I bet if you have a tray of golden baked, nutrition-packed Zucchini And Sweet Potato Slice in your fridge; your mornings will become a whole heap easier. Just warm a slice of this delicious Zucchini And Sweet Potato traybake for each member of your family for breakfast or wrap in parchment paper and pack along with salad for lunch.
When my boys were little, eating well (or even eating for that matter) was the farthest thing from their minds. Friends with older kids would always encourage me to have hope because they had older boys that single-handedly demolished their fridges and pantries every month. I used to smile indulgently wondering how that could even be possible with my two.
And then my firstborn went through a growth spurt and arrived at the thresh hold of puberty/teen years simultaneously and everything changed. For the first time, I realised that there might be some truth to what experienced parents say to newbie parents and that it is not just a lot of fluff and privileged talk that comes from them having reached that position before us.
Packed lunches for school are always a real struggle!
When Rivs, my older boy started finishing his lunch at recess when it was barely 10 in the morning, I knew I was in trouble. Little boy food was just not going to cut it for him while Rish, my littler boy was still only interested in playing handball and trading Pokemon cards at school lunch instead of eating. Needless to say, school lunches became a bit of a challenge. Finding the right thing to pack that would not only satiate the older one's growing appetite but interest the little one long enough to stop playing and eat, became my mission.
My boys love savoury food, hot savoury food to be precise. It is not that I have spoiled them, it is my preference too, one that they have picked up on. So I got little Thermos food flasks and started heating up leftover pasta and fried rice from the previous night's dinner for their lunches. As time went on, I got more creative with packing hot dumplings, grilled sandwiches and even soups.
And then we started high school this year and with the older boy leaving home a whole ungodly hour and a half earlier, I suddenly lost access to not just some extra sleep but the time I took to prep some fresh hot food for their lunch. So I turned to fritters and slices. Hot, savoury and packed with veggie goodness and every other food group you could think of. Something that would make them feel full and satisfied. Zucchini became a constant fixture in my market bag/trolley. It is the one ingredient that brings together hot, savoury, packed meals on the go.
A good, solid zucchini slice recipe for lunchboxes.
This zucchini slice is an evolution of the plain zucchini slice I have been making for years. The grated sweet potato not only adds body and texture to the slice, but a subtle sweetness that eliminates the need for sauces and accompaniments. Now ideally, I would make this ad-hoc. By that, I mean that I would grate a zucchini and a sweet potato and then chuck only the quantity I feel is right to make a good batter in the bowl with other ingredients. The rest gets fed to the chickens. I would also add spelt flour or buckwheat flour (to make it gluten free) or sub bacon with mushrooms (to make it vegetarian).
No matter what combination or quantity of ingredients I add, I look for one thing at the end. A batter that has the consistency of pouring sludge or if we want to use a more pleasant term, cake-like batter! So if it is too thick, I thin it with a bit of milk. If I can only see veggies in the bowl and not enough flour, I'll add more flour. So on and so forth. But you don't have to do any of that, as this is a tried and tested recipe with exact measurements that the boys absolutely love. As do Nick and I. I love that it can be prepared one evening and sorts out lunch boxes for 3 days in a row. Or I make a tray full of this and freeze it for a rainy day. And don't be afraid to season it well, this slice is really something when it has the right amount of salt and pepper.
If you make this nutrition-packed Zucchini And Sweet Potato Slice and love it, please leave me your feedback in the comments below. Don't forget to share your slice photos with me on Instagram by tagging me @cookrepublic.
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ZUCCHINI AND SWEET POTATO SLICE
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 bacon rashers, finely diced
- 1 small red onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 large zucchini, grated and squeezed dry (220g) (Note 1)
- 1 small sweet potato, peeled and grated (200g)
- 1 small red capsicum, finely diced
- 2 spring onions, sliced (green only)
- 1/2 cup packed mozzarella cheese, grated
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 4 organic eggs, lightly whisked
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 cup self raising flour
- sea salt flakes and black pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 180°C (convention)/ 160°C (fan-forced/convection). Grease and line a shallow, rimmed 20X30cm baking tray with baking paper.
