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Crispy Zucchini and Corn Casserole

Crispy Zucchini and Corn Casserole

Nisha Vora
Enjoy zucchini season and corn season with this Crispy Vegan Zucchini and Corn Casserole! Featuring layers of zucchini and summer squash along with charred corn mixed in a fragrant basil sauce, and layered with marinara, vegan cheese and crispy bread crumbs!
4.67 from 12 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Cooling Time 20 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 6

Ingredients
  

Casserole

  • 1 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for finishing
  • 3 cups of thinly sliced zucchini (about 3 small-medium)*
  • 2 medium-large ears of corn (about 1 1/2 cups corn kernels)
  • 2 small jalapeños, finely chopped (omit seeds for a very mild version)
  • Basil Sauce (recipe below)
  • 2 cups (228g) shredded vegan cheese (I used Violife mozzarella)**
  • 1 cup (240-250g) of your favorite marinara sauce
  • 1 heaping cup (65-70g) panko bread crumbs
  • Flaky sea salt and black pepper for serving
  • Thinly sliced basil, for serving

Basil Sauce

  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 cups tightly packed (32g) basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 (120 mL) cup water

Instructions
 

Casserole Directions

  • Preheat your oven to 375°F/190°C.
  • Make the Basil Sauce (recipe below).
  • Prep the vegetables. Slice the zucchini and/or squash into rounds, but don’t slice too paper thin, or they’ll get soggy in the oven. Using a sharp knife, shave the kernels of each ear of corn.
  • Char the corn. Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat and add 1 1/2 tablespoons of the extra virgin olive oil. Add the corn kernels. Cook the corn for 3-5 minutes until charred in spots, tossing just once or twice to get a nice char on them.
  • In a large bowl, toss the zucchini and squash slices, charred corn, and jalapeños with the Basil Sauce. Mix well.
  • Assemble the casserole. Pour the marinara sauce on to the bottom of a 13x9-inch (33x22 cm) baking pan. Spread out half of the zucchini/squash slices on top in a single layer (slight overlapping is okay). Then spoon some more of the corn/jalapeño mixture on top. Sprinkle the zucchini with half of the shredded vegan cheese on top (or dollop with blobs of the Tofu Ricotta, if using). Repeat the layers one more time, zucchini slices and corn first, then cheese.
  • Sprinkle the top with the panko bread crumbs, a light sprinkle of flaky sea salt, some freshly cracked black pepper, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil (the olive oil aids in browning, so don’t skip it). Bake for 25 minutes, rotating the pan 180° halfway through to ensure even browning on the top, or until the top is crispy and golden brown.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes. Top with sliced basil.

Basil Sauce Directions

  • In a small skillet, heat the extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallot and garlic cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until garlic just starts to turn golden.
  • Add the thyme and salt. Cook for 30 seconds, tossing frequently to combine and to prevent burning. Remove from the heat.
  • Transfer the shallot mixture and oil to a food processor. Add the basil, lemon juice, and water. Blend until the mixture is relatively smooth, adding a bit more water if needed to bring the sauce together. Taste for seasonings and add more salt or lemon juice as needed.

Video

Notes

* I used a mix of zucchini and summer squash. For reference, the slices weighed 360g.
** If you don’t want to buy store-bought vegan cheese, I recommend using my Tofu Ricotta recipe and dolloping blobs onto the zucchini.
Keyword casserole, corn, nut-free, soy-free, zucchini
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