Zucchini Pizza Casserole Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time
Prep: 20 min. Bake: 40 min.
A hearty tomato-meat sauce, garden-fresh zucchini and oodles of cheese make this zucchini pizza casserole the ultimate family-friendly dinner recipe.

Updated: Jun. 11, 2024

When it comes to summer vegetables, zucchini is the gift that keeps on giving. And even when you think you’ve given it all away, somehow there is still more lurking in your garden. That’s where this recipe for zucchini pizza casserole comes in.

Shredded, garden-fresh zucchini combines with plenty of ooey-gooey cheese and your favorite pizza flavors to make the ultimate weeknight casserole recipe. This low-carb and gluten-free zucchini pizza bake is truly a winning dish.

Ingredients for Zucchini Pizza Casserole

  • Zucchini: No need to peel the zucchini before shredding with a hand grater or food processor! Other types of summer squash that would work in this recipe include yellow squash.
  • Salt: Salt is used to remove excess moisture from the zucchini. We recommend using kosher salt rather than table salt as it better adheres to the zucchini’s surface and will draw out more water.
  • Eggs: Eggs are used to bind together the zucchini and cheese, which serve as the “crust” for the zucchini pizza casserole.
  • Cheese: This recipe uses a mix of Parmesan, mozzarella and cheddar. Other types of cheese that would be tasty additions include provolone, Asiago or Romano. For the best flavor and meltability, freshly grate your own cheese at home—although packaged shredded cheese also works in a pinch.
  • Ground beef: Use 90% lean ground beef for this recipe. Alternatives include ground beef or Italian sausage for a bit more flavor.
  • Onion: The best types of onions for this recipe are yellow or white onions. White onions will have a slightly stronger flavor.
  • Tomato sauce: Canned tomato sauce adds plenty of ripe tomato flavor to this pizza zucchini casserole. For extra flavor, our recipe calls for Italian tomato sauce, which typically includes basil, oregano and garlic. If you prefer a chunkier sauce, use the same amount of your favorite tomato-based pasta or pizza sauce instead.
  • Bell pepper: You can use either red or green bell pepper in this recipe. Or use a combo of both!

Directions

Step 1: Prep the zucchini

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the shredded zucchini in a colander, and sprinkle with salt. Let stand 10 minutes, then squeeze out the moisture.

Step 2: Make the zucchini cheese base

Combine the zucchini with the eggs, Parmesan and half the mozzarella and cheddar cheeses. Press into a greased 13×9-inch or 3-quart baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes.

Step 3: Make the beef topping

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, cook the beef and onion over medium heat until the meat is no longer pink, breaking it into crumbles. Drain. Stir in the tomato sauce. Spoon the meat sauce over the zucchini mixture.

Step 4: Add cheese, and bake

Sprinkle with the remaining cheeses. Top with green pepper. Bake until heated through, about 20 minutes longer.

Zucchini Pizza Casserole Variations

  • Add your favorite pizza toppings: You don’t need to stop with just cheese and peppers! Feel free to add your favorite pizza toppings to truly make this casserole your own.
  • Make it a meat lover’s casserole: Swap half of the ground beef with ground sausage. Top the casserole with pepperoni slices or Canadian bacon before baking.
  • Skip the meat: Make your zucchini pizza bake vegetarian by skipping the meat and increasing the veggies. Mushrooms and finely chopped cauliflower (or a combination of the two) are both delicious options.
  • Garnish with fresh herbs: Top the casserole with freshly chopped basil.

How to Store Zucchini Pizza Casserole

Leftover zucchini pizza casserole can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days. Reheat individual portions in the microwave until heated through, or reheat in a 350° oven until the internal temperature of the casserole reaches 165°.

How to Freeze Zucchini Pizza Casserole

Let the baked casserole cool completely. Wrap in a layer of storage wrap followed by a layer of aluminum foil. Freeze for up to three months.

To use, partially thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Remove from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before baking. Preheat the oven to 350°. Unwrap the casserole, and reheat on a lower oven rack until heated through and a thermometer inserted in the center reads 165°.

Zucchini Pizza Casserole Tips

How do you prevent a soggy zucchini pizza casserole crust?

Removing moisture from the zucchini is key to preventing a soggy crust, so don’t skip the sweating step. Then, squeeze out as much extra moisture as possible by pressing the shredding zucchini between a clean kitchen towel, cheesecloth or nut milk bag. Or try this brilliant zucchini trick and use your French press to squeeze the zucchini!

Can you use frozen shredded zucchini to make zucchini pizza casserole?

Absolutely! Freezing zucchini is a great way to preserve it for year-round use in all of your favorite zucchini recipes. To use, let thaw overnight in the refrigerator, setting the frozen zucchini in a colander over a bowl to capture any liquid. Then, thoroughly wring out any excess moisture by squeezing it between a clean kitchen towel or layers of cheesecloth.

Watch how to Make Zucchini Pizza Casserole

Zucchini Pizza Casserole

Prep Time 20 min
Cook Time 40 min
Yield 8 servings.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups shredded unpeeled zucchini
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 can (15 ounces) Italian tomato sauce
  • 1 medium green or sweet red pepper, chopped

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°. Place zucchini in colander; sprinkle with salt. Let stand 10 minutes, then squeeze out moisture.
  2. Combine zucchini with eggs, Parmesan and half the mozzarella and cheddar cheeses. Press into a greased 13x9-in. or 3-qt. baking dish. Bake 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink, breaking meat into crumbles; drain. Add tomato sauce; spoon over zucchini mixture. Sprinkle with remaining cheeses; add green pepper. Bake until heated through, about 20 minutes longer.

Nutrition Facts

1 cup: 315 calories, 20g fat (10g saturated fat), 119mg cholesterol, 855mg sodium, 10g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 2g fiber), 25g protein.

My husband has a hearty appetite, our two kids never tire of pizza and I grow lots of zucchini, so this tasty tomato casserole is absolutely tops with us throughout the entire year. Once you've tried the recipe, you may even decide to grow more zucchini in your own garden next summer! —Lynn Bernstetter, White Bear Lake, Minnesota