Monday, August 14, 2017

Cheesy Italian zucchini & turkey casserole


Zucchini season is upon us. In this dish, zucchini is used to make a cheesy base for the casserole topped with ground turkey, spaghetti sauce, vegetables, and more cheese. You will see similar versions called a Zucchini Pizza Casserole, but to me there is nothing pizza-ish about this casserole. My version uses the same base idea, but the toppings are different. Maybe more like a spaghetti bake? I don't know. So I'm just calling this version a Cheesy Italian Zucchini & Turkey Casserole. Naming dishes can be tricky sometimes. Too wordy? Not an adequate description? Haha, I don't know. I do know that this dish was a huge hit in our family and was even completely gobbled up by two one year olds, so that's a win for me! Whatever you call it, it's delicious! It's definitely a keeper and a way to use up some of your garden's zucchini. This recipe will serve about four to five people as a main dish. Serve with a loaf of crusty bread and/or a side salad to stretch it a bit more.

We are usually inundated with zucchini at this time of year, but the odd weather has left many in our area with gardens that aren't producing as well as they usually do. So, I actually *gasp* bought zucchini from a farm stand. It almost didn't feel right!


Cheesy Italian zucchini & turkey casserole
4 cups grated unpeeled zucchini
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups grated mozzarella cheese, divided
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, divided
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lb. ground turkey (I used dark meat)
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced green pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
15 oz. of your favorite tomato pasta/spaghetti sauce
minced fresh parsley, for garnish, optional

Place the zucchini in a colander sitting in a bowl. Toss the zucchini with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and let sit for about 10 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Squeeze as much liquid as you can out of the zucchini.

Add the eggs, Parmesan, 1 cup mozzarella, 1/2 cup cheddar, and about 1/4 teaspoon of pepper to the zucchini and stir well. Evenly spread the mixture into the bottom of a 13x9-inch baking dish. Bake for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a medium skillet. Cook the turkey, onions, green pepper, and garlic until the turkey is cooked through. Drain fat, if needed. Stir in the Italian seasoning, a pinch of salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Then stir in the sauce.

Pour the mixture on top of the zucchini crust and top with the remaining mozzarella and cheddar. Bake for another 15 minutes, until the top is golden and the casserole is bubbly.

Garnish with parsley. Let cool for about 5 minutes then slice to serve.


What was I cooking one year ago?: mixed berry pie
Two years ago?: deli-style refrigerator dill pickles
Three years ago?: blueberry pie
Four years ago?: skillet zucchini biscuit pie
Five?: summer squash macaroni & cheese
Six?: Galumpkis
7?: shiitake hazelnut pate

9 comments:

  1. Pass the spoon over, pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeese?! This looks so comforting and tempting, Amy.

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  2. I will never have enough ways to use zucchini this time of year. This sounds delicious!

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  3. Ummmm,mmm! Looks and sounds delicious to me! It would be a big hit here. Thanks for sharing, Amy! And have a fun week!

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  4. Naming dishes can be hard at times, can't it? I'd just call this super good stuff and leave it at that. :-)

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  5. this is comfort food, and it doesn't need a name! fantastic mixture!

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  6. I agree with Grace - this is comfort food! Bet this would be good with some turkey I have in the freezer from a smoked turkey. I have zucchini from the garden so what a great dish for this weekend. Thanks!

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  7. This sounds so good! It looks so delicious, really like the idea of courgette and turkey together in this.

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  8. Great way to use up all that zucchini. I imagine everyone in the family would like this one, including kids. They might not even notice the zucchini!

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  9. Great weeknight dinner recipe! PINNED!

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