When the garden is booming with zucchini this zucchini cheese casserole is a great way to have a quick & easy dinner. It is like a lasagna without the beef and egg. You can add as much cheese or a little as your family likes. I wanted to have the richness of a good baked Italian lasagna but without the meat and pasta. This combination of just pasta sauce with three Italian cheese is a perfect vegetable version.
Each year when we plant our garden Jim tells me we only need one zucchini plant and I insist we at least need two. Then when July and August roll around we have more zucchini than we can eat. But this year I am determined to get all the good nutrition out of every zucchini.
Too Much Water in the Zucchini
The first problem I ran into was having the dish too watery. So I did what every modern cook does, I googled how to remove water from zucchini and came up with the perfect solution. I first inclination was to bake slices in the oven and I discovered that many other cooks felt this worked well for them.
I peeled and sliced the zucchini, placed it on a foil lined baking sheet, and baked on convection at 400° for 30 minutes. Next turned off the oven and opened the door, leaving the zucchini in the oven while I prepared my baking dish. This second Casserole was a perfect consistency of vegetables to spaghetti sauce without being watery.
My cheesy zucchini casserole is not an exact science. Depending on how big your zucchini is and how many you have will determine a lot of the proportions. I found I used a half a ball of Mozzarella cheese and half a container ricotta was perfect for my baking dish. You can also experiment with the amount of basil and oregano you add depending on your taste.
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- Casserole Pan Large like this one
- Baking Sheet
- Spaghetti Sauce Little Italy (one of the best)
Step by Step Layering:
Have fun with this recipe. You can make your layers any way you want and change up any added vegetables.
- 4 sm or 2 medium or 1 very large Zucchini peeled & sliced
- 1 small onion sliced thin
- 1 (32 oz) Jar spaghetti sauce
- 1/2 Ball of light Mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 container of Ricotta cheese
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
- Fresh or dried Basil
- Fresh or dried Oregano
- Prepare the zucchini to remove some of the water.
- Line 2 large baking sheets with aluminum foil, and spray oil. Peel and slice your zucchini, and if you have a large zucchini remove some of the seeds. Arrange the zucchini in a single layer on the baking sheets and turn the oven onto 400°. Bake the zucchini for 25 to 30 minutes to remove most of the excess moisture.
- In a large 13 x 9 baking dish, spray with cooking oil.
- Layer a thin layer of spaghetti sauce at the bottom of the pan, arrange a single layer of zucchini.
- Layer the ricotta cheese and shred some of the mozzarella cheese. You can now add as much basil and oregano as you would like. Also, add a little onion with each layer. Layer some of the spaghetti sauce, then continue to layer the zucchini, ricotta and mozzarella cheese and sauce. Top with spaghetti sauce and then sprinkle on the parmesan cheese.
- Bake at 430 degrees for 30 min uncovered.
- Prep Time: 60
- Cook Time: 30
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 8
Keywords: Cheese Zucchini Casserole