Hearty, low-carb  baked zucchini casserole recipe. Layers of zucchini, carrots and onions with a perfectly spiced meat sauce! Gluten Free. This makes a hearty main with a little Lebanese rice. 

Mediterranean zucchini casserole with carrots, onions, and spiced ground beef sauce

Early fall is such a sweet spot. The harvest is starting to bring in spot-light worthy goodness like pumpkin, sweet potatoes, and carrots, but we still have plenty of favorite summer produce like zucchini.

You can think of this Mediterranean-style zucchini casserole as a celebration of that perfect warm-your-heart dish where summer and fall produce share the spotlight. In my opinion, this zucchini casserole is prefect for any time of the year, if you can find quality zucchini in your corner of the world

This zucchini casserole is a riff off one I grew up with. My mom has a way with zucchini, and if you've tried her Middle Eastern stuffed zucchini recipe, you already know you'll like this zucchini casserole.

Mediterranean zucchini casserole with carrots, onions, and spiced ground beef sauce

More about this Baked Zucchini Casserole

The gist. This is a low-carb  baked zucchini casserole with ground beef sauce (I used 97% fat-free ground beef, but you can use ground turkey as well.)

The meat sauce is what lends this hearty zucchini casserole all the warmth and flavor. The sauce begins with aromatics (onions and garlic) along with the meat. And once the meat is perfectly browned, we add a trio of all-natural spices--allspice, paprika, and a hint of nutmeg. You can already see how fragrant and complex the meat sauce is! (create 3-pack of spices from our Mediterranean spice collection here.)

We throw the meat sauce along with rounds of zucchini, carrots, and onions into a casserole dish. All that's left to do is bake until the zucchini and carrots are nice and tender.

Baked Mediterranean Zucchini Casserole Served with Rice

What to serve with this zucchini casserole?

People think of casseroles as a side dish, and this zucchini casserole makes a great one. But I often serve it as the main event with a side of Lebanese rice or perfectly crusty bread.

Looking for more dishes to try? Here are a few: 

Moussaka: Greek Eggplant Casserole

Baked Zucchini Chips

Greek Pastitsio

Mediterranean Roasted Vegetables Barley

Chunky Vegan Lentil Soup

 

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Mediterranean Style Zucchini Casserole | The Mediterranean Dish. Low carb zucchini casseroles with layers of zucchini, carrots, onions and a perfectly spiced meat sauce. Aromatics, warm Mediterranean spices, and fresh herbs make all the difference. See the full recipe on themediterraneandish.com #mediterraneandiet #zucchini #casserole #lowcarb #keto

Mediterranean-Style Zucchini Casserole Recipe


Description

Baked zucchini casserole recipe, prepared Mediterranean-style. Layers of zucchini, carrots, onions w/ a perfectly spiced meat sauce. Low Carb. Gluten Free.


Ingredients

Scale
  • Private Reserve Greek extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, halved (chop half of the onion and slice the other into rings)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lb lean ground beef (97% lean) or ground turkey
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 ½ tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp sweet Spanish paprika
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg 
  • 1 ½ cups chopped canned tomatoes with the juice
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 to 3 zucchini, sliced into thin rounds
  • 2 carrots, sliced into thin rounds
  • Generous handful chopped fresh parsley for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
  2. In a saucepan, heat 2 tablespoon Private Reserve extra virgin olive oil over medium heat until shimmering but not smoking. Add chopped onions (leave the sliced onions for later) and garlic and cook minutes, stirring regularly, until softened and fragrant (do not brown).
  3. Add meat (ground turkey or lean ground beef). Break the meat up to help it brown. Season with salt and pepper. Raise heat to medium-high and cook meat until fully browned, stirring occasionally. If there is any fat or extra liquid at this point, carefully drain and return saucepan back to heat.
  4. Now season with allspice, paprika, and nutmeg. Stir to combine.
  5. Add chopped canned tomatoes with juice, tomato paste and water. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 7 to 10 minutes or so. Remove from heat.
  6. Add zucchini, carrots, and sliced onions to the bottom of a casserole dish like this one. Add the meat sauce and spread evenly.
  7. Cover the casserole dish tightly with foil. Bake in 375 degrees F heated-oven for about 40 minutes. Then uncover, and then broil for a brief few minutes, watching carefully.
  8. Remove from oven and garnish with fresh parsley. Transfer to dinner bowls, add a drizzle of Private Reserve EVOO. Serve with Lebanese rice or your favorite crusty bread.

