You can also add nuts, caramel, marshmallows, chocolate or peanut butter chips, or whatever you'd like to the top of the brownie batter right before putting it into the oven.

Remember being a kid? The other day, the FSPA garden hosted the Boys and Girls Club for a weeding extravaganza. Sister Lucy also had the kids try store-bought veggies versus garden-harvested ones, and she made these brownies to go with it. The kids could almost always tell which veggies came from the garden! And when it came to the brownies, they preferred the ones without nuts. I wonder if I could have told the difference between veggies when I was a kid? Recipe submitted by Sister Lucy Slinger.

If you would like to be notified when we share new recipes, be sure to scroll to the bottom, provide your email address, check the box confirming you are not a robot, click on a few photos to prove it and click subscribe! You will then receive an email after each new post. Remember, we're always looking for new recipes, so keep sending them to ecopact@fspa.org!

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