Garden Zucchini Pizza Casserole

This is another recipe from the great arsenal that my grandma has saved over the years. This particular recipe notes that it came from Ann, who is my grandma’s cousin. I love that so many of those old recipes take full advantage of the vast bounty that came out of their gardens. And as anyone who has ever grown zucchini knows, towards the end of summer the zucchini takes off. As a result, my grandma has oodles of zucchini recipes, which I have enjoyed sharing with you throughout the summer. This last one is a delicious fusion of a vegetarian pizza and vegetarian lasagna.

You first start off with a “crust” that is made up of shredded zucchini, eggs and cheese. It bakes up like a thin little souffle.

While it’s in the oven you saute some vegetables and stir in tomato sauce.

Spread that mixture on top of the “crust” and then top with more cheese and give it a final bake.

A delicious cross between a pizza, casserole and lasagna. A great way to get those fresh summer veggies into your next meal. It may not be the prettiest dish to photograph, but it sure is delicious!

One year ago: Lemon Bars
Two years ago: Lemon-Limoncello Cupcakes

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Zucchini Pizza Casserole

Ingredients:

For the "Crust":

4 cups shredded zucchini

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup shredded cheddar cheese

½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese

2 eggs, lightly beaten


For the Toppings:

1 pound ground beef*

1 cup chopped green pepper

½ chopped onion

2 small cans mushroom stems & pieces

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

¼ teaspoon dried oregano

15-oz can tomato sauce

½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese


Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.


2. Sprinkle the shredded zucchini with the salt and let stand for 10 minutes. Drain well until dry (I squeeze my zucchini out in a clean kitchen towel).


3. Stir together the zucchini, shredded cheddar and mozzarella cheeses and the eggs. Once combined, spread the mixture onto the bottom of a 9x13-inch pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until set and golden brown in spots.


4. Meanwhile, brown the ground beef along with the onions and pepper until the beef is cooked through and the vegetables are soft. Stir in the mushrooms, garlic powder and dried oregano. Let simmer together for about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the tomato sauce.


5. Spoon the filling onto the prepared zucchini "crust" and top with the shredded mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. Return to the oven for an additional 10 to 20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.


*Note: Ground beef is optional. It's in the original recipe, but I made this without it because my sister is a vegetarian. If you do make it with the beef, the filling will be thicker and set up a little more, sort of like a high lasagna.


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