This zucchini tomato pesto bake is easy to make, quick to assemble, delicious, and so IMPRESSIVE! It’s a gorgeous healthy side dish to go with any dinner. Vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free.
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This zucchini tomato pesto bake is officially my favorite way to serve a veggie side dish!
It’s so easy to prepare (promise!) and assemble (really, I swear) but it looks like it’s super fancy.
Don’t you just loveeee a fancy dish that’s easy to make and deliciously healthy?
Zucchini Tomato Pesto Bake Ingredients
You could actually make this zucchini tomato pesto bake with any veggies that you have on hand, it’s easy to customize! I just bought a huge bag of red onions and this was the perfect way to use them up along with the plentiful zucchini and tomatoes that I found at the market.
Try to stick to vegetables that are circular and easy to slice very thin with a mandolin, like:
- Yellow Squash
- Small sweet onions
- Golden beets (the red ones will dye the other veggies)
- Small bell peppers
- Small sweet potatoes
- Fingerling potatoes
I’m going to experiment with other vegetable combinations and I’ll let you know what I come up with soon. Maybe a mushroom and onion pesto bake? Yum!
What If You Don’t Like Onions?
If you’re worried that there are too many onions in this dish, don’t be!
When onions are roasted, they lose their harsh bite and they get the best caramelized sweet flavor that’s seriously addicting. I didn’t realize how delicious roasted onions were until I made a roasted beet and onion salad. Holy YUM!
Try to use small red onions for this recipe because you want all the slices to be uniform. If you use a large onion then you’ll have huge onion ring slices next to small zucchini and tomato slices. If you only have large onions, slice them and pop out the small rings that you want to use and add the larger rings to another recipe. Easy fix!
The Design Looks Hard to Do
The placement of the veggies might look hard but it’s not difficult to do, I promise. The most time intensive part of this recipe is slicing the vegetables, that’s it! And it really doesn’t even take that long to slice if you use a hand mandolin.
Slice all the veggies first, then arrange little stacks in your hand and keep squeezing the stacks into the cast iron skillet until you run out of space. That’s it!
I arranged the vegetables in this order –> zucchini – tomato – zucchini – red onion – repeat.
You don’t have to follow this order, you can make up any design you want. Or if you don’t want to take the time to arrange the vegetables you could just toss them all in a big casserole dish and call it a day. It’ll still be delicious! Sometimes it’s just nice to make a pretty presentation, you know?
This dish is similar to ratatouille except for the sauce.
A traditional ratatouille also has eggplant, bell peppers, and a tomato based sauce. Instead of using tomato sauce to flavor the vegetables, I thought a basil pesto sauce would be much more flavorful! I love pesto sauce, I put it on everything: pesto noodles, pesto quinoa stuffed tomatoes, and even pea pesto lentils!
I just love how this pesto sauce seeps into every open nook and cranny while the vegetables are roasting. It’s seriously tasty!
What Should You Serve This With?
This zucchini tomato pesto bake side dish can go with anything! I served it with roasted cauliflower steaks last week but I might even eat it as a main dish.
The vegetables are perfectly roasted, caramelized, and covered in the most flavorful pesto sauce that everyone will love!
- Pesto Sauce-
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves
- 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds (or pine nuts)
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 Tbsp water (or olive oil)
- Sea salt & pepper
- Vegetables -
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 3 zucchini, sliced thin
- 2 small red onions, sliced thin
- 6-8 medium roma tomatoes, sliced thin
- ¼ tsp Italian seasoning
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Prepare the pesto sauce and set aside.
- Using a mandolin, (CAREFULLY!) slice the veggies very thin.
- Spread 1 tbsp olive oil in the bottom of a cast iron pan.
- Arrange veggies in the pan. I did this order: zucchini, tomato, zucchini, red onion, repeat.
- Use a silicone brush to slather the pesto sauce over each veggie.
- Sprinkle Italians seasoning, salt, and pepper on the veggies.
- Lay a piece of parchment paper on top of the veggies to stop them from burning.
- Bake for 45 min. Enjoy!
If you make this zucchini tomato pesto bake, please share your picture on Instagram and tag @StaceyHomemaker so I can see your delicious creation!
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What would you serve this zucchini tomato pesto bake side dish with? Let me know in the comments!
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