Serves 4

Prep time 15 minutes

Cook time 40 minutes


1 can (28 oz.) Contadina® Crushed Tomatoes

1/2 cup packed basil leaves, chopped and divided

3 tsp. olive oil, divided

3 tsp. minced garlic, divided

1/4 to 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes, to taste

4 large zucchini, about 2 inches diameter, 7 inches long

Kosher salt and cracked black pepper

1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese

1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest

8 oz. sliced fresh mozzarella or shredded mozzarella


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. In a 13 x 9-inch baking dish, stir together crushed tomatoes, 1/4 cup basil, 2 tsp. oil, 2 tsp. garlic and red pepper flakes.

  2. Trim ends of zucchini and slice in half lengthwise; place over tomato sauce cut-side-up and season with salt and pepper. Bake 30 to 35 minutes; zucchini will be tender but not mushy when pierced with a fork and sauce is actively bubbling.  Top zucchini with mozzarella and bake about 10 minutes until melted.

  3. Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, combine remaining 1 tsp. olive oil, 1 tsp. garlic and panko.  Toast over medium heat about 5 minutes until golden.  Remove from heat and transfer to a small bowl.  Let cool 10 minutes before tossing with Parmesan, lemon zest and remaining basil.  Sprinkle zucchini with panko mixture before serving.

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