Zucchini is a favorite vegetable for cooks because it can be used in countless ways. Here it teams up with ground beef, rice and cheese for a pretty, palate-pleasing meal.— Christy Saniga, Tacoma, Washington
- 6 cups water
- 4 cups sliced zucchini
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 cups cooked rice
- 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
- 1 cup (8 ounces) 4% cottage cheese
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1-1/2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano or 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh basil or 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
- In a large saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add zucchini. Return to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 3 minutes or just until tender. Drain and immediately place zucchini in ice water. Drain and pat dry.
- In a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Drain. Stir in the rice, tomato sauce, cottage cheese, egg, oregano, basil and salt.
- Arrange half of the zucchini in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Layer with meat mixture and remaining zucchini; sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until bubbly and cheese is melted. Yield: 6-8 servings.
Originally published as Zucchini Beef Bake in Casserole Cookbook 2001, p52
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