Spiralized Zucchini Gratin
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Recipe courtesy of Amanda Neal for Food Network Kitchen

Spiralized Zucchini Gratin

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 35 min
  • Active: 25 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Look no further for a creamy zucchini dish you’ll want to eat all summer long. Making the perfect zucchini gratin can be a challenge because of zucchini’s high water content (no one wants a watery, broken cheese sauce). So, after many iterations, we landed on this foolproof recipe that’s decadent from the melty Havarti cheese, yet lemony and bright from the crispy breadcrumb topping (we love added textural appeal). Bonus: it’s cooked entirely in one skillet, making for quick assembly and easy cleanup.



Special equipment:
a spiralizer; an 8-inch stainless steel ovenproof skillet
  1. Use the thin noodle cutter of a spiralizer to cut the zucchini into noodles (see Cook's Note); you should have about 24 ounces noodles. Snip the noodles with kitchen shears to create shorter pieces (about 6 inches long) and set aside. Set a colander or fine-mesh strainer over a large bowl; set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to broil.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in an 8-inch stainless steel ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Once shimmering, add half of the noodles, a large pinch of salt and several grinds of pepper and cook, tossing frequently with tongs, until the noodles are just softened and have released some liquid, about 3 minutes. Transfer to the colander to drain. Add another tablespoon of oil to the skillet and repeat the process with the remaining noodles. Turn off the heat and wipe out the skillet with a clean kitchen towel.
  4. Add the half-and-half to the skillet over medium heat and cook, stirring, until it just comes to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium low and continue simmering until reduced to 1 cup, about 5 minutes. Add the cream cheese and dill Havarti and whisk until the sauce is smooth. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and several grinds of pepper.
  5. Toss the noodles in the colander and gently squeeze them to reduce any lingering liquid. Add the drained noodles to the cheese sauce and toss with tongs until evenly coated.
  6. Meanwhile, mix the panko, Parmesan, lemon zest, a pinch of salt and the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a small bowl until evenly combined. Sprinkle over the noodle mixture.
  7. Broil until the top is golden brown and the cheese sauce is bubbling at the edges, about 1 minute. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Cook’s Note

To cut zucchini noodles, you’ll need a spiralizer. There are many options for spiralizers on the market, including hand crank versions and even attachments for stand mixers and food processors. For this recipe, you’ll need to use the “thin noodle” cutter (as opposed to the thicker noodle or ribbon cutter).