Zucchini pie is a riff on the classic Southern tomato pie, with a cheesy sweet onion base topped with thin rounds of zucchini, all baked up in a buttery crust. The effect is lovely and the flavor is pure summer.
zucchini pie celebrates summer’s bounty
Southern country cooking is straightforward, seasonal, and delicious. In summer it’s all about fried green tomatoes, cornmeal biscuits, barbecue, berry cobblers and of course, tomato pie. My zucchini pie is a nod to that tradition…If you’re lucky enough to be overloaded with zucchini this summer, or if you picked up a few prized specimens at the farmer’s market, allow me to introduce you to this amazing zucchini tart. It puts gorgeous summer squash center stage, supported by a rich, onion-y and cheese-y base and topped with more cheese and fresh thyme. A savory zucchini pie is the perfect lunch, starter, or delicious vegetarian main course.
what you’ll need
- zucchini ~ look for slender uniform zucchini so your slices will be more or less the same size.
- onion ~ very thinly sliced, I love to use a sweet onion like Vidalia. If you can’t find Vidalia, use a generic sweet onion, they’ll be right next to the regular onions in your produce section.
- mayonnaise makes for a super creamy, rich base. It kind of tastes like your favorite onion dip!
- shredded sharp cheese ~ I used cheddar but any sharp cheese will work, and you can really customize this tart with different cheeses. Sharp or aged cheeses will give you the best flavor.
- salt and fresh cracked pepper ~ this is all the seasoning this simple pie needs.
- a single pie crust ~ you can make it from scratch, or use a readymade crust.
how to assemble the perfect zucchini pie
- Line a shallow pie plate or tart pan with pastry crust and pre-bake.
- Thinly slice the onions and lay them over the par baked crust.
- Blend the mayo and cheese and spread it over the onions.
- Top with overlapping, concentric circles of thinly sliced zucchini.
- Finish with a light brushing of olive oil, and another handful of cheddar cheese, and bake until bubbling and golden. You can run it under the broiler at the end to get more color, but be careful not to burn.
tips and faqs for zucchini pie
You can slice your zucchini with a sharp knife, but I love to use my mandoline slicer to make quick work of the job. The mandoline insures perfectly even slices at a precise thickness. It’s important to get the zucchini thin for this pie so it has a chance to cook through. Thin slices won’t become watery, either.
You can use golden zucchini for a pretty variation, but I wouldn’t use summer squash because it’s not uniform in shape and your slices will be different sizes. You might experiment with a mix of zucchini, golden zucchini, and slender eggplant. Remember, don’t peel your veggies, the colorful peels are pretty and delicious!
Yes, you can use a refrigerated crust, just it it into your tart pan. If you want to use a frozen crust, choose a shallow crust ~ a deep dish will be too deep for this pie.
Pre baking the crust helps keep it from getting too soggy after the filling goes on. Another trick is to sprinkle about a teaspoon of breadcrumbs (Panko crumbs work well) over the crust before adding the filling. The crumbs help absorb excess moisture.
Always start from the outside, and overlap the slices fairly tightly because they will shrink as they cook. Do a complete ring around the edge, then do another one, again overlapping slightly. The overlap insures you get complete coverage on your pie, even after baking.
what to serve with savory pies
This pie is super versatile, and can go from brunch to lunch, and dinner. I like to serve it with some sort of salad. A simple mixed green salad would be great, but if you want to take it up a notch, I’ve got lots of inspiration on the blog:
- Mediterranean Orzo Salad with Creamy Lemon Dressing
- Chopped Asparagus Salad Recipe
- Chopped Italian Salad Recipe
- Sweet Corn and Watermelon Salad
- Loaded Tabbouleh Salad
- Chopped Chef Salad with Creamy Sweet Onion Dressing
- Lemon Basil Pasta Salad
- Thai Chicken Salad
- Heirloom Tomato Caprese Salad
- 9 inch tart pan with removeable bottom
- 2 Tbsp cheddar cheese
- 2 Tbsp Ritz cracker crumbs
- Set oven to 350°F.
- To make the crust toss the flour with the sugar, cornstarch and salt and then drizzle in the melted butter until the mixture becomes crumbly. Make sure all the flour gets moistened. Pat the crust into a 9 inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Press it up the sides of the pan. Prick the bottom of the dough all over with a fork. Bake for 12 minutes. Set aside.
- In a large pot bring enough water to cover the zucchini to a boil. When the water is at a rolling boil, add the zucchini for just 60 seconds. Drain the zucchini and immediately plunge them into a large bowl of ice water. Drain on a clean kitchen towel. Pat them dry.
- Put a layer of onions on the bottom of the crust. Mix the cheese and mayo and spread it over the onions. Top with the zucchini, layering them in a spiral pattern. Sprinkle with salt and fresh cracked black pepper.
- Top with the cheese and the cracker crumbs. Tent loosely with foil and bake for 20-25 minutes until the cheese is bubbling and browned. If necessary you can run it under the broiler at the end for more color.
- Serve hot with a sprinkle of fresh thyme.
- I went easy on the cheese because I wanted some of the zucchini to show in the photos, but you can add more if you like.
- Zucchini is by nature bland, so choose a sharp flavored cheese for the topping. Mozzarella is nice and melty, but it doesn’t have enough personality for this dish.
- You could prep this ahead of time and bake when ready.