- Heat one tablespoon of oil in a frying pan on medium. Add bacon, garlic and onion. Sauté for 3-4 minutes until the mixture starts to caramelise, tossing to avoid sticking. Add capsicum and spring onions. Cook for another 2 minutes until glossy.
- Remove from heat and scrape the pan roasted veggies into a large bowl. Add the zucchini, sweet potato, cheese, parsley, eggs, milk, flour, remaining tablespoon of oil and seasoning to the bowl. Make sure you season the batter well with salt and pepper.
- Mix gently with a wooden spoon until thoroughly combined.
- Pour into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for approximately 35 minutes until golden on top and cooked through.
- Turn off the oven and let the slice sit in the warm oven for 5 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and cool completely. Cut in squares and enjoy.
- Grating & Squeezing Zucchini - After grating zucchini, leave it in a bowl for 10 minutes sprinkled with a pinch of salt. This helps draw out the liquid. Empty the zucchini from the bowl into a sieve (over a sink or bowl) and press down to squeeze out as much liquid from the zucchini as you can. It usually takes 2-3 minutes of squeezing to get the zucchini dry enough and ready to bake with.
- When serving for lunch boxes, I like to heat the slice quite hot in the microwave and then wrap it in triple foil with a dash of ketchup or hot sauce.
- Slices can be wrapped in baking paper and frozen in freezer bags for up to 3 weeks.
- Make It Vegetarian - Substitute bacon for chopped Swiss mushrooms.
- Make It Gluten Free - Substitute regular flour for buckwheat flour and don't forget to add a bit of baking powder.
ONE YEAR AGO – MANGO AND SOUR CREAM BLENDER POPS
THREE YEARS AGO – QUINOA LENTIL AND SMOKY EGGPLANT SALAD
FOUR YEARS AGO – MUSHROOM ZUCCHINI AND CREAM SPAGHETTINI
FIVE YEARS AGO – DAISY CAKE
Great recipe….I swapped the bacon for grated carrot. And added nutritional yeast.
nice one! I love your variation. thank you for your lovely feedback x
I made a GF / vegetarian version of this recipe but forgot to squeeze out the water in the grated zucchinis so it is really moist after cooking for 1 hour +. I have increased the oven temperature slightly but it is taking ages. Any tips? This is the first time I have made this recipe.
Ahhh bugger! To fix this problem slightly, get your slice out of the oven. Very carefully cut into thick rectangular slices (like the ones you see in the pictures on this post. You'll likely get 8 slices if you were using a rectangular slice tin to bake). Put these 8 slices on a large rimmed cookie sheet/pan so they are not stuck to each other but spread out. Continue baking them at the temp mentioned here in the recipe for another 15 minutes-20 minutes. This will help dry them out from all sides as they are now cut. Don't increase temp as they will burn. If they are still too moist (they really shouldn't be after such a long bake and mind you I hadn't squeezed out my zucchini either), continue baking at lower temp till they are dry enough. Hope that helps! x
This was all right. I made the vegetarian version but forgot to pick up a chile pepper at the store, so I added a few dashes of hot sauce to the batter. It was good for all three meals with lots of sides -- oatmeal or grits or pork for breakfast and a salad or a bowl of soup or grains for lunch and dinner.
I just made this today and it is sooo delicous! I really appreciate your gorgeous website and all the amazing recipes that have definitely inspired me to cook much more than I have been!
This is best recipes ...
I made this recipe 2 days ago and will make it again tonight. Its amazing! So easy and so versatile ,thanks a lot!
Quick question, it turned out a bit “sticky” on top. Does this have to do with my oven or did i mess something else up?
