Healthy Zucchini Casserole
Have fun improvising with this healthy zucchini casserole recipe. It’s an easy gluten-free and low-carb recipe to bring to a potluck and it only takes about 15 minutes to get it ready for the oven! Plus you can make it ahead so it’s great for summer entertaining too.
Why We Love This Recipe
It’s a great way to use summer fresh zucchini!
On Wednesday I asked on Facebook which you’d prefer to see here next, either peach and blueberry crisp or zucchini casserole. Hands down the votes for the zucchini casserole won. I guess the timing is right and I’m not the only one looking for something easy, delicious and healthy to make with all those zucchinis!
It isn’t watery!
This casserole is made with corn tortillas (only four of them) to help absorb the liquid that zucchini emits as its cooked. So if you’ve ever had a watery zucchini casserole, then you will love the fact that this one isn’t at all!
It can be made ahead!
This recipe is great to make ahead because you can assemble it and then pop it in the fridge. Then bake it when you are ready so it is great for serving to a crowd and there is no last minute fussing to prepare it!
It is healthier!
This recipe doesn’t have loads of breadcrumbs or stuffing to absorb the liquid, just a few (whole grain) tortillas, which only contribute nominal carbs (5 net carbs per serving.)
Plus there is sharp cheddar cheese in it to make it oh so delicious, but overall each serving only has 139 calories. It is the perfect balance of cheesy delicious casserole to make zucchini utterly irresistible and healthy enough that it can be enjoyed as a vegetable side dish any night of the week.
Ingredients For This Recipe
You will need a whopping two and a half pounds zucchini to make this recipe (which is about three and a half small to medium.) So if you have summer ripe zucchini from the market or garden, this is a great recipe to hold onto to use up a lot of zucchini!
Cut the ends off and then slice them into 1/4-inch thick rounds.
Look for Sharp or Extra-sharp cheddar cheese. It has the strongest cheesy flavor so that you can get away with using only 6 ounces of shredded cheese and each bite still has a great cheese tang to it.
As I said, the corn tortillas are a great whole grain ingredient to add to absorb all of the liquid that the zucchini let off as they cook. Cut them into wedges to layer them into the casserole.
I do not recommend using flour tortillas as they become slippery and have an unpleasant texture when baked into this casserole.
If you would like a grain free alternative, you can omit the tortillas all together, and use a slotted spoon, or layer in your favorite gluten-free tortillas instead.
The easiest way to give this zucchini casserole flavor with only one ingredient was to add green salsa. It is like one stop shopping for easy taste and flavor. It has spices, a bit of heat and it pairs well with the tortillas, giving this a decidedly Mexican vibe!
If you like less spicy food, try a mild salsa or use two small cans of mild chopped green chiles plus two teaspoons of ground cumin instead.
We always grow a ton of scallions in our garden so they seemed like the perfect way to add allium flavor to this casserole. You can also use thinly sliced onion (any color would be great) or chives instead.
How To Make Zucchini Casserole
Step 1: Coat the casserole dish with cooking spray and layer in half of the tortillas wedges. This will help to absorb the liquid from the zucchini.
Step 2: Layer on half each of the zucchini, scallions, salt, cheese and salsa.
Step 3: Repeat with a second layer of the ingredients, but do not add the second half of the cheese. Otherwise it will stick to the foil. Cover the casserole with foil (this helps it bake evenly.) Bake 1 hour or until the zucchini is softened.
Step 4: Remove the foil and add on the remaining cheese. Bake to melt the cheese for 7 minutes or so.
Serving Tips and Suggestions
Make sure to let the casserole cool for about 10 minutes to set up before you cut into it.
If you like you can top it with more scallions. Or if you like cilantro, add some chopped cilantro on top too.
We like the way this recipe tastes with Barbecued Chicken, or Burgers. For a vegetarian Mexican inspired meal, make this Mexican Corn Salad or this Mexican Bean Salad or this Quinoa Salad with Black Beans and then make a batch of Mescal Margaritas or Micheladas! Don’t forget the Guacamole and Pico de gallo and chips!
