Cheesy Vegetable Gratin

I’m calling it a gratin because of the layering. And the cheese. You can call it a bake if you want! Or a gratin. Or just awesome.

Cheesy Vegetable Gratin / Bev Cooks

This is one of those side dishes that you’d probably have anyway, but not like this. And I want you to have it like this. Because this is plain ridiculous.

It’s like pizza, with no carbs! (<–saddest sentence ever.)

Let’s break this down.

Cheesy Vegetable Gratin / Bev Cooks

Six ingredients. That is all. Two of which are veggies. And two of which are cheeses. This is called LIFE BALANCE. Once needs equal amounts of cheese and veggies to live fully and happily. Amen.

Cheesy Vegetable Gratin / Bev Cooks

Slice up the squashes. I used a mandolin for this, but if that freaks you out, just use a sharp knife and get them as thiiiinly sliced as possible. (a mandolin is FAST though. just sayin’. okay bye.)

Cheesy Vegetable Gratin / Bev Cooks

Then you’ll ladle a few Tbs. of (jarred, homemade, whatevs) marinara along the bottom of a gratin dish, or a baking vessel, or a shallow canoe, and start overlapping the zucchini and the squash like whoa. And here’s the thing, you can sort of wiggle the layers to make room for more, if you have less room in the pan than you thought, or spread them evenly in the pan, if you have extra room in the pan. Just wiggle it. Wiggle it good.

OH – the garlic. So you’ll grate it (or mince it like crazy) and just sprinkle it in between the layers of veggies. All willy nilly. Nothing has to be perfect. Nothing ever is. NOTHIIIING EVER IIIIIIS. Is that a song? I feel like it’s a song. It should definitely be a song.

Never mind.

Brush some sauce in between the layers, too. How about a sprinkle of salt? There we go.

Cheesy Vegetable Gratin / Bev Cooks

So once you’ve layered and overlapped and sung your heart right out of its cavity, arrange those little mozzarella balls over the top. I THINK these are technically called ciliegine (got ’em at Trader Joe’s), but anything around this size works. And then a good sprinkle of parmesan cheese right over that!

You can see the direction that your life is about to take, can’t you. You can.

Cheesy Vegetable Gratin / Bev Cooks

And that would be it, Chachi. Would you just look at that.

But hark! And hark hard. Let it sit about five minutes, which I know is a ridiculous ask, but let it sit only because you want that sauce to cool and set a little. We don’t want runny vegs, brah. And I know you’re like, “But we barely put any sauce in that!” You’re right. But still, it will be a wee runny if you don’t let it sit for a sec. The end. Goodbye.

Cheesy Vegetable Gratin / Bev Cooks

Except not.

I LOVE THIS. It’s light, but satisfying. You’ve got color, but also comfort. Nutrients, but in a party.

Cheesy Vegetable Gratin / Bev Cooks

Here’s another photo of the bottom part because I just liked it. I like seeing the slightly shriveled edges of the squashes just peeeeeeeking out under that baked sauce and cheese, UGH. So delish.

And you know what! If you want layer cheese IN WITH THE VEGGIES, by all means, go for it. I was just trying to keep my husband from drawing up divorce papers, so I went with the top blanket. But you do you.

Cheesy Vegetable Gratin / Bev Cooks

Bottom line – MAKE.

Cheesy Vegetable Gratin
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  • 2 medium yellow squash, thinly sliced
  • 2 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup of marinara sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced or grated
  • 8 oz small mozzarella balls
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • Coarse salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Pour about 1/3 cup sauce along the bottom of a gratin pan or small baking dish. Layer the squash and zucchini around the edges, overlapping as you go. Sprinkle a little bit of the minced garlic between the layers, along with the pinch of salt, and a light brush of the marinara. Keep overlapping and layering the squashes (and sprinkling and brushing with sauce) until the whole pan is covered, moving inward as you go. It doesn’t have to look perfect. That’s the beauty of this.
  3. Brush with any remaining sauce, and arrange the mozzarella balls on top of the dish. Sprinkle with most of the parmesan cheese, and bake for roughly 40 minutes, until the cheese is melting and starting to brown and bubble.
  4. Flip it to broil that last minute or so to really get the bubbling!
  5. Serve it up with the last of the parmesan for extra garnishing.
  6. Serves about 6.

Cheesy Vegetable Gratin / Bev Cooks

Serve this at a pot luck and watch everyone just straight up lose their ish.

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2 Responses to Cheesy Vegetable Gratin

  1. Nancy April 25, 2019 at 11:21 am #
    As always, it looks yummy! I love the pan you made it in. What brand is it and where can I get it?
    • Bev Weidner April 27, 2019 at 5:05 pm #
      Ahhh thanks! It's actually a vintage copper gratin pan that I found at a neighborhood French market. There's no brand on it! It's fab though, right?

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