Dear Lena! Glad you liked the recipe. The stickiness is due to the starch and sugars in the sweet potato and the liquid content in the zucchini. Depending on how starchy or sweet or fresh the sweet potatoes are and how much water the zucchinis hold, the slice will be different every time. I find that toasting the slice in big chunks helps dry it out. Potentially, you could reduce the water content a bit next time by either making sure that you squeeze the grated zucchini really well or just using one less egg if your veggies are super fresh. Hope that helps! x
Had high hopes for this dish, but we felt it was too sweet and a little too busy for our liking. Would recommend removing the red pepper and less sweet potato if I was to try it again. Non the less, thanks for sharing and does make easy slices.
Loved by my family especially my fussy 11 yr old! I’m going to try a dairy free vegetarian version so I can eat it too. Thank you
i LOVE your recipes & the food photography!!
Is there a way to make this dish meatless ? (I know, no bacon in our home, sorry ;))
Hey Sara, See notes. I have included many variations for veg, gluten free etc etc. Bacon is only a small amount, as per the notes firm chopped mushrooms are a good substitute. Alternatively try another crisped vegetable or tofu. x
Definitely my favourite zucchini slice I’ve ever made! Finally found one that had the perfect texture!
I have made this about 4-5 times now and it is absolutely one of my favorite go-to breakfasts! Thank you so much for the recipe! I also like how easy it is to make little tweaks to the ingredients. 🙂
That makes me so happy Melissa. So glad you enjoyed it! x
This is the best, thank you so much for sharing this recipe.
My 1 year old can not get enough of it!!!
I make something similar to this and put the batter into cupcake molds. Then I freeze them, so I have a healthy lunch that's ready in the time to thaw (about 45 seconds in the microwave). I have done it with carrots and beets as well as with zucchini and sweet potatoes. Whatever is around. I call them savory muffins.
No school children in the vicinity but I cannot think of one good reason why I should not try this yum-at-first-sight recipe for self and friends. Am not a baker both for health and taste reasons, but this does not count methinks 🙂 ! Thanks!!
This does look amazing! I'm currently pregnant with my first child (a boy!) and I love frittatas and slices and always on the look out for new recipes. This is a great addition to the list, and I know it will come in handy in say, 14 years time! Hahaha.
Congrats Leah! Good idea, it will definitely come in handy. Boys at that age are ravenous. But you could always try it now, so the baby gets used to the taste 🙂 x
Awesome recipe. This looks like it would go great with soup...
I'm not fond of frittatas and neither are my girls, but the addition of flour this looks yum Sneh, will definitely try it.
Quick question, I like making grilled sandwiches too for lunch boxes, one of mine complains they go hard when cold. Any suggestions?
Zohra, I set up 2-3 big rectangles of foil one on top of the other finishing with a similar sized piece of butcher's paper (or a ripped brown paper bag). I place the hot grilled sandwich on the paper and fold the paper over the sandwich. I then fold over all pieces of foil (together) over the sandwich. I use a filling that isn't very runny (usually scrambled eggs or a pea and potato mix) and add a dash of their fave sauce over the filling before grilling it. Packing it while it is still hot releases the steam and softens the bread. The multiple layers of foil also help keep the sandwich warm until recess.
My daughter used to pack her own lunch, until she hit high school and leaves the house at some ungodly hour with me sleepily following. So I am now on school lunches. I guess I am lucky that mine is ok with cold food, so I have started making up main meal salads etc at the start of the week, portioning them into lunchboxes and then all she needs to do in the morning is grab a lunchbox and a fork. Whilst this is working well, I am now constantly searching for new ideas. This just went on my list as it will be a good change from my zucchini slice.
You gave me hope Sneh! Avyan shows great interest in food, but then all he does is nibble, unless its fruits or egg. It's a struggle, specially with lunch box. And when occasionally lunch box comes empty, I almost dance in joy! So silly LOL
You inspired me and gave me ideas with this zucchini and sweet potato slices. Will try out soon.