A fun and creative way for kids and adults alike to enjoy one of the world’s most loved foods: PIZZA! These Baked Zucchini Pizzas are totally customizable and the secret to getting kids to eat more veggies!
This Recipe for Baked Zucchini Pizzas couldn’t be quicker or easier to make! These Mini Pizzas make a great Low Carb or Keto Friendly alternative to the beloved pizza and are a sure fire way to get the kids to eat some zucchini, you sneaky parent, you. But trust me, you’re gonna want in on these babies, too! Marinara Sauce, ooey, gooey cheese and whatever toppings you would normally put on pizza, these Zucchini Pizza Bites are the perfect healthy snack or lunch any day of the week. Pizza dough, who?!
Don’t worry, I get it. Sometimes, just sometimes, you want to dig your face into a big ol’ pizza pie. And other times, you also want to be healthy while doing so. Well, this recipe for Baked Zucchini Pizza Bites is here to tell you that yes, honey, today is the day where you CAN have the best of both worlds!!!
Whether you’re intentionally trying to cut out the carbs in the pizza dough (hellllo, Keto Diet!) or just trying to be a healthier version of yourself, these Zucchini Pizza Bites check off all the boxes. They’re cheesy. Light. Delicious. Customizable. Are super fun to make. Kid-friendly. Make great work and school lunches. And WILL NOT make you miss that pizza dough. Trust me.
And hey, there’s just something about disguising or hiding veggies in things that just makes them taste extra special… Am I Right? Especially when you’re able to fool the husband and kids! Don’t worry, if they catch you in your sneaky ways, simply apologize by serving them a scoop of this Chickpea Cookie Dough or Chocolate Avocado Mousse 😉 They won’t suspect a thing.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED TO MAKE THESE MINI BAKED ZUCCHINI PIZZAS
Keep these Baked Zucchini Rounds plain Jane with your typical pizza suspects or load ’em up with all your favourite toppings! The choice is yours! Let’s take a closer look at what you’re gonna need to let your evil kitchen genius shine!
- Zucchini: Well, duh! You won’t be able to make this recipe for baked zucchini pizzas without some zucchini! The size of the zucchini you should use depends on how many pizza bites you want to make. I usually say go for thicker/ wider ones that you would consider medium to large in size/length. That way, you’ll have enough surface space to top each round with marinara, cheese and your desired toppings once it’s sliced. I feel compelled to tell you that the zucchini I used in this recipe is actually from my garden (say WHAT!!!) and so, naturally, I had to reward it by turning it into a pizza! Lol.
- Salt: Plays a pretty important role in this recipe for baked zucchini pizza bites! Not only does it add flavour, as always, but it helps to draw out all the excess moisture in the zucchini before baking since zucchini has a high water content. Generously salting the zucchini rounds prior to cooking allows them to “sweat” out the water and avoid becoming a soggy mess in the oven once topped and baked.
- Tomato Sauce: Like a traditional pizza, this is the base to our mini zucchini pizzas. You can use homemade or store bought. If you’re following a low carb or keto diet, be sure to read the ingredient list and make sure there are no added sugars or unwanted ingredients.
- Mozzarella Cheese: Cause what’s a pizza without some freshly grated mozzarella cheese?! Now these zucchini pizza bites are really starting to look like mini pizzas! However, with that being said, feel free to change it up with a different kind of cheese, if desired. Try goat cheese, feta, cheddar or parmesan instead.
- Toppings of Choice: Now for the fun part! You can decide to leave these zucchini pizza bites plain jane with just the marinara sauce and cheese. Or, you can get a little crazy with it and throw on all your favourite pizza toppings! Try it with fresh chopped basil, pepperoni, mushrooms, green peppers, sliced olives, crumbled bacon or sliced jalapeños. The sky is really the limit here! Again, if you’re following a low carb or keto diet, just be careful to choose the proper veggies and toppings. PRO TIP: Although I’m a sucker for allllll the pizza toppings, try not to overload the rounds! They’re small and will become soggy if you try and pile on too many toppings! Instead, disperse the toppings amongst the rounds to create a variety of different kinds from one zucchini.
HOW TO MAKE THIS RECIPE FOR BAKED ZUCCHINI PIZZAS (KEY TIPS)
- Take care in slicing the zucchini into the same size thickness. This will ensure they all cook in the same amount of time. 1/4-inch thick rounds work best as they’re easy to top and eat and won’t take too long to extract moisture or bake in the oven.
