A very tasty zucchini casserole that has all the wonderful flavors of pizza without the grains and extra carbs.
I love zucchini! It's such a fresh-tasting vegetable. I really disliked it as a kid, but I think that was because I mostly ate it simply boiled, which is certainly not the best way to cook it.
This tasty, cheesy casserole gives you a delicious pizza-like experience while remaining keto and gluten-free. It's one of my favorite ways to enjoy zucchini while it's in season.
The ingredients you'll need
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this tasty zucchini casserole. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
Olive oil spray: This is my favorite oil. It is so flavorful! But if you're unsure about cooking with it, you can use avocado oil instead. It has a higher smoke point.
Fresh zucchini: Try to pick firm zucchini with smooth, dark green skin.
Kosher salt and black pepper: If using fine salt, reduce the amount you use, or the casserole could end up too salty.
Marinara sauce: It's best to use a sugar-free sauce such as Rao's. Needless to say, if you have homemade sauce, that would be perfect.
Spices: I like to use dried oregano and garlic powder. Make sure the spices you use are fresh! A stale spice can easily ruin a dish.
Cheeses: I use shredded mozzarella and grated Parmesan in this recipe.
How to make zucchini casserole
It's an easy recipe! The detailed instructions are in the recipe card below. Here are the basic steps:
Salt the zucchini slices to remove excess liquid. While this step is annoying, you really shouldn't skip it.
Mix the drained zucchini slices with marinara sauce, spices, and shredded cheese.
Transfer the mixture to a greased baking dish and sprinkle the top with some more cheese.
Bake the casserole until browned and bubbly, about 30 minutes in a 400°F oven.
You really do need to salt the zucchini
This is an easy recipe, but one step that you should not skip is salting and draining the zucchini. This step is not hard to do. It just requires patience, and it's important. It helps get rid of excess water and keeps the casserole from becoming soggy.
I don't like zucchini. Will I like this casserole?
Well, obviously I think this zucchini casserole is delicious! But I love zucchini. However, I do have a very picky eater at home who has a hard time with many vegetables, zucchini included. This recipe is one of the only ways to get her to eat zucchini. So give it a try! Who knows, you might be pleasantly surprised.
A possible substitution
Sometimes I replace the marinara sauce with the same amount (1 cup) of sour cream. The rest of the recipe remains exactly the same. It creates a different flavor profile - milder and creamier. I do like the marinara sauce version better. But sometimes it's nice to try something a little different.
How to serve zucchini casserole?
It makes an excellent side dish to almost any main course you can think of. I often serve it with one of the following main dishes:
- Pan-fried sole
- Pork rind crusted pork chop
- Gluten-free chicken tenders
- Baked chicken meatballs
- Spicy chicken drumsticks
What about leftovers?
You can keep leftovers of this zucchini casserole in the fridge, in an airtight container, for about 3 days. Reheat them gently, in the microwave on 50% power. They are also surprisingly good when eaten cold!
Other zucchini recipes that you might enjoy
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- Olive oil spray
- 6 medium zucchini (2 lb.)
- 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- 1 cup marinara sauce
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 ½ cups shredded mozzarella , divided (6 oz)
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a square 2-quart baking dish with olive oil spray.
- Slice the unpeeled zucchinis into ½-inch thick slices. Sprinkle with the salt. Place in a colander and allow to drain at room temperature for 30 minutes. This step helps prevent a watery casserole.
- Transfer the drained zucchini to a large bowl. Add the marinara sauce, black pepper, dried oregano, garlic powder, and 1 cup mozzarella. Mix everything together.
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella and with the Parmesan. Bake uncovered until the cheese is bubbly and browned, about 30 minutes.
- Let the casserole rest for 10 minutes before serving. Like all casseroles, this zucchini casserole tastes best when warm or at room temperature.