Italian Zucchini Casserole

August 7, 2020 (Last Updated: August 12, 2020) - As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Zucchini is such a great Summer vegetable and when it starts showing up in the garden, you can be sure a bunch more will follow. This Italian Zucchini Casserole is a great and tasty way to make use of your garden bounty or just enjoy some great zucchini. This is an easy casserole dish that celebrates fresh vegetables and can be on your dinner table in just under an hour. Try out my Italian Zucchini Casserole today.

Bowl of Italian Zucchini Casserole in a white dish with spoon.

Italian Zucchini Casserole Summary

This recipe has four components. First, the star of the show is the zucchini. Chopped up zucchinis make the dish. We cut these up into bite-sized morsels and they are cooked in the oven with the rest of the ingredients. 

Second, macaroni noodles. These are almost cooked per the package instructions. We subtract one minute of time from cooking the noodles, as they will be baked in the oven and complete cooking there. 

Third, we add our sauce. We are making a mornay sauce that is made with mozzarella cheese and then mixed in. While the zucchini is the star, this sauce is a close second and helps bring the entire dish together.

The first three ingredients are mixed together in a casserole dish and then the fourth component tops it off. We add a mixture of Italian breadcrumbs and mozzarella to top it off. This topping mixture helps bring a little crunch and more flavor to the dish.

Then, we add it all to the oven and let it bake! You might use a few pots and pans with this recipe, but it really is simple and a short 30-minute bake finishes this recipe off.

Zucchini Size

The recipe calls for three small zucchini. If you have spent time in a garden, you know how gigantic a zucchini can get. You don’t want anything close to the monsters that can be pulled out of a garden. We are using zucchini that are about the size of a normal cucumber. Perhaps 6-8 inches long and they don’t need to be that thick

Ultimately, this is going to be a little bit of a visual exercise for you. Use what you want to eat, knowing that this recipe is four servings. Don’t use the monster zucchinis and use the smaller ones!

Chopped zucchini on a cutting board.
This shows about the size of the chopped zucchini, both each individual morsel and also about the total amount being used.

Mornay Sauce for Casserole

We make a basic mornay sauce, but use mozzarella cheese instead of gruyere and parmesan. The sauce is very simple to make and you can use it for so much more than this recipe. We have used similar sauces for our Classic Cauliflower Au Gratin recipe and our Easy Macaroni and Cheese recipe.

The technique is very simple. Melt some butter in a saucepan and then stir in some flour to make a paste-like substance. Mix in whole milk and stir to make sure the dairy doesn’t scorch on the bottom of the pan. We are heating the sauce at medium-high at this point and continuing to stir. About the time that the mixture starts to bubble, you should notice it starting to thicken. 

Sauce pan with butter and flour being mixed into a paste.
Making a roux. Make sure to stir so that the roux does not scald and you will want to continue while you stir the mixture.

It will become a thick sauce at this point and you can stir in the cheese. We are using mozzarella, but other cheeses will work. The cheese will melt into the sauce and cause it to thicken even more and give it that nice cheesy flavor.

Once thickened, remove from heat and you can mix in seasoning. I mix in salt, pepper, and just a dash of cayenne. You could add other seasonings if you want to experiment.

Saucepan with completed mornay sauce and a wooden spoon in the dish.
This is the completed sauce once it has been removed from the heat and once salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper has been added.

Baking The Casserole

After we cook the noodles and sauce, we mix most of the ingredients together and then add to a casserole dish. I use a deep 2.5 quart Corningware Casserole dish [AFFILIATE LINK]. I recommend the deeper casserole dish, as this is quite the bulky dish. Between the noodles and zucchini, this recipe is quite substantive. 

Dish where zucchini, macaroni, and cheese sauce are being mixed with a wooden spoon.
Mixing all of the non-topping ingredients together just before adding it to our casserole dish.

After the mixed ingredients are added to the casserole dish, we add the remaining cheese and Italian Bread Crumbs to the top. While I am using Progresso’s Italian Breadcrumbs in this dish, you could also go all out and make your own breadcrumbs

White casserole dish with pre-baked ingredients, including zucchini casserole, cheese, and bread crumbs
Pre-baked casserole ready for the oven.

Thirty minutes in the oven and you will have a tasty Italian Zucchini Casserole ready to go! A delicious and easy dinner.

Italian Zucchini Casserole Tips

  • Use your best judgment on zucchini sizes, but I used small zucchinis in my recipe. 
  • The sauce by itself is a bit powerful in terms of salt and pepper, but once it is mixed with the noodles and zucchini, it is balanced. That said, add to your taste.
  • Use a deeper casserole dish for the best results.
  • When making the sauce, make sure to continue stirring to prevent scalding.

Products Used in this Recipe

Overhead picture of two bowls of Italian Zucchini Casserole and a casserole dish that has some removed.

Did you make this recipe?

Awesome! Let me know how it went in the comments area below and leave a rating. It is always great to see someone try out my recipes and I love to get feedback. If you liked it, also consider sharing it on your Pinterest or Facebook so other people can enjoy the love!

Print

Italian Zucchini Casserole

Bowl of Italian Zucchini Casserole in a white dish with spoon.

This Italian Zucchini Casserole is easy, tasty, and a great way to use fresh zucchini. This is done in just an hour and is a great vegetable-based dish that can serve as a main course or side dish. 

  • Author: Ben Myhre
  • Prep Time: 20 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 Minutes
  • Total Time: 50 Minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Casserole
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Vegetarian
Scale

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces macaroni noodles
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 small zucchini, roughly chopped
  • 8 ounces mozzarella, shredded
  • 3/4 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2  teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Instructions

  1. Cook macaroni to instructions, but subtract one minute of cooking time, and preheat oven to 375 Fahrenheit.
  2. While water is heating, melt butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat
  3. Add flour and mix well into a paste
  4. Slowly add milk and continue stirring to ensure the sauce doesn’t scorch pan
  5. The sauce should thicken about the time it starts to boil. Add in 1/2 of the cheese at this point and mix until melted
  6. Add salt, pepper, and cayenne and stir in.
  7. Remove sauce from heat and set aside.
  8. In a large dish, add zucchini, noodles, sauce. Mix.
  9. Add mixture to deep casserole dish.
  10. Mix remaining mozzarella and bread crumbs. Top casserole with this remaining cheese/bread crumb mixture.
  11. Add to oven and bake for 30 minutes

Notes

  • Use your best judgment on zucchini sizes, but I used small zucchinis in my recipe. 
  • The sauce by itself is a bit powerful in terms of salt and pepper, but once it is mixed with the noodles and zucchini, it is balanced. That said, add to your taste.
  • Use a deeper casserole dish for the best results.
  • When making the sauce, make sure to continue stirring to prevent scalding.
  • This dish is only truly vegetarian if you use vegetarian cheese.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/4 Total
  • Calories: 564 Calories
  • Sugar: 8g
  • Sodium: 1403 mg
  • Fat: 24 g
  • Saturated Fat: 14 g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 10 g
  • Carbohydrates: 68 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Protein: 19 g
  • Cholesterol: 75 mg

Keywords: Italian Zucchini Casserole

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Jeff the Chef
    August 12, 2020 at 8:14 am

    You are ertainly the King of Casseroles! And this one is no exception.

    • Reply
      Ben
      August 12, 2020 at 3:30 pm

      Thanks, Jeff!

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