Zucchini Gratin with Fresh Herbs and Goat Cheese

This zucchini gratin combines thinly sliced zucchini or summer squash with a creamy, cheesy, herb-infused sauce and covers the whole she-bang in tangy goat cheese. You’re welcome.

A white gratin dish filled with a creamy zucchini gratin, topped with goat cheese, on a plate with a fork on the side.

Adapted from Laura Washburn | Home Cooked Comforts: Oven Bakes, Casseroles, and Other One-Pot Dishes | Ryland Peters & Small, 2020

A classic of French home cooking, this gratin includes a topping of tangy goat cheese. If you grow your own herbs, add whatever is on offer: savory, marjoram, oregano, or any other soft-leaved herb, the more the merrier. This is perfect, simply served with a mixed salad of lettuce and ripe tomatoes and a big basket of fresh crusty bread.–Laura Washburn Hutton

Zucchini Gratin FAQs

Can I make this in individual serving dishes?

Definitely. Divide the zucchini and cream mixture between four individual gratin dishes, assemble as directed in the recipe. Bake until golden brown on top, about 25 minutes.

Can I use other types of squash in this gratin?

Yes. Yellow summer squash, patty pan, crookneck, or delicata would work well. Just be certain that you’re slicing your squash into very thin pieces, as the recipe instructs.

Are zucchini the same thing as courgettes?

Yes, they’re the exact same thing. Courgette is simply what the fruit is commonly known as in France and Britain.

What’s a gratin?

A gratin is a vegetable or pasta dish that is made with a cheese sauce and is sometimes topped with crispy bread crumbs. Potato gratin is the most common, but gratins can be made with almost any vegetable, like this butternut squash gratinBelgian endive gratin, or broccoli and blue cheese gratin.

Zucchini Gratin with Fresh Herbs and Goat Cheese

A white gratin dish filled with a creamy zucchini gratin, topped with goat cheese, on a plate with a fork on the side.
Although this zucchini gratin with fresh herbs and goat cheese has a fancy-sounding name, it's really just an easy, cheesy, baked zucchini casserole. It's an excellent way to use up a glut of summer squash.

Prep 25 mins
Cook 45 mins
Total 1 hr 15 mins
Sides
French
4 to 6 servings
414 kcal
5 / 2 votes
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Ingredients 

  • Butter for the baking dish
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup snipped fresh chives
  • A pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 1/2 ounces Gruyère or other semi-firm Swiss cheese grated
  • 1 1/2 pounds zucchini very thinly sliced
  • 5 1/2 ounces soft goat cheese

Directions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 375ºF (190°C).
  • Butter a 9 1/2-inch (24-cm) round, deep-sided baking dish.
  • In a small bowl, whisk the cream, parsley, chives, nutmeg, and a pinch each of salt and pepper together. Add half of the Gruyère, mix to combine.

    TESTER TIP: If you prefer a slightly thicker sauce in your zucchini gratin, lay the zucchini slices on paper towel, sprinkle with salt, and let them rest for 15 minutes so that they release some liquid. Pat dry before proceeding with the recipe.

  • Arrange half of the zucchini slices, overlapping if necessary, in the prepared baking dish, sprinkle with the remaining Gruyère, and season with a little salt. Top with the remaining zucchini slices, season again, and pour over the cream mixture. Crumble the goat cheese over the top.
  • Bake until browned, about 45 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with a mixed salad and plenty of crusty bread, if desired.
Print RecipeBuy the Home-Cooked Comforts: Oven-Bakes, Casseroles and Other One-Pot Dishes cookbook

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Show Nutrition

Serving: 1portionCalories: 414kcal (21%)Carbohydrates: 7g (2%)Protein: 16g (32%)Fat: 37g (57%)Saturated Fat: 24g (150%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 104mg (35%)Sodium: 283mg (12%)Potassium: 540mg (15%)Fiber: 2g (8%)Sugar: 6g (7%)Vitamin A: 2140IU (43%)Vitamin C: 37mg (45%)Calcium: 319mg (32%)Iron: 2mg (11%)

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Recipe Testers’ Reviews

This zucchini gratin was an amazing summertime dish! Such a wonderful way to use the season’s bounty of squash.

I actually had zucchini and yellow squash on hand, so I used 2 zucchini and 1 yellow squash in my gratin; it was a great color combo and looked amazing with its browned top and bubbling creamy sauce studded with green herbs.

I made my gratin in 1 large round gratin dish and overlapped my squash in the two layers which makes for a pretty presentation as well.

Overall, this was a fun dish to make, and it was a big hit. It comes out of the oven after 45 minutes bubbling and beautifully browned on top. I served mine as suggested with a mixed green salad, a loaf of French bread, and an easy horseradish-crusted baked salmon with fresh dill.

