Sunday, June 14, 2020

Tomato Zucchini and Cheese Pie

If you are fortunate enough to have a vegetable garden you might soon have an abundance of zucchini and tomatoes to look forward to this summer. They are two vegetables that would dominate my garden as they are both favorites of mine. When zucchini and tomatoes are abundant my Tomato Zucchini Cheese Pie is a delicious savory pie to prepare and enjoy. It is full of flavor and can be a complete meal or a delicious side dish.   The full recipe is at the bottom of this post.

Newborn mule deer fawns -- photo taken by a neighbor

 I am not fortunate to have a vegetable garden, where I live in Colorado, as this is what I often see in my backyard.  Our state's native Mule deer have recently given birth to their offspring, and they often have twin fawns.  The deer eat quite a bit of our flowers, shrubs, and other growing plants, and what they miss eating the rabbits, squirrels, raccoons or an occasional bear will devour instead. Also, because of late spring snow, frost, and other changeable Colorado weather conditions, trying to grow vegetables is a challenge for me. 
With the COVID-19 pandemic still occurring, I try to limit my trips to the grocery store to as few as possible, and Costco has become one of my favorite places to shop.  I like to buy their bulk vegetables, especially their big box of hothouse tomatoes and their large bag of organic zucchini and summer yellow squash -- they are the perfect amounts to tide me over for a few weeks of different recipes.

When searching Pinterest for interesting new recipes to try I came upon this recipe for Cheddar Dill Tomato Pie from Taste of the South Magazine, which I pinned to my Savory Pies and Tarts Pinterest Board
It looked and sounded delicious in its all tomato version, but I also wanted to use some of the zucchini and yellow squash I had so I adjusted their recipe to make my own concoction.  I also omitted the dill and instead used pesto and a few other ingredients in my version.  I have to say mine came out fabulous and it is a recipe I will make again.

One tip I learned from the original recipe was that after slicing the tomatoes, zucchini and squash were to lay the slices on paper towels for an hour, after salting them on both sides, to allow the excess water in the vegetables to drain. Before using also pat the tops of the vegetables with paper towels

I also changed the creamy mixture in the pie from mayonnaise and dill to a mix of half sour cream and half mayonnaise, and instead of dill, I used a basil pesto mix.

Also, since I had quite a few vegetables to use up,  I doubled the pie crust recipe to make two pies--one of which I froze for future use.  I also changed the cheese mixture from all cheddar to a combination of grated mozzarella, parmesan, and white cheddar cheese.

I also added thin onion slices to the layers of tomato, zucchini, and squash. Each layer had the creamy mix and cheese layered between.  The last layer was finished with tomatoes but the final cheese topping was left off until the pie was almost completely baked, and added for the last 20 minutes to turn into a cheesy golden crust

My version of this savory pie was a delicious blend of summer vegetables, cheese, and fresh basil cream, and the crust had a nice crunchy, nutty flavor. Salting the vegetables meant there was no excess water in the pie plate and the pie was easy to cut and serve and kept its shape.  My husband and I enjoyed it very much and even had slices for breakfast one day.  I hope you will try it!

Tomato Zucchini and Cheese Pie

Ingredients Yields: 1 (10-Inch) Pie


1¾ cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup plus 1 teaspoon plain yellow cornmeal, divided
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
½ cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
1 large egg, beaten
¼ cup whole buttermilk


one pound red tomatoes
one pound--about two medium--zucchini
one pound--about two medium-- yellow summer squash
one small onion--optional
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons basil pesto mix, or a combination of chopped basil and garlic divided
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
one cups shredded sharp white Cheddar cheese
one cup grated mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese


For the crust: In the work bowl of a food processor, place flour, ¼ cup cornmeal, and salt. Add cold butter, and pulse until the mixture is crumbly. With processor running, add egg and buttermilk in a slow, steady stream just until the dough comes together. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, and shape into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

For the filling: Line baking sheets with paper towels. Cut a ¼ -inch slice from top of each tomato. Using a small spoon, scoop out tomato seeds. Cut tomatoes into ¼ -inch-thick slices. Arrange tomato slices in a single layer on prepared pans. Cut off ends of zucchini and summer squash and peel both. Slice in 1/4 inch slices. Sprinkle both sides of tomatoes, zucchini, and squash with salt. Let stand for 1 hour on the paper towel-lined baking sheets. Pat dry the tops of the vegetables with paper towels before using them.