Notes

  • Prepare ahead instructions: you can make this casserole the night before you need to serve it. Follow the recipe up to the first part only of step #7, you can bake covered for 40 minutes, but do not return to the oven for the last few minutes. Let it cool completely before covering and saving in the fridge. You can simply heat uncovered in a slightly lower temperature (350 degrees F heated) oven until warmed through. If you feel the casserole needs a little bit of liquid so it doesn't dry while heating, add just a little bit of water.
  • Store any leftovers in a glass tight-lid container in your fridge for 3 days or so. Or freeze portions as you like (thaw in fridge overnight).
  • Recommended for this recipe: Private Reserve Greek extra virgin olive oil (from organically grown and processed Koroneiki olives). SAVE! Try our Greek EVOO Bundle.
  • Recommended for this recipe from our all-natural spice collections: allspice, Spanish paprika, and nutmeg. SAVE! Create your own 3-pack or 6-pack from our all-natural or organic spice collections. Or try our Ultimate Mediterranean Spice Bundle! 
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Category: Entree or Side Dish
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean/Middle Eastern

Keywords: Zucchini casserole, zucchini recipe, baked zucchini casserole, zucchini casserole with ground beef, low carb zucchini casserole, keto zucchini casserole, Mediterranean zucchini

Mediterranean Style Zucchini Casserole | The Mediterranean Dish. Low carb zucchini casseroles with layers of zucchini, carrots, onions and a perfectly spiced meat sauce. Aromatics, warm Mediterranean spices, and fresh herbs make all the difference. See the full recipe on themediterraneandish.com #mediterraneandiet #zucchini #casserole #lowcarb #keto

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I'm Suzy; born and bred right on the shores of the Mediterranean. I'm all about easy, healthy recipes with big Mediterranean flavors. Three values guide my cooking: eat with the seasons; use whole foods; and above all, share! So happy you're here...
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Comments

  1. Looks and tastes delicious, BUT I would not add the 1 cup of water to the pot as it is way too watery, Especially since the veggies add their own water. Otherwise it's a delicious recipe. So leave out the 1 cup of water

  2. I have loved every recipe of yours that I have tried..except this one. The flavor is good, but mine turned out waaaaay too liquidy. I’m really not sure the sauce needs a whole cup of water because the zucchini release quite a bit of liquid as they cook. I had to serve it with a slotted spoon and drain the leftovers before putting them away.

    Hubster loved the taste, but I thought it needed more flavor, probably because of all the liquid. I’m going to give it another shot without that cup of water and see how it turns out.

    Oh, I also sprinkled some shredded Parmesan on top before putting it under the broiler.

    Keep those great recipes coming. This is my favorite recipe site!

  3. This was great! My family loved it. I didn't have allspice, so I googled on how to make my own. A keeper!

  4. I'm somewhat embarrassed here. I've been making your recipes for awhile now and I love every single one I have tried but until today, I hadn't taken the time to thank you! Last night I made the Mediterranean style zucchini casserole and it was absolutely delicious! I just finished the leftovers for breakfast and it was even better the second day. I used ground turkey since that's what I had on hand and I also tossed in some chickpeas to up the fiber. Like many of your recipes, the ingredients are almost always on hand and the blend of flavors and spices are wonderful. Many thanks again for your time and efforts! Please keep your recipes coming...

    1. Liz, thank you so much for the kind comment. It means so much to me to know that my recipes are a regular part of your cooking routine. Thank you!

  5. Hi Suzy,
    Made this tonight and found it OK but I found it needs something to lift it. I'm so used to your recipes being flavour explosions however this was nice but not as I expected. I did add the Allspice but it wasn't mentioned in the instructions.
    I will make this again but spice it up a bit.
    I love your site and use your recipes every week, your enthusiasm for Mediterranean cuisine is intoxicating.
    Thanks and keep up the good work.

    1. Hey, thanks for the feedback, Martin. Thanks for catching the allspice omission, I made sure and added that in the instructions as it does make a difference. I haven't heard this from others, but it sounds like you might like to tailor the recipe to your liking a bit more by adding more spices.

  6. Do you think you could substitute beans of some kind for the meat? We are not meat eaters, but I'd love to try this. Thanks!