Even though Southern food is most often equated with comfort food and soul food, we know that all regional cuisines have their forms of comfort food and that we all share the same feelings of comfort that come from making and sharing meals.The love and care that we put into cooking for our families and the time spent sharing meals together. This recipe makes that possible while also feeling good about making healthy choices.–Natasha Newton

A sheet pan covered with parchment paper, filled with layers of sliced zucchini, tomatoes, shredded mozzarella, piles of ricotta and marinara sauce.

Sheet Pan Zucchini Pizza Bake

5 / 3 votes
Going keto doesn’t mean that you have to give up American traditional dishes—with a little creativity most of your favorite foods can be adapted. A base of sliced zucchini and tomatoes, topped with lots of melted cheese and marinara makes a suitable sub for pizza.
David Leite
CourseMains
CuisineAmerican
Servings4 servings
Calories353 kcal
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time45 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 2 medium (21 oz) zucchini*, sliced 1/4-inch (6-mm) thick
  • 2 tablespoons avocado or olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 cup marinara sauce
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese, preferably full fat
  • 1/2 cup (2 oz) pepperoni slices

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

    ☞ TESTER TIP: Don’t leave any excess parchment hanging over the edge of the baking sheet as it may burn during broiling.

  • In a medium bowl, toss the zucchini slices in the oil until evenly coated. Arrange slices, slightly overlapping, in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet so that it's completely covered. Sprinkle with the garlic salt. Bake until tender and brown around the edges, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and turn the oven to broil.
  • Top zucchini with marinara, mozzarella, spoonfuls of ricotta, and pepperoni. Broil until toppings start to brown, about 3 minutes. Watch closely so as not to let it burn.
  • Serve immediately.

    ☞ TESTER TIP: Use a pizza slicer to cut the finished dish into equal portions to make it easier to lift from the baking sheet.

Notes

*Can I use other types of summer squash instead of zucchini?

We’ll caution you not to switch out the entire amount of squash here. We didn’t test it that way so we don’t have an absolute answer for you. However, we have it on good authority that you can swap out some of the zucchini and add additional slices of a different squash to the base of your sheet pan bake. One of our intrepid testers, Linda Pacchiano, added yellow squash to hers and thought it was not only colorful, but tasty as heck too.

Adapted From

Southern Keto: Beyond the Basics

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Nutrition

Serving: 1 servingCalories: 353 kcalCarbohydrates: 3 gProtein: 17 gFat: 30 gSaturated Fat: 12 gMonounsaturated Fat: 13 gTrans Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 69 mgSodium: 1028 mgFiber: 1 gSugar: 2 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2021 Natasha Newton. Photo © 2021 Natasha Newton. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

We all need a break from the yearly slog of zucchini bread, butter, and pasta every summer, and this recipe for sheet pan zucchini pizza bake helps break the mold for an easy weeknight solution that’s bound to please everyone at the table. With a roast, top, and broil method, it’s easy enough kids could help out and offers tons of ideas for variation: different cheeses, leftover crumbled Italian sausage, or even replacing the marinara with white sauce or pesto. I know I’ve already been asked to remake it this week. I finished it off with a sprinkling of dried oregano, which is what I like to top my regular pizza with.

A sheet pan covered with parchment paper, filled with layers of sliced zucchini, tomatoes, shredded mozzarella, piles of ricotta and marinara sauce.

That said, I think some steps could be made to improve upon it. I found 1/4″ slices of zucchini needed 40 minutes to lightly brown around the edges. While I’m fine roasting the 40 minutes, some people will likely want to slice thinner slices or raise the oven temperature/use convection to accelerate the process.

Additionally, while you can go through all the effort in the world styling it on the baking sheet, it looks like a HOT mess when you try to transfer it off the platter. A delicious hot mess, but still a mess. Carve out quadrants with a knife first before you try to remove it with a spatula.

This sheet pan zucchini pizza bake is a delicious, cheesy, low-carb dish. It was easy to make with store-bought marinara sauce and pre-shredded mozzarella cheese. If you don’t have avocado oil, olive oil works just as well. The zucchini needs to be crowded in the pan a little because they will shrink after baking.

Before using pepperoni, I like to put it in the microwave on a plate with paper towels for 30 seconds to a minute to get out the excess grease. This was really good with fresh basil sprinkled on top after broiling.

Is this pizza? No. But this sheet pan zucchini pizza bake was delicious. My non-zucchini-loving husband enjoyed it. That’s a huge plus! It has the flavors we associate with pizza and would be a great side with pasta or a nice lunch entree. I think slicing the zucchini lengthwise and no less than 1/3-inch thick is essential. I see this appearing on our table quite frequently. Next time, I want to try it on the BBQ.

Not sure I’m ready to call this sheet pan zucchini pizza bake a “pizza,” but it sure is a delicious and healthier alternative to classically made pizza with a crust. If you really would like some “crunch,” feel free to serve it with a few pieces of toasted naan, pita, or flatbread. Focaccia would also be a great accompaniment and, together with a salad, you will have a light dinner for 4 or a perfect lunch on a summer day for six. This can also be used as a side dish for steak or chicken or any other protein where the flavors would work. 

A sheet pan covered with parchment paper, filled with layers of sliced zucchini, yellow summer squash, tomatoes, shredded mozzarella, piles of ricotta and marinara sauce.

Great way to use up some of the abundance of zucchini we are now harvesting from our home gardens. I used mostly regular zucchini but had a bit of space left on the sheet pan, so I added in some slices of yellow squash to give the dish a beautiful array of colors. 

Tip: I placed the slices on a sheet pan so I would know exactly how many slices would be needed to fill the pan. Then I moved them to a mixing bowl and tossed them with the oil. Saved me the guesswork of how much zucchini to slice.




About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.


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Recipe Rating




4 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I made this for dinner tonight. I absolutely love it! I used my garden fresh zucchini and summer squash and homemade marinara from the garden. I will definitely do this recipe over and over again. I also topped it off with chiffonade of basil once it was out of the oven. I also raise many varieties of cocktail tomatoes that I roast with garlic and onion and freeze. I will substitute those for the marinara the next time I do this recipe (next week! or maybe even tomorrow evening! Thank you for such a wonderful, refreshing twist for the abundance of zucchini and tomatoes that happen at this time of year!

    1. Thank you, BAYinMaine, for sharing your experience. We’re delighted that you enjoyed this so much.

  2. 5 stars
    I made this last night and everyone loved it! It was easy and tasted so good. Thanks for sharing this recipe!