- No need to peel the skin off the zucchini. It’s easy to digest, contains fibre and softens considerably as it bakes. Besides, the skin provides a nice pop of colour and makes the mini pizzas look extra pretty!
- Salt the zucchini slices on both sides and allow to sit for 30 minutes prior to topping and baking. Don’t skip this step (and don’t be stingy with the salt, either!) Sure, it adds an extra 30 minutes (so, be prepared!) but it’s totally worth it in the end result. The salt will extract any excess moisture out of the zucchini preventing them from turning mushy or soggy. Simply dab the water off the slices with a clean paper towel or cloth. EXTRA TIP: Spread the zucchini slices out on paper towel lined baking sheets during this step. That way, the moisture can seep directly into the paper towel as it releases.
- Don’t overload the zucchini rounds with too many toppings! This will make them become soggy in the oven. Instead, disperse the toppings amongst the rounds so you can have a variety of different kinds! I recommend no more than two toppings per round (besides the cheese and tomato sauce).
- Grate the cheese. Grating the cheese will ensure you cover as much surface as possible. It’s also the best option for getting that ooey, gooey, melty and delicious cheese on each slice!
- When it comes time to bake, don’t overcrowd the baking sheet. You’ll get the best results when you arrange the zucchini slices in a single even layer, not touching, if possible. Circulating air/steam allows them to bake up evenly and all the way through.
- If all your zucchini slices don’t fit on one baking sheet, use two. Use the upper and lower third racks of your oven and switch the pans halfway through baking to ensure even cooking.
- Take care not to overbake the zucchini pizza bites as they’ll ultimately become mushy and hard to handle.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
I know this step can seem tedious and somewhat pointless but trust me, it plays an important role since zucchini is a high water content vegetable! Salting the zucchini slices prior to topping and baking, and allowing them to sit for 30 minutes, will extract the excess moisture which can then be dabbed away by a clean paper towel or cloth. This will in turn save the zucchini pizzas from becoming mushy or soggy after their topped and baked.
These Zucchini Pizza Bites are best eaten fresh, a few minutes straight out of the oven so the cheese remains bubbly and melty and the zucchini hot. However, if you happen to have leftovers, store them in an airtight container and keep them in the fridge, they’ll be good for an extra day or two. When ready to eat again, simply reheat under a broiler for a few minutes until heated through.
As previously stated, these pizzas are best eaten fresh. However, given the 30 minutes required to let the salted zucchini slices sit, you can definitely do that part in advance. When my Italian mother prepares zucchini, she actually likes doing it a whole day in advance. She’ll salt them and arrange them in between paper towels in a tupperware and then stick them in the fridge overnight. The next day, she’ll dab all the moisture off before continuing on with the recipe.
You can also prepare the toppings and sauce, if homemade, in advance, if desired. You can top the zucchini rounds with the marinara sauce, cheese and toppings a few hours in advance and stick them in the fridge until you’re ready to bake. Since they really take no time to cook, I recommend cooking them fresh when you’re ready to eat them.
- 1 large Zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
- 3/4 cup Marinara Sauce, store bought or homemade*
- 1 cup Mozzarella Cheese, grated
- Assorted Toppings of Choice (optional)
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- Line two large baking sheets with paper towels. Generously salt the zucchini slices on both sides and lay them out in a single layer. Allow them to sit for 30 minutes (this releases the excess moisture, ensuring the zucchini pizzas don't become mushy or soggy).
- After 30 minutes, you'll see that there is lots of water and moisture on each slice. Using a clean cloth or paper towel, dab away as much water as you can, patting the zucchini rounds as dry as you can get them. Pepper them on both sides.
- Line the baking sheets with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 425°. One by one, add about 1 tbsp of marinara sauce on each slice and gently spread it over the surface of the round with the back of a spoon.
- Top each slice with some grated mozzarella and your favourite toppings.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is nicely melted and bubbly. Serve immediately.
Try my homemade recipe for
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 120Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 23mgSodium: 468mgCarbohydrates: 6gFiber: 2gSugar: 4gProtein: 8g
Nutrition is only an estimate and calculated using Nutritionix.
LOVE PIZZA BUT HATE ZUCCHINI? TRY MY CAULIFLOWER CRUST PIZZA INSTEAD!
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