Savory Zucchini Pie Recipe

Looking for a perfect side dish for that big, hearty holiday meal? Or an everyday way to get your kids to eat more veggies? Or a perfect portable dish you can bring to a potluck dinner? Then you're looking in the right place with this zucchini pie recipe from chef and recipe developer Molly Madigan Pisula of Vanilla Bean Cuisine. It tastes great, looks appetizing, and is not that complicated to make. It is, however, going to take you a fair amount of time and effort. But if you simply follow Pisula's steps with care, it's easy to get this recipe right.

And once you have put in the time and effort, you will have a rich, savory pie that goes great with anything, from roasted chicken or grilled steaks to baked tofu or a chopped salad and a burger. And the way in which you serve it is quite flexible, too. "You can serve the pie at room temperature or warm," says Pisula, "So this is a great dish to make ahead of time if you need to. You can also make it in advance and rewarm it in the oven if you'd like."

Zucchini pie is a great way to get kids (and adults alike) to eat more veggies, and this specific recipe is also a great springboard for you to try your own original twists — once you are comfortable with making the pie as it's laid out here, you should by all means experiment and create your own new version. Check out the ingredient section below for a few ideas there, and then let's cook! 

Gather the ingredients

It takes a fair amount of ingredients to make this zucchini pie, especially when you're making the crust from scratch. For the crust, you'll need some all-purpose flour (with extra reserved for rolling out the dough), some shredded sharp cheddar cheese, 8 tablespoons of very cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks, a bit of kosher salt, and some very cold water.

For the filling, you need half a white onion, olive oil, about a pound of zucchini, some more shredded sharp cheddar cheese, a good deal of grated Parmesan cheese, half a cup of 2 percent milk, three eggs, baking powder, lemon zest, more kosher salt, herbes de Provence, and freshly ground black pepper.

"Many substitutions can be made in the ingredients list," Pisula says, adding: "You could replace the herbes de Provence with dried basil or dried oregano — or a combination. You could use a red onion or even some chopped scallions in place of the white onion. You could use fontina cheese or Swiss cheese instead of the cheddar, and you can use either white or yellow cheddar."

Prep and chill the pie dough

To make the pie dough, add the flour, cheddar cheese, chopped butter, and salt into a food processor, then pulse the blades until the dough has a sandy texture and the butter is in no bigger than pea-sized chunks. Then add the chilled water all at once and turn on processor again, running it just until dough begins to clump together — don't overmix it.

Now dump the dough out of the food processor and onto a sheet of plastic wrap, then pat the dough together and form it into a round disk. Now wrap it up in the plastic wrap and chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least four hours — and note that 24 hours is ideal.

Form and pre-bake the pie crust

After the dough has been chilled, sprinkle flour out onto a work surface and unwrap the dough. You can also preheat the oven to 400 F.

Now roll out the dough into a 12-inch circle, about ⅛-inch thick. Next, place the dough carefully into a 9 ½-inch pie plate and trim any excess dough hanging over the side. Then use your fingers to pinch around the edges of the dough to form a pretty border.

Next, use a fork to prick the bottom of the crust several times, then line the dough with parchment paper and fill the pan with pie weights (or uncooked rice or beans) and spread the weights out to make sure they cover the entire bottom surface of the pie crust.

Bake the crust for 20 minutes, until the edges are golden brown. Then remove the parchment and pie weights and bake for another five minutes, until the bottom of the pie crust no longer looks raw.

Make the zucchini pie filling

To prepare the filling, start by peeling and finely chopping the onion. Next, heat a small-medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, and add the olive oil. Cook the onion for five to seven minutes, until it has lightly browned (turn down the heat if it starts to brown too quickly). Set it aside to cool.

Next, cut off both ends of the zucchinis and shred the flesh using a cheese grater or a food processor with a shredder attachment. Then place the shredded zucchini into a bowl lined with a clean kitchen towel, bring the edges of the towel up around zucchini, and twist tightly to squeeze out as much liquid as you can. Pour the liquid out of the bowl and add the zucchini back into the bowl without the towel.

