Thursday, August 27, 2009

Sneaky Zucchini

Buppy has been pressuring me to post this recipe since he first tasted it. I told him I wanted to wait until I had uploaded the photos of it, and now that I've accomplished this, I can post --- yay!

I found this recipe on the Taste of Home website and decided it looked like something that might be good to make for Buppy and the kids to eat while I'd be on vacation. You know how lasagna is good leftover, right? Well I decided to make this on the Tues. night (while home alone) before leaving for Wisconsin so they could have it as a meal on Wed. or Thurs. night. While not a major hit with the kids (well, the youngest started to eat it up but stopped when his older brother decided he didn't like it), Buppy thought it was fantastic. He's asked me to make it several times since then, which I haven't (sorry babe!) It's been hot outside lately, crazy hot, so maybe once it cools off a little I'll throw another batch in the oven.

I changed the recipe slightly based on what we like. The recipe called for ground beef, but since we like Italian sausage better, I subbed the sausage for the beef. I'm pretty sure I used more than half of an onion, but I'm kind of an onion freak. The recipe called for a can of 'Italian tomato sauce', but I used jarred spaghetti sauce (I keep meaning to make my own but this was quicker that night!) I also jazzed that up with some Italian seasoning and garlic, if I'm not mistaken. After all, the recipe didn't call for any garlic! How could this be? Eh, I fixed that, no worries. Lastly, it called for chopped green pepper. Neither Buppy nor I care for peppers of any color, but since we love mushrooms, why not throw some in there instead, right? And that's what I did.

I'll admit I forgot to drain the meat before adding the sauce, so mine was a little more watery than I'd hoped. It still tasted good, it just didn't hold together quite like I thought it would (my fault). To see the orginal recipe, click on the link below. The actual recipe written below is with my adaptations.

Zucchini Pizza Casserole
Recipe adapted from Taste of Home

4 c. shredded, unpeeled zucchini
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
2 c. (8 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
1 c. (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 lb. Italian sausage (I used hot)
1 medium-sized onion, chopped
1 jar (15 oz.-ish) spaghetti (or homemade) sauce
1 c. sliced fresh mushroom

Place zucchini in strainer and sprinkle with salt. Let stand for 10 minutes, then squeeze out moisture. Combine zucchini with eggs, Parmesan and half of the mozzarella and cheddar cheeses. Press into greased 13x9 baking dish and bake, uncovered, at 400F for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, cook Italian sausage, onion and mushrooms over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Add spaghetti sauce to meat mixture and spoon over zucchini mixture. Sprinkle with remaining cheeses. Bake 20 minutes longer or until heated through. Yield: 6-8 servings.

This is a really great way to get some veggies into your diet, and I think most people will enjoy this(you can't taste the zucchini). The meat could easily be dropped from this too if you've got some vegetarians you're feeding. Play with it and change ingredients to suit your family's tastes; you won't be disappointed (just ask Buppy!)

Since Buppy never even tried this the night I made it, I'm confident I can link this to Life as Mom’s URS as a 'make ahead meal.' Like I said, I think it's kind of like lasagna because it's better the second day, after all the flavors have had time to mix and mingle. Make it at the beginning of the week and enjoy a day or two later!


  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you! This was one of the tastiest meals we have ever had leftovers for. It was great. Can't wait to have it again.

  2. looks tasty to me! I love zucchini too ;)

  3. YUMMY!!! I love zucchini. I think my family will think the same. THANKS!!! Geri

  4. I think it looks and sounds wonderful - it's my kind of comfort food.


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