Roasted slabs of summer squash and yellow peppers are layered in a loaf pan with just the right amount of herby ricotta and egg and the slightest amount of sliced potato on top and bottom to create a perfectly textured and delicately flavored baked lasagna-style dish without the noodles.

yellow squash, pepper, potato and ricotta layered bake, sliced on plate.

I wanted to marry two yellow vegetables, summer squash, and yellow peppers. What’s more, I love how sweet and succulent both become when roasted and by layering them lightly with a ricotta and egg mixture, a bit of thinly sliced potato, and a thin but important layer of feta plus herbs, I knew they would become a vegetable based meal for the ages! I had a layered lasagna-type preparation in mind, but I wanted a lighter, herby flavor and no tomatoes or noodles. Was it a terrine? No, that fussy French dish incorporates gelatin. Eww. Was it a casserole? Definitely not. That would imply dump and bake. So, an Herby Layered Summer Squash, Pepper, Potato & Ricotta Bake it is!

I share with you the journey of developing this recipe so that you may understand my intent and are more likely to “buy in” to the idea that you should try this as a brunch main, a vegetable side, a quick lunch, or something to eat out of the pan for breakfast. It’s that good, that light, and that tasty.

Finally, you can double the ingredients, which will double the height, and fill the loaf pan, to serve 4 as a main dish. I did not write the recipe to be that large, because it already uses two squash and two peppers, and I wanted you to be able to assemble and cook it in less than an hour. If you have more time and want a larger amount, double it up!

bite of squash ricotta bake on a fork.

Why this recipe works

This recipe makes a light but satisfying meal because of the inclusion of the ricotta/egg mixture, and the insurance that the amount of that mixture is kept light so that the vegetable and herb flavors dominate. The dairy flavor is in the background and adds just enough heft to make the dish satisfying.

Ingredient notes

  • Potatoes – I used gorgeous purple potatoes and recommend you try them if you can get your hands on them. Otherwise, I recommend red-skinned to add a bit of interest or Yukon gold. Any potato will work but the size of the rounds should fit as shown, so I don’t recommend a larger russet (not that you can’t make that work too 🙂 ).
  • Summer Squash – This cousin to zucchini is called yellow squash by some. You can sub zucchini as well.
  • Fresh Herbs – These add much of the dish’s fresh flavor. You can sub cilantro or other fresh herbs for the dill and parsley if you prefer.
  • Feta Cheese– This adds a nice, salty layer and you can use cow, goat or sheep’s milk feta.
  • Eggs & Ricotta – Two eggs and 1/2 cup of ricotta create a mixture that resembles eggs more than it does ricotta. This intentional ratio creates a thin and non-grainy layer in between the veggies that does not dominate the flavors or texture.

Step-by-step instructions

Slice the summer squash into lengthwise slabs about 1/4 thick, and halve the yellow peppers, removing their seeds, then lay both in single layers on a sheet pan, drizzle with oil, salt, and pepper, and use your hands to spread the oil all over the vegetables before roasting under the broiler for about 15 minutes, until the peppers develop a char.

Meanwhile, mix the ricotta, egg, and herbs to create the eggy ricotta mixture to layer between the vegetables

Begin the layering process by laying slices of potato in the bottom of the loaf pan. I suggest spraying the pan with oil, especially if you use a glass dish, to keep the egg mixture from sticking.

Add three thin pieces (2 oz) of feta over the potato, sprinkle some herbs and scallions, then lay a layer of summer squash and spread a thin layer of the egg/ricotta mixture.

Next lay down the yellow peppers (two halves), followed by more egg mixture. Repeat the squash/egg/pepper/egg a second time.

Complete the layering process with another three slices of feta and slices of potato to top the dish.

Bake in a 425 oven for approximately 30 minutes. I like to place it under the broiler at the end for a minute to develop a little char to the potatoes but that is optional, of course.

Ways to serve this dish

  • As a vegetarian main dish that serves two
  • As a vegetable side dish that serves four (you barely notice the egg and it tastes more like a vegetable dish than an egg dish which makes it suitable as a side dish for animal proteins)
  • Double the recipe and bake an hour for a great vegetarian main dish to serve four.
  • As a brunch dish for 2-4, depending on what else you are serving.
  • As meal prep for a work week’s daily breakfast (or lunch). This may be my personal favorite (eating for breakfast).
slice of layered veggie ricotta bake, served and with bite taken.
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yellow squash, pepper, potato and ricotta layered bake, sliced on plate.

Herby Layered Summer Squash, Pepper, Potato & Ricotta Bake

Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Vegetable Roasting: 15 minutes
Total Time1 hour 5 minutes
Servings4 or 2 for a hungry main- see notes
Calories237
Roasted slabs of summer squash and yellow peppers are layered in a loaf pan with just the right amount of herby ricotta and egg and the slightest amount of sliced potato on top and bottom to create a perfectly textured and delicately flavored baked lasagna-style dish without the noodles.
Kitchen Tools
  • 1 sheet pan
  • 1 loaf pan

Ingredients
 

  • 2 yellow peppers
  • 2 medium summer squash
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium potatoes (purple if you can) (or red skinned or Yukon gold)
  • 4 oz feta cheese
  • 2 eggs (medium or large)
  • 1/2 cup ricotta (part-skim or whole)
  • 4 scallions (a.k.a. green onions)
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill
  • 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method:  

  • Preheat the oven to broil.
Roast the Veggies
  • Wash, then cut the Summer Squash lengthwise into slices 1/4" or less (or use mandoline for thinner if you want). You don't want paper thin. See photos.
  • Cut yellow peppers in half, remove seeds, wash.
  • Place pepper halves, cut side down on sheet pan, and lay summer squash pieces on sheet pan as well, so there is no overlap of vegetables
  • Toss veggies with olive oil (may not need entire tablespoon). You just want to use your hands to rub oil all over the veggies but they only need a very light coating and if you want you don't have to add any, but they may stick to pan, depending on the type of pan.
  • Roast under broiler (2nd row down from top) for approximately 15 minutes until you see some charring on the peppers. Let cool. Change oven temp to 425.
  • pull off what yellow pepper skin comes off easily (but no need to be fussy).
Mix Ricotta mixture
  • Whisk eggs, ricotta and half of the herbs and scallions together
Layer the ingredients in the loaf pan
  • Spray pan with a tad of olive oil, more so if using glass (I used no-stick pan).
  • Lay one layer of potato slices and 2 oz of feta, then a sprinkle of scallion and herbs.
  • Start alternating layers of summer squash, egg/ricotta, yellow pepper, egg/ricotta twice, ending with egg/ricotta. Top with final layer of feta and potato
  • Bake in 425 degree oven for 30 min. I placed under broiler for a couple minutes to get a browner top. You can choose what you like.

Notes

Amount: You can double the ingredients for a layered bake that will reach to the top of the loaf pan, and serve 4 as a main. It will need to cook for closer to an hour. I wanted to keep the recipe small batch size, to encourage doing this for a weeknight versus thinking of it as a big undertaking, which it is not. Also, it already requires 2 squash and 2 peppers which is a lot of vegetables!

Nutrition (an estimate)

Calories: 237kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 123mg | Sodium: 390mg | Potassium: 579mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin C: 137mg | Calcium: 259mg | Iron: 2mg | Magnesium: 43mg | Net Carbohydrates: 10g
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