Jan 19, 2014

Nonna’s (Vegan) Formaggio Zucchini

One could call this the ultimate Italian peasant food. It’s comforting and homey and reminds me of some of the most love-infused meals from my childhood. My mom, a.k.a. Nonna, created this yummy recipe and prepared it for me many times. Thanks, Mamma!

Formaggio means “cheese” in Italian and this recipe is traditionally topped with beaten eggs mixed with Parmesan cheese. I veganized it and also added some kale to amp up the nutrients.

Nonna’s formaggio zucchini was made completely on the stovetop while this one is finished in the oven. Enjoy this as an amazing main dish by serving it with some whole grain pasta, rice or quinoa. There will be plenty of sauce to top whatever you decide to use as a base!


  • 4 medium sized zucchini, sliced
  • 2 cups chopped kale
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 tsp dried basil plus a little more for garnish
  • (1) 32 oz. jar of your favorite tomato sauce (I used Walnut Acres, low sodium)
  • 1 batch of vegan ricotta >>> recipe here
  1. Water sauté the onion with the basil until tender. 
  2. Add the sliced zucchini, kale and the tomato sauce.
  3. Cover and simmer until the zucchini is tender (about 15 minutes).
  4. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  5. Make the ricotta, per the instructions in the recipe.
  6. Spoon the ricotta mixture over the zucchini. It doesn’t have to cover the whole thing and doesn’t have to be perfect… that’s part of the rustic charm!
  7. Sprinkle with a little more dried basil.
  8. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes, until the ricotta firms up.

NOTE: I cooked the zucchini mixture in a deep, stainless steel pan so I could just pop it in the oven to finish. If you don’t have a pan suitable for the oven, simply cook the zucchini in a saucepan and transfer the mixture to an oven proof dish prior to topping it with the ricotta.

Serves 4-6. Enjoy!

Healthy trails,


4 responses to “Nonna’s (Vegan) Formaggio Zucchini”

  1. nearly through all the zucch but if we get a few more this week am going to try this. I think we've waded through about 20 or more per week in various forms…..lots raw….but some cooked…..was using up all my recipes for zucch.

  2. Helyn says:

    Lucky you, Rach! My zucchini did not fare well at all this past summer. Too much rain! 🙁 Enjoy!

  3. That does look like comfort food Helyn. I must try this one for sure.

  4. Maren says:

    Made this tonight and it was delicious! I added more kale, some red pepper flakes, and baked it in a 9×9 pan. I'll definitely make this again!

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