Friday, June 22, 2012

Zucchini Pizza Casserole--This One Deserves a Second Look

My apologies for this late and unoriginal post.  Robbie and I have been sick since last weekend and this bug just won't go away.  Consequently, new posts are not on the top of my priority list right now.  I thought I'd bring back one of my past zucchini recipes, since zucchini is coming in here.  This is a great way to get your kids to eat zucchini and use up the abundance of your garden.  I have a bunch of great posts waiting in the wings---hopefully I'll be able to get them finished up for next week.

I was browsing through our Near to Nothing Great Grandmother’s cookbook a couple weeks ago when I found this recipe for zucchini pizza casserole.  Since zucchini and ground beef were on sale, I just had to try it!  The results?  Delicious!  Keanna, who normally doesn’t eat anything with zucchini in it, asked for seconds!

One great thing about this recipe is that it is gluten-free.  For those of you who do not normally cook GF, a few words of caution if you are serving this to someone with gluten allergies.  Though you would not suspect it, gluten can be hiding in ingredients that you would think are GF.  For example, pre-shredded cheese is often coated with flour or other floury powder to keep it from sticking.  Simply buy cheese in a block and shred it yourself to ensure that it is GF.  Also, be sure the sauce you choose is GF.

If you are wary of trying to pass off zucchini on your family, you could probably substitute shredded potatoes for the zucchini.  I haven’t actually tried this yet, but it seems like it would work.  In that case, you probably wouldn’t need to squeeze the liquids out, but you would still want to add the salt for flavor.

Zucchini Pizza Casserole
4 c. zucchini, shredded
½ tsp. salt
2 eggs
½ c. grated Parmesan cheese
2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 lb. ground beef
½ large onion, chopped
2 c. pizza or spaghetti sauce (or 1 can tomato sauce, 1 tsp. basil, ½ tsp. oregano, ½ tsp. garlic powder, ½ tsp. salt, and a few dashes pepper)
1 medium green pepper, chopped

Preheat oven to 400°.  Place zucchini in strainer over bowl; sprinkle with salt.  Let stand 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, break up eggs in medium bowl.  Mix in Parmesan cheese, 1 c. mozzarella cheese, and ½ c. cheddar cheese.

Squeeze moisture out of zucchini; mix into egg and cheese mixture.

Press into greased 9”X13” baking dish.  Bake 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, brown ground beef and onions.  Drain off grease; stir in sauce (and seasonings if needed).  

Spoon over baked zucchini mixture.

Top with remaining cheeses and sprinkle with green pepper.  Bake an additional 20 minutes.


Dana said...

That sounds amazing! Have you tried freezing this recipe?

Sumiko said...

I haven't tried it. One of my friends was recently asking about that. If she tries it, I'll let you know how it turns out!

Normally zucchini doesn't freeze well, but I'm inclined to think it might work because you've removed a lot of the water.

solaristrance said...

i made this on 8/4/15 and it was SOOOOO good! i julienne cut the zucchini, instead of shredding it. The slightly larger pieces did not need to drain any moisture,skipping the draining step shortened the prep time. Also did not mix the sauce with the meat, but put the sauce down first then layered the meat, then cheese. everyone LOVED it!

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