If you love Mexican inspired casseroles, also make sure to check out this Mexican Casserole with chicken and tomato sauce, my easy chicken enchiladas and top them off with this Corn Salsa I shared on Endless Meal this month.
FAQs and Expert Tips
No. The cell structure of zucchini is too fragile and the water content is too high. The casserole will become very watery if it is frozen before or after baking.
Here at Healthy Seasonal Recipes, we classify recipes that have 9 grams of carbs or less to be “low carb.” This recipe has 9 grams total carbs and 2 grams of fiber, giving it a total of 7 grams net carbs. As always ,we say to double check on your own any nutritional analysis and check with your doctor when following a low carb or keto diet.
The leftovers for this can be reheated in the microwave. Portion out what you want to heat and microwave for about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes per serving for a 1200 watt microwave. In the oven, cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees until steaming hot and an instant read thermometer inserted into the center of the casserole reads above 145 degrees F (about 25 minutes.)
Alternative Ingredients and Ways To This Zucchini Casserole
This is one of those recipes that I hope you’ll be inspired by but then you’ll make it your own and improvise however you want. It is pretty hard to mess it up.
- Feel free to add more salsa or more cheese.
- Or use yellow squash instead.
- Adding fresh corn cut off the cob or cilantro to this would be a no-brainer.
- If you aren’t a corn tortilla person you can leave them out, but I like the way they help absorb the moisture from the zucchini so the casserole isn’t watery.
- If you want to make this recipe grain free skip them, no worries just serve it with a slotted spoon.
- Or to make it more substantial you could add in black beans or cooked shredded chicken.
- Thinning out some classic basil pesto and using that in place of the salsa would also be killer.
Oh, man! The sky’s the limit!
More Zucchini Recipes To Try
- My Zucchini Chocolate Chip Bread is one of my all time favorite baking recipes. Or there is also this lower sugar and healthy Zucchini Oat Bread which is a great kid friendly snack!
- For a 30 minute vegetarian dinner, make this Ratatouille with goat cheese and pine nuts.
- Making grilled zucchini is actually super simple, just keep a few things in mind.
- If you’re too hot to cook, these No-cook Zucchini Noodles with Pesto are a lifesaver!
- This recipe for Fried Zucchini Chips is the perfect veggie appetizer!
- You can use zucchini instead of summer squash to make this recipe for Grilled Stuffed Summer Squash Boats !
- I have my eye on this Gluten-free Zucchini Bread too!
Thanks so much for reading. If you are new here you may want to sign up for my free weekly email newsletter or follow me on instagram. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It is very appreciated. Happy Cooking! ~KatiePrint
This Healthy Zucchini Casserole is an easy gluten-free and low-carb recipe to bring to a potluck and it only takes about 15 minutes to prep!
- 4 6-inch corn tortillas, cut into wedges
- 2 ½ pounds zucchini, cut into half moons
- 1 cup chopped green onions or scallions plus more for garnish
- ½ cup green salsa
- ½ teaspoon coarse kosher salt
- 6 ounces shredded cheddar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9 by 13-inch or similar sized baking dish with cooking spray.
- Spread half of the tortilla wedges in the bottom of the baking dish. Top with half of the zucchini, green onions, salsa and salt. Cover with half of the cheese. Repeat with another layer of tortillas, zucchini, green onion, salsa and salt. Refrigerate the remaining cheese for step three. Cover the casserole in foil.
- Bake until the zucchini is tender, 55 minutes to an hour. Remove foil and top with the remaining cheese and return to the oven. Bake until the cheese is melted, 7 to 10 minutes. Let casserole rest for about 20 minutes before serving garnished with more green onion.
Can be prepared through step 2 up to 8 hours in advance. Keep in refrigerator. Continue with step 3 adding additional time before adding cheese if necessary to compensate for the fact that it was cold going into the oven.
- Serving Size: 2/3 cup
- Calories: 139
- Sodium: 390
- Fat: 7
- Carbohydrates: 9
- Fiber: 2
- Protein: 8
FROM THE ARCHIVES: