Lighter Zucchini Casserole

zucchini casserole

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Total Time: 60 min
Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 40 min
Servings: 8

Nutrition Highlights (per serving)

74 calories
5g fat
4g carbs
4g protein
Show Nutrition Label Hide Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving  
Calories 74
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 6%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 10mg 3%
Sodium 199mg 9%
Total Carbohydrate 4g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 2g  
Includes 0g Added Sugars 0%
Protein 4g  
Vitamin D 0mcg 0%
Calcium 107mg 8%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 205mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Vegetable casseroles are a great way to enjoy fresh produce from the farmers market or make use of a bumper crop. But they can also be loaded with cream and cheese making for a heavy and high-calorie dish.

To make this zucchini casserole recipe healthier, instead of adding cream to the sauce, it is enriched with tomatoes, onion, garlic, and herbs. The zucchini is then topped with just a bit of cheese. You may also notice the ​absence of breadcrumbs, which also helps cut down on calories.

To compensate for the breadcrumbs' job of soaking up some of the liquid the vegetables exude during cooking, this recipe calls for starting the casserole on a higher heat to dry it out a bit before adding the last of the cheese on the top to avoid over-browning or burning.

This zucchini casserole recipe works well with any kind of zucchini or green summer squash, including a combination of squashes. Zucchini varieties all have antioxidant properties and have been shown to improve heart health, eye health, and have anti-cancer benefits.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/3 cup onion, chopped (about 1/2 of a medium onion)
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3/4 pound tomatoes (fresh or canned—about a 1-pound can of whole tomatoes, drained)
  • 1 teaspoon Italian herbs
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 pound zucchini (approximately 2 medium zucchinis)
  • 1 cup Italian cheese mix, grated


  1. Heat oven to 400F.

  2. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan. Sauté the onion in the oil for 2 to 3 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for another 30 to 60 seconds, until the garlic is fragrant.

  3. Cut each tomato into 3 to 5 pieces and add to the oil, along with the herbs, salt, and pepper.

  4. Cook over medium heat until the liquid is mostly gone (but not dry), stirring occasionally—you should end up without about 1 cup of the mixture. This should take about 5 to 10 minutes.

  5. Meanwhile, cut the zucchini into slices approximately 1/4 inch thick. These can be either round slices, or lengthwise. Take the largest slices and line the bottom of a 9x9-inch or 8x8-inch pan, or a similarly-sized round pan.

  6. Spread about one-fourth of the tomatoes on top of the zucchini, followed by one-fourth of the cheese.

  7. Continue layering the sauce, zucchini, and cheese. It should come out to four even layers. Hold off on the final layer of cheese.

  8. Bake for 20 minutes. Top with the rest of the cheese, and lower the temperature to 375F. Bake for another 20 minutes, or until the cheese is golden brown.

Variations and Substitutions

You can find packaged Italian cheese blends at most grocery stores, but if you'd like to make your own, consider using a blend of mozzarella, Parmesan, Asiago, and provolone. If you'd like to reduce the total fat in this dish further, substitute low-fat or fat-free cheese. Just keep in mind that when you remove the fat, you also reduce the cheeses' melt-ability.

Cooking and Serving Tips

  • Fresh herbs can add enhanced flavor to your zucchini casserole recipe. Consider topping your casserole with chopped chives, basil, or parsley for a fresh addition.
  • Leftovers may be refrigerated for up to three days. Do not freeze zucchini—the water in the zucchini will leave a mushy texture when reheated.

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1 Source
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Martínez-Valdivieso D, Font R, Fernández-Bedmar Z, et al. Role of zucchini and its distinctive components in the modulation of degenerative processes: Genotoxicity, anti-genotoxicity, cytotoxicity and apoptotic effects. Nutrients. 2017;9(7):755. doi:10.3390/nu9070755

By Team Verywell Fit
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