In a small bowl, stir together mayonnaise, sour cream, basil pesto mix, and pepper.

Preheat oven to 375°. Sprinkle bottom of a 10-inch pie plate with the remaining 1 teaspoon cornmeal.

Let dough stand at room temperature until slightly softened, about 10 minutes. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 14-inch circle. Transfer to prepared pie plate, pressing into bottom and up the sides. Fold edges under, and crimp as desired.

Arrange the tomatoes, overlapping slightly, in the bottom of the prepared crust. Spread with 1⁄3 cup mayonnaise/sour cream mixture, and sprinkle with cheese. Repeat with the zucchini slices,  mayonnaise mixture, cheese, and then summer squash slices. Add thin slices of onion if desired and end with a layer of tomato slices.  Keep 1/3 cup of the grated cheese mixture reserved for the topping.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until vegetables are soft. Spread top of the pie with remaining ⅓ cup cheese. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes more, covering crust with foil to prevent excess browning, if necessary. 

Let cool on a wire rack for 45 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped fresh basil if desired.


Meanwhile, I'll let the various Colorado critters enjoy my gardens. They survived a long snowy winter and now are providing me entertainment as I stay home as much as possible during this pandemic.  I've rediscovered the joys of both my front and back yards--they are not such bad places to be!

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EricaSta said...

Good morning ... It's time for walking through Bloggerland. Visiting each other.

Thank you for sharing this yummy recipe. It looks delicious.

Stay healthy and well.
Happy MosaicMonday

diane b said...

It looks delicious and I will try that one. I made a nice salmon pie yesterday. I surprised myself that it turned out so good.

eileeninmd said...


The fawns are so cute, love the deer and the bunnies! Your tomato pie looks delicious, thanks for sharing the recipe. We are always happy to see the wildlife in our yard, it just does not happen often enough.
Love the photos and mosaics! Enjoy your day, have a happy new week!

Maggie said...

I certainly will try your recipes those pies look so mouth wateringly good! Since moving from France I no longer have a vegetable garden so like you will have to shop for the tomatoes and zucchini this year.
Your critters collage is super, happy MM.
Maggie @ turning the page

Penny from Enjoying The Simple Things said...

That sounds really good! I love savory pies.

Dawn said...

I love wildlife but they love my flowers, this year I have none outside, and we decided to forego the frustration of a veggie garden. Plus our yard is all shade. Now about those pies! Yum! I will definitely give that a go.
Dawn aka Spatulas On Parade

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

I will definitely save that recipe...the pie sounds so delicious ...and it’s the way we like to eat ...vegetable forward. (Plus cheese of course, gotta love it!). ..... we don’t plant a garden any longer either but we don’t have those amazing backyard visitors to make up for it! I think you’re quite lucky to have them. We make full use of local farm markets for fresh produce, but Costco sounds like a great choice for you.

A Bit of the Blarney said...

Awww! The fawns are so very cute. And my goodness the tomato zucchini chees pie looks so tasty! I might have to make it! [sigh] I'm gonna make my list up now. Thank you! Have a wonderful week! said...

this pie sounds perfect for me--i love every ingredient. i only have apatio garden so the only home-grown ingredients i can use are herbs. I'll mix almost every one growing in my pots with the mayo and sour cream and give it a go. cheese, tomatoes, zucchini: what could go wrong.

NCSue said...

We don't have mule deer here, but I notice the fawns are considerably darker than the variety of deer we have here.
Thank you for joining us at

Martha said...

Your pies look amazing and your wildlife photos are gorgeous too! Have a great day :)

Karen said...

Such sweet fawns! Yummy looking pies!

Jeanie said...

This looks so tasty. I could see how it would go either way -- with or without the zucchini and either would be good.

Love your sweet deer, although I'm terribly sorry about your flowers!

Powell River Books said...

That looks wonderful. Back when I had a garden I grew both zucchini and tomatoes. Now I'm in the condo so would have to go out to shop for those ingredients. There's nothing like home grown though. - Margy

stevebethere said...

