Any busy parent knows how hard it can be to come up with new or different dinners that are healthy, that are fast, and that actually appeal to everyone around the table. Your kids love pizza, you’re trying to avoid gluten or carbs, and your husband just wants to eat meat. Oh, and you have no time to cook! Instead of calling for carry-out, prepare one easy Dump-and-Bake Zucchini Pizza Casserole that will keep your entire family happy!
You guys, I feel like I’m on a never-ending quest to get my boys to eat their veggies (husband included)! So when I saw a recipe on Taste of Home for zucchini pizza casserole, it obviously caught my attention. What better way to get the kids to eat some greens than by combining the veggies with their #1 favorite food — pizza?!
I tweaked the original recipe to suit my busy schedule and to make it even faster. Dump-and-bake is the way to go, right!?
We love our spiralizer for making zucchini noodles, but if you don’t own a spiralizer or if you really want this to be dump-and-go with no prep, then you can usually purchase zucchini noodles (“zoodles”) in the produce or deli section at a grocery store. That’s a shortcut that will make this pizza casserole even faster (and who doesn’t want that?)!
The cool thing about this dish is that it tastes just like pizza, but there’s no bread/dough/flour involved. Instead, you create a crust with the zucchini, egg, and cheese…and it’s seriously GOOD.
My boys were a bit skeptical when I originally introduced them to this concept. No surprise there, right? Tell 3-, 5-, and 7-year-olds that they’re eating a zucchini-crusted pizza casserole and eyes start to roll. But, when they smelled the pizza casserole baking in the oven, and then when they saw it on their plates, they were completely sold! The boys all gave this dinner two thumbs up and a stamp of approval. And according to Gibbs, “you don’t even taste the zucchini!” And that’s actually true.
This is one more dump-and-bake dinner to add to your weeknight repertoire that will keep each of your finicky eaters happy and healthy this year! Enjoy!
- 4 cups “zoodles” (zucchini noodles) (I used about 3 small zucchinis)*
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
- 14 ounces pizza sauce
- 15 slices turkey pepperoni
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a 13x9-inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
- Place zucchini in a colander, sprinkle with salt, and allow to sit for about 10 minutes (this will help draw out some of the water from the zucchini). After 10 minutes, squeeze out moisture from the zucchini.
- In the prepared dish, combine zucchini, eggs, Parmesan cheese, 1 cup of mozzarella cheese, and ½ cup of cheddar cheese. I like to use my hands to make sure that it’s all completely combined, and then press the mixture into the baking dish like a crust.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- Top cooked zucchini with pizza sauce, pepperoni, and remaining cheese.
- Bake for another 15 minutes, or until heated through and cheese is melted.
- *If you don’t have a spiralizer, or if you want a shortcut, you can purchase zucchini noodles in the produce section at a lot of grocery stores. Alternatively, you can use about 4 cups of grated zucchini.
Recipe adapted from Taste of Home.
Cooking for Two? You can easily cut this recipe in half and prepare it in an 8-inch square baking dish. You might also like to make a full recipe, but divide the ingredients between two 8-inch square baking dishes, freezing one of the dishes for a later use. For freezing instructions, see below.
Want to Prep Ahead or Freeze this Meal? You can prepare the zucchini crust early in the day and then just top the crust and bake it for dinner later on. Alternatively, if you would like to freeze the meal, you can bake the dish in the oven as directed, allow it to cool completely, and then cover tightly. Place in the freezer until ready to serve. To thaw the frozen dish, allow the casserole to partially thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Thirty minutes before baking, remove the casserole from the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temp. Uncover and bake at 350 degrees F until heated through.