Easy, Cheesy Zucchini Melts

published Jul 14, 2020
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Zucchini Melts

A simple, five-ingredient recipe for zucchini melts on marble rye bread.


Prep35 minutes

Cook6 minutes to 10 minutes

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Two zucchini melts stacked on top of each other
Credit: Photo: Tara Donne | Food Stylist: Cyd McDowell

Zucchini melts are one of the most delicious ways you can eat zucchini this summer. They’re part grilled cheese, part panini, and 100% delicious. Freshly grated zucchini gets mixed with cream cheese, shredded sharp cheddar, and whole-grain mustard, then slathered in between two pieces of marble rye bread and toasted until golden-brown and melty. They’re comforting, filled with bold, cheesy flavor, and highlight peak-season zucchini in a surprising way that even zucchini-haters will love.

4 Tips for Making Perfect Zucchini Melts

Before you head into the kitchen to make these zucchini melts, keep these tips in mind.

1. Make sure your cheese is at room temperature. To ensure that your cheeses melt properly (and to make mixing the filling easier), allow your ingredients to come to room temperature before you start cooking.

2. Let your zucchini drain for 30 minutes. After the zucchini is grated, it gets tossed with a generous amount of salt and left to drain in a colander. This rids the zucchini of any excess moisture that would otherwise make the filling watery, so make sure to give it at least 30 minutes to fully purge its liquid.

3. Generously season your cheese mixture. This sandwich is all about the bold, cheesy filling, so make sure to season it with both salt and pepper so the flavors shine.

4. Keep your pan over medium-high heat. This is the perfect temperature that ensures the bread is toasted while giving the cheese enough time to melt. Anything hotter and you risk burning the bread before the filling has time to melt.

Zucchini Melts

A simple, five-ingredient recipe for zucchini melts on marble rye bread.

Prep time 35 minutes

Cook time 6 minutes to 10 minutes

Serves 4

Nutritional Info


  • 4 tablespoons

    (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

  • 4 ounces

    full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature

  • 6 ounces

    sharp yellow cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1 1/2 cups)

  • 2 tablespoons

    whole grain mustard

  • 1 teaspoon

    kosher salt, divided

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 1

    medium zucchini (about 4 ounces)

  • 8 slices

    marble rye bread


  1. Place 4 tablespoons unsalted butter on the countertop to soften. Place 4 ounces cream cheese, 6 ounces shredded sharp yellow cheddar cheese (1 1/2 cups), 2 tablespoons whole grain mustard, 1/2 teaspoon of the kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper in a medium bowl and let sit out at room temperature while you prep the zucchini.

  2. Grate 1 medium zucchini (about 4 ounces) on the large holes of a box grater (about 1 1/4 cups). Place in a colander set inside a large bowl. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, toss to combine, and let sit for 30 minutes. Squeeze the zucchini with your hands to remove excess water, then add to the bowl of cheese. Mix with a rubber spatula until combined.

  3. Butter one side of 8 slices marble rye bread with the softened butter. Flip 4 slices over and build the sandwiches: Using a butter knife, smear each with 1/3 cup of the cheese mixture. Close the sandwiches with the remaining bread slices buttered-side up.

  4. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 of the sandwiches and cook until golden-brown and the cheese is melted, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board and repeat with the remaining 2 sandwiches. Slice in half and serve immediately.