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Cheesy Vegetable Tian in a white ruffled pie plate

Cheesy Vegetable Tian

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You know this Cheesy Vegetable Tian is extremely tasty when the picky hubby didn’t even complain about the zucchini!

This combination of summer squash, tomatoes and potatoes makes a stunning presentation and the sprinkle of cheeses assists in creating an unforgettable side dish!

Cheesy Vegetable Tian in a white pie plate

Cheesy Vegetable Tian

Our Progressive Eats theme for this month was winter squash recipes, but I sort of missed the ball. I used summer squash, zucchini and yellow squash, to make this Cheesy Vegetable Tian. No butternut or acorn squash, pumpkin or hubbard squash in sight.

This tian did make a terrific side dish, one which would be wonderful on your Thanksgiving table. Of course, if you’re dying for a winter squash recipe, I have this arugula salad with roasted butternut squash  and these roasted autumn vegetables that are both incredibly delicious!

Cheesy Vegetable Tian baked in a fluted white pie plate

Tips for Making a Tian

Before I give you a few tips, you may be wondering what the word “tian” means. It’s a French term for an earthenware dish, that’s usually glazed on the inside only. I obviously used a pie plate which works fine in a pinch as most folks don’t own a real-life tian. The real deal flares out from the base, like a “truncated cone,” according to Wikipedia.

The culinary dish “tian” was named after the vessel in which one cooks chopped vegetables in oil, then sprinkles them with cheese. Here’s where I went rouge again! The onions are chopped and sauteed in olive oil a la traditional tian. But the vegetables (and fruit if you want to categorize the tomatoes properly) are sliced, then drizzled with oil, topped with cheese and baked.

  • Find any baking dish you’d like to make this tian. Depending on its size, you may need more or less ingredients.
  • I planned on having all my veggies standing upright, but I did not have enough, so I layered them in concentric circles, overlapping as needed.
  • Aim to purchase vegetables of a similar diameter so they look nice when sliced and arranged. It was impossible to find small enough potatoes, so I did have to cut a few slices in half. Using new potatoes instead of russets is another option.
  • Slice your vegetables into consistent thicknesses. I did slice the potatoes a bit thinner as they take longer to cook. When the potatoes are tender, the vegetable tian is finished cooking.
  • Covering the tian with foil will help the veggies cook without drying out the cheese. If you’d like the cheese to brown, just pull off the foil for the last 5 minutes or so of cooking time.
  • Alternatively, turn on the broiler very briefly before pulling out of the oven. Always watch carefully when broiling.

Cheesy Vegetable Terrine before and after collageProgressive Eats Logo

If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, a progressive dinner involves going from house to house, enjoying a different course at each location. With Progressive Eats it’s a virtual party. A theme is chosen each month, members share recipes suitable for a delicious meal or party, and you can hop from blog to blog to check them out. Come along and see all of the delicious summer dishes!

Welcome to Progressive Eats, our virtual version of a Progressive Dinner Party. This month features a bunch of recipes for winter squash, and one for a perennial favorite of summer squash that’s good to have in your back pocket all year long. Our host this month is Susan who blogs at The Wimpy Vegetarian.

Comforting Squash Dishes



  • Cheesy Vegetable Tian from That Skinny Chick Can Bake






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Cheesy Vegetable Tian

Cheesy Vegetable Tian

A stunning side dish with slices of tomatoes, two kinds of summer squash and potatoes baked with cheese and onions.

  • Author: Liz Berg
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Vegetables, Side Dish
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: French, French-American


2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 large yellow onion, cut in half and thinly sliced

12 cloves of garlic, minced

12 zucchinis, sliced about 1/4-inch thick

12 yellow squash, sliced about 1/4-inch thick

1 medium russet potato, sliced about 1/8-inch thick (aim for a narrow diameter potato)

23 plum tomatoes, sliced about 1/4-inch thick

Fresh thyme or dried Italian seasoning

1/4 cup grated cheese, Gruyere or Mozzarella

Shredded Parmesan

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste (at least 1/2 teaspoon salt)


Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a large saute pan. Heat on medium and add onions, then garlic. Add a couple pinches of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are tender.

Spray a large pie plate or oven safe dish with non-stick cooking spray. Add onion mixture to bottom of pan. Set aside.

Start arranging sliced vegetables over the onions in a spiral from the outside working towards the middle. Alternate one of each vegetable and repeat. Try to match similar sized slices as you layer.

Make adjustments after all vegetables are in the pan so they’re dispersed evenly, then sprinkle with Italian seasoning,  salt and pepper. Top with cheese and cover with foil. Bake for 40 minutes or until a knife can easily pierce the potato slices.

If you’d like your cheese to brown slightly, broil for a minute or two, watching carefully.

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26 comments on “Cheesy Vegetable Tian”

  1. It looks so GOOD! Wish I could find some yellow squashes here…

  2. Very-very pretty! This would even have my boys saying ‘wow’:@)

  3. It looks delicious, Liz! Hard to beat a dish with all these good ingredients. Plus, it’s filled with color too! Thanks for the recipe.

  4. Such a pretty combination of colors and delicious combination of flavors! I could enjoy this for a meal! 

  5. Perfect side dish for the holidays. So pretty for the table too. Progressive dinners are so much fun can’t wait to visit them all.

  6. I love how colorful this is and pretty to serve for the holiday table or all summer long its bursting with fresh flavors and love that cheese!

  7. That is funny my first thought when I saw your dish was ‘summer’, which I would love to have again right now! Your tian is really beautiful and glad Bill liked it lol.

  8. This is so pretty Liz! I love a little summer in our winter party!!

  9. What a beautiful dish! I had to laugh because I get the same response from John and then he turns around and likes it. All of the colors topped with cheese? Nothing is missing in this dish!

  10. Love this recipe! So delicious.

  11. Lizzy I love this vegetabkle tart looks delicious!

  12. I’ve made Julia Child’s tian, which is delicious but takes a boatload of work. This one looks so much simpler and just as delicious. I love how the colors on this one peek out on the sides of the squash. Hoping to try it soon.

  13. I love this combination of textures and flavors and its flexibility to be made all year long. Great choice Liz! I’ll bet Delicata squash would be good in this too – I’ll have to give that a try!

  14. This would make a wonderful side dish. I love the fresh vegetables in this dish.

  15. Love the colourful dish, dear! Very pretty indeed! xoxo

  16. Yum, this is the perfect side dish for year-round enjoyment. My family loved it! 

  17. This would make a colorful addition to thanksgiving 

  18. This is the perfect side to go with anything and everything! So pretty too – such a great recipe. Thanks! Pinning 🙂

  19. Squash is so versatile! I could definitely see subbing some thinly sliced butternut squash for the summer squash. Thanks for the great idea!

  20. OH I have never made anything quite like this. Definitely have to try it – make a beautiful presentation but really isn’t fussy at all. Terrific idea.

  21. This is beautiful. I don’t think I’m patient enough to do all of this. It’s a bit too tedious for me! But it’s certainly a pretty presentation.

  22. Tians are so good and so pretty and SO fun to eat! Of course being a lover of squash and potatoes makes this no problem for me!

  23. This is a great dish all year round!!! I make a similar casserole but have never layers it in such a gorgeous way. I can’t wait to do this!!

  24. Tian, is a new term for me but I think this is a unique side for the upcoming holidays. I love that it comes together quickly.

  25. Pingback: Pumpkin Bars with Maple Frosting and Toasted Walnuts | Creative Culinary

  26. Pingback: Roasted Delicata Squash with Pomegranate Molasses - OMG! Yummy

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