When your garden (or local farmer’s market) is overflowing with Zucchini, here’s a super simple twist on a Tzatziki you can whip up in minutes!
When I’m making zucchini cake, it’s because I want cake: fluffy, high, moreish…. and frosting – especially if it’s cream cheese frosting! Too many zucchini cakes come out of the oven looking (and tasting) like zucchini bread dupes, with nuts and maple syrup and a dense texture that isn’t quite what I had in mind when I started. But that ends right here, right now with this recipe.
This, in my humble opinion, is the ultimate zucchini bread. It’s got all of the things you love about zucchini bread: its tender, moist crumb, it’s inviting sweetness and warmth, and its delicious excuse to eat cake for breakfast because VEGETABLES! But it feels special made in a bundt pan and modern with hints of rosemary and cardamom. It’s a special zucchini bread, and easy enough to make any day of the week.
To be honest, with you, the one thing that often bugs me about zucchini bread is the texture. I don’t love to bite into sugary shredded zucchini…. just me?
I decided to try making a puree by simply whizzing the zucchini in the blender. Not only is it easier, and faster than standing at a grater shredding away, but it blends the zucchini so much better into the batter and distributes all of that necessary moisture evenly throughout.
I’m telling you, you may never go back to shredding.
what else can i use?
- Any plain yogurt can be used in this. I use Trader Joe’s goat’s milk yogurt, but have made it with both coconut yogurt and Greek yogurt with great results.
- No coconut sugar? Use maple syrup or white granulated sugar instead.
- If you are weary of the rosemary in this, I urge you to try it as I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised, but you are also welcome to leave it out for a traditional zucchini bread profile.
- The same goes with cardamom, if you don’t have any, simply omit.
- If you want to keep this totally refined sugar free, use a powdered sweetener like Monkfruit to garnish, or leave off. It is more for appearance than anything else.
did I mention that this recipe is also made with only a handful of ingredients, requires no baking, and can be totally made ahead? The perfect recipe for a dinner party, or a Tuesday night Netflix party of one.
Zucchini Yogurt Bundt Cake (Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free)
- Blender or food processor
- Bundt pan
- 3 cups Gluten free all purpose flour (such as King Arthur)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp Kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
- 2 tsp fresh rosemary, minced
- 4 cups sliced zucchini
- 1 1/2 cups coconut sugar
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 1/2 cup neutral oil, such as sunflower, avocado, or vegetable
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- Powdered sugar, for dusting (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Add sliced zucchini to a blender and puree until smooth. You will have about 2 cups of puree. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, vanilla, yogurt, oil, and coconut sugar.
- Mix in zucchini puree and rosemary to combine.
- In a separate large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cardamom.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix so there are no traces of flour visible.
- Spray a bundt pan with nonstick spray and transfer batter to the pan.
- Bake for one hour, or until a tester comes out with just a few crumbs attached to it.
- Allow cake to cool for 10 minutes before inverting to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
- Once cool, dust with powdered sugar if desired.
I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love lasagna. Layers of pasta, savory tomato sauce, seasoned meat, melted cheese – what’s not to like? I do, however, know many people like myself who look for ways to lighten up their favorite comfort food dishes like lasagna. …
Oh, this pasta. This. Pasta. This is exactly the pasta I want to eat in the summer when produce is at its peak and the days are long and hot. This Creamed Corn Pasta with Zucchini is loaded with vegetables and has a delicious sauce…
Who doesn’t love lasagna?
Call it the Italian in me, but lasagna will always have a place in my life and on my table. As much as I am happy to indulge in the real thing from time to time, I have come to love this healthy, vegetable packed rendition even more. (Sorry, Pop.)
I love lightening up classic comfort dishes, as evidenced by my Butternut Mac & Cheese and Greek Meatloaf. I’ve tried a few different versions of zucchini lasagna in my day, and I often find them watery, messy, and lacking flavor. I always liked the idea of it, but knew there was a better way.
There are a few tricks here that make this recipe seriously delicious. The first is that you quickly dehydrate the zucchini in the oven for a few minutes to get the excess moisture out before you layer. This allows the zucchini to sop up the delicious sauce rather than let off a bunch of water and dilute it. The second is the tomato paste that is used in the sauce. If you don’t have any, you can add some balsamic vinegar in its place, it’ll create the depth of flavor you are looking for. The third truck is mixing an egg in with a bit of cheese and dotting it throughout the lasagna. It gives the cheesy sauce a bit of structure as it bakes up. You can also make this vegetarian by leaving the beef out, or can swap in ground turkey or even lamb if that’s what you have.
Be sure to let this lasagna rest for the required time before cutting, especially if serving for company, it’ll help it hold together for you. But if you’re impatient and end up with a bowl full of fat zucchini noodles and a cheesy meat sauce you won’t be all that upset either. I speak from experience.
Zucchini Skillet Lasagna
2 lbs zucchini, sliced thinly lengthwise (about ¼ inch)
1 lb. ground beef, turkey, or chicken
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, diced small
1 large egg
2-3 cups spinach, fresh or defrosted from frozen
16 oz. mozzarella cheese, grated
1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
1 28 oz. can whole tomatoes, crushed by hand (preferably San Marzano)
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place racks on two baking sheets and lay zucchini slices on the racks. Sprinkle with salt and let sit for about 15 minutes to pull water out of the zucchini. Using paper towels, blot dry.
Place zucchini in the oven and cook for 15-25 minutes to dry out. Set aside.
In a small bowl, mix together half of the mozzarella, ½ of the parmesan, and the egg and set aside.
In a large oven-proof skillet, warm 1 Tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat.
Saute the onion and garlic for 2-3 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook for 30 seconds.
Add the ground meat and brown, cooking and breaking up, for 5 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon salt, the dried oregano and basil, then spinach, then the tomatoes and cook for 5-7 minutes.
Remove most of the sauce from the pan, setting aside, leaving a thin layer of sauce in the pan.
Starting with the zucchini, layer the zucchini, then sauce, then the cheese mixture, then extra mozzarella and parmesan. You should have three layers, ending with zucchini, then sauce, then mozzarella and parmesan.
Cook the skillet lasagna for 30 minutes until bubbling and cooked through.
Switch the oven to broiler on Hi and broil for 3-5 minutes until cheese is deeply golden.
Remove and allow to rest for 20 minutes before slicing.
Serve topped with fresh parsley if desired.
This cake is really something. Come August, we are all usually drowning in zucchini and I’m always looking for new ways to use it. This cake is just sweet enough, moist and tender from the zucchini, and bursting with berries. Let’s talk substitutions: I suggest…