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Budinca de Dovlecei – Zucchini Pie

Budinca de Dovlecei – Zucchini Pie

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Budinca de Dovlecei is a traditional Romanian food that is similar to crustless zucchini quiche. The difference is less eggs, more vegetables, and a lot more cheese.

In order to pack a lot of zucchini into the recipe, the vegetables are shredded. Excess water is squeezed out of the zucchini and then mixed with sour cream, eggs, and a mixture of 4 cheeses (ricotta, Swiss, mozzarella and cheddar).
A fifth cheese, parmesan, is added as a topping before the pie is baked until golden brown.
Zucchini pie with ham (Budinca de Dovlecei)
 Along with the blend of cheeses, we decided to add chunks of ham to our zucchini pie for a little extra texture and a hint of smokiness.
It isn’t a necessary ingredient, but personally after having it this way I wouldn’t make it without the ham.
Budinca de Dovlecei can be eaten either hot or cold. It’s perfect for breakfast, lunch or as a light dinner. 
Because the excess moisture has been removed from the dish, it doesn’t become soggy even after being in the refrigerator for a few days, so you can make it ahead. 

Here are some additional Eastern European dishes that you might enjoy!

Yield: 8

Budinca de Dovlecei

Zucchini and Cheese Pie

Budinca de Dovlecei is a traditional Romanian zucchini pie. It is similar to a crustless zucchini quiche featuring eggs, grated zucchini, ham and plenty of cheese.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Additional Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes


  • 3 medium or 1.5 kg. Zucchini (6 cups shredded)
  • 1/2 cup (100 g sour cream)
  • 1/2 Cup (100 g) Ricotta Cheese
  • 2 tablespoons (28g) flour 
  • 4 eggs 
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) Feta Cheese Crumbled
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) Swiss Cheese
  • 1/4 Cup (50g) Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/2 cup (100g) Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1 cup (200g) cooked ham cut in small cubes 
  • 2 green onions diced
  • 1 small bunch chopped fresh Parsley or fresh Dill
  • 2 tablespoons (28g) breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon Butter
  • 2 Cherry Tomatoes (as a garnish)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Pepper


  1. Wash and grate the zucchini. Set a handful aside.
  2. Lightly salt the remaining zucchini and toss. Place in a covered dish in the refrigerator for 30 minutes
  3. Remove the zucchini from the fridge and press it in a cheese cloth or kitchen towel to remove excess water.
  4. In another bowl combine the sour cream, eggs, garlic, flour, salt and pepper
  5. Gently fold in the ricotta, feta, cheddar and Swiss cheese
  6. Fold in the green onion, fresh dill or parsley and the drained zucchini.
  7. Coat a shallow baking dish butter and evenly disperse the bread crumbs around the top and sides of the dish.
  8. Spread the zucchini and cheese mixture into the baking dish
  9. Cover the top with the remaining mozzarella and parmesan cheese and evenly spread the handful of zucchini that was set aside and cherry tomato slices.
  10. Cover with foil
  11. Bake in a preheated oven at 190 degrees C (375 F) for 30 minutes.
  12. Remove the foil, and continue baking until the center is set and the cheese is golden brown.
  13. Allow to rest for 15 minutes before serving.


Budinca de Dovlecei will last up to five days in the refrigerator, and can be frozen as well.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 303Total Fat 17gSaturated Fat 9gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 6gCholesterol 133mgSodium 552mgCarbohydrates 19gFiber 5gSugar 10gProtein 22g

Nutritional values are estimates and will vary depending on the specific ingredients used

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