This rustic Zucchini Pie is the cousin to one of the most beloved summer traditions of the South — tomato pie. Garden fresh zucchini is fanned out on a shortbread crust and topped with a layer of bubbly cheese and a dusting of Ritz cracker crumbs— it doesn’t get any simpler, or any better!
This easygoing pie is Southern comfort at its best. I just got back from a visit with my Dad in the mountains of North Carolina and I’m all over this kind of food right now. Country cooking is straightforward, seasonal, and delicious, and my sisters and I ate our fill of fried green tomatoes, cornmeal biscuits, mountain trout, berry cobblers and of course, tomato pie. My Zucchini Pie is a nod to that tradition…
I tried to make this as pared down as possible to match the mood of the season. My crust is a basic shortbread dough patted right into a tart pan. I prick it and then bake it briefly to set it. You don’t have to use the tart pan, though, go ahead and use a small pie plate if you like, and a pre-made crust will work, too.
I pile on paper thin sweet onions to make a flavor base for the sliced zucchini. I arranged the slices in a spiral pattern which creates a single overlapped layer.
Over top goes shredded cheese and Ritz cracker crumbs. It bakes up in 15-20 minutes.
You could call this a tart, a pie, or a gratin. I call it delish.
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 sweet onion, sliced paper thin
- 2-3 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
- 1 cup sharp cheese such as cheddar, Gouda, Gruyere, Parmesan, Asiago, or a mix
- a sprinkle of Ritz cracker crumbs
- black pepper
- fresh thyme leaves
- Set oven to 350F
- 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. 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 15-20 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.
Don’t forget to pin it!