Fab photos and the food looks delicious I will be around in about 20 minutes hope you save me some :-)

Have a tasty safetastic week 😷😷😷

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

The fawns are just the cutest...with their big ears! And thanks for the recipe. I bought tomatoes and zucchini at the Farm this morning! But I would need to get more to make this! Hugs!

Annie said...

Lovely photos as always.. that PIE!!!!

NanaHood said...

That recipe made my mouth water....seriously! We have deer (not mule deer) rabbits and squirrels and raccoons. I don't even try to garden. Too many critters!

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

Ah, tomatoes!

The Joy of Home with Martha Ellen said...

Oh Pat, your pies are beautiful! I love the addition of pesto--it surely makes a wonderful tasty addition to the vegetables. The wildlife in your property is darling! You are so kind to allow them carte blanche to your garden. Stay safe!

Rosie said...

Thanks for the recipe which I will definitely try. I have made a similar one but yours sounds great with the mayo and sour cream layer. Thanks for sharing.

Angie said...

Pat - I can certainly relate to critters eating gardens! And fawns - we have seen a couple in the long grass of our property - amazing how the does leave them for periods of time.

Thanks for the recipe - we will definitely try it. And thanks for linking up to Mosaic Monday!

Rettabug said...

What a delight to hear from you, Pat! I ran right over & was overjoyed to see your yummy pies. I used to make something similar, only using Bisquick, years ago. I never thought to add the other veggies but I surely will next time I do one.
I must get a second cuppa tea & spend the next hour catching up on your beautiful blog. I’ve been AWOL too long!!

NatureFootstep said...

great mosaics. I loved to see the mule deer fawns. :) So cute they are.

ellen b. said...

Wonderful collages and that pie looks like a full good meal!

Stevenson Q said...

I super super want that pie!!! It looks very special and grand and very delicious! Reminds me of pizzas and quiches but yours is extra special to me because I love cheese and oven baked tomatoes soooo much!

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

that pie looks marvelous - you're lucky to have deer in the yard

Pia said...

Ein Kuchen mit Zutaten die bei mir im Garten wachsen. Ich freue mich den Kuchen zu probieren. Danke für das Rezept.
L G Pia

The Style Sisters said...

My mom used to make a very similar vegetable pie and lost the recipe! I think we will be making this very soon as it sounds delicious! I can't wait for my vegetable garden to start producing! I would love to have you come and link up to my party on my blog and share your post with us.

Janice said...

Looks so yummy.

Joanne said...

OH my goodness; that sounds amazing!! Zucchini and tomatoes are two of my favorite summer vegetables too. I can't wait to try it. Pinned.

Su-sieee! Mac said...

I cook the same way you do, modifying and adapting the recipe as you go. It's so fun. I'll give this recipe a try. We watched a cheesy cheese cooking challenge this afternoon and it got me wanting to make something cheesy. Except for fresh tomatoes, I've got the makings for this dish. I'll see where the recipe takes me. Cheers! :-)

betty-NZ said...

We love pies so yours would fit right in! Thanks for the recipe.
The mule deer are so sweet to see.

It's awesome to see you at 'My Corner of the World' this week! Thanks for linking up.

Gardenrelish said...

The savory pies look wonderful and sound delicious. I have a garden, but am still waiting for tomatoes to ripen. I wrestle with deer also, but put up a netted fence around the garden that helps. Thank you for sharing your recipe, I look forward to giving it a try.

Buttercup said...

This looks so good. I'm thinking of doing something crustless, but using the veggies and a pesto. Perfect summer food. Take care and keep sharing your fabulous recipes.

Meditations in Motion said...

I like the tweaks you made to the recipe. I live in PA and used to have a garden but I got tired of battling critters too. In my case, it was not deer but groundhogs that decimated my plants. I do live in a farming community, however, and zucchini and tomatoes will soon be plentiful. Bookmarking this page so I can make these yummy pies! Thanks for sharing.

Rambling Woods said...

That looks so good... I have a wildlife full yard too..

Helena said...

That pie looks amazing and since I will be fortunate enough to have both tomatoes and zucchini, I am definitely going to keep this. As a matter of fact, I have you featured in my private feature link-up, #MyPostMonday, if that's OK!

Rettabug said...