"The step in which you drain the liquid out of the zucchini is key!" Pisula advises. "If you don't get the excess liquid out, you're likely to get a soggy filling that will then make your crust soggy too."

Now add to the zucchini the cooled onion, rest of the shredded cheddar cheese, 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese, milk, eggs, baking powder, lemon zest, remaining salt, herbes de Provence, and pepper, and stir until all of the ingredients are incorporated.

Fill and bake the zucchini pie

Now it's time to fill that pie crust. Pour the zucchini filling into pre-baked crust and smooth it out evenly. Top it with the remaining tablespoon of Parmesan cheese.

Pop the pie into the oven (still set to 400 F) and bake it for 35 to 45 minutes, until the pie is puffed and lightly browned and the filling doesn't jiggle. Pisula tells us that "if your pie isn't browned enough at the end of the cook time (ovens vary and some don't brown as well as others), you can put the pie under the broiler briefly to get it nice and golden brown."

When the cooking is done, let the pie cool for at least 10 to 15 minutes. Then serve and enjoy!

Savory Zucchini Pie Recipe
5 from 20 ratings
Zucchini pie is a great way to get kids (and adults alike) to eat more veggies, and this recipe makes it easy to whip up.
Prep Time
15
minutes
Cook Time
1.08
hours
Servings
6
Servings
a slice of zucchini pie
Total time: 1.33 hours
Ingredients
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling dough
  • ¾ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
  • 8 tablespoons very cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • ⅛ teaspoon + ½ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • ¼ cup very cold water
  • ½ white onion
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 medium-large zucchini (about 1 pound total)
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • ½ cup milk, preferably 2%
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • ¼ teaspoon herbes de Provence
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Directions
  1. To make the pie dough, add the flour, ¼ cup cheddar cheese, butter, and salt into a food processor and pulse until the butter is in no bigger than pea-sized chunks.
  2. Add the water, and run the processor until the dough just begins to clump together.
  3. Dump the dough out of processor onto a sheet of plastic wrap.
  4. Shape the dough into a round disk and wrap it up in the plastic wrap.
  5. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours (24 hours is ideal).
  6. After dough has been chilled, preheat the oven to 400 F
  7. Sprinkle the extra flour onto a work surface and place the unwrapped dough on it.
  8. Roll the dough into a 12-inch circle, about ⅛-inch thick.
  9. Carefully place the dough into a 9.5-inch pie plate, trimming any excess dough hanging over the side. Use your fingers to crimp the edge of the crust.
  10. Use a fork to prick the bottom of the crust several times, then line the dough with parchment paper and fill it with pie weights, covering the entire bottom surface of the dish.
  11. Bake the crust for 20 minutes, until the edges are golden brown. Then remove the parchment paper and pie weights and bake it for another 5 minutes, until the bottom of the pie crust no longer looks raw. Remove it from the oven and set it aside.
  12. To prepare the filling, start by peeling and finely chopping the onion.
  13. Heat a small-medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and add the olive oil.
  14. Add the onion and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until lightly browned, then let cool.
  15. Cut off both ends of the zucchinis and shred the flesh using a cheese grater or a food processor with shredder attachment.
  16. Place the shredded zucchini into a bowl lined with a clean kitchen towel, then bring the edges of the towel up around zucchini, twist tightly, and squeeze out as much liquid as you can.
  17. Pour the liquid out of the bowl and place the zucchini into the bowl without the towel.
  18. Add the cooled onion, remaining cheddar cheese, 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese, milk, eggs, baking powder, lemon zest, remaining salt, herbes de Provence, and pepper, and stir until all ingredients are incorporated.
  19. Pour the zucchini filling into the pie crust, then top it with the remaining tablespoon of Parmesan cheese.
  20. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until pie is puffed and lightly browned, and the filling doesn't jiggle.
  21. Let cool for 10 to 15 minutes, then serve!
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 414
Total Fat 27.6 g
Saturated Fat 15.2 g
Trans Fat 0.8 g
Cholesterol 142.7 mg
Total Carbohydrates 28.7 g
Dietary Fiber 1.8 g
Total Sugars 3.4 g
Sodium 470.4 mg
Protein 13.3 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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