My vegetable garden is doing well and the zucchini is coming in fast, so I welcome any new way to serve it. This zucchini au gratin was quick and simple to prepare, but it looked elegant, and the flavor was rich and savory.

I have oregano, parsley, and chives in my garden, and I used all three for a total of 1 cup of fresh herbs. I was concerned that many herbs might be overpowering but it was not.

I served this as a side dish with grilled chicken and a cucumber-tomato salad but it is definitely a dish that could anchor a meal on its own. The moisture content of zucchini can be problematic. I typically salt the zucchini and let it drain on paper towels then roast it in the oven for 10 minutes hoping to draw out most of the moisture. I will do this next time as the finished dish was a bit soupy.

This zucchini casserole recipe would serve 4 people. I fit all of the zucchini in one dish, which consisted of two layers of zucchini overlapping.

When I prepared the dish I thought that the amount of the cream, cheese, and parsley mixture seemed inadequate. It did not spread easily over the zucchini and did not completely cover them.

About halfway through the cooking, I pressed the mixture down with a flat spatula to encourage it all to be covered in the liquid. As the cooking continued, the liquid in the dish became more plentiful as the zucchini released liquid.

The finished dish looked nice in colour – green, white, and the golden brown of the tasted cheese. I served my gratin with mixed salad and (non-crusty) bread to mop up the juices.

I’ve had many family and friends have abundant zucchini in their gardens, and this vegetable-forward dish is a great use of them.

The zucchini produces a bit of liquid that blends with the cheese, cream, and herbs, and can be soaked up with the recommended crusty bread. Even with the liquid, the top of the gratin browns nicely! I had this as a side dish with chicken, and it complemented the meal well.

Any recipe that offers a new way to use zucchini appeals to me. The fresh herbs and goats’ cheese make this cheesy zucchini casserole a really flavorful side dish. So easy.

The prep is pretty quick and simple, and then you just pop it in the oven. Great reward for minimal effort. The leftovers also warmed up well.

The next time I think I will make it in individual dishes. My only problem is that it got quite watery after baking. Perhaps salting and draining the zucchini before assembling would help with this. I served this with grilled chicken breasts, sourdough bread, and a fruit salad.

In general, I love these ingredients! The flavors are subtle, yet distinct. We like how each bite was a bit different, depending on the herbs. And you really should have some good bread to enjoy all the good juice at the end!

I think one could add chopped prosciutto or possibly diced tomatoes. I will definitely make this recipe again.

The zucchini gratin can be assembled at least a couple of hours ahead, without any adverse effects. And they reheated, in the microwave, relatively well, too. Win-win!!

The finished zucchini bake is the perfect combination of creamy, stretchy, cheesy goodness cut with fresh herbs, perfectly cooked zucchini, and tangy goat cheese. If you’re low carb like me, pair with a sharp salad or grilled/roasted chicken.

The simplicity of this baked zucchini dish was such a delicious reminder to me that sometimes the best thing you can do for an ingredient is just get out of its way and let it shine.

This gratin is a straightforward ode to zucchini, and it will make you want to revel in its bounty all summer long. The dish has just the right amount of indulgence with the cream and cheese.

I love how customizable the recipe is, as you could so easily add different spices, herbs, or cheeses to suit your mood. It’s a perfect dish for a long summer night when you are craving something comforting and unfussy. All you need is some crusty bread and something fresh on the side, though it would work beautifully as an accompaniment to any protein of choice.

Zucchini is not a favorite here, yet this squash gratin was gobbled up like none other. Having made only thin one-inch gratins before, the thickness of this casserole meant that the texture became softer and more cohesive with the creamy herb sauce.

What could possibly be bad about ANYTHING covered in heavy cream, herbs, and cheeses? Zucchini is such a plain and humble vegetable, but it’s nicely elevated by these additions. And it’s easy enough that it works for a weeknight dinner, and with a little tweak could be elegant enough for a holiday feast.

Oh my, this zucchini gratin with fresh herbs and goat cheese is absolutely delicious!

The only thing I would change, and I mean the only thing, is to maybe salt the zucchini first and let it drain a bit to reduce the liquid in the finished dish, or bake it in a flatter rectangular dish. The directions and timing were spot on.

Originally published August 31, 2022

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Comments

    1. Ellen, for an alternative a feta cheese might be nice, a mozzarella, or cream cheese. You could also simply sprinkle a little extra Gruyère. If you try it, please let us know how it turns out.

      1. What nice suggestions Karen. They all sound lovely. I will definitely let you know what I choose and how it works. Thank you!

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