I'm sooo glad you posted this recipe! I used to make a similar one with Bisquick YEARS ago & had forgotten all about it. I remember, the stronger the flavored cheese, the better it tasted. I look forward to trying it again.
Thanks for sharing the recipe & for stopping by, too!
Hope you are well & staying safe! ♥

April J Harris said...

How lovely to have the deer in your garden! They are so lovely, Pat. (Although I appreciate hungry deer can be problematic!) Love this fresh and delicious summer tart recipe. I would definitely enjoy a slice of it. Thank you so much for being a part of the Hearth and Soul Link Party community! I'm featuring your post at the party this week. Hope to see you there later. Take care and have a lovely week.

Kristie from Love My Little Cottage said...

Your savory pie looks amazing! It's one of my features on the Little Cottage Link party tomorrow. I hope you can drop by!

Lowcarb team member said...

Aww the fawns look so cute …
Many thanks for the recipe, the tomato and zucchini cheese pies look delicious.

All the best Jan

J C said...

I will be trying this awesome recipe. Thank you. And the sweet.

Michelle said...

A beautiful way to use up fresh produce. Thanks for linking up!

Vee said...

That looks absolutely delicious! I could never trust myself to cook anything that tasty looking. It's not easy cooking for one.

The cache was interesting. I had to grin that you and Vinny love history and so were very intrigued by this find. I love history, too, but I am not interested in much before 1600 unless it is Biblical history and even then...

Melynda@Scratch Made Food! said...

Delicious! Pinned. Thanks for sharing with Encouraging Hearts and Home Link-up! Come and join us again!

Miz Helen said...

Thanks so much for sharing your awesome post with us at Full Plate Thursday,489. Hope you have a great week and come back to see us real soon!
Miz Helen

gluten Free A_Z Blog said...

This zucchini and cheese pie does sound perfect for the summer months when there is lots of zucchini growing. We seem to be most bothered by huge squirrels this year. They are attacking my bird feeders and digging up my flower beds. We have deer, but they don't usually come into my yard. Have a good week.

UR2MuchFun said...

I LOVE this recipe. So much so that I froze 6 of them =) I am now ready to bake one of them, but I'm not sure if I thaw it first. Any suggestions? My mouth is watering just thinking about dinnertime!! Ha!!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Dear UR2MuchFun

Your email question is a "no-reply" as to the way you're registered on Blogger, so I hope you see my response here.

I never froze these pies so I'm not sure if they should be defrosted first? I guess to be on the safe side I'd defrost it almost all the way and then increase the baking time a bit. You might want to put a tray underneath as the pie might be a bit more watery after being frozen and may leak out a bit from the top in the oven.

I'm so glad you enjoyed this recipe! I love making them when summer tomatoes and zucchini are in season.

UR2MuchFun said...

Hi !!

Thanks so much for responding. I have fantastic news!! This marvelous pie freezes like a dream. No kidding!!

**A quick note...I made an extra 1/4 c sauce and froze it in a freezer bag along with the pie and 1 c of white cheddar, shredded. A tip, Take the sauce out of the bag before thawing or you will be scraping the bag with a spatula and its messy!!

It wasn't easy to find the patience not to toss it straight from freezer to oven, but I put on my big girl pants and stood my ground. Woman vs pie LOL I saw your post and I allowed it 8 hours in the fridge to thaw. I checked on it every 2 hours, mainly concerned with the liquid. I took a paper towel to it each time and that's all it needed. Until about hour 5. At that point I took it out and tilted it slightly over the sink and about 1/4 cup liquid poured out.

Baked at 375 for 30 minutes and it was still cold inside. Back in for another 30. Perfect. Covered the edges w foil, added the extra sauce I had froze along with it and a cup of white cheddar.

It held up perfectly and to be honest I was shocked at the fresh flavor explosion it packed. The veggies are not soggy or freezer burned. I did wrap it in plastic wrap and then put it into an extra large freezer bag. I purchased a bunch of deep dish pie pans to be able to freeze.

I am ecstatic that I still have 5 pies in my stash!! You made this family very happy!!!

Rena Joy

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Rena, you made me very happy! I'm so glad the pie cooked up well after being frozen and still tastes fresh! That is good to know as I will now probably make extra next summer.
Thanks for letting me know!